At The Heart of Naija, A Star Is Born by Ebele Chizea

At The Heart of Naija, A Star Is Born

by Ebele Chizea

Published on Tue, Jun 09 2009 by Ebele Chizea
Nigeria has a new kid on the block in the music scene and his name is Lineo. He was born into a royal family, began his musical career in 2004 and exploded in 2007 with the head bopping hit, Let’s get it started. With his recent award for Best Promising Artist in Nigeria and an appearance at the famous Apollo Theater in May, this 22 year old is on fire and ready to take on the world. I had an opportunity to sit and chat with the rising star in NYC.
Thanks for doing this
It’s a pleasure
Can you introduce yourself to the American audience?
[In shout out style] It’s your boy, Lineo Elepepe master. I’m a Nigerian artist.
So you graduated from University of Abuja, is that right?
I won’t say I graduated. I did like three years cos the music business takes time and dedication. If you want to do it, you have to dedicate time for it. Over here, I do intend to get a western education to add up to what I already have.
So what made you decide to pursue music full time?
I felt like time wasn’t really on my side. You see, I can only achieve in my youth. It’s not something that I have to wait till I get old or something. This is the right time for me to do it, cos the youth controls the world now.
Why the name Lineo?
{in shout out tone] Lineooo! Yea, Lineo is an abbreviation of some inspirational words.� It is actually legend-extra ordinary. It is saying someone who was born to be a legend even with all the shackles and ups and downs of the world. That’s what makes you extraordinary. It makes you original, you know what I mean?
Congratulations for winning Best Promising Artist in Portharcourt, Nigeria. How was the experience for you?
That is one of the hottest awards in Nigeria right now. Mostly the politicians were present. They appreciated my hard work, you know. I had the opportunity to talk in front of government officials. It was good.
So you are currently working on a new album, correct?
What should we expect from this album?
My new album is taking Naija music to another level . Nigerian style of music is the type of music that appeals to all genres. So even your hip-hop and pop fans listen to Nigerian music. So the album I am working on right now, we are trying to promote the single. Cos one thing about the business is that you have to be right for the market before you drop an album. So many artists are out there and they are not yet known, why? because they are not yet ready for the market. So publicity has to be done before you drop an album. Currently, I am on a world tour. I’ve been to a few countries in Africa already. Right now I am right here in New York, and we are still going to be touring a few places in America also, as well as Europe. I am getting a lot of contacts and phone calls from international labels. I happen to be the first Nigerian artist to perform at the Apollo Show. It’s a place where stars are made, a place where legends are known, so that is another plus. To get more information about the album you can facebook me or just go to google, Nigeria.
Is the music industry what you expected it to be?
To speak for Nigeria, the music industry is not yet there. We are still developing. In Nigeria, we are only making money from endorsements and so on. Licensing is not really respected in Nigeria. Nigerians just understand to the level of the recording deal. Recording deal carries marketing, promotion and so on. So I feel Nigerian entertainment is still growing, and that’s why it’s important for somebody like me to get exposure around here, so I can take it back to my own country and develop our country.
Being a musician, you must get a lot of attention from ladies…
I would say being an artist is like a mirror of the society and you get a lot of attention. In the female aspect of it, one has to respect their fans. They are not just fans, they are like friends. As an artist, you respect them, they respect you.
Any words for your fans or in this case, friends? [laughs]
[laughs]To all my fans out there in Nigeria, Africa as a whole and America and Europe, wherever you are from, if you are loving Nigerian music, big thumps up to you. I really, really appreciate all that.
Thank you.
It’s a pleasure
Photos of Lineo at the Apollo Theater, courtsey of Lineo.


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