Born in New York and currently studying Health Management and Information in the University of Phoenix, U.S, Edo-born Nigerian American, Ighobaro Amamayaevbo aka Kola-Bo has dropped his debut album titled, ‘Revival.’
In this chat, the reggae artiste speaks about his career among other issues.
How did music begin for you?
I started music back in 2009 in the United States of America. I am a member of a defunct group and a record label called ‘Top Notch.’ I moved back to Nigeria in 2012 and started my solo career, then I went back and moved back again last year. I and my twin brother started our own company, Osaze Music Artistry.
What kind of music do you play?
I play reggae music, real dance hall
What informed it?
I grew up listening to reggae music as well as hip hop, but I have done all kinds of music. I started as a rapper but my stronghold is reggae music. It’s different when you do what you know and it comes naturally, than you doing something you have to take your time to do. Reggae comes naturally to me. I grew up around the likes of Lieutenant Shotgun, Felix Duke, Shaka, Majek Fashek and a bunch of other reggae stars. That gave me the energy and that is why I found myself doing reggae music.
Is your kind of music conscious as others?
Yes, very conscious. I find it hard writing regular club music, it is very hard for me, but not like I don’t do it. A couple of times I do it but in reggae music there has to be a message. I learnt a lot of things I didn’t even know in school through music by listening to Bob Marley, Steven Marley, Lucky Dube, Bonny Wailer, Peter Tosh… a lot of them. I want to impact in the future and not just the now. I rather play music that somebody hears 10 years later and be like, ‘ah someone played this kind of music,’ instead of doing music that will just last for three months and its fizzled. That is the kind of person and artiste I am.
What stands you out?
What makes me unique is my ability to express myself in a very subconscious way. I don’t have to think about it, it just comes naturally. The title of my EP is ‘Revival’ and I got the inspiration. The track three of that album is called ‘Revival.’ I wrote that song at the point in time when Africa was under siege, which was around 2014. We had the war in Burundi, we had xenophobia issue in South Africa, we had terrorism in Kenya, Somalia. That alone, I thought I had something I needed to tell people. It is more than just fighting with guns. There is more to do than just expressing ourselves with our word only if we can settle our scores by using words instead of guns, the world will be a better place for us.
Have you shot the video?
I have a song called, ‘Na Dem Know,’ produced by ET Strike, track nine. I did the video with Alvan Ano Pela last year. I’m also working on another project which will be due in May or summer.
This is my first album officially, but I had a gospel album which I released in 2013. I went through phases and that inspired the gospel album. It is just a little something to give thanks to God.
How come we are just knowing about you?
I have been in America going to school and doing the music thing. I have a very strong fan base in Dallas, Houston Texas and New York. I decided to come back because this is where everything is. In America, they don’t show much respect to artistes because you are not from there, so they expect you to go back to Africa but it’s not like we don’t have the talents in America. I say it every day that there is a bunch of Nigerian talents in America.
There are a bunch of Nigerian artistes that are doing better but they are not heard because they are not here. When you come here, people just want to use or take whatever you bring and will not help you. It is hard. I have a couple of artistes who are here, friends from Dallas Texas and since they have been here, I have not heard their voice but I know that they pay people every day to try and promote themselves but people still don’t show that respect. So it’s like you have to take everything by force and that is why I came back to Nigeria, not to just come and visit and stay one month and leave, I have moved back to Nigeria. I am shuttling though. Like I’ll be leaving next week for the U.S. and be back in two weeks’ time. I am determined to take it by force that my voice needs to be heard which is what I am doing.
What is your Message?
It is for the music to be heard and the message passed across. Africa has lost it. We have gone astray, our heritage has been taken away from us and it is time to rejuvenate and revive ourselves. Get ourselves back to where our forefathers were. Forget about the west, Africa can strive without the west, only if we can take it upon ourselves to make it happen.