By Joyceline Natally Cudjoe
Ghana’s sensational reggae-dancehall prodigy, Epixode has called on key industry players to enlighten young artistes on means to sign musical contracts.
That, he said, would help them to gain broader knowledge on the nature of musical contracts that would benefit them.
According to him, lack of knowledge in the field has increased the rate artistes got ‘jabbed’ with law suits in the industry.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Times Weekend (TW) in Accra on Thursday, Epixode indicated that most times, artistes got so excited when they gain record contract and they turn to do little or no background checks to determine the content of the contract document.
‘The Very Good Bad Boys’ signee, Epixode mentioned that music contracts were a vital thing that should not be downplayed in the industry, and underscored the need for artistes to be vigilant and seek for direction before signing record contracts.
“For young and upcoming artistes to sail through in the industry, they must stay original without being the copy cat of any artiste,” he said.
The ‘Gyal Dem Sugar’ hitmaker explained that imitating the style of another artiste meant that one is trying to brand him or herself as the artiste, adding that originality matters in the industry, and one needs to clearly define his or her brand from others.
Born Theophilus Nii Arday Otoo, he released his maiden album in 2016 dubbed ‘Spar Junkiez’ and in 2018, he waved the air with another album titled ‘Trinity’ which had 21 tracks with seven reggae songs, seven dancehall and seven Afrobeats tracks.
The tracks on the album received massive airplay which got his name nominated for the dancehall artiste of the year in the just ended Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA).
TW: Good day Epixode!
Epixode: Good day my dear!
TW: What profession would you have chosen if you had not been a musician?
Epixode: I think my life has always been about music, aside music, I wouldn’t have chosen any other profession. I was just chosen by nature to sing because my family is full of singers.
TW: As a trending artiste, I know you have shared same platforms with other big stars, what weirdest thing have you seen them do before performing on stage?
Epixode: They get frightened to face the crowd and become a bit shaky and confused, thinking of how to get started when the microphone is handed over to them. These are super A-list artistes.
TW: As a hardcore artiste, have you ever taken any substance to aid you while performing?
Epixode: The fact that I do dancehall music does not mean I am hardcore. I know there is vibrancy in dancehall music, but I have never drunk nor smoked before. I think the substance that aids me is the hard work I put in place and regular rehearsals. Naturally, I have too much energy when I am performing and I got this from my mom. The question one needs to ask is; will the substance sing for me, or will the substance keep me on rhythm or give me an amazing performance? If No, then one has to be a natural performer to keep fans and music lovers entertained.
TW: Have you forgotten your lines while performing, if yes how did you handle it?
Epixode: Yes I do, most of the time; I am more of a free style artiste so sometimes I forget my lines. As an artiste you need to be smart when stuffs like that happen. What happens to me is that, as soon as I am done with recording, I forget the lyrics, as I listen to it over and over again I perfect it and it gets easier when I am performing.
TW: What would you do differently to fine-tune the industry, if you were the president of MUSIGA?
Epixode: If I were the MUSIGA President, I would just look at the business side more and extend the music even just to the neighbouring countries. It is sad that you hardly hear the music the country is producing in other parts of Africa when you travel, so I would put much effort in the commercial side of the music to sell the country’s art to the outside world. This music industry to me does not have a strong root, so we have to go back and fix all those things before we could have a good future and excel in the industry.
TW: What is the title of your latest track and the message it seeks to convey?
Epixode: I am yet to release the video of my latest track, but the track is titled ‘Agbelemli’. It is a Ga word which means ‘open up,’ I was trying to say open up the dance floor for people to dance. This is a typical dancehall tune but I toned it down for people to be able to understand and relate to it. That is what music is about.
TW: Will you accept to perform during political campaigns?
Epixode: No! I would never associate the Epixode brand with any political party and campaign, NEVER!
TW: How do you want people to see your brand and how do you want to be remembered?
Epixode: I want people to see me as Epixode, I want to be remembered as one of the best African arts who have helped to sell the country in the international front. I also want people to respect the brand because I represent the African people; I have African paint on my face which depicted the black origin.
TW: What should fans expect from you?
Epixode: Fans should expect fireworks because ‘Agbelemli’ is loading, they should also keep supporting the brand and continue patronising my art.
TW: Great, Thank you for your time!
Epixode: The pleasure is always mine!