As A Married Man, I Still Mingle With My Female Fans--Mr Raw

Source: Akin Omobose/
Abia-born Ukeje Okechukwu Edwards formerly known as 'Dat Nigerian Guy Anakpo Raw Mr. Raw, is one of the top artistes on the Nigerian Hip Hop scene.
Recently, our correspondent had a chat with him as he confessed how he contested in musical competitions and other sundry issues. Enjoy
So what's new about Mr. raw?
A lot of things are new about me because presently am recording and doing other businesses as well as an Igbo boy. And there are a lot of artistes I'm actually trying to help push their songs under my label Raw Deal Entertainment.
Can we know more about the record label?
It's my own record label and entertainment outfit so nothing much about it just that am the C.E.O of the outfit. And it was launched in 2005 and presently I have like three artistes who are already signed into the outfit
Why did you decide to own a record label?
It all started when I first released my first album” Right and wrong'' that was the album that contains'Obodo', so I actually thought like okay there is need for me since am the one that does everything myself I said let me like create my own entertainment outfit so I can do my own hustle that's when I opened the record label Raw Deal Entertainment
Should we say the record label is actually taking your time, because we hardly see your songs unlike before?
The record label has nothing to do with that; the thing is that I actually got myself involve in many other businesses within and outside the country. And still a lot of different artistes are out there at least there is still many songs that people can really listen to, but am still very much around doing my thing but not as before when it was just music
Can we know the kind of business you are into now?
I think it's a personal business and it's still within and outside Nigeria so I don't want to mention it.
Now that you are married, how are you enjoying married life?
I thank God am doing great, but another thing is that I like keeping my family private when it comes to public issues. Though I have heard a lot of things, people saying that it's because I got married that's why I've been off music scene , it's not true , just that music is not as it used to be that's why I have to get something else to do aside music .
Can we know those things you got yourself involve into?
What I mean is that am into importation of goods and also into properties like investment or let's say it's a kind of retirement plan so that if I take a bow from music, I can still have something to fall back to and I think it's part of growing up
What's your take about the music industry?
Yea, my take about it like I will say, it's still growing ,it's a continues thing and it's getting better , and I think we are there , because Nigeria music is number one when you talk about Africa music . So I think we still need to do more.
As a married man, how do you treat your female fans?
I will be sincere and as blunt as I can be, female fan actually push more of our job more than the male fans. It's just like the way we guys will always like to have fun by drinking, female fans also have their fun through music. And if a lady is passionate about your music, she can go to any level to promote it by making the guys to love it too, so one has to treat the female fans like a back bone because they are always there to groove and dance. So I treat my female fans like my sisters, friends, fans and supporters like they use to be. For the fact that am married has nothing to do with the way I treat my female fans. Though some people do have this impression that when they see you with a female fan they think maybe you are having something with her .To me being married doesn't stop me from being close to my female fans I won't say because am married when I see my female fans trying to take picture with me I will now begin to run away from them, what I do is to still be close and friendly with them.
What's your special relaxing spot?
Actually , I don't have a special relaxing spot, but anywhere they are having pool table you can see me there .But the thing is that I don't really go out and that's one of my challenges, even in the industry sometimes when am around, you hardly know am around because you won't see me in any joint or club. So am not an outgoing person but when it's necessary I do go out.
Any low and high moment in life?
I will say my high moment actually happens every day because anytime I wake up I like being thankful to God for being alive , and I also try to do my best because a lot of people will wants be like me so that's what I consider as my high moment . But my low moment I can't really remember because it comes and go and sometimes you fill things are not going the way you plan them. Another low moment is when I lost a couple of friends.
Let's go back to the record label, what were the challenges in setting up a record label?
It wasn't an easy thing, because it's very tasking because I was the only one doing everything. There was a time I have to stop for a while and try to use my platform to push artistes not signing them to the record label.
Why do you usually rap in Igbo language?
Because I feel comfortable doing it and I got a lot of encouragement from my sisters and brothers to keep it up, so I decided to stick to it. It's just a decision I made and am glad I did that even sometimes people will be like 'so you know how to speak English' they thought it's because I didn't go to school that's why I rap in Igbo , but let's say that is my own swag .
How exactly did you meet Klint the Drunk before featuring him in your song 'Obodo '?
We were friends then in Enugu, we use to perform in school he will do Mc while I sing and sometimes he do crack jokes and our other friends like Mc Loph ,Smatter man Enest Asuzu the actor he also rap . I and klint the drunk have been a long time friends and I still wish to do something with him very soon.
Why I featured him in my song was because, in noticed that everything about him was music for example, if you listen to his comedy performance, he mostly crack his jokes with song so that's just it .
Tell us how you came about your popularity?
I think it's my Igbotic rap .Like when I did the 'Obodo' song people really accepted it, that was in 2005. But I wrote the song in late 90s and what inspired me to write the 'Obodo'verse was Sammy Okpso's song .And another thing that announced me was the Benson and Hedges Grab the Mick music competition in Enugu that was in 2002, and I came first it was I and klint that did the competition together, he was singing while I was rapping. Finally at the grand finale we won and that was in Abuja I can never forget that year.
It was still the same year that I went for Star Quest competition, but initially they didn't want me to enter because I just won Benson and Hedges competition but unfortunately I came second while Kcee emerged winner and am happy he's doing great now
When did you start singing?
I will say since 1992 that was when I wrote my first song though then there was no platform for Nigeria music as it is now