Before stardom with… Paybac Iboro

How did the journey into rap start?

My sister was a big rap fan and I was always around her when I was younger. So, I got it from her. I remember that when I was five years old, I sat with her while she listened with those old-school walkmans. She would stop and play and rewound the tapes to get the lyrics right. I fell in love ever since then.

What’s the inspiration behind it?

I grew up feeling very isolated but music helped me to feel not so alone and I want to do that for kids. Also, there were a lot of inadequacies I felt as a kid and I am trying to fix those through music too.

 What was the acceptance like when you started?

 It was non-existent like many other things. When you’re starting, nobody cares about you.

Which of your performances brought you into the limelight?

Most people know me for my album with boogey, which got nominated for the Headies. My follow-up album, Cult! also got nominated at the Headies.

 What challenges did you face on your way to stardom?

 Well, hip hop isn’t the biggest genre in Nigeria right now, it is Afro beats. So, we (rappers) have to work harder to get noticed.

 How’s life now that you’re known?

 I am still getting bigger and that is exciting. My fame also helps such that whenever I have something new, people get to know about it.

 Are you still friends with those with you before stardom?

 I’ll say, most of them. Everybody has different things to work on but we ensure to keep in touch in any way we can.

 How do you handle advances from female fans?

I love them but I also remember to keep the relationship professional. I learnt early not to let my personal and work lives mix.

 How would you describe the music that you typically create?

 I think that making African human music defines me very well.

 What’s the future like for you and the industry?

 I think it’s great. Our movie and music industries have both opened up the world to our culture. We are now like a pop culture powerhouse. I think the future is great for anyone that can take advantage of it and sell something valuable.

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

Learn the game and how to play it. Then break every rule but you have to learn it first.

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