Done with Nigerian Idol, victory Gbakara seeks to conquer the world
For the eighth time since its inception in 2011, acclaimed music reality TV show, Nigerian Idol, has ushered another emerging superstar into the Nigerian music scene. After 10 weeks of sonic battles with 10 other contestants, talented maestro, Victory Gbakara, emerged as the winner of this year’s edition of the show. Equipped with a grand total prize of N100 million Naira, which includes a N35 million cash prize, a recording contract, as well as a bag full of dreams, Gbakara is set for an odyssey into Nigeria’s music hall of fame. The Delta indigene combines the powerhouse of storytelling and vocalisation, as he successfully sung his way into the hearts of Nigerians during the show. With his music salted with the panache of ‘purity,’ and his vocals tuned to echo evergreen melodies, Gbakara seems to have a sturdy start with much to offer. In this interview, he reflects on his ordeals during the competition, his creative process, as well as what’s next for his musical exploits.
How are you doing?
I am good. I am just tired, but I am good.
You have been living ‘the life.’
You mean, living the stress!
How does it feel being the winner?
It feels really good. And at the same time, it feels really stressful. Look at my eyes. There is a lot of work to be done. There is a lot of expectation. You receiving a lot of things and a lot of money meant you’ll be doing a lot.
Do you mean you are feeling a lot of pressure right now?
Yes, a lot of pressure.
Talk to us about your dreams before the pressure. Did you ever believe you will get to where you are right now?
I believed I would get to where I am right now, but let me explain that context. I believed that on the show I just did my best and hoped for the best. I prayed and rehearsed myself to an extent and just left the rest for God. As for my dreams before the show, I had big dreams. Even if I did not win the show, I will still be where I am. It will just take a little bit more time but I will still do what I am going to do in life. I am still going to get to where I will get in life. The cars, the houses, all of it. We are still going to get there. It’s just going to take a lot more time. So, Nigerian Idol sped up the process and I am grateful for that.
Why music for you?
Music is one of the most amazing channels of expression; emotional expression. It gives you a wide range of tools in expressing that which you know. It’s just insane and it is just magnificent. But then again, music is not the only thing I have going on in my life. But yeah, music for me is very superb and I am just happy that at a very young age, my mother put me into the choir, and said no you must sing. You are going to do this, you are going to do that. And it just set me up on the path that I have gotten to and it’s amazing, yeah.
Did she want you to be a professional musician?
Yes and no.
I studied Law in university. That’s one of the biggest pride my parents could have. So, my mother wanted me to pursue music but only if it does not affect my Law career. That was what I was told when I was entering the university in about 2015 or so. So yeah, that’s the ginger.
So, are you pursuing a career full time in music?
Yes, but that doesn’t mean I am not pursuing any other thing. The career in music doesn’t mean I can’t pursue business. Who says full time only takes the whole of your life? Full time is full time. So, I can do music full time, I can do Law full time and I can do business full time. It’s just going to be stressful and I need to coordinate myself and make sure that I do it well. So, answering your question, the point where I decided I want to do music was in a gospel setting. This was in a gospel setting and this was in church and we were singing and I have been going to church for a while, consistently singing and I just noticed that I would like to do this for the rest of my life. I would like to express this way for the rest of my life. I would like to do this and you know, talk to people with notes and melodies for the rest of my life. This looks like something I want to do often and that is when I started professional music.
Great. How did you get into the Nigerian Idol?
I got into the Idols because of good friends. I don’t like competition, I have said this almost every week since I’ve gotten that. I really do not like competitions, and I’ll give you a couple. But I had good friends around that just told me to go for Idols. One is definitely the former winner of Nigerian Idol season 7, Progress. He has an amazing personality. He is an amazing person and he was like, go for Idols. And he knows I don’t like competitions but he encouraged me. There is Adekuti, there is Adaeze Anioma, there is Samuel. You know, God sent me to them. These are people God sent me to. I have amazing people around me. That’s it.
What part of the competition stood out as the toughest for you?
The toughest performance was not the toughest song. The toughest performance for me was Show Stepper, where I had to dance. I can’t dance to save my life. But shout out to Dr. Kaffy who looked at me, said she was going to create a routine just for you so that you could be you and at the same time perform. It was really crazy because I am not a dancer but we did that. So, that was the hardest part. The hardest thing to sing on the show was My Redeemer Lives. That song was hardest because I really couldn’t place how I wanted it to sound. You know, I didn’t just want to do. It is an amazing song but it was just so difficult. I don’t know why it is difficult. The church thing is supposed to be easy. I am a church boy, but then it gave me such a tough time. We rehearsed from Friday to Sunday. As on Saturday, a day before the live shows, I did not know what I was going to do with the song. So, the performance was Show Stepper. For singing, it was My Redeemer Lives.
What style of music are you going to be exploring?
I can’t say much of this. That’s a professional answer. I can’t say much concerning what is the future. But I am going to say that the future is bright. We are working on projects upon projects, we are writing songs upon songs. We are testing almost all genres of music. You are going to get music. I can assure you that you are going to get beautiful music, because that is what I am about – music. You know, clean music, good music. I am a church boy at heart and by call, it’s going to be gospel. So, you are going to hear a lot of gospel. That doesn’t mean we are segregating any person or audience, there are going to be songs for everybody. They are going to enjoy the content I am going to put out there. That is what I have to say.
So, what is next for you?
I envision world domination, and I am not even joking. The brand Victory Gbakara is not just going to be a music brand. You know, we were advised not to say things like this so you don’t jinx it, and things like that. But that is it. The brand Victory Gbakara is not just going to be a music brand, it’s going to be an all rounder. We are going to do a movie. We are going to do marketing. We are going to own Law firms. We are going into a whole lot. We are going to do everything consistently and we are going to be good at them. We are going to be great at them. So, my thought for the brand, as I have said, is world domination. That’s it.
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