Before stardom with… Gaise Baba

Was being a musician a childhood dream?

As a child, I had no dream of being a musician. At first, I wanted to be a lawyer as that’s my dad’s profession. Later, it was to be an aeronautical engineer. I guess my childhood dreams just kept changing or evolving.

What inspired you to make music?

When I was in secondary school at King’s College, I was a member of the choir but when I graduated, I missed the singing experience. In a bid to relive it, I started writing and that’s how my journey into music began.

How would you describe your genre of music?

It’s an afro-fusion with culture-shaping Christian content.

How has it been since you joined the industry?

It has been a journey of many ups and downs. Every experience has contributed to my growth, evolution and self-discovery. The artiste and culture architect everyone sees today is a product of that journey, and we’re still on it. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

 As a culture architect, how easy was it for your songs to be accepted?

It’s never easy to blaze a new trail, eventually, the world catches up. We’re finally hitting that level where people catch up to what we have been building and developing for some years now.

What challenges did you face on your way to stardom?

My sound was not common, so I had to identify my sound, difference and uniqueness and stick to it. It always seemed like we were too worldly for the church and too churchy for the world, so we were caught in the middle. But now that we have got what is arguably the fastest-growing community within the music industry in Nigeria, both sides of the divide are waking up to us.

How was life before stardom?

I’m not sure how to answer this (laughs). Life was life, life is life and life will continue to be life. I try to keep the core of myself consistent, regardless of how many more people now know, recognise and love my name, face and the things I create or produce.

 What has stardom deprived you of?

Not much, if I’m being honest. I have realised that the gold tint on my hair is the most striking physical attribute people recognise me with, so I simply put on a cap when I need to disguise myself. Besides, it’s cool when people recognise, greet and thank you for what you do. In my own experience, it is more of an addition than deprivation.

Are you still friends with those with you before stardom?

Yes, most definitely. I keep a lean circle of trusted and sometimes covenant friends. I don’t joke with those closest to me. Associates and colleagues may change and evolve, but friends, dem no too plenty like that!

How do you handle advances from female fans?

I have hardly had any. Maybe my wife’s prayers are creating a force field (laughs). And it’s working!

What favourite song do you love to perform?

Elijah level!

What is your advice to up-and-coming musicians?

Do all you can to find your unique path and then stick to it.

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