Born and raised in the southern part of Nigeria, 23 year old Prophett is currently taking the Toronto music scene by storm. Realizing his love for different sounds of music at just 8 years old, This young artist refuses to be boxed in and easily defined.
After releasing his debut single “Solomon grundy” in 2016 Prophett was determined to make a name for himself, not only in the african community but nationwide. With the release of his new single “Hold on to me” still fresh on the scene, we reached out to Prophett Music to discuss his journey into the world of music and his multifaceted creative approach.
Being so young and having already accomplished a lot in his career, we asked prophet when the very first time he realized his passion for music and performing was. He told us he has had a passion for music as early as he can remember
“I was about 8 years old when I first realized how much I loved music. The composition of it, the feeling it gives and how it connects with people individually and as a community.
I started listening to music from Michael Jackson, Bob Marley, James Brown and Fela Kuti from my Dad's collection( I always thought he had good taste in music). I also listened to a lot of rap from Eminem, 50 cent and LL Cool J.
I didn't start actually writing music until I was 9. They weren't complete bodies of work but for me, that was the starting point. At 10, I had a book full of songs, although initially mostly rap songs -working on my rhymes and flows. When I was 12, I began to take singing more seriously as I wanted to be well rounded and versatile.”
Now that he had discovered his dream, it was time for the now recording artist to bring it to reality and begin his journey into the music industry.
How long after that realization did you take the step into the studio to record your first song?
“It took a long time from writing to recording in a studio setting. Back then, I would record on my phone and that was how I would get people to listen to them.
My inspiration to start recording professionally was around when I was 14, I got in an accident and I hit my head pretty bad. I was hospitalized for about 2 weeks and due to the accident, I couldn't properly walk and it hurt to even think- it was a tough time for me.
Around that time, my older brother who also does music had a set up at his place that he would use to make songs and I had been planning to set up something like that for myself. When I came out of the hospital, that was the first thing I told myself I was going to do- record with an actual mic and stuff.
as soon as I was able to, taught myself how to record and use the software and everything.”
The young star even dabbled in producing his own beats for a few years until he decided he couldn't do everything by myself and stuck to focusing on strengthening his vocals.
“The first time for me recording in an actual studio was in 2017, the experience was very different. Having other people watch me work and voice a track was new to me. Even working in the same room as the producer making the beat from scratch, it was amazing.”
Next we asked the “Monica” singer about his motivation to keep getting back into the studio after putting his accident and the resulting head injury behind him.
What sparks your inspiration to create? What keeps you getting back into the studio again and again?
“For me, Music is therapy. I might just be in my feelings and wanna record a song. I might be hanging out with friends and suddenly an idea pops up or I might have a message or something I wanna say, but it always sounds better when I put a melody to it.
I also make a lot of songs about women or for women. That's cause a lot of the times I'm inspired by them to be honest. I spend a lot of time around them so I guess it’s just natural for me to vibe of that.”
Developing your music career in Canada, was it difficult to find your sound and experiment with afrobeat? seeing as the scene wasn’t quite as big as it is here now, Did it make it harder for you to find influences to place into your music?
“I started doing music professionally in 2016. It was a bit difficult deciding what I wanted to sound like because I didn't want my music to sound like everybody else making that genre of music, I wanted to stand out. I wasn't sure about the Afro beat presence in Canada and I wasn't sure how accepting the audience in Africa would be to my little experiment.
Being versatile in my music style, I wanted to create something everybody could listen to. Also, I didn't wanna be known as the Afro beat guy, when I could switch it up and do a lot more.
The solution for me was Afro Fusion, by that I mean taking Afro beat and fusing it with other sounds/influences- in my case, Dancehall was my go to.”
Prophet then went on to describe the sound behind his debut single “solomon grundy” and how the response inspired him to continue to perfect his afro-fusion style.
“I was in Canada when I recorded and released Solomon Grundy. The song wasn't core Afro beat (the beat was definitely not Afro beat) and I honestly didn't know how much people would like it because at that time I was only targeting an African audience.
It was just me being creative and doing me. The response the song went on to get was massive and super encouraging- everyone loved it, even non-Africans.
That was when I discovered it was okay for me to be different and do my thing because my audience was also diverse.”
From your first single “Solomon Grundy” to your most recent “Hold on to me” we can hear a more mature sound from you lyrically. How do you think your musical direction has changed with age/over time?
“I think it’s more experience and confidence overtime is what can be heard in my more recent songs. I have interacted with my audiences more and built an idea in my head or should I say a framework of who I am now.
A lot has happened over the years and I feel like as all good artists do, we grow into the music cos now we also have more to sing about or make music about(both good and bad, pleasure and pain).
Solomon Grundy was a song I made just having fun with the beat, Hold on to Me on the other hand is me (years later living the life of a professional artist, having toured and performed in different places) telling you a story.”
To others on the come-up, This young artist cites passion and personal drive as the most important qualities to have while attempting to break into the music industry.
Taking into consideration everything you’ve experienced in the music industry so far; the good and the bad. what advice can you give to any up and coming young aspiring artists?
“The one true advice I can really give is this: You have to know how bad you wanna do this. Without the passion for music, many things will make you wanna quit or frustrate you.
To me it's a lifestyle, music is my therapy. You have to find what the music means to you personally.
When you know what it means to you and how bad you want to make it doing what you love, then you'll fight for it no matter what till the end.”
Prophett Music is definitely one to look out for this year!
Connect with Prophett Music
Written By Esther Louis.