Hi Rooky! Can you tell us a bit about yourself? How are you coping with the lockdown.
Hey, I’m doing amazing, my name is oghenerukevwe jegede-ikpen popularly known as Rooky, I’m an artist, songwriter and photographer based in Canada. The lockdown has not been half as bad as well.it gave me a time to focus on the things that mattered and also some free time to learn about myself.
What was growing up like for you?
I grew up in Warri and Ughelli, Delta state, Nigeria. from a family of 6. I’m the second son of three boys and a princess. My childhood was pretty careless, i had always been a free spirit so i always played around the street, rolling tires, street soccer till i was unrecognizably dirty, lest i forget the garage band me and a couple of kids used to form back then.
What kind of music did you listen to, growing up?
My earliest music experience was gotten from my dad who was a wide music listener from ranging from music from the 60s to the early 2000’s from the likes of michael jackson to Sade Adu, Elton John, 2pac , UB40 etc. I also listened to lots of contemporary Nigerian musicians like Fela, lagbaja ,Sunny Nneji, 2face etc .
Did your early music experiences influence you to start creating music?
I would argue that it did because I began to love singing to the point i joined the choir in church, just so i can have a reason to keep singing.
When did you start creating music? When did you start pursuing it professionally?
My first studio experience was in 2007, I produced a song that never came out. I just got into high school too so it was quite an experience but then i didn’t know the next step after the music creation so it died naturally. I had another experience in high school when I was part of the music club back then and we produced 2 albums for the school. This time I had more insight and I began to conjure up the idea of making music professionally.
Who & what inspires you to make music now?
My life is the greatest inspiration to my music and I always add a sentimental side to my art. my influences change depending on how i feel but i am greatly inspired musically by Sade Adu, Drake , Saint Jhn , Xxxtentacion and Kanye West.
Do you play any musical instruments? Can you produce and engineer yourself?
No i do not but I have basic knowledge of the piano. I usually love co-producing my music. Sometimes the music comes to you completely and this means you have to get the producers and engineers to see the vision of the song the way you do, so I am very passionate and involved with my music creation process.
How would you describe your music?
I describe my music as chill. or better chill life. I make use of RNB, trap soul and occasionally hip hop. I would love people to feel relaxed with my music, I want my music to be an escape from stress and the brutal realities of life. I also want people to feel good and loved when they come across my music.
When you create, what’s your process like? What are some things you do to get into the zone to create?
My creation process is pretty spontaneous; I get inspired anywhere and then I quickly whip out my notes and I create. I am emotional about creating too so usually nothing deters me when I am creating, when I feel comfortable, I create more easily though I can create in lesser favourable conditions.
Do you make music for yourself or does your audience influence your direction?
It is a mix of both, they are songs I make for me or someone but sometimes I have to also give my audience what they want.
Have you ever performed on stage? How did it feel?
Yes severally, but the recent performance took place in Regina, Canada. Where I performed all the songs off my Debut EP titled ‘Worlds Apart’. It felt exhilarating cause prior to that I have not performed in 3 years.
How is support from your family regarding your music?
From time my family has always being pretty cool about my music, so they have been as supportive as ever.
What has been the most challenging aspect of your career as an emerging artist?
restricting “gagged” organizations from funding groups that provide abortion services and information, even though those organizations don’t get any U.S. aid. This means that organizations, donor governments, and funders will be bound by a U.S. government policy, even if they do not accept any U.S. government funding.
Will you rather be independent or sign to a record label right now? Why?
I love being independent because it gives me total freedom and control over my art. I don’t mind being signed to a record label as long as we can come to a favourable understanding and build a healthy and cooperative partnership that wont limit or stifle my creativity then I’m open to deals and negotiations.
What have you learnt the most so far in your music and life journey?
That consistency is key but along with consistency, there should be growth and improvement. I also learnt that every fail should be a lesson and every win a blessing.
How frequently do you release music? What influences your decision on when to drop music?
I intend to release at least an album every two years and at least an EP per year. My impulse is a major influence, sometimes it just feels right to release the music.
Any projects coming soon?
I recently released Worlds apart. It can be described as my transition. It is a body of work inspired by the new adventures I have come across since leaving my country and my family to a place where I am worlds apart from everything I know and understand.
If given the chance, would you: Reinvent the wheel or build a new chariot?
Build a new chariot. I am all up for new adventures and taking risk, it makes life a much exciting place.
What’s the goal for you? What would a successful career for you look like?
A successful career would be when I have an audience that truly connects to my music and understands the messages I am trying to pass. I believe the greatest gift a creative can ask for is his creation being appreciated.
Would you take a 9 to 5 job to supplement your income – do you currently have a job – or do you do music full-time?
I have a part time job and I am also a professional photographer, so they do help with the finances.
Where can people reach you on all platforms ?
I can be reached on all social media platforms with the name “Rookygod”.