It was electrifying seeing the duo of Geoffrey Oji (Winner of Project Fame West Africa 7.0 (2014) and the award winning talented singer, Songwriter and Producer Patrick Mathias (a.k.a Password − Winner of MTN Songstar Competition 2013) these handsome and talented men shared their touching life stories on how they passed through many odds to be at where they are now. It’s a story that will inspire many who are aspiring to reach the top. The ever impressive Alexander Thandi Ubani was on hand to follow them on this great journey. First stop is: Geoffrey Oji.
- For the records, what is your full name?
My name is Geoffrey Oji.
- Kindly tell your fans a little about yourself.
My name is Geoffrey Oji and I am the current winner of Project Fame West Africa 7.0. I hail from Benue State in Nigeria and I’m Idoma by tribe; I grew up in Kaduna State. Everything turned sour for me when I lost my dad at an early age.
At age 15, I started hustling and looking for ways to reduce the load on my mother; we even bought a house which later turned out to be a scam. Mom had to return back to the village because things were very hard for us. I visited my uncle in Lagos only to discover he wasn’t exactly doing well financially, hence I slept outside in Lagos for a whole year and had nowhere to stay.
What kept me alive and going was my dream and hopes of using my talent someday; I kept pushing and went to churches to hone my talent. I auditioned for the MTN Project Fame West Africa seven (7) good times before I got picked into the academy. It was not easy at all. That’s the kind of persistence and determination one needs in other to succeed.
- Since winning Project Fame West Africa 7.0 competition, you have acquired a huge fan base not just in Nigeria but all over Africa. What has been your experience so far?
They have really been welcoming and I know I I wouldn’t have been here if not for them. So far so good, I would say, the glory returns to God because I have really experienced a lot in life as a whole and the kind of hard things I have gone through in life. Now, I have a car of my own and can go places. Poverty has a way of tampering with your mind and you forget most rights you have. My experience has been good so far.
- Considering the fortune and fame that came with winning Project Fame West Africa Competition, how have you been able to handle the popularity?
I try my best possible to relate with my fans and be me. I’m still the simple and persistent guy.
- What genre of music do you make?
I make `Soul and afro−pop music.
- What songs have you released since winning Project fame West Africa competition?
I did ‘Bursting my brain’ I still have a couple of songs I’m working on like ‘Every day is a chance’ and ‘Oh baby’. I have close to 12 songs that are there but not out in the market. We are still coming out with more. My fans should expect more.
- Do you have a selling point?
(Laughter) I will say my eyes.
- What challenges have you faced from female fans?
(Laughter) Nothing out of the regular challenges other male artistes face. Girls want to be associated with me and some of them even go to the extent of trying to get my address to visit me.
- What is your most embarrassing moment?
Ermm, I was singing somewhere in a show and I went off-key. It was so obvious and I was surprised. I put the blame on the keyboardist but I was the one that got it all wrong. The second one was when I went for a show with my friends somewhere and I went to use the restroom, I came out and forgot to wear my trouser. It was so embarrassing, I had to run back to get my trousers.(Laughs)
- What is the craziest thing a fan has ever done for you?
For now I would say, was when someone put in about 500,000 naira (over $2,000) to vote for me.
- What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done for someone?
I went to visit someone in a hospital; she was quite old and I learnt she loved it when people danced. I just had to dance. I was dancing every time just to make her happy.
- Are you in a relationship?
I’m not in a relationship now. This because I just started my career and I don’t want too many distractions.
- Who is your ideal woman?
I love a woman who is God-fearing, respectful, hardworking and with prospects. I need someone who can take care of the home.
- What do you find attractive in a woman?
Good character. I’m someone who observers a lot. I love a woman with a good physique also.
- What features should your ideal woman possess? Do you like it big in the back or front?
- Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
I see myself as a successful global artiste.
- When are you releasing an album?
Soon. I am working on two videos now. My album will be coming out soon.
- Which international artiste do you wish to collaborate with?
I love Beyoncé. She’s very talented.
- Which Nigerian male and female artiste would you love to collaborate with?
I will love to do collaborations with Tu-baba, Iyanya and Chidinma. I’d love to work with Seyi Shay and Onyeka Onwenu also.
- What really inspires your kind of music?
Nature inspires me. Also, my experience in life and all the things I have gone through gives me inspiration.
- Who is your role model?
That’s my pastor, Rev. Yinka Yusuf.
- Why did you go into music?
Honestly, the fact is that I love music. Music found me. I thank God for giving me this gift and I will use it to affect people positively.
- What’s your official twitter and Instagram handle?
- If you have the power, what will you change in the world?
I will change a whole lot of things. I will transform people’s character. I think that’s one of the hardest things in life − to make people good.
- Define your fashion sense/style?
I’m just a simple guy. Anything that makes me look/feel good is okay by me.
- Do you like clubbing and partying?
I do that because of the responsibility attached to my music career. Naturally, I’m not the type to go clubbing or partying. I love to stay at home and do my thing.
- Can you tell us about your educational background?
Good! I started my education at St. Saviour Primary and Nursery school, Kaduna, I also attended St. Patricks Secondary School. Due to financial constraints, I couldn’t further my education because of my Dad’s death. I later went to Yabatech for a Diploma Programme. I couldn’t finish though before going to Ghana for further studies. I’m still on it now.
- You are a very gifted, talented and hardworking musician, what advise do you have for those aspiring to be like you?
I always tell people ‘Never fake it to make it, Be you’. Be true to what you are and just keep pushing. Don’t allow anybody give you a life that you don’t want, Don’t give up. If it doesn’t happen today, it will happen tomorrow. If it doesn’t happen this year, it will next year. Just be determined and persistent in all you do.
- What should your fans expect from you this year?
All my fans should expect the best this year. I will be reeling out good videos, songs and collaborations.
Thanks for honouring our invitation. Tush magazine wishes you the very best in your music career.