By CHRISTY ANYANWU
Veteran Nigerian artist, Zakky Azzay is noted with his torchlight and cap, a trademark that has been part of his life as an artiste. The Tiv musician visited The Sun during the week and he talked about his firsts.
First time with your black and white cap
That was in 1994. I’m proud of where I come from. I knew that one day, I would be an international star, so I wanted something that would make my people from my Benue State and Nigerians generally proud. As at that time, we were just starting and western music dominated Nigerian music scene. I wanted something that would promote our culture, something that would make everyone see that I’m not trying to be western; I just wanted to be myself. Then, some people thought it was funny and some even thought there was some magic in it. Eventually, everybody likes it, especially now that Nigerians are appreciating indigenous music.
First time with torchlight
The torch is a symbol of my covenant I made with God in 1993 when I was starting that I will never be a rascal no matter how famous and rich I become. That I would not go against His will nor live as if He doesn’t exist. That I would be a good example. That was how I started carrying the torch. The torch was from the studio while I was recording the song. The torch was first before the cap.
The album is titled Loaded. We also have One Love, the remix of Onyeka Onwenu. We also have songs in Hausa language.
It was titled The hero. It was shocking because it was an Hausa song and I didn’t expect people to accept it. When I came to Lagos for the first time, I wanted to do hip hop songs, because nobody was doing hip-hop and I knew hip-hop was accepted only in the North. I just wanted to record a good album and take it back to the North but to my greatest surprise, everybody in Lagos embraced it and that was how I settled in Lagos.
First time in Lagos
I was born in Kaduna, I lived in Kaduna and I came to Lagos in 1991 and was staying with my uncle that died in the military plane crash that killed a lot of officers. Then, nobody wanted to come to Lagos from the North. I never saw dead bodies until I came to Lagos. Back then, we heard bad things about Lagos, but I did not want to be a local champion. I needed to come out and be recognized worldwide. I had to go against my parents’ wish and come to Lagos.
The only pet that I had was a bird. Anything in the bird family
First salary in music
It was N5,000. After my first outing, for three years, I never got any performing deal; I was just doing free shows. Kunle Onime really helped us entertainers at that time. He was the brain behind Lekki Sunsplash and allowed me to play in one of the shows in festival ground and they paid me N5,000.
It was a four-wheel drive Mitsubishi bus and fully air-conditioned. I bought it for N330 and that time we were always performing for Benson & Hedges and all that. I wanted to be a wise man, so I bought the bus to convey my band to wherever and saved a lot.