Friday, November 27, 2015

Austin Naija Exclusive: Zoro Talks Music, Phyno Rivalry And More

Arguably the best rapper from the South-Eastern region of Nigeria, Zoro stays winning. His attitude and charisma is second to none; little wonder he is called Swagbag
In this chat with Austin Naija, he speaks about how his romance with hip-hop begun, the rumored rivalry with rapper, Phyno and so much more...

Who is Zoro Swagbag?
Zoro swagbag is Owoh Chimaobi Chrismathner and Owoh Chimaobi Chrismathner is Zoro Swagbag

Where are you from?
I am proudly from Amokolo, Ituku in Awgu local government area of Enugu state.

As a kid, what prank did you play the most ?
I will always ask my then classmates to hold their hands like they want to clap ,then I will fix pencils in between their fingers and ask them to hit me on the head ,you do that?your fingers will hurt for days

You know the prank yeah?

No, I don't. I'm not so naughty like you
I needed to be tough to survive in my neighbourhood. .

Where did you grow up and what challenges did you face as a child?
I grew up in the streets of Onitsha, and as at the time I was a kid, children mostly solely decide what path to take; the good or the bad or the confused path (laughs). It wasn't easy for me as I am the first child and had no big brother to heed his advice but then God got me so too many mistakes weren't made but a couple though.

How did music begin for you?
I've always loved music as a child as I remember when I will always climb on our center table to sing to Elton John 's Sacrifice. Growing up, I never thought I'd do music but then everything changed during my days at CIC Enugu where I was known for jonzing ,comedy and a little bit of miming other people's songs. I will buy books to see the lyrics to my favourite songs until I tried creating my own songs. It sounded stupid sha but my friends liked it.
Then, I knelt down and prayed; asking God to give me a sign if music is my path. That same month, I rapped on Wizboyy's Owu sa gi and I was only 18 .Then, I continued and I am here. I hope my story inspires someone (smiles)

The first time I heard you Rap live was during a live performance with Wizboyy and DJ Ree at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. How did you meet Wizboyy?
Oh I remember (laughs). I met Wizboyy through DJ Ree. DJ Ree produced the first song I ever rapped on, then he played it for Wizboyy and I was featured on Owu sa gi

That was in what year?

So you are 24 now?
Sorry ending of 2008. I'm 25

Of all genres, why did you choose hip-hop ?
I could express myself more in it. I used to know how to sing a little bit but rap took it.

Who are your top three rappers in the world currently?
Kendrick Lamar, The Game, Drake

How did you come about your stage name?
It's an acronym for Zelu Onwunwa Rapu Okwunuka!!! I had to remind myself of that because I was a real thug growing up.

What does "Zelu onwunwa rapu okwunuka" mean in English?
Avoid temptations, don't make troubles.

You have often been compared to Phyno. Does that put you under pressure?
Nope, not at all, I am still in my learning process and I'm already been compared to the greatest around here ,what happens when we done learning? (laughs). Phyno is more of a big brother than a friend to me, he is unarguably the biggest rapper in the country at the moment. Being compared to him should feel more good than bad you know (smiles).

Do you feel you can achieve more than he has done already? Especially breaking into the South-west market.
Everyone's dream is to be great but God decides who he gives greatness. I'm not in competition with nobody. I'm just a poor boy trying to maximize my God given talent to it's apex. So any height His grace gets me is what I would take thankfully; either above or below Phyno. God decides plus I am fine with either.

Are you signed on to any record label currently?

Just somehow (smiles)

(Laughs) What should we expect next from Zoro?
Great 16s, next level.

What's been the toughest challenge in your rap career thus far?
Getting the right platform to sell it.

Do you see yourself relocating to Lagos anytime soon?
I live in Lagos already.

What would you change about the Nigerian music industry if you could?
The short reign of hit songs

Why do you think hit songs don't last long?
Recently, we Nigerians are quick to demand for another song from an artiste after just a couple of months of releasing a hit song.

Shouldn't artistes find ways to make timeless music then?
Depends on your interpretation of timeless though

What is your own interpretation?
It differs really. I'm sure my interpretation will vary from yours..

What's your advice to young artistes like yourself?
If I can be here today you can be here tomorrow, just work it.

Thanks a lot for your time.
Anytime fam.


Now, experience Zoro

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