Taking on the continent: Joseph Akinfewa Donus, alias Joeboy, rings a bell in Uganda when you mention the song ‘My Baby’. The song has become an anthem in Uganda that it wasn’t surprising when he was announced as a performer for the Malembe Block Party slated for this evening at the Club Guvnor Parking lot.
Joeboy is one of the various artistes that benefited from the Mr Eazi #Empawa100 project that saw the artiste pledge $300,000 to empower 100 rising African artistes. Lawrence Ogwal talked to him about music and what it means to be a fast-rising star.
Joeboy may have been a hustling artiste before crossing paths with Nigerian artiste Mr. Eazi and his #Empawa100 project. Even when he is still figuring the music industry, he is keen to take the African continent by storm.
What does it mean to perform in Uganda for the first time?
It brings me absolute joy and shows that music is a universal language and because I get to meet and connect with my fans from another part of the African continent, I think it is bliss.
Do we say all the thanks go to Mr Eazi for empowering your career?
Mr Eazi has been a major force in my career, that can’t be denied. I am also super excited for what he is doing for young African creatives like myself.
How did you become a beneficiary of Mr. Eazi’s #Empawa100 project?
I met Mr Eazi through Instagram after a friend sent him my video doing a cover of Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You and he liked it. He reached out to me and we have been working together since then. He told me about a project he was working on for young African artistes and that he wanted me to be part of it and boom, here we are.
Who is your biggest inspiration in Nigerian music industry?
I have a lot of people that inspire me in the music industry. It’s not just one person. People like Mr Eazi, Burna Boy, Wizkid, Davido among others. They have put Nigeria on the international scene and that means a lot.
In an interview, you once said that collabos help merge a fan base, do you plan on doing one in Uganda?
Yes, of course, I plan on working with some Ugandan artistes before I go back to Nigeria.
Do you know any Ugandan in particular that you would work with if the chance is availed?
I have a song with Fik Fameica already and it will be dropping soon. And if I get a chance, I might run a tune with John Blaq.
What should Ugandans expect from you when you get on stage?
Happy vibes lol, expect happy vibes once Joeboy pon deck.
What defines you as an artiste?
I think it’s my style of singing and how I run my words. All these added to my personality.
Was it a hustle doing music before meeting Mr. Eazi?
Music before meet Mr Eazi was just a hobby. After meeting Eazi, things got serious. Prior to that I was finishing up my degree at the university. Good thing is that I am now doing music without any disturbance.
Ugandans only know you for My Baby song, what are some of your other songs and why do you think they took long to penetrate in Uganda?
I have songs like Faaji featurimng Mr Eazi, the rest of my song are features however, Baby was my first official single. This is why it is the most popular song. I will also premier my new music in Uganda tonight, it will be the first country that I am performing the song.
Which other places have you performed in apart from Nigeria?
I have performed in the UK, South Africa and Ghana.
Besides music, is there anything else Joeboy is venturing in?
I am a creative guy and because of that, I am never resting my oars on just one thing. For now, I am focusing on music as the main channel to launch my other ventures which I prefer like to keep close to my heart right now.
Nigerian artistes seem to be successful, what is the trick behind that?
Nigeria is one of the most populated countries in Africa so if you have that number of people supporting and loving your sound, you are bound to be successful one way or the other.
Any challenges doing music in Nigeria?
I think the major challenge is breaking out because there are so many acts so you have to be really unique.