Award-winning rapper and singer, Collins Omotoye, popularly known as ‘Jay Collins’, who recently graduated from the university has stated his readiness to take his music from the campus to the world. In this interview by FEMI OGUNTAYO, he talks about his music career and vision. Excerpts:
You are a university graduate keen on his music career. Share with us the Jay Collins story. How did it all start for you? Why music?
I was just a little boy in the children’s choir. I led the children choir on a very great performance and I was promoted to the adult choir immediately while I was still a boy. Since then my mum and I knew I was going to do music. After having sung other people’s songs for long, I decided to write my own song and make it official in 2014, the same year I got admitted to Ekiti State University (EKSU), where I trained myself you know, I got Into song competitions, rap battles and so on. I built myself as well as my fan base through performances outside my campus and in other campuses. I learnt a lot and I built myself. Trust me it’s been a big deal pushing music and staying in school, so I joined the hard worker’s party. I sleep less and work more; I kind of create time for everything I want to do. Well, I thank God I own a degree in the University. I chose music because amongst all my hobbies music is not just my favourite hobby it’s my favourite mood.
Your style of music is different and outstanding and you are consistent with your style. How have you been able to remain consistent even without a record label?
I’m creating a super outstanding style. I discovered that campus music is different from what’s out there if you have to get Africans’ attention. So I’m rebranding many things and I’m giving you all some spicy musical content that I call the Afro-Sauce. Just let the name Jay Collins ring a bell.
Why should music lovers in Nigeria and around the world look forward to your brand?
Music lovers in Nigeria and around the globe should look forward to my brand because you can’t keep having rice and beans all day for meal. You have to change your taste. So watch out for my brand, we’ll be dropping something fresh, spicy and unique.
Are there any career challenges you’ve faced or you’re currently facing presently in your music career?
Well yes, there have been ups and downs but I believe these things are normal in life. Looking at the Coronavirus palaver you will realise that the world has been challenged. So, yes there have been challenges along the journey and I think most of us are challenged financially. That’s why we need record labels to invest on us.
What or who inspires you as an artiste?
It’s life. Yes life inspires me a lot. You know there are lots and lots to say about life. So life pulls great shots I want to talk about on my microphone; life pulls a messy shot I also want to say it on my microphone. So life inspires me.
You rap and also play some musical instruments. How were you able to develop yourself in all these?
Like I said earlier, I joined the ‘hard worker’s party. Anything that makes music sweeter I definitely want to know about it. That’s how I learnt the piano but I’m not a pro though. There’s still a lot I want to learn. In a nutshell, I maintain, ‘hard work’.
What are your career achievements so far?
Since the sky is my starting point I’ll just summarise by saying I have about 8 musical awards and I worked with Nigerian ace producer, Young John on a song I called ‘Kilode’.
It’s been a long time coming in your career; do you have any regrets so far?
No, I don’t have any regrets; I only wish I started earlier than I did.
What are your plans for the year, music wise, even amidst the Coronavirus pandemic?
You know, considering the Coronavirus pandemic, there’s been little music promoters have been able to do lately, but I’m cooking up lots of my music content. So expect lot of good music and standard videos too.
What’s the most memorable day in your music career?
The day I was presented my first award at the first edition of Ekiti State University campus award, at a hall of 3,000-capacity, when my name was called everybody stood up on their feet and were screaming. At a point I thought there was another Jay Collins in the hall. I didn’t know I had so many fans. That moment I realised my hard work was paying off. So I’ve been putting in more work. That day has been so memorable.
What is your career vision or aspiration?
I want to gather at least five continents together in a stadium and sing my songs to them. That’s a great vision and I’m looking forward to that day.
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