I attended Six Universities But I’M Still An Undergraduate –Yung6ix
Yung6ix is a Nigerian rapper who says that he is changing his style to suit the demands of his fans. He speaks with Anthonia Duru on his journey into the music industry, his style of music, his upcoming EP among other issues.
What inspired you to go into music?
Life itself inspired me. I was the eldest son in my house so I spent most of my time alone. All I had was music. I grew up in that kind of house where my parents don’t want us going out. I was always in my room. They always wanted me to read. So when I get tired of reading, I escape with music. And my aunties, my mother’s sisters, love music a lot. They were always playing different kinds of songs. My mum’s favourite song was Tupac’s ‘California Love.’ She played it all the time. Back then, people still listened to cassettes and they really couldn’t afford to buy a lot of them so if you can buy one, you will have to play it for one year before you buy another one. You can imagine how much I listened to those songs. I guess listening to too much music inspired my career choice.
How did that experience influence the kind of music you do today?
It actually helped me in life. Until recently when I really found the sound I want to sell to the world, western music had always been my thing. When I first came into the game, when I started with Storm Records, there was a problem at some point because I was making too much western music. There was a problem selling the music out there. Those were parts of the things I learnt from being under a record label. Western music had always been my major influence. I did not grow up with the state of mind that I want to be a Nigerian superstar. To me, there were no Nigerian superstars when I was growing up. Soundcity back then was just a 30 minutes programme on AIT. There was no MTV Base. All of these things we have now where not available back then. The only superstars we knew were Tuface and his crew and there was no social media for us to connect with them and know what their lifestyle is like. So the real superstars I knew growing up were in the west and those were the people I always wanted to be like. I never pictured myself being a Nigerian superstar or an African superstar while I was growing up. It was never part of the dream.
When did you decide to go fully into music?
I can’t really put a date to when I started music because I was really young. I actually don’t even know how I started making songs. But I recorded my first song when I was in SS 2. Since then, I just kept on recording till date.
How would you describe your sound?
I call it Afro Hip music. Growing up in the Nigerian music industry and making successful hit songs, you get to understand that there is a certain type of music that the people accept, and that is afro music. Whether we like it or not, ‘afro’ is our culture right here in Africa. I cannot go outside Nigeria and be rapping to Jay Z about what is happening in Brooklyn. I cannot sell his own stuff to him. I have to sell my stuff. So I’m selling hip hop from the afro music point of view, from the Fuji music point of view; from the Nigerian point of view. Basically, what I am influenced by is my own environment and our own sound.
Was it easy breaking into the Nigerian music industry?
It wasn’t easy at any point. Before record labels started putting their eyes on me, I had made lots of attempts to break into the industry. I had come to Lagos several times. I grew up in Warri. So I used to come to Lagos, spend all my money, go broke, go back to the South, hustle and then return to Lagos. I did that so many times. It wasn’t until I did ‘Oleku,’ a cover to Ice Prince’s song that labels started noticing me. That was when I got my deal with Storm Records and all thanks to God, my first single was a hit song. That was just a breakthrough point for me.
You no longer rap like you used to?
I do Afro Music. Whether people like it or not, I›ve been releasing this sound for over a year now since my album, ‘Six O Clock.’ People are starting to accept it as the sound that I›m selling. A lot of people don’t know yet but very soon, we will see rappers doing the exact same thing I›m doing now to make commercial hits. There is a new market because it is what people want but in a different way. And then, everybody is trying to sell the same afro sound but selling it in a different way from a different point of view is what counts. Nigerians love new things.
What stands you out from other artistes?
Everything we do in life, we always have to learn. I learn a lot. If there is something that is trending and I see the value in it, I take it. But what I do is, I do not take it and use it. I take it and I redefine it. People don’t do that. Music itself is re-creation. There is nothing in this world that is being done that has never been done before. There is something I did in one of the tracks on my EP. The effects of about 40 percent of the song were made with my producer’s mouth. It is all about the quality of what I am putting out there.
Are you not afraid of competition?
I am not afraid of competition. I am only competing with myself. In fact, considering where I am right now, I know that I have to beat myself to be ahead. I never lose if I keep beating myself. You can’t be focused on people. At the end of the day, nobody will want to work with you. If everybody could afford original, there will be no fake out there because people love good things. I always work to be a better person.
Are you working on any project?
Yes, I›m working on my EP titled, ‘Billionaire Ambition.’ The EP is actually supposed to be out there but we did not foresee the success of my latest single, so I just gave it time for it to sink in. We will be putting out another hit any time now. So far, we have eight songs in the EP. It has five songs, two collabos and one instrumental. We are just putting finishing touches to it. There will be live instrumentations on it. We had different instrumentalists coming to put their hand in it and whatnots; drummers came to do some things on the EP. I worked with some producers from America. It will be a crazy sound.
What record label are you signed on to?
I am signed on to Kash Kamp & Trick Billionaire Musiq (KKTBM).
What did you study in school?
Lots of people actually think I am a Masters Degree holder but I actually did not graduate from school. I had to defer my admission after I got my deal. I have attended six universities in Nigeria. My dad was particular about what he wanted me to study. Because I don’t want to stay home, most times when I’m in school, I don’t tell him what I’m doing. Sometimes, I write JAMB to get into school; he doesn’t even know the course I’m studying. I ended up attending a private school but I deferred my admission in 200 Level after I got my deal.
Do you intend to go back?
Of course I intend to go back to school. School is very important especially concerning my ambition. I have it all worked out
Tell us about growing up in Warri?
Growing up in Warri is one of the reasons why I love hip hop music. There are countless times when I could have lost my life. I give thanks to God for my life today. I almost lost my life in the Warri crisis. We lost a lot during that period. We lost our car, we lost our house. We lost lots of things. It was really crazy. I have a lot of those stories coming up in my next album. But on this EP, it is just about me expressing myself; making heartfelt music.
In a nutshell, who is Yung6ix?
Yung6ix is a young boy with big dreams.