We caught up with Nigerian rising star JayPoppin, an emerging rapper, producer and sound engineer to talk early inspirations and worst performances…
What five words define your sound?
I would define my sound as Afro-Rage, Supersonic, Sensational, Exciting, and also Motivational.
Tell me something unique about your creative process
My primary focus is on crafting memorable melodies, as that’s what sticks with people when they listen to a song. People tend to forget the lyrics, but the melody leaves an impression. So, as long as they recognize the melody, I consider it a success. That’s the part that truly excites me.
Which song of yours would you like people to hear first?
It has to be ‘FourTwo’. It’s a very dope track.
What inspired you to make that song?
Creating ‘FourTwo’ was a deeply personal and collaborative journey that allowed me to weave a tapestry of memories and emotions into a single piece of art. The year-long process of recording the sound and crafting the video provided me with ample time to reflect on the multitude of experiences that had inspired the track, allowing me to infuse it with layers of meaning. The fact that I co-wrote the song with my brother, Cdney made the project even more special, as we joined forces to pour our shared experiences and creativity into this unique creation. It’s a testament to the power of collaboration and the art of storytelling through music and visuals.
What’s the most vulnerable you’ve allowed yourself to be when writing/making music?
I’m always vulnerable whenever I make my songs. For me, I believe it all comes down to the story – the narrative and the message you want to convey. Personally, I can’t create my music without a meaningful story behind it. I can’t just sit and make things up that are entirely fictional or never occurred. It’s similar to how movies often draw inspiration from real-life experiences and events. I’ve watched a lot of movies in the past, and many of them are based on true stories. When it comes to crafting melodies, I find that it’s important to have a genuine and relatable topic to discuss. What’s interesting is that when people listen to my music, they often feel a connection to it. It’s as if my music guides them on what to say, sparking a unique and personal connection. So, it’s something along those lines.
What’s the best/worst experience you’ve had on stage?
Oh, that was a long time ago, my first-ever performance. I had a lot of anxiety back then, especially about performing. I remember feeling like I couldn’t sing properly; my voice was so small and shaky. I had no clue if I was singing well. But at the end of the performance, you told me my voice wasn’t coming out properly, and I was like, “What’s going on?” I think that was just stage fright, but it’s not a problem for me anymore. That was my first experience, and it was quite nerve-wracking. Now, if you want to know about my best stage experience, I’d say it was when I performed early in my career at my friend’s concert. It was a fantastic performance, and my friends were in the audience. It felt amazing. I even have a video of that performance on my IG page.
What is your favourite song to perform?
‘Supersonic’ has to be my favourite song to perform.
Which artist/song/album made you want to make music?
I’m a big fan of Playboy Carti. The first time I heard his album ‘Die Lit’, it felt like a revelation. I’ve been listening to the entire album for the past two or three years. I’m also a producer and a rapper and he’s a major source of inspiration for me. His lyrics and the way he expresses himself in his songs resonate with me. He’s a direct influence on my music, and I learn a lot from how he operates in the industry. He’s unique because he keeps things under wraps, and that enigmatic quality is something that motivates me. I’m also really into underground music, and once I started exploring that scene, I couldn’t go back to the mainstream. The underground music is genuine and unfiltered, which I appreciate. It’s all about the artists’ real experiences, not like mainstream artists who often seem insincere.
What’s the meaning behind your name?
Jay stands for Jayce, and ‘poppin’ is like Jay popping. That’s the meaning of my name. Back in the day, I used to be known as ‘the Chase.’ Then, I added ‘pop’ into it, thanks to my friend Ella, who used to be a dancer in a dance group called GGB. I was their DJ and put the songs together for their performances. One day, while we were at the club and in high spirits, someone started calling me ‘Popping’ because of the way I was dancing and that’s how I got the name.
If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing instead?
Oh I will probably be in the lab. I used to be a science student back in the day.
What’s success to you?
Success, to me, is waking up in the middle of the night or in the morning to check on my assets that are generating revenue, essentially making money for me to secure my financial future. This, to me, defines success. It means waking up without the need to work a 9 to 5 job to get paid. Yes, that’s my vision of success – achieving everything I’ve worked for and everything I need to reach my goals.
What moment in your life/career forced you to change direction?
Throughout my life, I’ve always been passionate about making music. I started when I was around five or six years old. My interest in engineering and science not only complements my music but also helps me invent and create things. It’s like being in a studio, but I approach it like a scientist in a lab, putting everything together. I’ve always been involved in making music, and my dad knows this. He has been very supportive, saying that as long as I’m happy with it, he’s happy for me to pursue my passions.
Where can people keep in touch with you?
Fans can definitely reach out to me on Instagram and Youtube @jayxpoppinx and @ProdbyJayPoppin