Idahams: From the Creeks of Port Harcourt to a Music Royalty (Amayanabo)
Fast-rising artiste, Idahams, is a Niger-Delta born artiste whose message serves as medicine to the soul.
Despite losing his friends to the militancy in the region and being an orphan, he is one of the very few who has used his potentials as a producer, and artiste to preach the message of hope to many.
The producer who plays over three instruments speaks to The Guardian Life about his newly released EP
“Amayanabo” meaning ‘King’ in Ijaw language.
How would you describe your genre/style of music?
I am a singer, songwriter and producer, born and raised in Port Harcourt, River state. I would describe my music as contemporary pop with a fusion of highlife and diverse melody. On the other hand, I am not limited to any one style, I can do any kind of music, and work with any beat.
What is your creative process like?
Sometimes, it starts with my mood, an experience, a film or story I have heard or read. The melody or rhythm for the idea doesn’t drop immediately but when it does, I hum and record it on my phone. I have an advantage because I am also a producer and instrumentalist. So I get to lay a foundation for the song myself to later decide if I want to produce it myself or give other producers the brief to produce for me. Writing is usually the last part for me as I love to sink deep into the beat as I add flesh to the idea that eventually becomes a song.
Niger Delta where you come from has been riddled with poverty for years because of the oill spillage and even some ills. Yet you have managed to be a voice to be reckoned with in the music industry. How would you describe your journey?
My journey has not been an easy one because where I’m from, you must be smart to survive – “you must use your head” but I thank God music was my escape. I don’t think I would be who I am today if I didn’t go through all I did. All the stress, hunger, poverty and everything I went through have shaped me into who I am today.
What would you like people to take away from Amayanabo?
Amayanabo means ‘King’ in Bonny, River state where I come from and it doubles as a single and the title of my new EP. I want people to know that they can achieve anything they set their mind on. A king rules his kingdom, he commands when he wants and negotiates when he needs to. People need to understand that the power of success is in their hands and it is
important to apply it when necessary. Amayanabo is also a way of showcasing my cultural heritage with the intent to stir the wave of Pop culture in Africa.
Would you say you are a beacon of hope to those in the creeks and in what capacity?
I come from a place where young people put their lives on the line for what they believe in. These people also see me as their brother, friend and an idol. I’ve lost several friends who joined the militant struggle. If you listen to my song titled “Heal the Land,” you will get a clearer picture of what I’m talking about. As a role model, I motivate my people by having
them know that if I can make it then anyone from the creeks can also make it.
Who is Amayanabo for?
Amayanabo is for everyone especially if you see yourself and understand that you’re one of a kind. Everybody is unique in their own way, so embrace it as it is. Like I said earlier, Amayanabo means king in Ijaw language and I am a king in my own lane.
What particular song speaks to you and what significance does it hold?
The song I wrote and produced for Mr 2kay God Can Bless Anybody was and still is my true story – It is a story of upliftment and how God’s grace can raise you from obscurity to significance. The story is also reflecte
d in a song titled “Hustle.” It is on my new EP titled Amayanabo.
You have a live performance series called 100 with Idahams. What is the idea behind this?
100 with Idahams is a live performance series that I will be running to connect with my fans and put my craftsmanship as a performer on display. We had the first edition in Lagos on June 30th. We will be taking it to Port Harcourt this month and other parts of the country and beyond. We have a target of receiving only 100 guests at every stop. It is an intimate show.
Do you intend to change the narrative in Nigeria industry and how do you plan to do that?
I really want to tell our African story in the African way. It is exactly what the Western world is doing to us
Africans and they expect us to reciprocate it. I think it is that demand for our music and story that they now categorise our music as Afrobeats.
What should fans expect from you in the near future?
I just released my EP on Friday [July 5] and it is something everyone should get. It promises to inspire and get you addicted to my vibe. I am also replicating my 100 with Idahams Event in Port Harcourt and probably in Abuja if my management decides. I’ll be shooting more videos and people should also request to see the video for my song
Amayanabo on TV.
Who would you like to collaborate with before the year runs out?
I think a record with Wizkid, Davido, Kizz Daniel and Simi will be dope. Fingers crossed.