I Dumped Music Scholarship To Please My Mum -Flavour


Away from his sensual music videos and suggestive waist
movements, contemporary Nigerian highlife artiste, Flavour Na’biana, cuts a
different picture when you meet him in person.
Spotting a simple Tee Shirt atop a
pair of jeans, Flavour says he is able to switch between the two different
personalities in him. The singer, who started out playing drums and guitar in
his local church, describes himswwq[]elf as a modest artiste.
“If you watch my videos, listen to my
songs and then meet me one-on-one, you will be disappointed. When I am on
stage, I am Flavour but off the stage, I am simply Chinedu Okoli (his real

Away from the show business, my daily routine is simple. After doing my
morning chores, I am either off to the studio, busy playing pool or play
station or simply chilling with my colleagues. I am not a party animal.”

It is only a week to his 29th
birthday party scheduled to, according to him, take place at a five star-hotel
in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, but Flavour is already in high spirits. Having
transformed from a young lad who is best described as a ‘local champion’ in
Enugu State, to one of the most sought-after Nigerian artistes, the singer
describes his rise and achievements in less than three years as surreal.
“I feel humbled and blessed, because
of the love and appreciation I get from my fans. Well, when I started I wanted
fame so much but now sometimes, I wish I could do some things without people
noticing me. One of my career highpoints was when I shot a video in Paris,
France with Fally Ipupa because it simply shows how far I have come. I am
constantly overwhelmed, such that I find it hard to explain.”
In October, he officially launched
his third studio album, Blessed,
and opened his latest business venture, 2 Nite Klub Lounge, in Enugu. With the
club, he has joined the growing number of Nigerian stars diversifying into
other areas.
He says, “It is a part management
deal I have with a friend and big brother Frank Obasi, the CEO of Toscana
Hotel, Enugu. It feels good because it is something I had always wanted to do.
It has always been my personal aspiration to own a night club. It is a joint
venture with Obasi and it is located in his hotel premises. I am not going to
leave music because it is skin deep. “
In recent times, Twitter has afforded
a number of Nigerian stars the opportunity to engage in self-aggrandisement and
communicate with fans. However, Flavour sort of received an endorsement from
American super star, Keri Hilson, last month when the latter tweeted, “Now
playing Ashawo
Flavour. I love this song. I have no idea what he is saying, I just love the
song. “It came as a surprise to his followers.
Confirming the post, the singer, who
is barely active on social networks, says, “Yes, at first I thought it was one
of those media stunts, but when it was verified, I felt appreciated and
humbled, not just for my music but for African music and how far we have come.
It shows that music is a universal language and I plan to collaborate with her
on a song when she comes to Nigeria over the weekend. I am yet to decide if it
is going to be a new track or one of my old hits.”
Commenting on the new trend of
collaborations between Nigerian singers and foreign artistes, he says, “It is
really good to collaborate but it’s better when there is a good chemistry
between both artistes so, I advise people not to rush into collaborations
because of fame but for the music.”
Like other artistes, the decision to
do music is one that is often met with stiff opposition from parents or
guardians. For Flavour, it was a tough call convincing his mother to support
his decision. According to him, his mother was in support of his musical career
during his days in the church. But a meeting later with a music label executive
which he regarded as a blessing ironically strained the relationship between
him and his mother.
“It all started when the resident
pastor at his church introduced him to a friend, Chris I Ordor, the CEO of
SoundCity Communications, who had just started a musical company aimed at
training young musicians on the rudiments of music and nurturing them all the
way to a professional level. Shortly after in 1996, I was invited to join the
company on an educational scholarship to study music at the University of
Nsukka. But my mum will not hear of that because she had a brother who had
earlier failed in his music career but I understood her fears.
‘‘In 2001, when the label moved to
Port Harcourt, I found it hard shuttling between Enugu and Port-Harcourt, as a
result I had to prematurely terminate my scholarship due to my mother’s refusal
to allow me move to the Garden City,” he explains. Today, the story has changed
because his mother is now his greatest fan.


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