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‘How I grew from chorister to recording artist’

Weekend Magazine: How did your music career begin? Bapshang Peter: It started eight years ago, fully in 2006 when I began studio recordings. I have…

Weekend Magazine: How did your music career begin?

Bapshang Peter: It started eight years ago, fully in 2006 when I began studio recordings. I have mainly been singing in churches. I went from being a choir backup singer to recording my own songs. That is how my career began.

WM: Do you do music full-time?

Peter: Music has been full-time for me. There is practically nothing I do and I don’t sing.  There have been days when I felt weak, but kept pushing because I knew it was what I wanted to do and nothing was going to stop me.

WM: What influenced your music style?

Peter: I don’t restrict myself to a particular genre of music. It all depends on the inspiration that hits me. However, I do R & B, soul, rock, and reggae music.

WM: What would you describe as the most memorable moment in your music career?

Peter: ‘Feast of Incense!’ That was it for me. ‘Feast of Incense’ is one of the biggest gospel music events in Jos, Plateau State. It seemed so surreal for me. The event had artistes from all over the world, like Bob Fitts, Pearl Kupe and a host of others. It was really awesome and I was honestly overwhelmed. That is one moment in my career I will always remember.

WM: Where do you enjoy performing best?

Peter: Music is all about the crowd. So, for me, singing live on stage is such a wonderful experience. I get the thrill from the crowd and their reaction to my song.

WM: Are you signed to any record label?

Peter: I have not signed any record deal yet. This is partly because there are no record labels here in Jos. I have been pushing my music myself but I hope to be signed soon within or outside the country.

WM: How do you promote your work?

Peter: I market my music when I am invited to perform at concerts. Marketers here prefer to accept traditional songs than contemporary ones. The internet has been the major channel through which I propagate my songs. Facebook has taken centre stage among the social media platforms for me. I also use Twitter, Instagram and several others.

WM: How supportive or involved are your family in your music career?

Peter: My family happens to be my number one fan. My late dad gave his best to me. I remember playing one of my songs to him on his sick bed. Although he could not speak to me, he kept smiling before his demise. I miss him. My mother and siblings on the other hand are always there for me. My eldest sister gave me her entire savings at a point in time in my career just to see that my songs are heard. There are some who spend their time fasting and praying for me to succeed.

WM: Are there times your music career interfered with your education?

Peter: Not at all. When I was a student in the polytechnic, I was able to balance lectures with studio work. I was serious with both music as well as academics.

WM: Do you intend to further your education?

Peter: Although I am satisfied doing music, I would love to further my education someday.

WM: What is your opinion about having formal music education?

Peter: To my knowledge, those who studied music years ago at the Federal College of Education, Pankshin mostly studied to have certificates so they can teach. But now I have seen people who study music in the university of Jos and are active as artistes.

WM: It is sometimes said that there are musical talents in Jos, probably more than anywhere else in Nigeria, including Lagos. What is your take on this?

Peter: We all know that entertainment is birthed in this beautiful Plateau. In every family, you have someone who does music or is into acting or another form of art. I guess that is why nobody ‘catches cold’ whenever we see a celebrity come to town. On the other hand, Lagos is a commercial city and I will applaud them for that. They have been able to commercialize their music and took advantage of the marketplace. Our gift on the Plateau is second to none. We do different genres of music. Everyone here is unique in their own right, but in Lagos they mostly do the same thing.

WM: Who is your mentor in music?

Peter: It’s Pastor Terdo Simon. He has inspired me in several ways. The main inspiration about for me is his lifestyle and his humility.

WM: Are you mentoring anyone at the moment?

Peter: Yes. I’m mentoring some teenagers at the moment who are within the ages of 16 to 19.

WM: What is your projection for the next two or three years?

Peter: I hope to do some collaborations with some big artistes, get to perform on bigger platforms to broaden the range of my audience and also to be known globally. I guess that is what every musician loves to achieve.

WM: What is your biggest challenge?

Peter: We lack good marketers for our songs. We also do not have record labels who can sign up artists. You pay money for sessions in the studio and again market yourself. However, with God we can overcome all these challenges. When God favours you, no man can stop you.

WM: What is your advice to youths who desire to build a music career?

Peter: It’s very simple. Your talent is never enough. Humility is a vital organ in your journey. Never despise the days of small beginnings. Be patient because it will be tested. Lastly, hold God by His word and He will always come through for you.

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