Admiral C4C. Career debut as Omega C4C
Autor: Richard Constantinidi
Etichete: Admiral C4c, Bobby Adichie, Dakor, Emanuel Ihumezie, Henry Hope, Kanaan Knights, Mr. Barnabas, Nuella Ogbeide, Okoh Jane, Omega C4c, Omega C4c And The Kanaan Knights, Pastor Tayo Oladipo, Paul Runz, Px 101, Tayo Oladipo, Youth With A Mission
Admiral C4C (b. June 3 in Lagos, Nigeria) has been active on Romanian TV during the past year, promoting the Me Bunga, O.M.G., Boom Bang and Legal Way To Be High singles.
Currently based in Europe (jetting between Cyprus and Romania), Admiral C4C has rocked stages alongside Reggae/Dancehall music chart busters such as: Mr. Vegas, Baby Cham, Beenie Man, RDX, Muhombi, among many others.
We've interviewed Admiral C4C for the first time last year.
This time, ClickZoomBytes goes behind the scenes to find out more about the Nigerian Reggae/Dancehall composer and lyricist's career debut.
Omega C4C and The Kanaan Knights
In 2000 Admiral C4C recorded his first single, Show Me Love, under the name Omega C4C and The Kanaan Knights.
Admiral C4C: I started out first of all by miming, by singing along to songs, hearing favorite artists on television - of course Bob Marley played a great influence on me (reggaeton), Jimmy Cliff, old school reggae dance music. Sometimes as a child growing up, I was influenced by what my parents and brothers and sisters were listening to.
The music inspiration took hold of me after my father died and the family was separated. On weekends I used to go hang out with my cousin… who was a record collector and also had many music cassettes, and those listening sessions I think cemented my love for different kinds of music. Also my uncle, Mr. Barnabas had a great impact on my life.
Then I had a live band, called The Kanaan-Knightz, because we believed that God is going to show His light in us and that we were really going to flourish like the land of Canaan. We were Knights, in the sense of warriors of the land of Canaan. I thought I would use a little art in it, so I used the letter K to spell it: Kanaan-Knightz.
I wasn't going by the name C4C then.
With my love for music and my closeness for the art, which was all I had,
I was close to my creator; I was very involved in church activities. pastor Tayo Oladipo was trying to discover my talent. I knew I had this talent, but I couldn't do anything about it. I was doing it all the time: singing on the streets. I was growing up in the ghetto, There were street battles going on all the time; so I'm doing dance songs, reggae-rap songs. The priest told me that this was not just a voice to use for song or rap battles - but that this was a gift that was given to me by God. I cannot forget pastor Tayo Oladipo.
As a pastor, they call you by the first letter: so, he was pastor Tayo: P.T.
He was the originator of the Youth Movement called Youth With A Mission (http://www.ywamcity.org/#!lagos-nigeria/ca57). The vision of that was to discover potential youth talent in the community. Youth With A Mission was maximizing the local talent pool and maximizing our youth potential. That is what the Church did; helping you maximize your potential, from the right time. I was completely different from the others because you know how contemporary church music goes: we're singing the Blues - but I was into reggae dance music and I was fascinated by this and most of them were fascinated by the way I was singing, because in Africa this style of music wasn't tolerated. The Old Time Religion: amazing Grace. The Church was the first challenge that I faced as an artist
I was getting inspired from the Bible teachings and writing lyrics. I was caught in the middle of taking a brand new kind of music and adapting it… taking a brand new music genre and presenting it to my community. There I met very many talented people.
My biggest supporter was my younger brother, Emanuel, who was in the band.
It was a vocal group; he could play drums too.
Line-up. The KanaanKnightz (1999-2001/2005, Lagos)
- Nuella Ogbeide (the powerhouse of the band): he sings all keys, he is a tremendous vocalist. I have yet to see a vocalist like him.
- Bobby Adichie (tenor)
- Jane Okoh (soprano)
- Emanuel Ihumezie (bass voice)
Bobby put everybody in order before I came in to rehearsals; he was like the manager
ABOUT The Stage Name
Then I was Omega C4C. Like I've told you in a past interview, I was so much inclined to promote elements regarding the Church and God. When my dad died and my mom left, my future seemed very bleak: I had no hope for the future but I believed in God, from the Alpha to Omega (from the beginning to the end). With my trust in God (God being Alpha, at the beginning), I am convinced as well that he knows how it's all going to turn out for me: Omega.
I just trusted in Him that my aim is going to be far reaching.
So, being Nigerian and growing up without parents, people look down on you: he has no parents, he's a wayward guy, then nobody really cares to find out how an 11 year old child is coping with life on the streets night and day, without any guidance.
People used to curse me and say a lot of evil things about me, because I'm hanging around with gangsters on the street …smoking and being a big boy's boy. I used to go and rap for those in the Gangs and of course everybody sees you as a wayward. Inside, I know how I've been raised. The one thing I will always be proud of, when I think of my past, is that my parents gave me a solid foundation. After all the things that I was going through, the foundation was the only thing that kept me going. I would never have to rob somebody; I would never have to kill somebody or be courageous to take something that does not belong to me: these are basic principles that were in vibe with our family trends.
My dad died and my mom left.
I didn't really mind that they were calling me a bad boy, or whatever ...all that was on my mind was that God knows The End. I believe in that. The End justifies the means. That is how the Omega came by.
In Nigerian language there is an expression …we're all growing, let's see how the end is going to be.
That is how I came up with that name, Omega - and of course C4C stands for: Crazy for Christ.
RiCo for CZB.ro: Who discovered you? Who had the money so you could record your first single?
Admiral C4C: I recorded my first single; nobody helped me. P.T. discovered me: This you have; God has put this talent inside of you; you will become a great person; you will make such an impact on the world, you won't be able to believe it.
You are a dynamite going places to explode.
I thought I was a nobody: a ghetto boy and he is the one who really discovered me.
I just wish most people will have an opportunity to discover me; music is just one part of me. When I speak about things like this, most people will mistake it for religion; I have experience enough throughout my life to mingle with all different types of culture and people and that kind of takes the religion out of it.
What I read from the Bible and the way it affects daily life - when I put these things together, it is just the reality that makes things happen.
Once you discover what your mission is in life, you have this joy to live: life becomes a joy to you; life becomes sweet to you.
Right now I'm writing and recording a reggae song for an EA Sports video game - and that's not about religion.
I believe that it is important to discover yourself and how you can have a positive impact on the people around you. It's important to leave your mark on society.
RiCo: What producers have you worked with in music creation?
Admiral C4C: 2001 (LP) Henry Hope (1st recorded song: Show Me Love: Omega C4C and the Kaanan Knights)
Henry Hope is the person who produced my first ever recorded song.
He was like …if you call his name, everybody trembled. If you didn't work with him, you are nobody. When I said that I paid for everything from my pocket, he would help out with funds and some transportation when he saw how good I was. He had a passion for young talented kids. he was compassionate with work. He said he would help me the best he could. You don't get to see these kind of favors normally.
Studio sessions are usually 8 hours... Instead of turning off the light, we would spend two or three more hours to finish what we have to do.
CZB: How many albums have you released so far?
Admiral C4C: Just one album. PX 101 (2001, Nigeria) contains ten tracks; some were produced by Henry Hope but most of the songs were produced by Paul Runz. This album is no longer available. It is lost, unless somebody sends me the album cover and the tracks. I still know the guy in charge of marketing and distribution: (Dakor).
After that, I released numerous singles.
Every artist tries to bring out something new to keep the dance going.
It is very difficult to be a commercial artist and a commercial hit if you don't cover every period of the year. You have to put out songs to keep the dance floor rocking, to keep the feeling going.
Afterwards I moved to Europe and released the first album in the heart of Cyprus tourism.
I was at a point… Those growing up in Africa all believe that white man brought Christianity to us and that is the fact. I grew up in a Christian home and coming to Europe, I landed in Cyprus for my education, at The American University in Cyprus, where I studied Travel and Tourism Management.
What I found there was far from all that I have been taught in Africa. I could barely even find a Church to worship, as I am an Orthodox Christian. When I walked in, everybody stared at me. There were mainly only older people in the Church and everybody stopped doing what it was they were doing. One of the priests walked me out of the Church. He could not speak English, and I couldn't understand Greek. It was very disappointing for me, as they did not consider that I belonged there. Then I went to talk to my classmates, and they said I was stupid for going to Church. It wasn't an easy task, but we turned our society into what it is today. Before, it was a more truthful and closely knit Society.
Don't get me wrong. Cyprus is at the Center of Europe when it comes to Tourism. Being a tourist on vacation and being a tourist that comes to live in town are two different things. When you come on vacation, you have money to spend in one or two days - or maybe two weeks, and then you're out. When you come as a student, you have four years to finish an undergraduate course, so eventually you are taking part in a different ball game called Immigration - and it was really hard, also because of racism. That really affected my music as well, because normally I would be a reggae - dancehall guy - but the lyrics that I vibe from changed. I was using the word Go in the sense of Gospel, and I was developing meaningful lyrics at this time. I had to do what I was doing while going to college, to keep myself going. I couldn't just give up on my passion for music.
This interview was conceived by RiCo
on 28.AUG.2014 and MAR.2015
Admiral C4C. THE FIRST CZB INTERVIEW
...more about C4C next week.
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