Obaro Ejimiwe (Ghostpoet)
It is illegal interview, —Obaro’s kidding.
After the concert he came out to sign fliers and to take pictures with people, and here we are with cameras, dictaphone, and record, certainly. I always buy the records by my favourite musicians and listen to them on the cheap turntable even without audio system. It is such a style. The main thing is to support the musician buying his album. Even the sharp loudspeaker has its own grunge: it’s like you’re listening to an old radio. And the quality isn’t that significant. The energy is much more important. There is the same thing in this interview: attitude, just free dialog are key things.
Hay yo man! I have a report for the interview with you. Can I ask a few questions?
Yes, but you have only 15 minutes.
Which obstacles did you face at the beginning of your path?
I guess this is like when you start off, you are very fearful of what people may think of your music. I did it. I was very kind of like: will people like it? It is becoming not fearless, but It is becoming more confident in your creativity, and that was what I had to face in the beginning. I tried to stop being fearful and more confident. That was I was trying to do. That was the biggest obstacle, I would say.
Do you have fears which you would like to be free of? What is your biggest fear?
No fears. I’ve been doing it for too long.
I’ve heard that for a long time you had the fear to perform in front of an audience.
In the begging I feared to perform in front of an audience. In the very beginning.
In performing you have to enjoy what you do. It is important to enjoy it. And I was much overthinking. But then I decide, you know what: things will happen, mistakes will happen. You just have to enjoy your performance, rehearsal and practice. And if it goes well, that is great. If no, well, such as life is okey.
How your approach has changed?
It is again about confidence. I am more confident now in ideas that I want to put into a record.
My approach, I guess, is now more organic.
But I am still very much the same person. I still want to talk much about social issues and emotions that we can all relate to human beings. But I am still very much the same. I am just more confident than I was in the beginning.
Okey, you have three minutes. It is illegal interview now. Two minutes.
Your debut album Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam is full of real melancholy stories of people that formed the basis for your songs. How did these stories find you?
Well, that is a good question [laughing]. So from the beginning I said: I want to talk about everyday emotions and issues that affect everyone. Like, I am living in England, but living here you can understand what I want to tell you through my songs. Someone lives in Singapore, someone lives in America, they can understand this emotional sphere, you know. In the beginning that’s what I tried to do with my first record. All I’ve been trying to do in my career is to develop that kind of every day person’s stories,every day emotions and themes that everyone can understand regardless of where you are from. And that’s what I wanted to do from the beginning.
Two more questions.
What is the most important thing for you in music?
Being truthful, constantly pushing myself to do something new.
Not to stop?
Well, I will stop one day. I don’t want to repeat myself. It is very important to keep changing. Not to do the same thing again and again. Because it is boring. If people do the same thing again and again, it is boring.
One more question.
The profession of a musician is unstable. Today you are in trends, everyone listens to your music, you give concerts, but tomorrow everybody doesn’t care about you anymore. Are you afraid of losing your audience? Do you have plan B?
I’m not scared. I’m not making pop-music. The pop-music is very much kind of latest flavor, the latest trend. And once people get bored of this flavour, you are old news. I am not trying to chase a particular current sound. I just want to make music to last for long time.
I do have plan B. I still very much want to make music or be part of music. I live by the sea now. I would like to open a cafe-bar radio station. It is kind of a plan B. I can still very much be involved in music but not maybe performing.
Is it kind of hobby for you?
Well, everything is hobby. Because the moment I say it’s my job, then it becomes serious. It should be fun. I enjoy it because this is a hobby. I love music. And I treat it like it’s fun. My attitude is to keep it fun. Everything you like to do, it should be a hobby. I do it because I love to do it. And not because I have to do it.
Thank you very much.
You’re welcome. I liked this illegal interview. Thanks for coming.
We said goodbye to Obaro and his musicians and left. I put out my phone to thank the organizers for the opportunity to visit this performance and saw a new massage: Vital! Unfortunately the artist refused to give any interviews. We apologise for that.
Dark Days + Сanapes is playing on my player. I’m writing this interview. It’s the only interview that artist gave in Russia. Sharp sound of vinyl, one rill of developed film and 15 minutes recording on my phone. Literally this material has nothing serious. The only thing that valuable is pleasure that we’re getting during the process, the real sharing and connection, when one is on the stage, and the other one is on the dance floor.
Interview: Vitaly Akimov
Translate: Diana Vasilenko
Photography: Vitaly Akimov, Alexandra Perova