Popular singer, Chibuzor Oji, aka Faze, speaks about his career as a solo artiste, and his days with Plantashun Boiz
When was the first time you knew you wanted to become an artiste?
That would be when I met Blackface and 2face. I liked their style of music and I felt I could do it too. However, I have always loved music since I was a kid, but meeting those two strengthened my resolve to take music professionally.
What memorable experiences can you recall of your childhood?
I really cannot recall any one because I had many memorable experiences while growing up. My childhood was nice because I have a wonderful family.
What was your parent’s reaction when you decided to pursue music?
They never liked it because they were scared that I would turn into something else because of the lifestyle of musicians. But I also tried to convince them that I wouldn’t go haywire. I think I have been able to do well in that regard.
Who was the first person that helped you in the music industry?
Helping me has several meanings, and different people have helped me in different ways. But if I may say, the best help I’ve ever had was meeting Blackface and 2face through a friend called Ifeanyi. I wonder where he is now, so I can show him my appreciation.
Can you recall the first song you ever recorded?
It was titled, Can’t Live Without Your Love.
Have you ever tried to do any other genre of music apart from hip hop?
Yes, I have explored reggae and RnB. I’m also going to try a little highlife but I would still be myself on it.
How exactly did you join Plantashun Boiz?
I saw them both do a song for Cally Ikpe’s TV show, New Life Beat, and that caught my attention. I really liked what they did because that was the kind of sound I loved to make too, so I hooked up with them, and the rest is history.
What was your most memorable experience with the group?
There were a lot of notable experiences but having to blend with the group stands out. At the time I joined them, they both understood each other properly.
Is it true you didn’t want the group to split at the time it did?
Yes, but I guess at the end, it was for the better.
How easy was it for you to adjust to life as a solo artiste?
It wasn’t easy but the experience I had taught me a lot.
It is believed that you were bitter against 2face for a long time, why was that?
That is not true. Why would I be bitter against him? Everybody has their lives to live, and when the group broke up, I wished everybody well.
It was also said that some of your songs like Letter to my Brother were directed at 2face, is that true?
There is no truth to those claims. It is like saying 2face’s song, See Me Oo was referring to me.
What’s your relationship with Blackfaze and 2face at the moment?
We’re cool; we have a good relationship.
Did you try to settle the quarrel between 2face and Blackfaze?
Yes, I did.
In what way did you mediate between them?
I don’t have to say that here. All I know is that I appealed to the both of them to sheath their swords and continue their brotherly relationship.
Do you think 2face really ‘stole’ Blackfaze’s song?
The two of them know better.
Which would you consider to be your biggest song?
I have more than one big song, so I cannot specify.
What are the enduring lessons you’ve learnt in the course of your career?
It is very important to stay focused, never give up, and take every mistake as a lesson.
Do you have any regrets?
The only regret I have right now is not getting married on time. I wish I had taken the plunge earlier.
What’s your most memorable experience with a fan?
I have had a lot of memorable experiences with fans but one of them stands out. A fan kept my second album, Independent, which was released in 2006 and which had my autograph on it till 2016. The fan showed it to me in 2016, and I could tell that it meant a lot to the person.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m hard at work on my album titled, 2000 and Faze, and it is almost ready. There is just a little delay with collaborations but very soon, it will be out in the market for the listening pleasure of my fans.
Apart from music, are you engaged in any other business?
Yes, I’m working on a couple of other things as well.
What are your thoughts on the current state of the music industry?
The only change I see is improvement. I think the industry is doing well.
Which artistes would you like to work with but have not?
You’ll find out from my forthcoming album.
How do you like to dress and what’s your favourite fashion accessory?
I don’t have any typical mode of dressing. I just wear whatever suits me and is comfortable.
How do you unwind?
I’m always in the studio, and if I’m not there, I would be hanging out in quiet places.