Magnus Eze, Enugu
In a space of eight months, UK-based Nigerian multi-talented artiste, Notrace had colabos with two of the nation’s music stars, Davido and Patoranking.
He also dazzled guests at the recent launch of CitiHub, an exquisite entertainment centre in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State. In this chat, the artiste opens up to TS Weekend on his journey so far.
Who is Notrace?
Notrace is a singer, songwriter, producer and actor; he’s an all round entertainer currently signed to Dream Soul Records in Nigeria. I am based in the UK but I’m back in Nigeria to promote my music and push my career with Dream Soul Records.
Do people really know about you in Nigeria?
Yes, they do; they’re starting to and those who don’t know will definitely know very soon. We’re putting lots of passion behind what we do; a lot of hard work too. Within a short period of less than a year, we have two hit songs: one with Patoranking and the other with Davido, which shows the standard and level that we’re trying to attain. We’re currently No. 1 on Afropop and No. 3 on MTV charts, and our reach is spreading more than we could imagine. So, those that don’t know would soon get to know us.
Our first song, Melanin, talks about black women and the beauty of black women. It’s about encouraging black beauty. It did very well especially in the UK; it got very big acceptance, a huge audience. We have a lot of audience abroad with that song as well as here in Nigeria. The second song, Bigger Than, which features Patoranking, is a club banger. It blows my mind how well it’s doing. The third song is the one I did with Davido entitled, Blessed. I believe this song will be the one to take me there. Those are the songs I have so far. I just had my first performance (in Nigeria), which was crazy and massive. It was at the launch and opening of CitiHub in Ebonyi State. I had turned down a lot of shows because I wanted to start with my own thing. And since that had been done, now you’d be seeing me on billboards and in lots of shows.
What of in the UK?
In the UK, I produce for lots of notable artistes; I sell songs as well. I’ve written songs for lots of notable artistes and once you’re paid, you keep quiet like you didn’t do it. I’ve also headlined some shows including Leicester Carnival. I’ve done some conferences where we mentored young people wanting to go into music. I’m very active in the UK music industry. I’m looking to bring that energy to Nigeria and see how I can penetrate the Nigerian music industry.
What’s your assessment of Nigerian music?
The music industry in Nigeria over the last 10 years has improved tremendously, to the extent that if you go to London and tune your radio, they can’t play five songs without you hearing one Afrobeat song. That’s how crazy it is. And with what Davido is doing in America, within a short time, it will be the same thing in the US. That’s to show how far we’ve gone; we’ve really come a long way. We’ve come from having an industry that was just a plaything to a world-class industry. We have American artistes who are dying to do songs with Wizkid or Davido. So, I’m very impressed with the music industry in Nigeria. The only thing we used to have issues with was funding, being able to have enough funds to sponsor our works. When there’s a will, there’s always a way. It’s not surprising how far we’ve gone and I believe we’re still going further.
What is the future of entertainment in Ebonyi State?
The future of entertainment in Ebonyi is extremely bright, because we’re a blessed people. We already have some big names in Ebonyi like Patoranking. The new generation of young artistes in the state is definitely going to take over not only in Nigeria but also in the world.
Could you talk about the song you did with Davido that just dropped?
It’s a song that celebrates life and God’s blessing in everyone’s life. I’m sure we’re all blessed in one way or the other. Davido and I did the song in Dubai. We shot the video in London and Mauritius Island. We wanted to not just show a fancy lifestyle but also different aspects of blessing. You know, blessing is not just about money. So, we tried to touch every area of blessing that one can get in life, and at the same time, we added a very danceable beat to it. We wanted something that people can celebrate with, especially going into the Christmas and New Year period; just a danceable song.
Is doing a collabo with Davido part of your own blessing?
Yes, doing a collabo with Davido is definitely a blessing to me. Davido is one of the most humble persons I’ve ever met. We do have a lot of things we’re working on. How the partnership came about was something I never expected. You know, when God’s hand is on a project, things tend to work out in ways that you couldn’t imagine. The connection was instant; it’s just that we’re able to create this bond. He appreciated the fact that I made my own beat. I appreciated him for all he’s been able to achieve in the industry. We have a lot of similarities; he came back from America, I came back from the UK and we connected based on our passion for music, and everything flowed from there. We did the music and everybody that heard it was like ‘when are you releasing this song?’ Now, we’ve released it and it’s crazy.