Stardom brings out the role model in you – Sammy Yakubu
Sammy Yakubu is upcoming act and songwriter. The self-taught guitarist whose new single ‘Hustle’ is enjoying airplay in radio stations, talks about his journey into music, rise to stardom, inspiration, and growing up.
What was growing up like?
Growing up was fun and interesting. I had a few friends and my school was exposed. We talked about music and my father had Michael Jackson’s tapes. We watch a lot of music videos; reason my love for music has grown this much. I was literally a music fan before I began making music. Let me say growing up encouraged my music, which made it fun and exciting to do music.
How did you discover your musical talent?
I wouldn’t say I discover but grew into music, because I have always been a fan right from a young age; always watching the likes of Michael Jackson, Ginuwine, Usher. It was more or less like something I started to learn and pick up from listening to their music. So I would say I literally grew into it.
Did you choose music or music chose you?
It would be better to say we chose each other. I had a good voice but I had to learn how to sing better. I bought a guitar and taught myself how to play it, downloading tutorials online. So it was 50/50; it happened both ways…music chose me and I chose it.
What inspired your recent song, ‘Hustle’?
It’s the state we are in right now as a country. I recorded the song couple of years back and this period suits the song and it is the best time to put it out, because I feel people can relate with it. We have all turned into the hustling mode; it feels like everything is falling apart but I hope nothing falls apart. It’s a song you want to listen; it keeps your day going no matter what profession or whatever situation. We all know nothing always goes according to plan, so this is one of those songs that motivates you. I listen to it to start my day.
Does your style of music stand a chance in the Nigerian music scene?
Every style of music gets the audience it deserves. My style of music would get the kind of audience that it deserves here in Nigeria. Over the years I have learnt about relativity, if you make something and the people around you cannot relate to your music you have not started because you are not making music for yourself but for people. So long you want to enjoy the music that you make, you just have to find a way to balance it. When a man on the street hears your song and like it immediately that is relativity. This is why I know for sure my music has been and would continue to be accepted because people can relate to it globally.
How did you join X3m records?
It was not really planned; I just had a good relationship with the CEO and they brought me in for a couple of commercials which they love and it turned out really great, and they thought working with me would not be a bad idea and decided to bring me in and it has been a good one so far.
What is the greatest price you had to pay for music?
I would like to say that there things that are priceless, like time. If I would put my time into something that means I believe in that thing. So for music, the most valuable thing I have put would be my time because I have spent a lot of time making music, which I continue giving. You do not find me hanging out in unnecessary places because I value my time a lot. Music has taken a chunk of my time.
What would be your most unforgettable moment?
Performing on stage and the crowd is singing along with you. There is nothing that can be compared to that feeling and also there was a time I was performing and my mic went off but I continue singing without a backup track, it was just me and my dancers performing to the beat. Eventually, people were impressed. It’s one of my unforgettable moments. There are good ones and bad ones, you just got to learn from the bad ones and do more of the good ones.
What does love mean to you and what is the craziest thing you have done for love?
Love is everything to me, and I feel we were put on this earth to love. A lot of people do not understand that yet. It’s not only saying it, but how you live, treat people basically love is about everything. If you have not started living through love then you are not living yet. The greatest thing I have done for love…at that time I thought it was love though…was travel to go look for a girl in a strange place. The idea of love is incredible; I feel the world would be a better place if we all loved each other.
What irks you about stardom?
I detest the fact that you cannot just take a walk on the highway, because someone can just take a picture and assume you are too broke to take a cab. You automatically become a role model, even if you do not want to be. They look up to you. So you have to be extra careful and pretty much live a life where you set examples all the time. That’s the perk of being a star.
How do your label mates, Simi and Praiz inspire you?
They are great musicians on their own, very talented both in music and other ventures. They are two sets of people that do the same thing (music) but are very different. They put their all into whatever they do; their level of hard work is something to emulate, it inspires me. They are great writers and the kind of music they make, inspires me a lot.
Who is your celebrity crush and why?
None, for now; there are too many amazing women in the industry right now. But if I were to mention a few I would say Genevieve Nnaji, Rita Dominic, Tiwa Savage. So many amazing women, beautiful and stand for themselves. Like when you see them you see a complete woman. But I am not crushing on anyone at the moment. I am probably crushing on myself when I look in the mirror.
How has the economic recession affected your music career?
It’s not just the music industry the recession affects but everybody in the country. Price of commodities has been doubled in a short period of time. We all know we have to move around to get paid and these people paying this money get affected too, so it’s like a circle, everybody gets affected. The change has affected everybody no matter how much money you have, it might not just affect you as the next man. It affects every area finally.