The Steeled Sounds of Stainless
“I am fully loaded/ I am fully grounded/ Ready for the people to know my name/ Many manifestations/ If I no believe in me, who I dey wait for?”
The slow-burning Afro-RnB melody sets up a portal into the utopia that embodies Stainless’ soulful melodies. Starting with the offering of Fruits, Stainless Ehimamiegho, unlocks conversations within his head in his aptly-titled debut extended playlist (EP) dubbed, Into My Head. It’s a soothing dialogue on hope, survival, and love. And the best part is…
After a very nomadic childhood that “took him everywhere” from the creeks of Enugu, to the plains in Aba, down to the echoing streets of Lagos, Stainless began to hone his sound from his life experiences, and the people around him. But it didn’t come easy to him at all.
“When I wanted to do music, no one took me seriously because I’m that kid that everyone thought would do regular career jobs. My mum and my brother – who was a bit into music at the time – supported me. But nobody thought I could take it seriously. When they began to see the consistency; because I was always recording, shooting and producing my own music videos, and even handled my music cover’s artwork, then they took me seriously. Then at that time people had started calling me for shows through my brother’s connection as well,” he says, his voice laden with nostalgia as he spoke with this reporter over the phone.
Growing up everywhere, including his college studies in the United States, also helped him to have a diversity of influences. Sonically, he was enthused by his mother playing “Michael Jackson in the house when I was much younger; also 2face; and also Ikechukwu while growing up in Aba; not to forget that my father was also a huge fan of King Sunny Ade” and business-wise, he “studied business admin in the United States, because I knew that music is a business at the end.”
Now, the young maverick jumps into waters that he is not only excited about, but is also savvy about its delicateness. Perhaps, it is his fiery wide-eyed enthusiasm towards the music, or divine providence or a culmination of both that unlocked his career-changing deal with Bankulli the A&R whiz and musician who has previously helmed acts like Don Jazzy, D’banj, among others into the spotlight.
“I have a cousin called Ewaen. So, while I was working on a project I was going to put out before this one, it felt like something was missing. Ewaen then set up a meeting with this guy who loved my sound and was going to introduce me to someone who would bring out the best in me. When he mentioned that I would be introduced to Bankulli I felt he was joking because out of everyone Bankulli has to attend to, why will he look my way? The guy went ahead to send my song to him and then he picked interest in me and asked that we meet. And that was it,” he notes.
Perhaps what gives Stainless his character is actually his indefatigable drive. From working in a care facility for elderly people, to raise money to support his family as a teenager, to hustling through the early days of his career, down to also being a masterful charcoal painter, Stainless has proven to have a solid outlook on life, one that is as strong as steel. And he translates this to his blooming discography.
While it remains weird that the singer’s real name is actually Stainless, despite his Edo heritage, it is more interesting to unravel the projections which he hones for himself.
“I want to have a sound that can influence people coming after me, a sound that speaks for itself. Like I said earlier, make this into a full blown career not just for the money. Basically, my goal is to create a sound that can influence people in Africa and also Africans in diaspora.”
On In My Head, he works with Seyi Shay, as the only collaboration on the project. However, he is optimistic about working with other contemporaries such as Burna Boy, Buju, Oxlade, Rema, and basically “anyone that wants to work” with him.
Stainless not only shows substance, he also shows style. And these are common knowledge as core recipes for longevity in the industry. In My Head is scheduled to be released shortly, and already the lead single dubbed, Liquor, is making the rounds already. “Well, it’s a bit of mixed emotions. I feel excited and curious to see how it will be received by people but above all, I’m confident it will go well,” Stainless comments, steadying himself for all the roses, or thorns, that this record will bring.
Stainless’ single, Liquor, is available on digital platforms HERE