Hi, Zahzah! Can you tell us a bit about yourself? How are you coping with the lockdown?
Hey, I’m very well. My name is Fajebe Babatunde, with the stage name Zahzah, an artiste from Lagos, Nigeria. Basically, I spent the lockdown with my family and friends, I also recorded a lot of songs along side reading the books I have always wanted to read.
What was growing up like for you?
I grew up just like every average Nigerian kid, my childhood was fun. I grew up in Lagos/Ibadan. I came from a family of three. I was always indoors as a kid, watching cartoons, doing my homework or playing video games.
What kind of music did you listen to, growing up?
While growing up my dad played a lot of music in the house. The likes of Ebenezer Obey, Sunny Ade, Fela, Chaka Chaka, Michael Jackson and so on. I remember I sang along to most of these songs because I’d heard them over and over again as at that time.
Did your early music experiences influence you to start creating music?
I think it influenced me because, I started putting lyrics together myself and unconsciously trying to sing along to these songs.
When did you start creating music? When did you start pursuing it professionally?
I started creating music in my first year in school. I was dropping freestyles here and there with my friends. I didn’t start professionally until 3 years ago.
Who & what inspires you to make music now?
I draw inspiration from nature, society and beautiful women. I learn one or two things from the likes of Wizkid, Burna Boy, Davido, Tiwa Savage, 2face and recently I’ve being drawing inspirations from what Adekunle Gold is doing.
Do you play any musical instruments? Can you produce and engineer yourself?
Yes, I actually do record myself and do some of the engineering process myself. I started learning how to play the keyboard recently. I do Afro Fusion. I can basically make any type of music with African elements in it. I want to make music that would influence and inspire people in their different facets of life.
When you create, what’s your process like? What are some things you do to get into the zone to create?
I like to have a free mind when I record. I listen to a beat and whatever comes to my head first is what I sing about. Other times, I decide to create a scenario and sing about it. Also, what I sing about depends on my mood at that time.
Do you make music for yourself or does your audience influence your direction?
Like I said earlier, it’s all based on my mood. The audience influences my direction too. It’s a two way thing.
Have you ever performed on stage? How did it feel?
I have performed on a couple stages but the most memorable one is at University of Calabar, ‘Trace in the City tour. I performed my song and the energy was great, after my performance I had a lot of buzz, people started reaching out on social media and what not.
How is support from your family regarding your music?
I had the full support of my dad from the start but my mom didn’t like the idea because of the societal perception of musicians. But as times went on she started to see reasons and now, I have her full support too.
What has been the most challenging aspect of your career as an emerging artist & producer?
Just like there are ups and downs in every venture, I have had my fair share of challenges but leading the pack is efficient promotion, getting my music to a wide range of audience almost at the same time.
Will you rather be independent or sign to a record label right now? Why?
I’ll rather be independent. I have a good team I work with and everything has been going well so far.
What have you learnt the most so far in your music and life journey?
Focus, keep going, pray and surely pay-day will come.
Many artists have distinctive visual brands. What would you say is your fashion style? Do you have a stylist?
I’ve been told I have a great fashion sense. I do style myself most times and other times I employ the service of a stylist.
How frequently do you release music? What influences your decision on when to drop music?
I’m dropping my first body of work (an EP) before the end of the year, if everything goes according to plan. My team decides on the perfect time drop a project. I just dropped a record titled ‘Miss You’. It’s out on every platform.
What was the idea behind Miss You?
This is the story yeah, I got off the phone with a friend. He was telling me how much he misses his ex and how she still “scatters his head”. After the phone call, boom! I got the idea for the hook and then I called phantom and he brought it to life. Big shoutout to Phantom. So, my new song is basically talking about the girl you miss and want back.
If given the chance, would you: Reinvent the wheel or build a new chariot?
When it comes to creating music, I don’t like to put myself in a box I’m quite adventurous.
What’s the goal for you? What would a successful career for you look like?
For me, a successful career is one in which I will be able to self actualise.
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?
[Laughs] No, I do music full time.
Where can people reach you on all platforms ?
You can reach me here:
Instagram – Zahzah_01
Twitter – Zahzah_01
Facebook – Officialzahzah01.