Thursday, March 19, 2015

EXCLUSIVE: Jon Ogah Discusses Debut Album, Embarrassing Moment, 2015 Elections, Skales/Wizkid Face-Off & Much More

He is the true definition of what a music star really represents. He came into limelight in 2009 when he won the first ever edition of MNET's Glo Naija Sings competition. He has a very large fan base across Africa despite having to take breaks from his music career over the past few years for his education.
One great quality of achievers is the ability to stage a huge comeback and that's exactly what Jon Ogah has done by releasing a very impressive debut album, Uncle Suru just days back. 
In this exclusive interview with Austinaija, he talks about his new album, embarrassing moment with a fan, the Twitter drama between WizKid and Skales

AN-         In 2009, you won a whopping $100,000 as the winner of the debut season of Glo Naija sings competition. Aside the monetary reward, what did that competition do for your career?

Simply put, it got me out there into the public eye.

AN-        You came into limelight in 2009, how come it took you six more years to drop your debut album?

I was very young, I didn't know what I wanted. I needed time to grow and discover myself and back then everyone seemed to be making decisions for me. But now I know what I want and I can weigh if it will be good for me or not.

AN-      You took a little break from music to focus on your education. Can you tell us about your educational background?

Well I have a baccalaureate in Business Administration and currently undergoing a Masters programme in International Business

AN-     Who are the producers you worked with on the Uncle Suru album?

Niyi P and Attah Lenell both of whom are super talented and have a good ear for music. They are both great pianist as well and multi-instrumentalist. People who could peer into and understand in depth the attributes  and layers of music.

AN-      What were the greatest challenges you encountered while recording songs off this album and which was the most challenging track?

Uncle Suru was the most challenging track on the album. I was not satisfied with the record or the content and I did it over three times. Michael Ogah and Niyi P my producer were very lenient with me and I appreciate their guidance on that song.

AN-         You were born into a family with great military background, how has this shaped your personality?

Well funny enough, I am not that disciplined oh, but my daddy and mummy love me. I am strict though and firm and very caring. It’s funny me saying that about myself right “Being Caring”?

AN-       Your career has been scandal-free. How have you managed to stay away from scandals especially sexual ones despite obviously having a very huge female fan base?

I think it's not in my person to be associated with scandal of any kind. I respect my family name too much. When you begin to brand yourself in a certain way it could affect you positively or negatively.

AN-          What’s been your most embarrassing moment with a fan?

Once I met a fan at the airport duty free and she was so happy to see me, we were discussing and she picked up the phone and I heard her say “ I am here with Jon…. Jon Naija Sings” and she hung up. After some minutes, a man walked into the stored and said “Hey, stay away from my wife oh, you are the one that makes her not allow me rest. Everytime Jon this, Jon that.” I was laughing throughout to mask my embarrassment cause everyone in the store was looking at me but the man was cool and just joking around

AN-        It has been reported in some sections of the media that you recently relocated to France which is regarded as the World’s capital city of music. What informed your decision?

Yes I currently am based in France, It such a beautiful place to be in, the language, the food and the culture. They are very receptive of different cultures and music and I like that.

AN-         What record label and management outfit are you currently signed on to?

I am not signed to any record label.

AN-      Few years back, you made a return to the music scene with your brothers, Michael and Patrick as a group. What happened to The Ogah Brothers?

Well my brothers and I wanted to do some music together and so we did. It was an experiment that worked out really well within that brief moment. We got to release some singles and also worked with the amazing Tia Kansara.

AN-        We all watched Michael on the Glo X-Factor competition and he is a great singer. In your opinion, who sings better; you or Michael?

I love Michael's voice, his tones are rich and soothing and I think he is amazing. He is my big brother and I want to be like him. 

AN-        What’s your take on the recent Twitter drama between former label mates,Wizkid and Skales?

Well it's like watching Telemundo; stars who lost control in the spur of the moment and begun to air their dirty laundry on social media. At the end of the day when you get into a fight on the internet village, the town crier will carry the news everywhere. And some little secrets will begin to spill everywhere. It's distasteful.

AN-        What’s the last book you read?

“We Need New Names” by Noviolet Bulawayo

AN-        It’s an election year in our dear country, Nigeria. What’s your advice to your fellow youths?

Well, I said I wouldn't talk about politics, however anyone of my close friends can tell you that I have never been one for political correctness or trying to hold back on issues that deeply affect me. 
I am of the opinion that our leaders have failed us, and if they are incapable of doing their jobs which we elected them into office to do, then they should pack their bags. The presidency is not a “Master” seat, it is a “Servant” seat. If you cannot uphold our truth as a people or even the laws that have been put in place then tell me, why are you there? The youths are easily manipulated except those that know that 200 Naira will not last a day or even cook a pot of soup.

AN-        Your fans have waited forever for this debut album but Uncle Suru is finally here with us. What message do you have for these die-hard fans of yours?

Thanks for your support, keep listening, follow your dreams and never give up. But be wise and steadfast. Know when to switch from something that is unproductive and in whatever you do, do it to the best of your ability .

At Austinaija, we wish Jon the best of luck in his musical career and all other endeavours.

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