Nigerian music is no longer made for the sole consumption of Nigerians. Over the years, our music has gained global recognition, receiving airplay in cities around the world. Gone are the days when having a Nigerian Artiste feature a Western Artiste was such a big deal. Nowadays, due to the recognition of Nigerian music worldwide, Nigerian Artistes collaborate with their international counterparts regularly. This immense success has seen an influx of new Artistes into the industry. One of the new kids on the block is fast-rising Musician Antidote. The young and talented Artiste has released a number of singles that have the potentials to become hits. Shakara Naija sat down with the “Happy Day” crooner for an interview.
Tell us about yourself
My name is James Odogwu. My stage name is Antidote. I’m from a family of six, all boys though. (Laughs). I’m actually the last. I’m a student of University of Nigeria Nsukka. I love music, and I hope one day you get to know me better than this.
How did you get into music?
I didn’t know I was going do music. I was in school one day, and there was this guy in my class, he was rapping in front of everyone, and everyone was like “Mehn, this guy is dope, you know. And when I got home that day, that was it. That was how I started. I wrote ma first song ever that day, and it wasn’t bad.
How would you describe your kind of music?
My kind of music, I’ll call it Afro-urban – a mixture of R$B and the contemporary African music. I rap though, but that’s the type of beat I’m most comfortable in. I just discovered that newly about myself though, so you guys get ready for antidote-urban.
How do you get inspiration for your songs?
Anything can inspire me, but I always try to let it come naturally, otherwise it’s going to be a flop. So that’s it, anything can inspire me. It could be how I’m feeling, it could be the things surrounding me, anything.
Tell us about the songs you have released so far
The songs I have released so far…I have released a couple of songs, a lot actually. But you haven’t heard them ‘cause of a lot of other things happening in the background. But definitely, I’m sure with time, you’ll get to hear them, and know me better. I just dropped a new song featuring Cdot, another talented musician, and it’s titled “Gbewa.” So you guys go check it out, it’s available for downloads. I’m sure you’ll like it. Lol.
What are the challenges you experience as an up-coming Artiste in Nigeria?
The challenges of an upcoming artiste in Nigeria are numerous, trust me. From getting a studio session, to promoting your songs and all that. It’s really a tough one. And coming from a place like where I come from, which is Abuja, I can say it’s a lot more difficult, ‘cause a lot of people don’t do music here, at least compared to a place like Lagos. So it’s just you and you, lol, you know. The support is really really not easy to find. But I know with time everything will be alright. Yeah, and also, a lot of people are doing music these days, so it’s very crowded. But God will see us through.
What’s your take on the Nigerian music industry?
(Smiles) I’ve been watching people on TV answer this particular question, I never knew it’d be my turn this soon. The industry, like I said, it’s just you and you, nobody really cares. There’s no structure, that’s what everyone says. We are not digitized fully yet. You can’t really sell your songs and all that on the internet, you know ‘cause most people don’t buy that. If they did, I would be so rich now you know, lol. But big thanks to digital platforms like iTunes and the rest helping in that direction. But with time, we‘ll get there, we are growing. And piracy too, that’s an issue, yeah.
Who are your role models?
I look up to Erigga. I look up to M.I. I Iook up to Falz. These are rappers like me, and they are doing well.
What are your plans for the future in terms of your music?
My plans are; to keep dishing out songs, promoting and shooting videos. Keep the name out there. Big ups to my label, they just put me on, HMW, so we are looking forward to great things.
What’s your advice for aspiring musicians?
Keep doing what you are doing, don’t stop, keep pushing. Provided you are good at it, it’s all going to be alright.
Follow him on Instagram and Twitter @antidoteurban
Listen to and download some of his songs here: