Few days ago, Nigeria’s popular singer, R&B songwriter and producer, Praise Ugbede Adejo, better known by his stage name Praiz, launched his own record label, Cicada Music. The latest record label boss in town, who spent 10 years with his previous label, X3M Music, said the move was inspired by the growth in his career. In this interview with IFEOMA ONONYE, Praiz, who recently celebrated the launch of his label with the unveiling of his latest music video, ‘Under the Sky’, speaks about the new adventure, his plans for the label and how ready he is to be swept off his feet by a woman
You recently launched your own record label, tell us what inspired this great move?
I recently launched my record company ‘Cicada music, and it was inspired by growth and believed it was time to move onto greater things after 10 years with my previous label.
It is usually presumed that record label owners are billionaires, will we be right to say you belong to that league?
Some are while some are not, I’m an aspiring billionaire.
Being a record label boss comes with a big challenge, managing artistes another challenge on its own, what would you say is your plan to get yours right
? Being a record label boss definitely comes with a lot of challenges and I’m groomed and ready to face it. I’m not in a hurry to sign artists yet. I’m going to focus on myself on a broader scale which will open doors to whoever I bring onboard.
Many record labels have come and gone, some are still in court with their artistes, have you taken your time to see the mistakes made and how to avoid them?
A lot of artistes have come and gone, artistes are in court with labels but I’m the last of a dying breed. Everybody knows Praiz is different, I mean I was with a label for 10 years without any stories of dispute. Humility and patience plays a huge role in preventing some unwanted issues.
What kind of musicians do you intend to cater for in your label, R&B singers or all genres
? My label will cater for R&B singers, versatile musicians that can handle a wide range of genres and producers.
It has been a while you unveiled a new album, what has been taking your time?
My last album called ‘King’ was released in December. It got over 6 million streams in three days and had amazing features from artistes like wiz , Timaya, Olamide , Phyno, Sarkin, Burna and more. I also just released a new EP called ‘To The Moon’, such a beautiful project!
The Praiz that left MTN Project Fame years ago and the Praiz that we see now is there any difference when it comes to music, tell us the new things that have Changed in your music?
The Praiz from MTN Project fame and the Praiz you see now are different. I have grown as a better singer, writer, producer and all round musician. I am still grateful to the academy for the knowledge because it made me better.
Nigerians are doing a lot of collaborations with foreign acts now. Do you have anything like that coming?
Yes I have a lot of international collaborations in the pipeline. I have been doing international collaborations since 2013 so I’m no stranger to collaborations.
How did the COVID-19 pandemic affect you as an entertainer?
Asides the unfortunate halt on tours and my concert the COVID-19 pandemic had a good effect on me creatively. I was able to create a lot of music. It was a re-boot for me.
If you have an opportunity to have lunch with a world legend, who would it be and why?
If I had an opportunity to have lunch with a world legend it would be, Quincy Jones because he is a genius in the music world and has seen and experienced it all.
Nigerians seem to love more of club banging music, do you have intention to switch or add a little dance vibe to your music?
Nigerians love what they love, either club or R&B. I have been in the industry for over 10 years and I’m still relevant. My music doesn’t have to be danceable for acceptance. And I have proved that over time.
You are one of the most handsome eligible bachelor’s in the music industry, when are you going to allow one babe to sweep you off your feet?
I’m flattered, I think my heart is ready.
How do you cope with female attention?
I cope with female attention really well. I love the ladies and their attention, there is a problem if I don’t have their attention. One thing I will never do is take advantage of their attention or disrespect them.
Ever had a weird experience with a female fan?
I have had a lot of experience but they might be too interesting to share.
How do you keep body, mind and spirit going staying at home
? Staying at home especially during the COVID-19 pandemic I keep my body , mind and spirit by listening to music, reading and playing some games.
How do you relax?
When I want to relax, I love to either travel, go to the beach on a weekday, hotel therapy, or a spa treatment.
Best holiday destination?
My best holiday destination so far will be Cancun. Who are your best Nigerian designer? That’s a hard question to answer to be honest but definitely Mai Atafo and Jason Porsche and LISK, do it for me.