Blaqbonez is a chart-topping, artist hailing from Lagos, Nigeria. Days after headlining his first London show,
the rapper (and sometimes comedian) sat down with F Word Contributing Music Writer, Gracey Mae, to give
us the lowdown on the night, the prep and brand new album: Young Preacher.
Gracey Mae: Hi Blaqbonez. Welcome to F WORD. How are you?
Blaqbonez: I'm good, good. How are you?
GM: I'm alright. 11/11 is Remembrance Day and it was definitely a night to remember for you. Congrats on your debut London headliner at Omeara. Describe the nights in five words!
B: Exciting, fulfilling, entertaining fun and cold.
GM: You always come at the coldest time of year. You were performing songs from your brand new album, Young Preacher. We’ve got tracks on the project with features from Lojay, Amaarae, Jae5, Blxckie, Cheque, Tekno, Takura and Bien. What was your favourite song to perform that night?
B: Fashion Nova. I usually, you know, jump in to the crowd for Fashion Nova these days. It just feels like fun! I get to connect to people, I get to be closer to them.
GM: Mosh pit vibes. What song had the most unexpected response for you?
B: Ah… when I did Star Life I didn't expect any people to know it here. It’s track 12 and it's not one that we're promoting so the response was kind of unexpected. It was fun.
GM: You're a star, they like Star Life – it’s making sense. Before performances, do you get nervous?
B: Yeah, yeah. I get nervous the moment before but once I get on stage, it becomes normal again.
GM: What makes you nervous?
B: That I might not perform well. That the people might not receive you the way you expect them to receive you. You can be scared for so many different reasons. You don't even know if there'll be people out there to come out to perform to but it's usual and it turned out okay.
GM: Do you have any pre-show rituals to help?
B: Nah, not really.
GM: What's on your show rider?
B: I'm not really into having a rider. My label might add stuff but I don't really care because I don't really drink. I try to not do anything that might reduce my confidence. Because if I drink anything, I’ll feel like “this is the reason why I wasn't performing well” or “I had this and it might be fucking up my tummy”. So before my performance, I try to not do anything or drink or do anything. After the show I can relax a little.
GM: How different is it preparing for a headline show versus a normal event performance?
B: For a headline show, you know that everybody that's coming, they came to see you deliver something… you are the seller. It's like somebody paid money to get a performance from you. You feel me? So it’s double the energy…but when it's just a regular show, the whole event is not about you so the time and energy is different. When it's your own thing you actually have to plan the whole thing, the show, the flow from the start to the end; figure out how to make sure that everybody that comes has a good time.
GM: You basically said “the pressure is getting worser”. The last time I saw you headline your own show was in Nigeria where you mimicked a Christian crusade, was that the inspiration for the album name: Young Preacher?
B: I already had the name for the project before so that just added to the conversation.
GM: What does young preacher mean to you?
B: Preaching my own gospel, saying my own truth and following my calling. With Sex Over Love [my last album], people would say “Oh, he’s preaching, he’s preaching”. So I felt like that's where it came from.
GM: A spokesman for Lagos Boys, I love it. Now we're going to do a quick-fire round of questions based on tracks from your album. I'm going to say the name of the track, then ask a question, and you just have to give me the first response. Got it?
GM: Young Preacher: who would you rather take advice from, a young preacher or an old preacher?
B: Young preacher because I feel like he can currently relate to what I'm going through
GM: Hot Boy: after being in London for a fortnight, are you a hot boy or a cold boy?
B: I'm still a hot boy. Hot Boys. Forever.
GM: Whistle: can you whistle?
GM: Me neither. Fashion nova: Have you ever bought anything from Fashion nova? If yes, what was the last item?
B: I haven’t but the girls like it so…
GM: Same! Back in uni: would you ever go back in uni to do a Master's?
B: Maybe…nobody knows the future.
GM: Fake Nikes: have you ever owned a pair of fake Nikes?
B: Of course that's the point of me singing the song.
GM: Loyalty: in your romantic and platonic relationships, what's more important loyalty or trust?
GM: She likes Igbo: do you prefer it if she likes igbo (weed) or if she likes shayo (alcohol)?
B: Igbo because I feel like shayo is a normal everyday. Everybody drinks, I don't really know people that don't like that. It’s like drinking water.
GM: Ess Mama: Ess Mama is a pet name. You’re known as Emeka the Stallion. What's your weirdest pet name?
B: Nigerian Adele [laughs]
GM: Mazoe: Bien is from Kenya. Takura is from Zimbabwe. Which country do you prefer, and why?
B: I haven't been to Zimbabwe, so I think I'll stick with Kenya.
GM: Star Life: what's more important fame or fortune?
B: Fortune, definitely fortune. Fuck fame. Fortune all day.
GM: Back on BS. Would you rather get back with an ex or rebound with a newbie?
B: Rebound with a newbie.
GM: Last but not least, I'll be waiting: what's the longest you've ever waited for a date to arrive?
B: I’ve never waited! Do we date in Nigeria? DO people go on dates in Nigeria? I don't know.
GM: So there's no answer? Got it. All right. Before I let you go, if anyone hasn't seen you live, Detty December is around the corner. What can they expect from your performances?
B: Expect to have a fun time, expect to just enjoy, you know, be entertained!
GM: Does the comedy that we see online translate to your performances or is that a completely different version of you?
B: That translates because that's me and so it comes in.
GM: Final message to your friends, your family, your following?
B: Thank you for supporting me. I appreciate the love and everything. Keep showing the love!
GM: Thank you so much for being on the F Word. What is your favourite F Word?