With a soundscape and vocal range that can easily go head-to-head with anyone, anywhere in the Nigerian music industry, you would expect Dammy Isaac to be a little more entrenched in the inner circles of the entertainment ecosystem- but this is Nigeria.
Dammy Isaac has shown over time why he is one of the artistes to look out for in 2020 with a penmanship, music style and performance flair that is both full-bodied and highly engaging.
The mild-mannered alternative artiste embodies an eclectic hybrid of musical influences spanning genres like Pop & RnB, Afro, highlife and folklore and believes his sound was coined from his varied musical interests.
How many fast-rising artistes do you know who have performed alongside the Mavin Queen, Dija, and gotten a vocal introductory endorsement from her in the process?
Not many on that list, right?
But Dammy Isaac easily checked that box with a rousing vocal performance that like Dija put it, is “for the ladies.”
There’s no surprise there, Dammy Isaac is a lady’s man. His songs give him away. They are beehived around stolen love and fused with love worship. If Adekunle Gold had a love child with Asa, Dammy Isaac would be the result.
But like many artistes, Dammy Isaac is overly speculative of his reach.
“It’s funny how everyone actually can relate to my songs. That’s why I always say my music is like water, it serves different purposes but everyone needs it.
Even though my peers love my music more, there’s a little bit of something for everyone,” he explains.
The recently released music video for his song, ‘Chameleon’ explores the spectrum of stolen love and on whether the inspiration behind the amazing penmanship of the song was personal or fictional, Dammy launches into a detailed explanation.
“It’s a little of both, There’s this girl that I had a thing with that didn’t really work out as planned. I may have exaggerated it a bit, but I wanted to show the vulnerable side of an African boy.
I kind of understand the African culture of love for the male gender especially is trained to be a hard guy but behind this hard guy is a vulnerable sweet boy. Someone has to talk about that.”
Many music stories start from the church and then take flight to a more secular environment.
Dammy Isaac’s music story is no exception.
“My mom used to take me for her choir rehearsals as a baby; I knew most of their songs. From then on I joined the juvenile choir, I was quite good and they didn’t want to let me go. My spell in the adult choir didn’t go so well, I was a rebel. My first studio experience was doing background singing for a man in church, till I started developing and making songs with my friends in Ibadan. I later left for University where I made new music friends, made music and stopped doing gospel music,” he finished.
‘Lonely’ is Dammy Isaac’s latest single. He penned down the emotional tribute during the lockdown directive in Lagos.
“I wrote that song during the covid-19 lockdown in Lagos. You know how much trouble that time was for everyone in the world – people being stuck in different places without their loved ones and families. I just felt like singing about the reality of life being unsure, so you can love who you love right, while you can,” he clarifies.
Like Lagos weather, music has its really bad days. A random comedy show in December is Dammy Isaac’s worst performance, as he sees it.
“I didn’t rehearse with my guitarist, we missed a few arrangements. I was humbled me man.”
As regards his best live performance, we would have to pick between Emma Oh My God’s gig or Dija’s live session, because in Dammy’s opinion, he killed both outings.
Dammy Isaac is going for an EP first. It is 80% done already and then he wants to jump on the concert bandwagon with his own personal gig.
He isn’t altogether enthusiastic about reworking the dynamics of the Nigerian music industry. His tactics is to work his way through it.
“Every industry has its own drama, and the understanding that no one owes anyone anything is what prepares you to glide through it all. But things are getting better and I’m cool with that.”
The truth is that Dammy Isaac’s ability to meld words into emotion is nothing short of incredible and he should easily be on every renowned must-watch artiste list, but this is Nigeria and things don’t always follow the expected trajectory.
This article was written by Henri ‘Yire; connect on Instagram with him here