Nigerian superstar producer and singer, Maleek Berry, who was nominated in the ‘Next Rated’ Category of the Headies Awards which Mayorkun eventually won, in new tweets slammed all irresponsible elders in the Nigerian music industry.
According to Maleek Berry, these irresponsible elders claim they are guiding younger artistes, but are destroying the careers behind the scene. His tweets reads;
There are too many fake people in this industry. If I start to vex and call out names
All you so called elders behind the scenes that are meant to be guiding younger african artists but instead you want to destroy people’s names behind the scenes , why because no one is brown nosing you ?
Talking about we need to stick together more but all you grown men do is talk bad about young dudes trying to make something out of their lives and feed their families.
Thank God I have real people around me In my inner circle I can seek wise counsel from. Sometimes keeping quiet is not the answer always. I will continue to spread love to all you fake agbaya’s. Now lemme get back to enjoying this London sunshine
From a “sweet boy” growing up in London to an international artist thrilling fans worldwide, Maleek Shoyebi, stage name Maleek Berry is at the frontlines of the movement to transform the Nigerian music industry one song at a time. As a producer, Maleek’s sound was already distinguishable, and it’s even more identifiable now that he has made the transition to a recording artist as well. We fell in love with not just his voice, but also his delightful take on Afro-pop and the relatable lyrics.
Here are excerpts from the interview;
Considering you were born in the UK, grew up there, and really just shuffle between several states, would you consider yourself 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.
It is evident your music appeals more to Nigerians. Did you start out intending for it to be this way? Or is it something that just kind of happened?
Yes and no. In 2010, 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.
Would you say you have a bit of an unfair advantage?
Yes, sometimes. It’s really a catch-22 situation because sometimes people say all my songs sound the same. I see it when people tweet it, and I actually replied someone the other day and told her “It’s called having your own sound.” When Pharell and N.E.R.D came out in the early 2000s, they were making songs for Jay Z, Beyoncé and some other people. People could have said they all sounded the same, but the thing is that was their signature sound. That’s how I describe what I’m doing.
There are pros and cons and I can say I’m definitely benefiting from the pros. Being able to just produce my own music is great. I roll out of bed, I have a song idea, I write it, record, mix, master, and put it out myself.