The name Guchi is one very likely to make a resounding impact on the Nigerian music industry in a no-distant time. Just out with her debut single video titled ‘no be jazz’, Guchi is a student of Media and Theater Arts at the University of Lagos. She started singing from the age of 7, and looks forward to make a difference in the industry with her music. In this interview with MANNY ITA, she speaks about her music career, the industry and other sundry issues.
Guchi sounds like the fashion designer, how did you come about the name?
It may sound the same but it’s not really so. I am an Ibo girl and my name is Ugochi. The name Guchi was coined from Ugochi.
For how long have you been into music?
You sound a lot like Simi. Is it some kind of marketing strategy?
No its not. There’s no relationship. I don’t think I sound like someone else. I sound like Guchi and not like Simi.
What inspired your foray into music?
I have always had passion for music. Growing up, I sang in the choir which helped shape my desire and resolve to take it on fully.
Is any of your parents gifted in music?
My dad I’d say. He is a music lover. He made me to like Michael Jackson’s songs, as he was always playing them and that was an early influence and inspiration.
Where were you born and how was your upbringing?
I was born in Kaduna and grew up in Abuja. I am from a family of six and I am the second child.
How old are you, and are your parents supportive of your choice of a career in music?
I am 22 and yes of course, my parents are totally supportive of my decision to go into music.
The competition in the industry is high today. Are you prepare to cope and possibly disrupt?
Yes I am prepared to creatively fill my space and leave marks. As I said earlier, I have been into music since 2012. I have dozens of songs prepared already that I’m going to be dropping back to back.
At what age did you start music precisely?
At the age of 7. I remember a family get together on my grandfather’s birthday, when the children were called upon to sing. I was the only one that came out to sing and with excitement and clarity.
Which song was that?
It was a song I got from a Barbie cartoon movie. The name of the song was “wish for one thing”
Let’s have a peek at your educational background.
I was studying at the Edo State University before. Because of my music career, I decided to relocate to Lagos, and when I did, I had to start my university education all over again at the University of Lagos.
What are you studying?
I’m studying Theatre and Media Arts.
Doing music is competitive, time consuming and quite sapping, how do you intend to balance your music career and education?
It’s not going to be easy I know, but my course falls in line in a way with what I’m doing – Theatre and Media Arts- so I think I can cope. And again, I did not register for a full time programme but part time, so I can have time to conveniently juggle between the two.
How prepared are you to handle the negative stories usually brewed about celebrities, seeing you’re on your way to becoming one?
I would not let that bother me because I know who I am. My personal life is different from my music life, which to me is more like acting. Saying things about me would only serve to make me more popular I guess.
What genre of music do you consider yours?
Afropop, Dancehall and Highlife.I am not strictly an everybody’s kind of Afropop musician but I can do any of the three depending on what inspires me.
What inspired the track “no be jazz”?
The inspiration came from the fact that today the girls seem more interested in the money and the men more interested in sex. “No be Jazz” portrays the old kind of love where neither money nor sex was the basis for relationships or marriages; but true love, and that was why they couples could go through the good and bad times in love.
My mother actually inspired the song. Taking a cue from her, she was always steadfast in the good and the bad times; steadfast in love. So the song preaches trust and love even in the face of adversity.
Do you have any experience that reflected on the song?
Many times the songs artistes sing do not necessarily define the artistes. There’s a song I did called “Hennessy”, not because I drink it but surely there are people it would appeal to. A song like that could also be done to promote the brand. That is why I said music is like acting.
Which record label are you signed under and what kind of contract do you have?
The music is produced under the record label MVP, and for the terms of contract, I don’t wish to discuss that for now.
Are you looking forward to a collaboration with any artiste in future, if so who might these be?
I am hoping to play sometime with Bruna Boy, Kizzy Daniel, Tewa Savage and Davido.
What have been some of your challenges so far?
There have been a few challenges. Having to relocate to Lagos was a challenge. Understanding I’d have to start my tertiary education all over again was a challenge, but then I see challenges as stepping stones to greatness.
No, I have none.
What would you have opted for in career terms if music was not feasible?
I don’t think there’s any other thing I would have done. Music is just my love.
You’re one jump ahead of some others still aspiring; what advice would you give?
Believe in yourself and trust in God. Don’t give up on your dreams, but work towards it every day, despite the challenges that may be. Be real.
It was cool talking with you
My Pleasure always.