Some will recognise Praiz (real name Praise Adejo) from his features on rapper M.I’s Epic or from fellow crooner Bez’s break-out hit Stupid Song. The 2008 finalist for the television singing talent show MTN Project Fame West Africa is slowly but surely getting his own shine on though, having been nominated four times at the 2012 Headies.
Rich and Famous is his third single for the forth-coming debut album he’s dropping in the first quarter of 2013. We caught up with Praiz soon after he shot the video in Cape Town – Watch the brand new jawn as well as what went on behind the scenes below.
You can also cop the track for free here! Merry Christmas!
Ekene: When did you find out you could do music professionally as a career?
Praiz: I’ve always loved music, even as a kid. I realized I could do music professionally in 2008 after the maiden season of the Project Fame West Africa. I connected with a lot of fans and knew I was ready for this.
Before Project Fame, were you planning on recording music?
Before Project Fame I worked as a music producer and session drummer in a studio in Kaduna. I had also recorded a couple of songs. As a producer you make some nice beats for different artistes but most times their delivery could be discouraging. So I decided to record what I’d like to hear.
How long have you been singing?
I’ve been singing for 12 years but my first break was in 2008.
Do you see yourself as just a Soul/R&B singer or are there other genres of music that you also perform?
I see myself as a versatile artiste not just confined to a
particular style. It’s important for any successful act to be versatile.
So we shouldn’t be surprised if we see Praiz rapping tomorrow?
(Laughs) No, I think that would be taking it too far…I might end up losing all my fans. I would explore different genres of music but definitely not rap!
How did the idea to record Rich and Famous spring up?
Yeaaa! Rich and Famous is a song that was borne out of the pursuit of success. I didn’t want to do the regular love songs or dance songs. I needed to express how I felt and it’s what every successful mind thinks about.
Did you produce that as well?
Yes, I’m a producer and I produced a couple of tracks on my forthcoming album.
What do you hope to achieve through the music that you make?
Through my music, I hope to send out a message of love, hope and trust.
Who were the main influences that helped kickstart your journey into music?
Michael Jackson, BoyzIIMen, Carl Thomas and Joe were the major influences.
Did you listen to Nigerian music at all while growing up?
Yeah I did, I listened to people like Majek Fashek, Mike Okri, Onyeka Owenu, Bongos Ikwue.
What are your thoughts on Nigerian music made back then and what we hear today?
There’s a huge difference between music made back then and now. Music these days has less or no message but we can’t deny the fact that the music is appreciated globally now.
Any advice for African musicians who aspire to become rich and famous?
I’d say to all African musicians who aspire to be rich and famous through their works to keep working hard. Consistency and patience are the keys to success! Never allow anyone stop you from being you and doing what you know how to do best, believe in you.