Segun Lawal of SecureNigeria365 was recently a host to fast rising musical Act SkyP. In this interview, the crooner opens up on an earful bordering his family, background, musical journey and love life. Now you can have an eyeful.
Kindly Introduce Yourself
I’m Peter Amuche, a.k.a SkyP, your favourite Arab-Money crooner.
How did you come about the name “SkyP?”
Well, the name came like a joke, we were chilling, and the guy is like, ‘you are always looking good, fresh, and clean. It’s only the sky that we know that can always be clean all the time,’ and from there, everybody started calling me ‘Sky.’ And the name sounded nice to me, and I didn’t ask them to stop. Then my first name, Peter, abbreviated to “P.” So, Sky P.
I’m sure not a few would like to have a peek at your family background
Ok, I’m from the eastern part of Nigeria, Imo State. A family of 3 boys, no girl. However, I have a girl in my family that is like a sister, because she grew up with us. So, my dad, Late Raymond Amuche, was an ambassador. I’m supposed to be like a politician, but at the end of the day, I found another career. I have my mum, my dad, and my siblings that are all.
Did your Father in some way influence the society ,for eg, like you are now?
He was a great man. The man did a lot in this country. He obtained his PhD degree at the age of 25 in Oxford University, London.
What is your educational background?
My dad died when I was at 4. So, it wasn’t really easy growing up. I had to struggle with my mum and other siblings. I’m actually the last born. My primary school was Centre primary school. My secondary school was Okwuato Secondary school, and I was fun for me. After that, I travelled to Ghana, from Ghana, I went to London. From London, I went to Atlanta for my tertiary education.
Can you share some of your experience with us, while growing up in school?
I had a lot of girls that liked me, and always fighting like, ‘he is my boyfriend, my boyfriend.’ I didn’t even know what that was then. But it was really fun, because I was kind of the centre of attraction during my school days. The fact that I used to play soccer a lot and was also brilliant, always coming first, at most time. Or worse, second. I was always been used as an example in school. So, I had a lot of fans, female fans, but then, but for me it was just sort of heady being the attraction because I didn’t know what that was then to have a girlfriend. So, it was really fun, and that kind of shaped me to who I am today. It gave me this exclusivity which I took to the world and had to apply in everything I do. Even in music; if you can go get my singles, from ‘INSANE’ to ‘HIGHER MART,’ ‘I REP MONEY,’ you will see that exclusivity.
How did you go back to the world, can you please clarify that?
That’s when I went into the real world; when I went into the world of maturity; when mum is not there to say “why did you come back by 8.” When I was growing, I dare not come back home after 7pm. So, that kind of training helped me, making who I am today. My manager can testify to it, I live a very simple life; I don’t live life based on the things I have access to.
Music as a career, can you share with us, how it all started?
Well, I can’t even place where the talent came from, because when I was growing up, the only thing I knew about was education. But my mum used to lead different choir, different musical groups. Every musical group my mum was part of, when I was growing up, she was the leader. As early as 5am she would always wake-up singing. So, I got to loving music through my mother.
So, your mother had a great influence on you
Yea, positively, because I knew all the hymns, my mum sang. I met this producer Lelo, who goes by the name Kelvin Board, now. And he produced for Ice Prince, right before my face, and while they were doing that, I was getting different melodies in my head. So I later told the guy I would try something. So, after 2 weeks, I called him up to say I was ready to sing. That was my first ever recorded single.
What’s the title of the single?
“INSANE.” It has over 85,000 download on ‘Notjustok.’ It has over 50,000 views on Youtube. The response to that song was inspiring. Whenever I played the song in car with my friends and they asked ‘who sang that song?’ I would like ‘one of my friends’, and they would say, ‘it sounds so nice.’ When later I told them that I was the one who sang the song, they said, ‘you can’t be the one, impossible.’ So, I started seeing the talents in myself. I discovered myself. That’s why I’m signed to my own record label, because nobody can really understand what I see; the kind of dream I have regarding the music industry.
So, what’s your style of music?
Something different ‘hip life.’ I listen to a lot of hip-hop songs. I listen to lots of Afro songs. Arab-Money has this hip-hop with an Afro-beat on it. So, my own hip-hop life represents hip-hop in a highlife way. That is hip-hop and highlife coming together.
What’s the concept behind Arab-Money?
The concept behind Arab-Money is doing something out of the box. Something nobody has done. That has been my intention, what I’ve always wanted to come up with. I’ve travelled to Dubai a couple of times from Atlanta, and Arab-Money is not really about physical money, because if you watch the video, I didn’t show that kind of physical money. But, it’s about how the Arabians live their own life – that we, Africans won’t be able to see. As an artiste, I have to artistically bring that to the screen, because I am supposed to bring people’s imagination to reality, through my heart. That’s what I did. So if you are imagining how Dubai looks like, How they live their lives, i gave what i could. We shot with their helicopters, we shot on the sea, we shot in the desert, we shot in a nice mansion, beautiful girls, camels and others; Just about artwork, bringing something to the script; something that my fans would appreciate. I’m not going to show ‘Oshodi,’ ‘Ikeja,’ something we see every day. I’m still going to show them in my upcoming project. But particularly, Arab-Money. I had a good intention, and which I achieved.
Clarify the intention and how you achieved it
From reviews, the TV stations, radio stations, newspapers, all the media houses really appreciated that work, because they know what it takes to finance a project like that. I know how many media houses, even in South Africa that are already asking for me to come for interviews, just because of that Arab-Money. I want people to know who I am.
How Supportive Were Your Parents in your chosen career?
My mum was kind of in-between. But, she would always want me to further my education to some kind of office work, and that’s the normal thing that we are all experiencing in the Nigeria’s community. But, at the end of the day, when she saw the outcome of my first single, she was like ‘okay.’ Then, the second one came in then she was like, ‘are you serious?’ Then Arab-Money, she was like, ‘ok, you have my support.’ It wasn’t easy at first, but right now, I’ve been able to convince them, not by word of mouth, but by actions.
How many tracks so far?
I’ve released 4. I have a few tracks that features other talented artistes but from now till December, I should be coming out with 1 or 2 tracks for the year.
Which is the most interesting of your albums?
Arab-Money is the one that appeals to me most.
What would have become if not a Musician?
I first wanted to be a soccer player, but I tried a lot of things here in Nigeria. I even went to Ghana, played in Nani, the club was owned by Abedi Pele. I played with Abedi Pele’s son, in the same team. But growing in Africa it is not easy doing this. Sometimes they will tell you, you have trial in Germany, but you need to come with some amount to sponsor yourself.
How Acceptable is your Music in Atlanta?
They play it in all African clubs. There are also comments of people saying they heard the music in this or that club. In Atlanta, I started having musicians as friends, producer friends. I associated myself with entertainers, that’s why it was easy for me to penetrate.
Are you Married?
I’m single for now.
So, What Kind of Girl Are you Looking At?
A supportive woman, understanding, because you know the industry I’m in. So, I need an extra-ordinary woman to have a healthy relationship with. And I’m looking forward to that extra-ordinary woman, someone that would just understand ‘SkyP.’ There is ‘SkyP,’ there is Peter Amuche. Not the one that would see in a video, and believe what she’s seeing, forgetting that there is a director behind the scene. There is make-up artiste, there is my manager, a lot of people are there. But after the video must have been edited, you would only see me and the girl. So, I need that woman who thinks more than ordinary woman. That’s what I’m looking for.
How Do you Manage Your Female Fans?
I’m a friend of all. I try to make everybody happy, as much as I can. In as much as you cannot please everybody, but do all I can, to make them feel important, because everyone is important, in one way or the other.
Your First kiss, How was the Experience?
(Laughs)… my first kiss was in my SS3 when I became school prefect. There was this girl, who even if she didn’t conform to the dress code, I allowed her be. She was the only one I allowed to school even without sandals; she could wear something different. And I would be like, ‘don’t touch her.’ So, one day I escorted her home, so, we went to this track road, we looked left, right and nobody was coming. And before we knew it, our mouths came together, and I had goose bumps all over my body. It was a good experience and wonderful. But now trust me, I’m the best kisser in the world…(.laughs).
What Will you Not Be Caught Doing?
Stop singing. I would not be caught without singing, without recording, without working hard.
What Can you Say About your Manager?
He is wonderful and fantastic. A hard-working manager. As an artiste, you really need to be very careful with who represents you, because that’s the person who carries your image. If you have an arrogant manager, you are bound to fail. So, my manager is a humble guy, and straight forward. He makes my work so easy, my music can enter anywhere without my presence. So, that’s what I looked out for, and that’s what God gave me.
Where Do you See Yourself in the Next 5 Years?
I see myself having a stronger team, and ‘Sky Diamond Entertainment’ being a major record label, that would grow talents from the African entertainment world.
How would you Describe Yourself?
I’m passionate, humble and a hard-working gentle man. But I don’t like praising myself too much. The way I talk to my gateman, manager is the way I talk to everyone whether rich or poor. I try not to offend anybody. So, that personality came from my father. My father had so many friends, the poor, the rich, and the ordinary. And so, that’s my personality.
Your Most Embarrassing Moment?
I don’t want to go into that, but I will. So, my fans can get to know where I’ coming from. I came from a family that my dad had it all. He believed in helping others. He did not invest and buy house like the politicians we have now. He didn’t do all that. He was kind, and invested in humans, uncles, brothers. But at the end of the day, when the man was not around, everybody disappeared. So, it was like really, really ugly growing up. Especially when they chase us for school fees from school. You know how embarrassing that would be. So, that used to be my most embarrassing moments.
Your Likes and Dislikes
I dislike lies, and people that take advantage of other humans. That’s what we find in our society, today. I hate people like that. For the fact that someone is being nice to you, trying to help you doesn’t mean that person is a fool. So, I like people that are honest, appreciative of other people. People that love their neighbor, not only your next door neighbor. If I meet you anywhere I don’t have any reason to disrespect you. People that respect other people. And I like to eat good food, especially vegetable soup with, semovita, pando yam, and I also like jollof rice.
Your Kind of Perfume
I wear like 4 perfumes at a time. And the names are; conquer mixture, conquer mixture is a combination of 4 different perfumes. I have creed, I have Tom Ford, I have Pacorry Band, and an Arabian perfume, which I can’t pronounce the name fluently.
Who is your Fashion Designer?
I will go with Tom Man, because that’s where I find things that suit my body structure. It’s not about how expensive the thing you wear, but it’s about the fitness. So, whenever I travel to London, I always make sure I get my Top Man.
Any Collaboration with a Nigerian Artiste?
Yea, I did ‘Lamba’ with Dj Real. I have something big coming up for Christmas. I want to celebrate the x-mas with my fans in a musical way, that they would be happy and forget the ups and down for the year.. So, I’m going to keep that on the low for now, because I don’t want to break protocols.
Your Advice for Upcoming Artistes with Your Kind of Experience?
Stick to that bright dream, and always listen to that first positive voice in you. That’s always telling you, you can do it. If you know you actually have the talent, don’t be disappointed by the things people say to you, day-by-day, trying to take you down. Just believe in yourself, we hear that word ‘believe in yourself,’ but a lot of people don’t really understand that word ‘believe in yourself.’ You can only believe in yourself when people disbelieve you. When you drop a single and everybody condemns it, and you still go ahead. So, that’s all I can tell them.
Thank you very much, it was a pleasure talking with you…
The United Nations’ 2022 World Mental Health Day: A Call for Proactive Action
As the world marks the World Mental Health Day on 10th October 2022, the National Association of Seadogs – Pyrates Confraternity has expressed concern that this year’s event does not end up as “mere ritual for speech making and grand declarations that fail to speak to the issues. We therefore use this to call on the relevant stakeholders to ensure that concrete steps that will frontally address the issue are taken.”
The association said as a country presented with another opportunity to focus on and address an issue that has continued to be a source of concern, noted that mental illness has evolved into what behavioral scientists call a phenomenon and the data is such that if we continue to ignore it, we do so at our collective peril.
This year’s event, according to the group, has the theme: Make Mental Health and Wellbeing for All A Global Priority is important as it seeks to draw attention to the issues relating to mental health.
Mental wellness according to the WHO is “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”
Mental ill-health has grown into a global menace; a report from The Adracare Team states that 1 out of 5 Americans aged 18 and above, live with mental illness. However, more alarming is the statistics released in a 2019 report of the World Health Organization, (WHO) which reveals that one in four Nigerians – some 50 million people are suffering from some sort of mental illness. Even more worrisome is the fact that the same report states that the country is nowhere near equipped to tackle the problem. Instances of suicide which most often is precipitated by mental illness has been burgeoning of late. There have been several cases of individuals that jumped to their death on the 3rd Mainland Bridge in what we may preliminarily categorize as anomic suicide.
A statement by Olamide Oni Capoon, Sahara Deck, National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates’ Confraternity), Abuja City Centre said, “while we recognize that there is a multiplicity of factors that may predispose to mental illness, some of the most common in our shores are: use of recreational drugs, poverty, traumatic experience – especially common among those unfortunate enough to have been at the receiving end of the horrors of boko-haram insurgency, kidnap victims and genetic factors, poor medical and professional care, cultural practices, superstition, and social stigma. Poor medical and professional care, certain cultural practices, superstition, and social stigma are also among the factors that tend to exacerbate mental ill-health. Families of mentally ill persons keep them in hiding, more concerned about their social standing that seek medical care for them. There is also a dearth of specialized medical institutions and certified psychiatrists in the country. Some communities and cultures see mental illness as a curse and therefore believe the cure is in exorcisms and other spiritual means.”
Text of the statement further read: “As members of the National Association of Seadogs – Pyrates Confraternity, we believe firmly in a just and equitable society where everyone is as much as possible, exposed to equal life’s chances. We therefore use this to call on the relevant agencies of government and other stakeholders to use this opportunity to formulate policies that speak to the very heart of the issues, repeal the old legislations on the subject while passing new laws with input from the critical stakeholders. When there is a well formulated policy in place, then there can be appropriations at new budget cycles wherein the government can fund the establishment of institutional structures that address the peculiar problem. Specialized hospitals can be sited at the various urban centers and certified mental health personnel trained. Preventive measures such as fighting the menace of drug abuse especially among the youths, improving the general quality of life through a robust and growing economy are some of the preventive measures that can also be applied.”
In commemoration of this year’s “World Mental Health Day”; the National Association of Seadogs (Pyrates Confraternity), Sahara Deck – Abuja City Centre, has concluded plans to donate drugs to patients at the Behavioral Home in Karu, Abuja. The group will also embark on a 7-kilometer morning walk to sensitize members of the public on the need to take mental health seriously, in line with this year’s theme: “Make mental health and wellbeing for all; a global priority”.
“According to the latest United Nations data, nearly one billion people worldwide suffer from some form of mental disorder, and one in seven teenagers are affected. In Nigeria, over 60 million people suffer from mental illnesses, according to the Association of Psychiatrists in Nigeria (APN). Despite the huge number of people affected globally, mental disorders are widely under-reported in the media, a situation that forces the issue to the background, in global health discourse.
“Therefore, to draw more attention to this global menace, NAS Sahara Deck invites members of the public to participate in its health walk, slated for Monday, October 10. The Capoon of National Association of Seadogs, Sahara Deck, Olamide Oni, called on governments at all levels to prioritize reducing the factors that predispose people to mental illness and improving conditions that people need to thrive. Later in the month, the deck will also be having a public lecture on mental health; where experts in the field will be invited to x-ray issues as it concerns mental health.”
Olanipekun warns lawyers against using disciplinary committee to settle personal scores
NCC commits N500m for research across varsities – Danbatta
THE Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has donated over N500 million to Nigerian universities and other tertiary institutions across the country to facilitate research and innovations to promote developments in the Nigerian telecommunications industry.
Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Prof Umar Danbatta, who disclosed this at a two-day Regional Roundtable with Academia, Industry and Other Stakeholders in Kano at the weekend, said the funds had been committed to research grants to universities and tertiary institutions, including professorial chairs in the universities, in salient areas to drive technology development.
Danbatta said the commission was now focused on supporting the academia in the commercialisation of the prototypes from these innovative researches, noting that this was relevant to the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy’s policy towards achieving indigenous technology for sustainable development of the country.
He said the roundtable, organized by the commission, was to provide the necessary platform to support the commercialisation of locally- developed telecommunications innovations which NCC had been sponsoring.
“The commission collaborates with the Academia in maximising the contributions of tertiary institutions to innovations and sustainable development of the Information and communications Technology (ICT) industry as finance is needed to drive possible success of these endeavours, “ Danbatta said.
He said these efforts had enabled the commission to contribute to national efforts to ensure overall growth of the industry and create wealth for innovators, saying all these were fundamental to the objective of the NCC’s R&D-oriented programmes.
On the basis of these, he said ideas, inventions, and improvements that emanated from the academia were required by the industry for improved efficiency and productivity.
Danbatta said appreciable impacts had been achieved since the commission reinvigorated research grants for telecommunications-based research innovations from Nigerian academics, focusing on successful commercialisation of locally developed solutions to foster and deepen the uptake of indigenous technology by Nigerians.
NCC’s Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, Engr Ubale Maska, also disclosed that the commission had so far awarded 49 telecom- based research grants to the academia, out of which 10 prototypes were successfully developed and displayed to industry stakeholders.
He said the R&D efforts of the commission were aimed at actualizing some of the 8-point Pillar Eight of National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), 2020-2030, focusing on Indigenous Content Development and Adoption.
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