Exclusive: Minz talks Growth, “Wo Wo”, & Forthcoming Project
Minz is the talented Nigerian singer, songwriter, and producer who came into the scene in 2017 with the release of “Odoyewu“. His unique blend of Afrobeats, R&B, and dancehall, coupled with his soulful and smooth vocal delivery, has endeared him to fans in Nigeria and around the world.
In this conversation, Minz reveals that “Wo Wo,” his recent single, was inspired by a trip to Cotonou. He returned to Lagos and immediately hit the studio to record the track, reflecting on his life – the good and the bad and how grateful he was for it all. The song quickly became a hit, resonating with people all over the world and catching the attention of other artists, including GSBXN (fka Buju) and Blaqbonez, who collaborated with him for the remix.
Minz’s impressive lineup includes “BDMN,” “234,” and “War.”
As an independent artist, Minz has been able to carve a unique sound for himself, blending various genres to create a distinct style that sets him apart from others in the industry. He shares that he’s influenced by the likes of Fela Kuti, Drake, Travis Scott, Kanye West, Wizkid, and Wande Coal. He also talks about his experience joining emPawa Africa and how the platform has helped him grow as an artist, giving him more exposure and opportunities to collaborate with other artists.
Let’s start by reflecting on your journey since the release of “Auntie Patricia” and “Talk” a few years ago. How has it been for you?
It’s been a rewarding experience, with constant slow and steady growth. I’ve been taking things one step at a time, and I appreciate where I am today because of years of hard work.
It’s great to see your progress in the industry. I recall reading an interview from 2017 where you expressed a preference for being an independent artist. Now that you are with emPawa Africa, how has the experience been so far?
Joining emPawa Africa has been a positive experience. I had to adjust to working with more people on my team, which is a good thing because it helps amplify my work as an independent artist. I’m grateful for the opportunity.
Do you have a preferred sound or instrument you like to use in your music?
I’m a big fan of the guitar and have used it a lot in my music. I think it’s one of the sweetest instruments. I also like the saxophone and I’m learning to play the keyboard. I have a love for many instruments, but the guitar is my favourite.
Who has been your biggest musical influence?
I’m inspired by the beautiful sounds that God has created on this earth. But to be more realistic, Fela is a significant influence, and I listen to a lot of classic highlife music. I’m also influenced by contemporary artists like Drake, Travis Scott, Kanye West, Wizkid, and Wande Coal. I listen to a lot of music, so many different people influence me.
Speaking of musical influence, if you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be and why?
I would love to work with Wizkid, Wande Coal, and Travis Scott for different reasons. Wizkid is a legend in Nigeria, and it would be amazing to work with him. Wande Coal has a special voice. I have a song titled “Lady,” and if I was to work with anyone on the remix, it would be Wande Coal and I think we can create something unique together. Travis Scott pushes the limits of what people expect to hear and visually as a creative, I admire what he does.
What’s the most important lesson you have learned as a musician so far?
I feel like it’s just to keep going and to be fearless, to not be afraid of failure, to Do it Afraid.
That’s very important. Doing it afraid. Some of your tracks seem to have a relatable story. Can you tell me about a personal experience that inspired one of your songs?
“Wo Wo,” my latest release, was inspired by my trip to Cotonou last year. When I got back to Lagos, that was the first thing I recorded. I was looking back on my life, everything, and how far I’ve come. I was just thanking God that life is sweet, but it can be ugly because I’ve seen some ugly stuff. So yeah, that’s a true experience. I feel like when I talk about real stuff, it hits differently. It’s different from talking about ladies. That’s also real. But when you say something that people can relate to, it hits it differently.
How did your collaboration with GSBXN and Blaqbonez happen?
The song had been out for like a month or so. A lot of artists reached out to be on it, even from different countries. Buju liked the song and was playing it back to back. I messaged him on Instagram and sent him a link to the song. But when I didn’t get a response, I just put the song out. Then he messaged me one day, and he was like, “Bro, this song is bugging me; this song is disturbing me; can you send me a space?” And I sent him a space. Then he sent me something beautiful. Blaqbonez had shown love for a while. When the song dropped, he called me and said, “Bro, this song is going to be top 10 in Nigeria.” I should send him a space as well. They both reached out. I sent him the space, and he got it done. The rest is history.
What do you enjoy the most about making music and why?
Nowadays, the writing process. I freestyle a lot. But when you go back to something like an idea you wrote and then you flesh it out and give it more meaning, it’s so dope, so interesting. Writing Afrobeats is crazy. People need to experience that. It’s such a nice experience. I feel like what I appreciate now a lot is the writing process, giving it a meaningful subject matter and story, making it make sense. That’s the part I love the most.
Let’s move into something fun. What’s your favourite food to eat while recording in the studio?
Eating in the studio is not the best, but I think I just like a bag of chips, you know, just Doritos and just something light, like a little cocktail or something.
If you had to choose a different career path, what would you be doing?
At some point, I wanted to be a footballer for some reason. I think I also used to draw. So I would be doing something very creative. Maybe I’ll be drawing or I’ll be in fashion, one of the two.
Do you have any plans to release an album soon?
Yes, I’m currently working on my debut project and I’m in the studio almost every day.
Can you tell us who will be featured on the album?
I have a few collaborations that I think will be interesting. I don’t want to give too much away, but I can say that there will be an artist from Ghana featured on the album.
Sounds exciting! We can’t wait for the album. Thank you so much for your time.