Every master was once a student, every trainer was once a trainee and every legend was once an upcoming artist.
Never wash down your dreams because of fear of failure, Mr. shedrack believed strongly in his dreams and has pursued it tenaciously to an awesome stage. He shares his journey with us and encourages others to believe in their own process.
DA: What inspired you to venture into music?
Shedrack: It was synergy which all began with an exposure, a background exposure to great sounds and genres. Seeds were sown. Enthusiasm was birth forth. What intrigued me mostly was how my predecessors, did and do show lyrical dexterity through a type of beat, share knowledge or impact a crowd emotionally. And most of all, sold a whole lot of copies worldwide. Being an icon, letting them know, I’m here because I followed my dream relentlessly. You too could be who and whatever you wish to be. If only you set your mind to it.
DA: At what age did you discover your talent?
Shedrack: Self discovery is a continuous process. I really can’t put a finger as to if it was at age 9 or 8. But I do remember a younger me bussing freestyles over a beat (which at that point seemed like the bomb to my ears but really was wack). That grew through setting up tin cans, hitting on them, deriving pleasure somewhat, to rocking overalls and off the top of my head, spitting some Eminem’s verse right in front of the crib at a tender age.
DA: When you discovered your talent what steps did you take?
Shedrack: Well to be honest, in retrospection, not much. One, basically because of the environment I was in. At a very young age, it seemed like a “thing”, also considering the fact that I wasn’t very exposed.
But when I became very much conscious enough, I began a developmental process. I started with scoring and stage performances on weekends. Sean Kingston’s “beautiful girl” back in school, which as at that point was a hot song, had the people applauding. More stage performances, scoring of songs, and having a group. I learnt and practiced the art of song composition. Then I began to listen!
DA: How do you work to improve yourself daily?
Shedrack: Daily, I do vocal drills. And most of the time I listen to myself, and to others who are better. I write more often, I strike chords on my guitar, I freestyle, I compose songs, and sometimes I have others criticize my work. Plus I read. New vocabularies from the news or other columns help to make your lyricism stronger. I meditate. I get exposed. I get creative.
DA: How did you raise funds for your first single/album?
Shedrack: from my savings. I think my first single did cost me about four or five thousand naira. I saved. Little by little from my “go-to-school-cash”. Swaggeration was the title. It was a sensation, within the system, the studio, and couple of blocks around. Plus, to say this humbly, I was good to an extent that Raj and Mo Dee offered me free recording sessions and will have me on the team later on.
DA: As a musician, what are your core values?
Shedrack: I hold my family with great importance, my hustle and dream at heart, self esteem real friends, fans, and God, in no particular order. I have a benign disposition to life and I like to believe one thing, two actually; that there’s enough resources, love and good to go round for everyone. Plus it is paramount that I live on a creative plane above the competitive, a point where I’d reach my fullest expression.
DA: What steps would you advice a talented person venturing into the music industry to take?
Shedrack: Talent isn’t enough. There are no steps to what I’m going to say. You have to be talented, then skilled and also have an in-depth knowledge of the game. At this point, I wish to and I am currently in the process of learning the business side to this. Have a solid business plan. Leave your comfort zone in order to learn, set goals and achieve, most importantly, don’t wait on any label. Create that environment you desire. Carve a niche for yourself!
DA: What challenges have you faced so far?
Shedrack: The road to success hasn’t always been all rosy and green. There have always been milestones. Just as there are upsides and silver lining, depression sets in sometimes, the feeling of failure itself lurks around sometimes, at a stipulated time, this is who and where I’m supposed to be at, but with all things not being equal, plans change.
DA: How did you overcome them?
Shedrack: I pushed and thought smartly. I prayed, and waited for the perfect timing. I’m yet to be where I wish to be. So I still push, meditate, set goals, delegate works over a full plate, pray. Create the environment I need, seek advice and go ahead with being the best I can be.
DA: Your advice to aspiring musicians?
Shedrack: Man, know thyself! You are an artiste, stand out. Make great music, be on the creative plane. Inspire, motivate and give back to society in your own way. Let go of the notion about having to leave up to expectations! Be you. Be great. Be the best you can be. Most of all, hustle. Work hard, think smart and live a life of moderation. It would pay someday.
DA: How can we reach you?
Shedrack: Through social media platforms, my E-mail and my reverbnation page.
Fb: Shedrack Okoye