Poetry is the root of my lyrics –Buchi
Perhaps, not many followers of Nigeria gospel music scene knew that baritone voice, yet debonair gospel artiste, Onyebuchi has done so much for the growing sector.
With three albums featuring hit songs like: It is well, What a mighty God, Jesus must be honoured, and the latest, Nma Nma, the singer, simply called Buchi may have as well warmed himself into the hearts of millions of music lovers. While his talents as a singer and composer remain legendary, surprisingly, the Abia-State-born singer started out as a D.J. He later became a lecturer-cum-writer at the University of Lagos before he heeded the divine call.
To say the least, Buchi as a man of many parts even combined his job as a scholar with tailoring. Now that he is into full-time music ministration, many want to know if the reggae artiste has dumped his other talents for music. Speaking on Galaxy T.V. recently, the musician, gave an emphatic no to insinuations that his books, and taste for fashion may have given way to music. "
No! No! I haven't dropped my books. I didn't really have to subdue one talent to lift up the other. I will go back eventually," he said even as his voice reverberated in the studio. Evidently, Buchi's string of talents is second nature. Little wonder, they manifest with much ease.
So, for Buchi to continue being himself, he admits that none of his talents would be buried for the other. Hear him, " writing comes to me naturally; tailoring was something I did for a living alongside teaching, but for the gospel to grow, I had to sing."
Talking about Buchi's metamorphosis from a D.J., poet, and minister of the word, one thing led to another. " Initially, I set out to write books, poems, novels and about issues in the country and beyond. But, I found out that readership has dwindled. However, I needed to amplify my writings, which I did by singing my poems. Infact, some of the songs contained in my first album, This Day were taken from my poetry collections." Literally speaking, Buchi sings in order to give a voice to his thoughts.
Later in his career, Buchi's focus changed. Now, the artiste has moved from expressing his thoughts to singing for the gospel. " When I received the message a few years back, it became so compelling that I needed to transmit it to all. When it was time to sing, I knew it was time to take the gospel to the world."
In a country inundated with a myriad of genre, Buchi's music stands out. With his singing partner, Papa English, Buchi has been able to evolve a style that is strictly reggae but with gospel lyrics.
Coming into music
My active involvement in music began when I was pursuing my Masters degree. At that time, I was also a D.J. in a niteclub, I would go to school from Monday to Friday and on weekends, go to the club. I think, that the whole thing blossomed from there. In 1992, when I became a born-again Christian, what naturally came to me was the kind of music I used to play at the club.
Nigerian music industry
It's really beautiful. With music many people are expressing themselves in a variety of ways. Nigerian music is deep. Just like most things in Nigeria, many people are gifted in music. Nigerian music is not restricted to any genre. I think that we're diverse.
Need for change
I see a lot of things that need to be celebrated about Nigerian music. Nowadays, you'll see young people doing songs that condition their minds; songs that are hits all over the world. That's really beautiful. Today, Nigerian music has risen to the point that you can hold big concerts without a foreign artiste as main attraction.
There is mediocrity in everything. But when you hold on to what is good, and celebrate it, it lives long. With time, the mediocres will fall by the wayside, and the strong lyrics will be glorified.
Every song that sells get pirated one way or the other. I think what is needed mostly is education and public enlightenment. First of all, people need to know what piracy is all about. Piracy is not all about duplicating people's works without permission, but when you play someone else's music on radio, T.V. in a hotel, or as sound track without compensation that's piracy. When you take somebody's song without permission, that's piracy. If the perpetrators of the offence are informed about the weight of their offence, I don't think that they will be so bold to continue in the crime.
Message in Nma, nma
It's a song of thanksgiving. I am not trying to say anything anymore or teach a lesson. It's just a song from a heart full of gratitude to God. In the video, I am simply singing out Nma, nma. There is a central message that in every situation you find yourself, just keep thanking God.
I talk about my family; my lovely wife
I can't miss my cap. I've always worn the caps, long before I came into music.
Favourite Nigerian artiste
I have so many of them. One of them is Papa English. He sings wonderfully.There are many great musicians in the country because they don't have albums, we do not celebrate their works.
Publishing my works
I do hope so. Some of them will be published before the end of this year. It is a novel that is partly fiction and partly non-fiction. The story is going to be about me and my journey into music. When you go to the churches, there are many great musicians. I like Mike Aremu; I like what he does with the saxophone.