‘I would have been more fulfilled winning’, Appyday
Though christened Chukwuemeka Daniel Ernest Okafor, he is well known by his stage moniker, Ogaga, following his role in the now rested sitcom, Royal Tears, which aired on Africa Independent Television (AIT) network. He also played the role of Eze in Dance of Shame, which aired on Galaxy TV, and was also in After the Storm, which was broadcasted on the NTA Network. His album Oku Muonso took over the gospel music scene in Africa, particularly in Nigeria in the year it was released, and it is still very popular today because of it’s style and the explosive energy and power it transmits to the listener. He would later adopt the name ‘Emeka Thunder’ in his next album, which he titled Praise Thunder. But moving to Oslo, Norway, he rebranded and adopted the name Appyday. He was one of the 36 contestants that made it to the semi-finals out of the thousands auditioned for the ‘Norkse Talenter’ (Norway Got Talent) competition. He spoke DANIEL ANAZIA shortly after his performance.
Congratulations on your outing at the ‘Norkse Talenter’ (Norway Got Talent). How do you feel getting to the semi-final stage?
I feel happy. There were more than 1000 contestants in the beginning, but it was only 20 of us that made it to the semifinal stage. Besides, I actually came very close to making it to the finals. And being the only contestant that sings Nigerian dancehall and afrobeats, I also feel good that I was able to introduce our indigenous music style to the Norwegian society and the accepted it all the way to the Semi finals of Norske Talenter. I think that is a laudable feat.
What would you say denied you the opportunity to make it to the finals?
It was very simple, a foreigner with a foreign style and foreign music. And also not being born here you know. Ask our popular Nigerian musician that travels round the world to perform; most times when they come to Europe, it’s the black community that they usually perform for. So, I feel proud that I was able to engage the whole nation with my Nigerian music style through the many stages in the contest up till the semi-finals.
How many people auditioned for the hunt and what were the categories or was it streamlined to music alone?
There were over 1000 contestants that passed the screening and attended the auditions. There were different categories including dance, magic, acrobatics, singing etc.
Where you the only Nigerian and African in the contest?
Yeah, I think I was the only Nigerian but not the only African.
What was the experience like being on such international platform, and what have taken away from the competition?
It was really great, a dream come through. I pushed myself and developed more creative muscles. I worked with a team of professionals and earned their respect. I saw myself in an entirely new level. It was mixture of some sort — sweet and bitter, fantastic and terrible, pain and gain, and altogether a great experience. Today, the name Appyday is reverberating across the whole Norway. It can only get better not worse.
What are your plans now that your quest for the $60,000 ultimate prize has ended?
I want to push all the songs I performed in Norway’s Got Talent online so that my fans can access them. They will be available on iTunes, Deezer, Cdbaby, Spotify etc. Also, I am going back to the studio to make more hit songs and great videos. I will be dropping something new soon.
If you had won the $60,000, what would you have done with it?
A lot; I believe winning would have make me more fulfilled because the prize money would help in actualise my lifelong dream of giving the homeless children (motherless and abandoned babies) a good home and quality education, which in the long run will position them for life-changing opportunities. I love kids a lot, and my life dream is to help the less privileged children in the society.
Any plan coming back to Nigeria soon?
My life dream is to invest in the lives of poor and homeless children in Nigeria. I will come home at the right time. Meanwhile, all my fans can follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @iamappyday. You can also download Appyday’s ‘Okro soup’ on MTN ring tone. Simply text 1768182 to 4100, it costs N20 for one week or 0768182 to 4100, costs N50 for one month.
Your were known in Nigeria as Ogaga, Eze, Emeka Thunder. Why Appyday?
First, I’m a man and always want to be happy. Moreso, I believe everyone wants to be happy. I believe life is short and the most important thing is life, no matter how short or long you have it, be happy in it. If you live up to 90 years and the most part of it you are sad or unhappy, I think it’s not worth it. So, personally I want to be happy, reason I choose the name Appyday. If you listen to my music, it is all about happiness. I want to make people dance, make them get out their sober mood, challenges, and make them to have the feel and energy to try again. For the name Ogaga, it was a role I played in the now rested sitcom, Royal Tears, which aired on Africa Independent Television (AIT) network. I also played the role of Eze in Dance of Shame, which aired on Galaxy TV, and featured in After the Storm, which was broadcasted on the NTA Network. ‘Emeka Thunder’ came after the release of my album, Praise Thunder.
What is the idea behind the song ‘Grow old with you’?
The song, also has its main idea, which is to tell people who are in relationships to do everything they can to make such relationship last longer. It is not easy, but if you find the right person you can do it. So, ‘Grow old with you’ is more than sleeping, travelling or living together. People should also think about growing old together as couple. There are some relationships that are not meant to be; nobody should be in a relationship that is a threat to his/her live. People should learn to be patient with each other, care for each other.
Were there challenges shooting the video?
Yes there were; we wanted to shoot during the fall to show the yellow, brown, red leaves but we forgot it would also be very cold at that time. I’m not sure, I think the weather condition at the time was -6 °C. It was really cold that time and we were out door from morning till night. Everybody was grabbing his or her winter jacket. It wasn’t funny but I’m glad it turnout a good video. After the first day of filming, my personal assistant fell ill and we had to postpone for about a week.
Describe your art
My art is not just music. I do more than music because in what I do, I make ideas. I get an idea that represents a particular group of people in the society and I make a song with the idea. So, through my music, I tell you a story about the idea. If look at my songs, for instance, Okro Soup, it represents an idea. In Norway, United States, Canada, Britain, there are people from diver backgrounds, and they had left their countries to come to these places to live as foreigners. And usually, when their home countries and go these places to make a living, they have left their food, loved ones and some other precious things. So Okro Soup represents the categories of people.
Words to your fans
I want to say a very big thank you to all my friends and fans that voted for me from Nigeria. I really appreciate your support. You guys rock!