British-Nigerian producer/recording artist, ‘Maleek Shoyebi’ popularly known as Maleek Berry is the cover star for the latest edition of Guardian Life magazine.
The 'Let Me Know' crooner who was born and raised in London opened up about his Nigerian roots, first Extended Play (Last Daze of Summer), genre of music and more in this edition of the magazine.
Berry revealed that he had met with Davido back in 2010 who actually got him hyped about delving into Afro-pop because at that time, he was doing just RnB and Hip Hop.
The 30-year old listed out Banky W, Wande Coal and Naeto C as those who motivated him into singing following the fact that he was originally just a producer.
Berry who also spoke on his upcoming concert revealed he was excited because this was his first concert in Lagos, adding that he was looking forward to it.
Read excerpts from his interview below:
On if he’s a Nigerian artist:
"I’m just an artist with roots from Nigeria. I don’t like to be boxed; referred to as a “Nigerian” or “UK artiste”. I’m just an artist who was born and raised in London, but I’m a Nigerian".
On his music appealing to Nigerians:
"I had the opportunity to connect with Davido and we had a conversation about our vision for the Nigerian music industry five to ten years from that time. I was making R&B and Hip-hop before; I wasn’t touching Afro-pop or anything like that. It was Davido who actually got me hype about delving into the genre. In all honesty, my beats were garbage in the beginning”.
“Later on, I had a light bulb moment and realised my calling is to be the bridge that connects all these worlds, Afro-pop, grime, hip-hop, and everything else. Having grown up listening to all sorts of music, I pretty much had all of it in my system. This was how I started making music that appealed to Africans, Europeans, Americans, and really just everybody. There’s something for everyone in my music".
On being a producer and an artist:
"Around 2014 and 2015, I was with Wizkid. We were making moves and really influencing the culture and I felt I had something to bring to the table. With the R&B influence I had, I felt I had a different take on African music. When I first started, I met a lot of resistance. Many people were like “Ah, Maleek. You know how it is. Another producer trying to become an artist…”
“Today, when I check my Twitter, people are like “Why did Maleek Berry start singing so late?” Omo, I was scared! I kept wondering what people would say and how they would react until I got the confidence and just did it. A lot of older people in the industry like Naeto C, Banky W and Wande Coal spoke to me and motivated me and that was really how I just got into it".
On his upcoming concert:
"I’m excited because it’s my first concert in Lagos and I’ve been wanting to do it for a long time. I guess it’s just God’s timing. I’m really excited. We’ve got some crazy stuff planned for a live band and everything. I still need to prove to Lagos that I can do this thing live; I can put on my own show. I’m looking forward to it, and I know my Naija fans know how to turn up so no worries".
Maleek Berry has been making waves in the Nigerian music industry in recent times and shows no sign of slowing down with his first EP, Last Daze of Summer giving us something enjoyable to jam to.
Read Full Interview HERE
See Photos Below: