Remy’s journey into music began at age four. And in 2001, his uncle bought him a keyboard and he started playing beats on it. Discovering he could sing, he sang along to the beats. “I use to write some songs but I never took music seriously until 2010,” he said. And it was the song, Not Afraid, by Eminem, that flipped Remy to pursue his vision – music. Read his discussion with Joe Agboro JR for The Nation here
As a producer, singer, songwriter and rapper, Remy has had quite a lot to offer in recent times, not to mention records with his footprints on the web since late 2015 and early 2016, consisting of songs like KLFSHII on his SoundCloud, and a remyx to Odunsi’s Happy Hour featuring Økuntakinte. Then leading to his Eigengrau EP, a Love Back with Wavos, Tinuke Eko and a more recent Slowly with Jinmi Abduls
Hi Remy! Great to have you with us on this edition, I really wish this was audio based.
REMY: Thanks for having me 🙏
Anyways, so I first heard about you from a song you produced a long while back, can’t seem to recall. But I think it was shortly after you released the Eigengrau EP. Then I really got wondering who this guy was, and now we know that you’re a savage. Lol.
That was the statement you made on your feature in JOLAG EP. And first off, congrats on that! Slowly was a fan favorite and I believe we would do our audiences well by starting from there.
So, tell us about that experience and how things have been so far?
REMY: First of all, welcome to the Savage family lol, we’ve been waiting for you. ‘Slowly‘ was a blessing, when we were working on that song we knew it was going to be massive; but it still surpassed our expectations, being the top song on iTunes in some African countries and all. Since then we’ve both been getting more buzz and I’m really grateful for that.
As a young artiste, you may be reprimanded by older people or acts as to what direction you are heading without even hearing what you have to say, what comments do you get the most from the older folks? Your parents for instance. And how do you respond?
REMY: Regarding my music, the adults/older people closest to me fall into two categories; those who listen to my music (or have heard at least one song) and those who don’t. Those who have listened encourage me and pray for me, while those who don’t listen are the ones that do the reprimanding and all that… and my response is always deafening silence.
I know you’ve done more of music production going by your records or at least you’re recognized more as a producer, but when did you first decide to give a voice to your sounds and what has that been like?
REMY: Contrary to popular belief I’m not a producer-turned-artiste. I’ve always been an artiste, in fact I started writing songs before I learnt production… it’s just that some tracks I produced for other artistes gained more popularity than mine.
What can you say has been the major influence(s) in the development of your sound and how widespread it has grown among the audiences?
REMY: My major influences have been music from movies, and sounds from other artistes and producers, notably Eminem, Bruno Mars, The Weekend, Michael Jackson, Jon Bellion, Skrillex, Diplo, Pharrell, Masterkraft, Sarz, Timbaland and Hans Zimmer to name a few. When I hear a song I always try to make a remix of the song in my head, then those remixes birth song ideas
So I haven’t really noticed any affiliations with any group, are you an indie act? Or do you have some backing from a label or sponsor? And is there a dream label you would want to be a part of? (both local and international)
REMY: Loool as of today, the 15th of September I’m an independent artiste 😂😂. Any label interested in me that has the right conditions is my ‘dream’ label
Let’s talk about then, and now. Have you noticed any changes in the way you music sounded say, a year ago and now?
REMY: Most definitely! My sound has matured a lot, you’ll hear how much I’ve grown if you compare my first project, VIV (released August 2016) to the one after that, ‘eigengrau’ (released May this year).
You certainly have a different sound from what the Nigerian music scene is used to. What challenges would you say that has brought in terms of appealing to the mainstream consumers?
REMY: I won’t say I have any challenges because my sound is special. When ‘mainstream’ consumers hear my shit (can I cuss on this? Lol), they listen attentively because it stands out and it’s hard to hear stuff like mine anywhere else.
For someone who comfortably named his project Eigengrau, it is safe to say that you are a conscious mind. So my question is, what is/are your plan(s) for the Nigerian music industry in the next five years?
REMY: For real? I guess so too lol. My plans are to take our sounds worldwide, to raise the bar in our country in every aspect of the industry, be it production, content and marketing, and to make the arts as respected as the ‘white collar’ professions.
What do you think about the recent spike in the independent movement across various creative spaces? Do you think any good comes out of it on the long run, or is Nigeria never going to reward those who tread this path?
REMY: I think it’s a good thing. Nigerians are slowly realizing that 9-5 jobs aren’t for everybody, and on the long run I think we’ll see the unemployment rates reduce significantly if this spike continues.
Before we end, we would like to do a series of flash questions. Most require that you state/choose one out of two or three options:
Live music or Recorded music?
REMY: Live Music
Reminisce or Olamide?
REMY: Reminisce (he’s my favorite indigenous rapper, no offence 😭)
If one were to never have existed, which should it be?
REMY: Sorry, can’t pick. They’re all important to me 😂
You are in an embarassing mess of some sort, who’s the first person you would call for help?
REMY: I would call Eskor (BlackseidTheDJ)
Lastly, who are you top 5 female artists in Nigeria?
REMY: In no particular order 🌚
– Yemi Alade
– Seyi Shay
– Tiwa The Savage 😂 (It’s six, I knowwww)