Fast-rising music star, Egwere Emmanuel, otherwise known as Barz is gradually registering his name in the minds of many music lovers with his songs and energetic stage presence. In this interview with SEGUN ADEBAYO, Barz opens up on his music career.
How long have you known Sugarboy and what can you say about the Kilamiti song that is said to have triggered a copyright infringement war between you and him?
I have known Sugarboy for almost six years. He was always the happy go lucky type, upbeat and seemingly content. We had good times in the past.
How did you come about Kilamiti as a title?
After he dropped the freestyle on the empty beat made for me, myself and the producer cut out that part because we thought it was catchy enough, so we just used the word as the title.
At what point did you discover that Sugarboy was planning to release the song without your consent?
I found out it the day it was dropped.
You alleged that your producer, LuisAMG fell out with your label executives and consequently handed over the raw data of the song to Sugarboy, how did you know all of these?
The said producer used to live in the same house with myself at that time. So, I saw it all play out firsthand. Contrary to what Sugarboy claimed presently, LuisAMG produced the track and so is the only other person that has a copy of the raw file.
You and Sugarboy have been friends for a long time; did you ever see this coming?
Honestly, I’m quite shocked. This same person used to mentor me in a sense back in the past. He produced the first official song I ever released under a record label Morenike featuring Chuddy K. When I was in school, we were always in touch and he used to send me beats regularly to see if I’d like anyone of them and pick to do a song. Sometimes he would freestyle on them to give some sort of insight as to what he was thinking when he made the beat, so his coming over to my present studio and free styling was business as usual. This comes as a shocker.
Maybe Sugarboy felt he could also do something with the song because he felt it was freestyle and that gave him the liberty to put it in his album, don’t you think so?
No, I don’t think so. He was fully aware of the progress of the song; he came over to the house a couple of times and listened to the finished work. He loved it! He was fully aware of its release as a single and also the release of the video last year and gave his consent. You don’t just feel you can do something with a song you made with someone, and go ahead to drop the same thing without reaching out to the person even once. Nothing is right about it!
This is not the first time one artiste will jump on another artiste’s song, don’t you think you are already overstretching this?
It’s a different case when you do a cover of someone’s song and then give credit to who it’s due.
When did you first release the song and what was the reaction like?
The song was released in June 2016 and it was met with rave reviews from the fans.
As things stand now, Sugarboy will release the song in his new album, anytime from now. What do you think can be done to settle the matter?
As it stands right now, going by the callous and unapologetic manner he and his camp have replied us, a court matter seems imminent in ensuring this issue is settled.
What if he decides to settle the matter amicably by buying the song from you outright, would you turn down the offer?
I have no desire to sell my craft at the moment.
Even if he offers to pay you N1 million naira?
As I said, I have no desire to sell my craft at the moment
Tell me about your music career, how did it start for you?
It has been a ride. I first started in 2009, going by the name psychobarz. I entered for a university-wide competition and when I won, I decided to actually do this. I went ahead to come out top in a few more competitions over the next few years, the Amstel Malta show-time in Owerri, Imo State, where I performed with the Choc Boiz (video still on youtube) and then, third in Africa at the Nokia don’t break the beat competition. I actively stopped partaking in competitions since then, I have focused on trying to build a successful musical career. I put out two singles under my previous label Morenike ft.Chuddy K and Dem Pretty “… and then Good love ft. Chigul and Kilamiti ft Sugarboy both with videos (still on youtube)…and the rest is history.
With the number of artistes battling to put their songs out there and winning over fans to their sides, what are your chances of staying on top of your game?
I’m a believer in the saying that the sky is big enough for all birds to fly, no fan is exclusive to a single artiste. So, good music is all that has to be released consistently.
Will you work with Sugarboy again?
There is no saying that I will, nothing is impossible. I will let time run its course
How many tracks do you have to your credit?
Two tracks at the moment. Good love ft. Chigul and the song in question Kilamiti.