In a very demanding industry with lots of competition, Chidozie Godsfavour Ugochinyere who is professionally known as FAVE or FAVE SZN looks forward to being the next big act from Nigeria. From bedroom freestyles to the number one song in the country, she has placed herself on a promising path with her debut EP, ‘Riddim 5’. iMullar’s music journalist, Edwin Quartey, speaks with Fave about the long road to her debut EP.
Q: Happy New year Fave, it’s a good start for you, your debut EP is out, topping album charts, some of us have witnessed your growth from the bedroom freestyles era to the number 1 album in your country, how relieved are you about Riddim 5’s release? And how hectic has the journey been ?
FAVE: Happy New year to you too! I’m happy. That it’s out there. A huge chunk of my sound. I anticipated what the release would be like and what people would think. I’m happy because the response beat that. It’s been one hell of a ride. With me reaching a wider audience step by step. It’s not been smooth but that’s what makes me appreciate every little connection anyone has with my music.
Q: You described Riddim as a “fever”, a movement birthed from your craft, for new fans catching up, what’s the motive behind the movement? Is it just a trademark for you or there’s more to it?
FAVE: Riddim is a vibe. Like you said it’s a movement. It’s a moment, it’s not a term that belongs to me but I’m proud to have championed my own feel to it. I’m ‘Baby Riddim’ if you switch the position of both words.
Q: The project’s writing skills doesn’t hold back on emotions, it’s as direct as it comes, tackling all the elements of emotions, making the project sound more personal and very intimate, what mental space did you find yourself in? During the writing process of the songs ?. ‘S.M.K’ in particular, which is my personal favourite & one of the well-written songs I’ve heard all year.
FAVE: Haha Thats awesome. All the songs on the project were written and recorded at different times over the years. The making of the EP was basically a strip down of a list of the songs I’d recorded over the years. So we picked our favourite 4 (alongside baby riddim) according to the thoroughness I wanted to give people of my sound & in an order we felt would be best heard. I was in different places or headspace at the time I wrote each song and probably thinking of different things.
Q: The Project’s lead single “Baby Riddim” is at the heart of it all, accompanied with a very eventful visual which I find very soothing, adding more visibility to your experimental process which runs through the album, talk to me about how the visuals came to life and your role in the production of it? Was it a vision you’ve wanted to always breathe life into on-screen?
FAVE: I wanted to go for a Jamaican pub kind of vibe. Dance, Ganja, Love, Dark. Breeze, Light like the song, that speaks on the love someone has shown you and it’s greatness, how it takes you to high places. To cloud 9. So we just created a story for the video and shared that with the video director (The Alien) who brought it alive.
Q: A carefully composed EP with five songs and 14 minutes of running time, which of the songs had you a bit on the edge ? You know, Had you like “Yeah I have to take this home, find myself in a different dimension and finish this song”? And why ?
FAVE: Baby Riddim was the song that gave me a ‘tough time’ as one would call it. I didn’t write it at one sitting. When the chorus came to me, it was weeks after the verse. So weeks after listening to the beat with only the verse in my head, having to lay the chorus on it gave me a different version of the song and it hit me with goosebumps. I don’t know why it gave me a tough time. You never really know these things.
Q: Per the project’s production details and even the video for Baby Riddim, it’s clear you draw influence from multiple cultures; especially the Caribbean, what’s the story behind it ? which of the influential drive brings more fluidity to your craft ?
FAVE: I just draw influence from everything and a lot of things. I don’t believe I’d ever be able to make music without borders. Music to me forever drives me to keep going. Caribbean? Yes I definitely have fallen in love with. So I have hip hop, Afrobeats, dancehall. I just take my sound to it. My soul to it. Which is something I think I learnt from Adele and Sia.
Q: To wrap things up, growth as an artiste is essential, creating some of the best works sometimes comes with collaborating with other acts, who are some of your dream collaborators that you feel will help uplift your story/craft ?
FAVE: I’d love to collaborate with a lot of awesome artistes. Long list. I can only hope that the artistes I’m dying to work with, feel the same way too.
Q: Thank you for your time Fave, and all the best in your music journey.
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