20-year-old Boy Spyce (Ugbekile David Osameke) is the latest addition to Mavin Records, home to Ladipoe, Rema, Ayra Starr, Johnny Drille, Magixx and Crayon. Born in Lagos but from Benin City, Edo State, he joined Mavin Records Academy in 2020. Since then, he had been honing his talent under the maverick Don Jazzy and others. The young artist who dropped his first offering, Boyspyce EP, a five tracker, in April, talks about it and his aspirations in this interview. Excerpts:
Congrats on the release of Boy Spyce EP. Did you ever think it would happen?
I feel great and blessed because I’ve been looking forward to it since I was in the Mavin Records Academy. That’s 2020. I’ve been working for two years under Mavin, so I feel blessed and grateful that I finally put out my EP.
So, we can safely say that this EP has been two years in the making?
I recorded some songs like ‘Wayo’ in 2020; that’s the oldest song on the EP, but the others were between last year and this year. But ‘Dreams’ is the most recent one. I recorded it last December.
What sort of feedback have you been receiving about the EP? What have people been saying? Have you heard chatter? Are people singling out any particular track?
One of the most frequent feedback I’ve been getting is for ‘Dreams’. People have told me that they love the song’s storyline, and they ask me if it’s an actual life experience. I’ve been getting many good messages about my songwriting skills and the melodies. I’ve been getting excellent feedback from fans and peers in the industry.
What of music critics? Have you heard anything from them? Have you read any reviews that upset you?
I don’t need to read that. I’m constantly grinding and on the move
How did you come by Mavin Records? How did you join the organization?
It happened in 2019. I got a text message from Don Jazzy on Christmas day. I posted a freestyle on my Instagram a few days previously, so I just got a text from him saying ‘bad boy’ on Christmas morning. I was so surprised and shocked that he messaged
me. I linked up with him at the studio in January 2020. I joined the Academy; I started recording songs and building myself
Did you ever think that opportunity would come?
Yes, but I didn’t know it would come from him. I always knew that I would have the opportunity one day, but I didn’t know when and how it would happen.
Tell me about your time at the Academy. Intensive, enjoyable? How was it?
I was in the Academy for two years. I’ll say it was a mixture of the two. It was intense; I had fun making music. I learned a lot of things about music, being an artist, keeping relationships and a lot about coming into the music business. Though sometimes I got tired and felt like I’ve been recording since and I’ve not released anything, I just tried to remind myself that good things don’t come easy. I should put my head down and learn everything to better myself and be the best. So, I just kept motivating myself to continue and not stop.
Did you relate with other prominent artists on the label during your time?
Yes, we are all one big family.
Quickly run me through how you came by music. Why do you feel it was better than the medicine you initially aspired to study?
I used to watch my stepbrother write songs. I used to watch him compose songs and go to the studio to make music. That was when I got interested. I like that someone could sit down and create a melody, write it down, go to the studio, and have beautiful music. I felt inspired by that, and that was when I started writing my songs. I went to boarding school, and I was usually timid. I kept my talents to myself until when my classmates went to tell a teacher in the school about me; that a boy in their class could sing.
So, the teacher asked me to sing to the whole school one day, about 2000 students. That was when I knew that I was going to make music because I wasn’t expecting the reaction I got from the school. The principal, teachers, seniors, and everybody were amazed by the music, so that was the moment I knew that I would be an artist; this was what I was going to do. Since then, I started killing that fright in me, showing my talent. I’m grateful that the school allowed me to represent them at competitions. That built my confidence.
What’s the next step now that you released the EP?
I would say it’s all in God’s hands, but I have so much in store for my fans and everybody. I have so much music coming, a video from one of the songs on my EP. I hope to let the universe do its work. I believe in the universe’s energy, and I’m grateful that many people connect to my music. I’m praying that the universe works in my favour because I have dreams of being a global superstar and will get there step by step.
Have you performed at any live shows? Or do you intend to perform at one soonest?
Yes, I should perform at a live show soon because I just put out my EP, and I know that shows will start rolling in very soon for me. I’m so excited.
Is it music full blast for you, or are you still going to the university? What’s precisely your plan, education-wise?
I’ll use music as the stepping stone to my other goals and aspirations. I see myself as not just an artist but as an artist, entertainer, fashion model and actor. There are so many industries I want to tap into step by step, and I plan to enrol in an online university this year to study music.
I was playing one of your tracks some minutes ago, and a colleague overheard and said that sounds like Rema. Is it Rema? I said no.
I have my distinctive sound, and I don’t think I should be compared to anybody. I’m just doing my thing in my lane, and I think I make fantastic, unique music.
Where do you see yourself in the next decade?
I see myself breaking barriers that Africans have been striving to break. I see myself opening doors of opportunities in many industries in Africa. As I said, I’m not just an artist. There are so many industries I’m going to tap into, but it will be step by step. So, I see myself as a global symbol of peace and motivation for young talents like me in Africa. I started by posting freestyle on my page with a low-quality camera with no resources. By the grace of God, I’m doing something with my life now.
I want to be the motivation for young African talents like me. That feels like there’s nobody for them. They think they don’t have the resources to make it. I want to uplift people like me with similar goals and backgrounds. I want to be that person they can look up to, to say, if this person did this thing, I should be able to do it. I want my music to heal people; meet them at the lowest and highest points of life. I want to be able to sing songs that would make people feel heard and listened to.
Making music that’s healing people and changing lives and being a source of motivation for young African talent like me is a blessing for me.
Which Nigerian artist would you love to perform alongside?
Burna Boy because I love his performance. I love the music he makes. I love his energy on stage.
On the international scene?
I would love to work with Billie Eilish and Ed Sheeran.