By Oluwatobi Opusunju
Talented music producer and singer, Maleek Berry is the cover star for Guardian Life latest issue.
On the issue, he talks about music, what inspires his kind of songs, his forthcoming concert among other topics.
When asked if he’s a Nigerian artist or UK artist, he said “I’m just an artist with roots from Nigeria. I don’t like to be boxed; referred to as a “Nigerian” or “UK artiste”. I’m just an artist who was born and raised in London, but I’m a Nigerian.”
On what inspires his kind of songs: “I focus on making music that’s true to me, writing about situations I’ve been through or situations people I know have been through. That’s why every Maleek Berry song is relatable on at least some level.
“Also, when I made that EP, nobody was making that kind of music at the time. I just wanted to do me. When I started, a lot of people would tease me about my sound, and thought nobody would listen to my music in Nigeria. At the end of the day, as a creative in this life, all you can do is be true to yourself.”
Talking about the transition from a producer to an artist, he explained that: “Around 2014 and 2015, I was with Wizkid. We were making moves and really influencing the culture and I felt I had something to bring to the table. With the R&B influence I had, I felt I had a different take on African music. When I first started, I met a lot of resistance. Many people were like “Ah, Maleek. You know how it is. Another producer trying to become an artist…”
“Today, when I check my Twitter, people are like “Why did Maleek Berry start singing so late?” Omo, I was scared! I kept wondering what people would say and how they would react until I got the confidence and just did it. A lot of older people in the industry like Naeto C, Banky W and Wande Coal spoke to me and motivated me and that was really how I just got into it.”
On his forthcoming album, he said “I’m excited because it’s my first concert in Lagos and I’ve been wanting to do it for a long time. I guess it’s just God’s timing. I’m really excited. We’ve got some crazy stuff planned for a live band and everything. I still need to prove to Lagos that I can do this thing live; I can put on my own show. I’m looking forward to it, and I know my Naija fans know how to turn up so no worries.”
Check him out in the slides above
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