A magazine for Africans and friends of Africa...Our Voices, Our Vision, Our Culture

MC Selzin rocks the Summer Jams
By Cynthia Nakpodia-Ribeiro

Nigeria's MC Selzin is one to watch this Summer.

AFRican: Did music play a role in your childhood?

SELZIN: Absolutely, growing up in Nigeria I heard a lot of different music, some of that I didn't even realize till later. 2pac was always big, and gangsta rap when I grew up was huge, so that was my first love with the culture. Later when I became more musically diverse I realized I was familiar with Stevie Wonder, Marley, Peter Tosh, Diana Ross, James Brown, Majek Fashek and others.

AFRican: What influences your style today?

SELZIN: Everything, simple and plain. The atmosphere and the people around me are always a big influence. The Roots, Nas, Pac, Biggie, Rage Against the Machine, Portishead, Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Lauryn Hill, Tribe, De La Soul, and The Clash are all artists that influence my style.

AFRican: Who are your heroes in this industry?

SELZIN: Black Thought from the Roots is probably my biggest hero because he is an icon across the globe but still maintains his integrity as a MC. Lyrically nobody can touch Thought. Common, Kweli, Mos Def, Mr. Lif, Black Moon, and Gangstarr are also on my heroes list.

SELZIN: How would you describe your style of music?

SELZIN: Underground. Real. Conscious. Crazy. Rebel. Thoughtful. Lyrical. Exciting. Poetic. Bananas. Hip Hop.

AFRican: What project are you working on now?

SELZIN: The Brooklyn project. I recently moved to Brooklyn from Columbus, Ohio and I am working on a lot new material. Some of the beats are mine and others come from a beatmaker named Skillet in Ohio as well as a beatmaker from the grain in Brooklyn, NY. I'm excited for growth.

AFRican: Which of your tracks is a DJ or radio host playing? And where can we hear your music?

SELZIN: I just got a call yesterday and found out my new song Getaway will be getting played in my home country of Nigeria. I should be shooting a low budget video in the next month. You can hear my crew ol'scandalous on myspace.com/olscandalous - my web page is in the works.

AFRican: What challenges are you facing in the music world?

SELZIN: Exposure and staying focused on art and realizing that not everybody appreciates good music the way that I do. Also people take an interest in you for their own selfish reasons. Its always a challenge to meet the right connections.

AFRican: What have you learned along the way, that you can share with up and coming artist?

SELZIN: I've learned that doing what you love can be the hardest and easiest thing at the same time. Stay positive and keep your mind focused. Stage presence is key to building a fan base. Confidence. Confidence, confidence. Without it you're finished-if you don't believe in you no one will either.

AFRican: What are your hobbies and other interests?

SELZIN: I'm very social and am often the life of the party so I enjoy the bar scene and house parties. Camping and music festivals are always cool. I enjoy watching good live music and going to concerts. I have seen the Roots perform nine times. Female attention is always a perk of being an artist.

AFRican: Where have you performed and where can we catch your next gig?

SELZIN: All over Columbus, Ohio, Dayton, Yellowsprings and recently did a guest appearance with Asiko in Brooklyn. I am working on booking some gigs in Brooklyn and Manhattan-I just moved to New York so I'm trying to break in. All shows will be posted on myspace.com/olscandalous. I'm playing with my live band on June 24th at Skullys in Columbus, Ohio.

AFRican: Any information you would like to give us, or any last words.

SELZIN: I'm coming soon. Real hip hop still lives and I'm the new face in the game. I got something to say and you will hear me-believe that! Peace & love-Selzin aka Timothy Tha Ol'Skoolah

AFRican: Thank you.