Isaac Chukwuebuka Yillah a.k.a Isaac 1da is a Plateau State-born fast-rising multi-talented Gospel rapper, singer, songwriter and ambassador for Christ. In an exclusive interview with Theresa Moses, the 14-year-old rap super star talks about his love for acting, uniqueness, challenges, what the music industry lacks and more. Excerpt…
At what age did you know you want to go into music?
At age 5, that’s when I knew that I wanted to go into music.
What inspired you go into music?
What inspired me to go into music is to tell the world about Jesus Christ and let them know that God is real.
How did you get the inspiration to write the hit song ‘super star’?
The inspiration came was one faithful day as I was scrolling through YouTube to watch videos and an advert about kids that are poor and don’t have money, their parents abandoned them, they are on the street begging for money pop up. It got my attention and I was like wow! This is how the world is. And I decided to write ‘Super star’ to help children follow their dreams and never give up.
What’s the inspiration behind ‘I give you praise’, another powerful song of yours?
I was sitting down one day and they were things I felt I took for granted so I knelt down and give God the praise. That was it.
How do you see yourself as gospel rap artist?
I don’t really see it as anything. I feel we should have genuine love for each other be it gospel or circular.
How were your parent’s reactions when you choose music?
There wasn’t any issue because my mom already saw it in me that I will be a musician so she didn’t have problems with me being a musician.
What’s your biggest performance so far?
It was in Kody and the Kids 2019 December show. I felt so alive been on that stage to perform. It’s a great platform and Aunty Kody has been an amazing person.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given as a music artist?
The best advice was from Frank Edwards to my mom. He told my mom in 2011 at Festac that she shouldn’t let me go to waste, that I will be a very good gospel musician.
How has the internet affected the music industry and your career?
The internet has made a very big impact to the music industry and brought the music industry closer to us. As at before, you have to go to a kiosk to buy music CD before you know the latest songs but as at now you check the internet and get to know the latest songs.
Which famous musician do you admire?
Frank Edwards, Tim Godfrey and Travis Greene
What are the challenges as a teenage artist?
My major challenges are trying to balance between education and my music career together. Again challenges in writing some songs. You have to be inspired to write some songs, you don’t just wake up one morning and starting writing a song. You have to be inspired.
What would you be doing right now, if it wasn’t for your music career?
That’s a question I like so much. If I wasn’t a music star I will actually be an actor because I love acting; am always called for acting in my school. The first day I acted I was wow! So I can act, I didn’t know I could.
If you could change anything about the music industry, what will it be?
Love. That’s what we need to change in the music industry. We need to make everybody come together and love each other genuinely the way God loves us.
How do you see the superiority among the gospel artists and the circular artist?
There shouldn’t be superiority in the music industry. The only person superior to us is our Lord and personal saviour, Jesus Christ.
How has COVID-19 pandemic affected you?
Covid-19 pandemic has really affected the world and me too because there are no shows. If not for Covid-19, I would have been performed in so many shows and concerts. Also, I missed school especially my friends in school and it’s so weird just sitting down at home listening to the teacher without seeing anybody. I feel sad sometimes when I remember Covid-19.
Do you write your songs yourself?
Not always but I have the help from my big uncle, Odii. He helps me fill in the gaps with some rhythms.
How do you see yourself among your peers, both at home, school and church?
In school, at home and in church, anywhere else am seen differently as a singer. But in school I make sure they know that we are here to learn and are equal. No one is more superior to the other.
How do you handle your fans as an emotional person?
During my graduation; graduating to secondary school, I was feeling emotional as everyone was coming to me for an autograph. I was like oh my God! Am just a normal person, not a superior god and I got so emotional.
How do you handle fame?
I handle it by being myself. I don’t allow fame to influence me as a person. I maintain it normally.
Who’s Odii to you?
He’s my big uncle and manager.
How does your manager treats you?
He treats me like every other person but in the studio, he makes sure I get the notes well. He makes sure I practiced over and over again till I get the notes. But at the studio session, he treats me normal.
The new normal, what should we expect from you?
You should be expecting music videos, more songs back to back, more and more ministrations.
Where do you see yourself in the next three years?
I see myself doing collaboration with my favourite artists like Frank Edwards, Tim Godfrey and Travis Greene and many more.
What’s your advice to does looking up to you as role model?
My advice is that I want to be the voice to the voiceless and also ambassador for Christ. Always follow your dreams and never give up.
Final words to your fans?
There’s always a space in the sky for every single star. Never give up, don’t let anyone bring you down. Don’t let anybody say things about you. Just focus and follow your dreams.
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