Big Chance and Cypha Tyte are not in any way strange names in Owerri when it comes to music. This duo who featured in the popular Ibari Ogwa hit, which also had Ruff Coin (Nwa Aba), has paid their dues when it comes to the music industry in Owerri. In this interview with CHINEDU HARDY NWADIKE in Owerri recently, Cypha Tyte explained his person, music and relationships with his friends and God, as well other things he has seen in the journey to success as a musician.
Meet Cypha Tyte
I’m Chukwuebuka Edward Ajuzieobi aka Cypha Tyte. I’m from Obingwa LGA of Abia State. The good thing is that my mum is from Isiala Mbano LGA, so I am a hybrid of Imo and Abia State. I’m the first son in a family of four boys. No girl in my house (laughs).
With a mum who is a barrister and a dad who’s a Chattered Accountant above me, I’m doing my best to lead the army of boys in the house.
I started as a medical student in Madonna University Okija, but because there are some things that cannot be done together with music, I had to switch to Biochemistry and now I have my B.Sc from the same institution and that was in 2008 followed by youth service in 2009 at Abuja.
Why dump Biochemistry
I dumped Medicine for Biochemistry because I’ve weighed my chances and I didn’t want to spend high number of years in school and end up not practicing. Not probably working as a Biochemist today does not mean that I hate Biochemistry, but music is my calling, something that I can do very well any time I’m called on. So I’m choosing music but the certificate is actually very important, especially in this part of the world, and I have it.
I started singing as a kid, the first song I wrote was with my mum at the age of 12. Then I was in the choir doing gospel. But my first time in the studio was in 2003 with Mod 9, Style Plus and Five Mics, these were our home boys way back in Abuja. When I came to Madonna University the whole Abuja story closed because I wasn’t going there often. I started working in Owerri with Harida in 2004 and since then, it has become this Owerri thing and I love where I am.
I do R&B and hip-hop and from where we are, we always want to add ‘naija’ or ‘afro’ to it because generally, it is expected that your background will show in your music and it is that afro centric thing in our music that says it all. So you can call afro hip-hop and R&B.
Currently, none. Previously, yes. It was with PMJM Entertainment a mixed tape that made waves in the South-East region, it entered the western part of Nigeria but not like it was played here in the eastern region.
Right now, we’re working on a Big Chance – Cypha Tyte album which we’ll be dropping very soon. We are also working on the videos now, and soon everything will be out.
I was with Don Jazy recently to make arrangements for a song we want to do with Wande Coal. The arrangement is still on, although he is busy on his own album. We also have Ruff Coin whom we did the Ibari Ogwa song with, Rugged man, and others, but we’ll also be looking at time to meet with these people to avoid these collaborations delaying our production. So we might end up doing our songs with the available artistes, and in the following album, they all feature because we have a target to meet.
Our inspirations come from God and nowhere else. We don’t rely on drugs nor any other spirit, but God Almighty. I sing about my life, things happening around me and sometimes I get inspiration from my dreams. There was this song ‘O nagh adigide’ which I did in 2008, it was just from the advice I gave a friend in trouble. We did the song and then the remix with Emex Diddy and it was massive.
Although I listen to anything music, the first group that really moved me was Plantation Boys, so I’ll really say that Tuface, Faze and Black Face are my role models. They really inspired me into writing my first song aside the one I did with my mum. Abroad, I’ll say Michael Jackson and Usher Raymond.
PMJM Entertainment is my record label and it is an acronym for People Making Jolly Music. We try to make music that people will dance to, by adding fun to the music to make our listeners enjoy it. The producer is Reflex Sounds who is actually one of the producers in town, and together, I believe we can go the distance.
My greatest is not being heard, and trust me, that’s the greatest fear of every artiste. Every artiste who walks into the studio believes he has the best in him and when that accolade does not come, I’ll say it’s the worst thing that can happen to an artiste.
I’ve had a lot of good moments in my musical career. But I’ll choose one which was actually when I was playing our songs to Don Jazzy and he nodded and said “good song’. I said to myself, if Jazzy can love my song, it means the whole world will love it as well. Another moment was when Duncan Mighty was envying a song by the Peacocks ‘Edi kwansa’ . He said “I wish I did this song” I smiled and replied “Duncan, there’s actually no way you can remix and remix”
We’ve performed with Wiz Kid here in Owerri, it was so much fun because we did our interview with him and went to our hotel together. In Owerri here we’ve performed with Wande Coal, Ruff Coin and other artistes.
But in Lagos, I’ve shared stage with Wande Coal, D’banj, Don Jazzy, Dr. Sid, Ice Prince and others it was massive and the memories are still the best right now.
I expect acceptance from the general public as well as financial breakthrough.
Outside music, I play football, and I must say that if not for music, I would have been a footballer. When hang out with friends, I play snooker, and watch movies to relax as well.
I don’t really depend wholly on music, I’m still into real estate and sales of different kinds of properties. But I actually do that when I’m in Abuja and Lagos, but when I’m in Owerri, I totally face my music. But recently, it’s been music all the way.
I’ve always had a lot of friends from my primary school days till this moment. But it has become so difficult being there with them all the time because of the things I do, although I try as much as possible to reach out once in a while and when I’m around, we hang out. I believe in the street that made me and I’ll always keep to my street credibility.
I actually channelled all my energy to my music and girls are out of the picture right now. People will say haba na artiste na, na playboy, but it’s not really like that. I maintain a good relationship with girls and I have a girlfriend too. So right now, I have my music and my girlfriend.
I was in church on Sunday, I don’t miss that, I prayed this morning and every morning. I no de play with church oh, my mumcy na church person and as I no de do juju, na God be everything oh. (laughs)
I wont say there’s competition right now because there’s nothing to fight for. We are all together in the game helping one another. We are all almost at the same level, so there is virtually nothing to compete for. Anyone can buy five different CDs so all we need to do is make good music and not compete with one another.
Owerri and entertainment
I’ll say that in all the South-East states, Owerri loves entertainment most, but the problem is that unlike places like Lagos and Port Harcourt, we don’t really want to pay for the entertainment. I told Don Jazzy how much we charge down here, all he did was laugh at it, saying it’s nothing. We can only match with other places when we learn to pay for what we want to enjoy.
I thank my family so much for their support and to my friends and fans, I want you all to keep believing in us and we’ll keep making you proud. To my fellow artistes, guys we don sign up na, no going back oh, we must surely make am. I also wish to thank all the media houses in the state and nationwide as well as the Djs. You all take us to the world and God will surely bless you. Big Chance and Cypha Tyte will always be grateful.