AISEH ON BALANCING FAITH WITH HIP-HOP

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“My aim musically is to weave my faith into music. So, I believe in God, personally, and not this general idea, and I believe there are ways we can do whatever we do for a living to bring Him Glory. You know” were the words of Omosefe Joseph Aisosa, or Aiseh as he’s more known in the hip-hop world. The 24year old, who hails from Benin City, Edo State granted our request to be our next JJC.

The young emcee from a family of 4 brought his passion for his craft into the interview as he went on about his drive and his faith. “For me, mine is music, and those topics I talk about,… how do I weave those topics to bring him Glory? That is basically my aim artistically. It might not be your regular gospel music or your regular secular music, I just want to make music that is authentic to who I am.”


First Encounter with Hip-Hop

Growing up, my favourite musician was the group Westlife. I don’t know how I encountered them, but I remember they were the first I played over and over on my mum’s cassette player. From there, I fell in love with Nigerian pop music; P-Square, D’Banj, etc. P-Square were my favourite musicians in the world at some point, but then, I encountered hip-hop and it all changed [chuckles]. 

M.I introduced me to hip-hop, you know. It was not some American guy or whoever, but it was basically really M.I. Abaga. You know, he’s the G.O.A.T in my eyes when it comes to African hip-hop. So, I encountered hip hop when I encountered  M.I 2, that was when it all changed for me. 

Before then, I kind of struggled with my identity a lil bit, you know what I mean. Ermm, but when I found hip-hop… It was the same day I got the CD, cos I went out with my friends to where we normally play PS2. So, on our way back, I got the CD and I played it. I was alone in my mother’s living room… I can’t remember clearly if it was the same day, but it was the same period. I played it, and errr, the power went out, you know when they say “Nepa took light”.

Immediately that happened, I remembered humming my own song. I remember the chorus, I don’t remember the verse specifically. I might use it in the future, you know. [sings the chorus + verse]That’s all I can remember, but that was my first song, and it was birthed immediately after I listened to M.I’s M.I 2.

From that moment on, I started enjoying my alone time. Errr, I’ll come from school, I’ll just be inside the house and start writing songs upon songs. Mind you, I was in J.S.S 3 at the time. That was when I wrote my first song; I think that was 2010.

That’s how I encountered hip-hop, through M.I Abaga and then I fell in love with it totally, I fell in love with Choc Boiz, and then I got introduced to other artistes. As time went on, I became a Christian, and I started longing to do something more than what I was seeing. Do you understand? I felt drawn, I felt called to do something different, but I didn’t really understand what it was. Because when I became a Christian, I felt I had to give up my music, do you understand? Especially the kind of music I was making at the time. 

Then I found another artiste called Lecrae, a faith-based hip-hop artiste. It was after I found Lecrae I really learned how to intertwine my faith with my music without sounding cliche or religious it whatever it is. But I actually learned to find that balance from Lecrae. I might still be learning it anyway, but I know finding Lecrae’s music helped me find the balance between my faith and my artistic side.

You can say M.I Abaga introduced me to hip-hop, while Lecrae taught me how to fuse hip hop with my faith. So till today in my eyes, both of them are my greatest musicians, because of the impact they had on my life. Another big influence growing up was Ice Prince.


Hip-Hop Head to Hip-Hop Emcee

The move from hip-hop head to hip-hop emcee was very fast like I said previously. It was really fast, because… Mind you I was already in love with music before hip hop, you know all these Pop guys I listened to. I was basically the guy in the circle that everyone came to for the correct lyrics whenever they argued about what was said in a song, and they believed me when I said “This is what they said”. You know, I was always the music guy.

When I fell in love with hip-hop, I found a new means of expression. It was during the same period I got M.I 2 that I started writing songs. I think that was what made me fall in love with hip-hop the most. The fact that I found a means to create, the fact that I found a means to express myself. It felt like the best thing in the world, bro. Like [pause and sighs]…

I found myself more confident in who I was, you know, even when not among people at first, but personally, when I’m alone I felt like I could touch the sky.

You know, every time I wrote a new song, it felt like the greatest song in the world [giggles]. You know, I always tell my little brother “No go sing this song for outside o”, all those stuff.

So the space between hip-hop head and emcee was really really close, and me becoming a hip-hop artiste really influenced my love for the craft.


Most Slept On Verse/Song

Bro! I’ve written a lot of songs, like a lat! But one song that I’ve put out that I think is really slept on as per verse and just hip-hop… just rapping. I think it was my freestyle over Kanye’s Real Friends with TY Dollar$ign, a while back, that’s years ago anyway. I believe the verse was really dope, like really really hard, especially at the time, even till now.

I think it is really slept on, and one of those songs that are out there but people don’t really know that much; that’s people who listen to me anyway. So if I have one verse that is slept on, that I think is really (really really) slept on that I think is great, it has to be the freestyle. Just one verse that I went on rapping, and it’s called Grinding.


Worst Song/Verse

Mehnnn! I don’t mean to be proud or whatever, but, I don’t think I have a worse song or verse. Because I’ve never really put out a song that I didn’t think was dope, or never made a song that didn’t come from my heart. God being so kind, I never really put out any song until I really got into faith and Christianity.

One thing I Iearned is expressing myself honestly, you know. Right from when I started putting out music, like going to the studio to record songs, is honest expression. It might not be the most lyrical miracle lyrical spiritual, you know the way they used to rhyme it [chuckles]; it might not be all that, but I know everything I’ve put my one to paper to write came from my heart.

My first official project was a mixtape in 2017, then an ep in 2020, called 4. Yeah! One song came to mind just now, errm, I think it might be my worst song. Yes, it just came to mind, and it’s called Right Now. Not because the rap was whack, it was the best part of the song, but because the chorus was not properly mixed by the engineer, and I still listen to it though. 

On my part, I’ve not put out any whack song or verse, because everything I put out is from my heart and it is authentic.


Plans

This last song that I just put out, TIRED, really did,… errr Bro it really did well mehn, I can’t lie. I don’t know if you’ve been following my posts on social media, but the song has done so well. Well to me might not be well for other people, right? But at the level I’m at now, it did far more than I expected it to do. 

My plan going forward is, I already have an idea for my next project, but I want to put out another song as soon as possible because of how this last song was received. By the Grace of God, put my project together; it might not come out this year, it might be next, but I already have the idea and concept for it. That’s the next direction for me.

I also just hope my plans align with God’s plan. I just feel like I’m in a very special phase or moment, based on the things I’m experiencing and the things that are coming my way. Basically, my plan is just to release a new song in a month or two, working on my project more intensely to put it together as soon as possible, then just trust God for open doors, bruv. I didn’t come from too much and don’t have too many connections, all that has happened to me musically has just been love and organic. I’ll just keep doing the best I can do to get the music out there, trust in that, ultimately God’s special touch will just push it. That’s where my head is at right now. Thank you very much, bro.




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