Ransome Ekwereonu, born and bred in Enugu and now based in Lagos is currently enjoying one of the best times of his musical career at the moment as his video is on all the major radio and Tv channels within the country and outside the country. As if that is not enough, Ramsome has been nominated in the ‘Rookie of the year’ category of the Headies Awards billed to take place by December 2014, and also nominated for 2 different categories for the NMVA which is to take place in November 2014, MORAKINYO OLUGBIJI had a chat with him.
How do you feel with the progress currently trailing your music career at the moment?
For me, it’s a huge plus to my career and I feel so lucky and blessed. With numerous good songs and videos on air these days and I was able to get a nomination, it’s something to be thankful for.
What is your hope of taking home these Awards, as you have strong contenders in the same categories as you?
Of course my hope is really high I hope to take atleast one home by God’s grace.
How would you describe your romance with your genre(Afro-Pop and Hip-Life) of Music?
It’s basically my music and me. Well, we are good partners because whenever the inspiration comes knocking, my door is always open and in the end the product of our romance is always a good song. Although I do not always tie myself to a particular genre of music I allow myself bring the song out exactly the way I feel it”.
Do we see you dropping one for the other in the future?
No instead of dropping one, I’ll add more to it
Tell us about your song and video ‘Local Boy’ in which you featured indigenous rapper Phyno?
Well, ‘Local Boy is a song I chose to express myself in my own way and also talk about the kind of things I like. The idea came at Enugu when I went to a local palm wine joint. I listened to the conversation of the people there and
I found out that this was the only place they could totally be themselves. The idea hit me like I should do a song titled ‘Local Boy’. I recorded the song and released it and to my surprise it got a massive airplay in the east. When I moved to Lagos, I decided to do a remix of the song and have Phyno on it. We recorded the song and it came out great.
I sent the song to a couple of video directors but Adasa Cookey who directed many of Burna Boy’s hit videos, was the person that took greater interest in the song, he loved the song first and the treatment/concept he developed for the video was a great one that was in line with the lyrical content of the song. Plus I like his work ethics.
Could you tell us some of the challenges you had to surmount since your music career?
The challenge that every growing artiste faces is lack of funds because this business is very capital intensive and its not a business you can easily run unless you have a sponsor. As for the video making it was fun everything went on fine only that I had to stand for 12 hours of the shoot.
A lot of music artistes are already in the same genre of music as you, the likes of Flavor, Runtown etc, how do you intend to win the hearts of the people?
Well, it’s true there are lots of music artistes in the country now but once you have a unique sound and voice you’ll definitely stand out. For instance, apart from Flavor and Runtown there is Wizboyy, there is a J-martins and all of them still operate around the same genre of music but still they have their spots and their fan base too . I’m different and I sound like Ransome.
Tell us about your trying periods, a time you thought of quitting music?
I always say this, if you’ve not come to a point where you ask your self “am I really doing the right thing?” “did I make the right choice?” then you may not really understand where you’re headed. It wasn’t easy but it was part of what thought me perseverance and trust me, the best of songs comes from trying times. Sometimes I had to sleep in the studio not because I wanted to but because I was not sure of my transport back to the studio the next day. It wasn’t an easy one but it was worth it.
What would you have done if not music?
I am a Mechanical Engineer. I would have picked up my certificate and worked in an oil company.
How did you come about the abbreviation ‘LBGI’ and what does it mean?
First of all, LBGI means “Local Boy Gone International”. After releasing the song Local boy in the east, everybody started calling me Local boy and my reason for doing the song was to express myself purely like a typical village boy,but not to remain Local. I had to add “gone international” to it showing that am a raw African who is exposed and educated too.
How was your growing up like?
I had one of the best childhoods any child would wish for sometimes I feel like going back in time. I’m filled with memories of tv serials like; Danger Mouse, Sesame Streets, Super Ted, Voltron The Defender of the Universe,
Knight Rider, Tales by Moonlight, even the Masquerades. We are a family of a very strong Christian background. 9 in number 7 boys and 2 girls and I am the first son of late Mr and Mrs Chineme Ransome Ekwereonu my father was a contractor into building and structural engineering and my mum worked as a secretary to an insurance company at that time we were one big happy family and we still are, even though they have passed on. We were closer than ever follow my dad’s demise, I and my siblings poured all our love on my mum. We always pampered her because she was so in love with her late husband it wasn’t easy for her to move on without him so we tried so much not to let her feel sad or lonely in any way. Unfortunately, i lost my mom too recently. Words will never be enough to express the depth of the pains that comes with the loss of a mother. You only have to move on because that’s the only choice you’ve got.
Your story is touching and inspiring, how did you really get into music?
It started from my neighborhood, in the evening I and my siblings will gather round with a friend of mine and we’ll sing acapella and the neighbors will gather round to listen it got to a point that it was a routine as at that time I was just doing it and catching fun. Then one day one of my childhood friends said to me “Ransome you’re good at this why don’t you take this to another level? Lets form a team” and that was how we formed a group ‘CREW EXCEL’ we started going for Tv programmes, student’s programme and parties to perform. As at then I had a keyboard and my secondary school class mate Kelvin Iloh will play the keyboard while I sing as the lead vocalist another member of the group/band Emilio will do the rap. So with time we had more members and in 2004 we decided to do our first recording, we did a song called Adaku and it was a radio hit then in Enugu state number one radio station Cosmo Fm. That was how my journey in music started.
How would you describe your fashion sense?
Well I like to keep it simple. Not so serious and not so casual.
Apart from Phyno, which of the top celebrities have you featured and collaborated with so far since you debut in the music industry?
I have worked with Flavour, Mr RAW, BOUQUI and I’m currently working on something with Illbliss(that ibo boy).
Share your educational background?
I did my secondary school at C.I.C Enugu and later proceeded to IMT (Institute of Management and Technology) Enugu where I studied Mechanical Engineering I graduated and served in Zamfara state as a physics teacher.
How supportive is your family to your music career?
At first they were not but with time they saw that it was what I really wanted to do they gave their support’ right now my sponsor is an Uncle of mine Mr karl Mbagwu.
What’s the most memorable day of your career so far?
The moment my Uncle Mr Karl decided to take up my music project I knew better days are here. The day laid a hook on Mr Raw’s Turugo there was a huge step up for me and also the day I recorded local boy remix with Phyno.
As a music artist, what are the three things you cannot do without?
God Almighty, my head phone and movies.
If we take a peep into your wardrobe, what are we likely to see?
More of chinos than jeans shirts and t-shirts more of boots and sneakers shoes.