Geniuzz burst onto the music scene last year and shocked Nigerians with his songs ‘Under rate featuring label mate, Yemi Alade, Kakaraka, among others. ROTIMI IGE caught up with him recently and presents the excerpts of their interaction.
In a quick summary, I am by name Zakka Manji Deyin aka Geniuzz. I was born and bred in the city of Jos, Plateau State, which happens to be my state of origin. I graduated from the Zoology department of the University of Jos. I am a song writer, rap-singer and recording artiste signed to Effyzzie music Group, the same label Yemi Alade and Soti.
As a Jos boy, what memories of early life do you hold dear?
I actually hold a lot of memories close to my heart, but most memorable of all has to be the jam sessions that we usually organised then. I remember that we would gather around friends and family to showcase our raw talents, whatever talent it was and at the same time use the opportunity to relate with one another. We were like one big family because we all knew each other.
Why are Jos boys rumoured to be so talented?
I guess the environment and orientation has to do a lot with it. Just like I said, while growing up, it was almost like a weekly thing to gather around to showcase our talents. Plus, our parents were liberal enough to let us pursue our dreams. Also the peaceful, simple, calm environment contributes to it. We have all the time and absolutely no pressure to participate in art related activities thereby allowing more and more Jos guys and ladies opt for art related activities.
So, tell us a bit about your musical journey…
I fell in love with listening to radio at the age of seven and that was how my journey into music began. I listened to a lot of melodious music back then; it made me really fall in love with music and I became curious on how music was made. So at age 12, I started going to studios and became a sound engineer first of all. After a while, l started writing my own lyrics and recording my songs . I used to record my songs and promote them in Jos and environs even before I became a member of a boy band ‘FABB’. I was still pursuing my solo career when I got a call from my boss, Mr Taiye Aliyu, about a year ago. And since then my growth as an artiste has been tremendous.
How did you get signed to Effyzzie?
On a fateful morning, just like another regular day, l was in studio recording when I got a call from Mr Taiye Aliyu. He told me he had listened to some of my songs and he loved the sounds . He then invited me to come work with the label in Lagos. I was really excited but I had to wait to finish with my youth service before I moved down to Lagos to finalise my signing and work with the Effyzzie Music Group. I got a warm welcome and everyone on the team has been supportive.
Do you feel intimidated by your label mates to deliver?
Never, on the contrary, they have turned out to be blessings and motivation to me. They have been supportive and helpful of my career. We are one big family and we support each other the best way we can and that has completely taken pressure away from the picture. I know I can rely on them for support.
Tell us about your songs…
I have so far dropped five official singles under the label with the first song being ‘Kakaraka’, then ‘Underrate’ featuring Yemi Alade , ‘On my own’ and the current releases ‘Connect’ and ‘Firewood’ . I have a lot of songs recorded and I can’t wait to share with my fans.
How do you intend to make a bold statement in the Nigerian entertainment scene?
For now I’m taking a step a time. I thank God for the powerful team I have; we have super plans on how to hit the scene. I have new music to share, videos, performances and all that. I also have a plan to drop an E.P soon . Basically, there are plans and we are taking it a day a time. It will all align in due time.
Tell us something not many know about you?
I’m sure many do not know that my hobby actually is cooking. I’m not being cocky when I say I probably know how to cook more than a lot of girls out there!
How do you relax?
I relax by listening to a lot of soft rock music most of the time. Sometimes, I read some books and also sometimes hang around with friends to get some fresh air.