Rymzo is still coasting ahead in a music genre which followership in Nigeria is dwindling owing to the prevalent influence of Afropop. Indeed, he has been able to hold his own within the highly competitive industry. The artiste attributes his rising popularity to his fans that have kept faith with him. Although, happily married for almost a decade, the dreadlock-wearing musician admits that he is not insulated from harassment by female fans. Surprisingly, Rymzo who dropped a hit single recently, says free sex is not on his mind.
He spoke to TS Weekend on his career, challenges and what love means to him.
What is your real name and why did you choose the stage name, Rymzo?
I had to think of ways I could support my mom since my days as a little boy. But I bless Jah for my mom who made sure I had what was needed and necessary to go through life. She’s the best mom ever.
What happened to your dad?
Nothing, just never had a relationship with him. You have a new hit single, what’s the message in it? My new single, Scatter the Party is a dancehall-oriented track that was inspired by my experiences in clubs and parties in Lagos last December. It reveals how the new Afrobeat just left people acting like they’ve gone crazy. So, I felt I should have a song that also meets the demands of these types of fans. I only sang about how the music sent people over the top as their party attitudeю
In your opinion, what makes a good music?
Good music to me must have good melody, meaningful lyrics and dexterous delivery.
Going by your explanation, would you say that Nigerian musicians make good music?
Many Nigerian artistes make real, good music. I can name 10 of them in five seconds.
As a reggae artiste, who are your influences?
Funny enough, I’m highly influenced by a vast genre of artistes. For example, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, Jimmy Hendrix, U-Roy, I-Roy, Bob Marley, Naughty by Nature, Ku Mo Dee, Shabba Ranks, Tiger, Cocoa Tea, Capleton, Joe Higgs, and so on. I’m more like a chameleon in my influences.
Does it pay to be a reggae artiste in Nigeria?
I speak for myself and that’s definitely ‘yes’. It pays me to be a reggae artiste here because I get respect for what I do and retain a top spot no matter how long I’m away. Often times, the genre alone gets you bookings and you don’t have to be the rave of the moment to get booked for shows. Reggae has its ready and steady spot for music survival in Nigeria. I always get paid when the genre is required.
Are there female artistes you would like to work with in the future? Which ones do you like their songs, style and personality?
Nigerian female artistes are hot right now and I’m dreaming of all of them. Soon, I may catch one or two because I really like many of the new females in the industry now.
How do you keep yourself free from scandals?
I do that through conscious living. I’m a true Rastafarian and I dwell in isolation. When I appear, it must be for a serious matter. These resolutions help me stay out of trouble and the temptations within our industry and the world at large.
Have you ever dated any of your female fans?
I’m sure I have, but that was before I became famous as Rymzo.
Can you tell us three things about you that fans would be surprised to hear?
I have a phobia for flying; I’m very shy and quiet although my music doesn’t portray me that way. I’m not that bad guy that I’ve been painted to be, owing to my previous indulgencies.
Is Rymzo married?
Yes. I have been happily married for nine years. How does your wife feel about your relationship with your female fans? My wife is cool with my female fans because she’s got huge trust for my person and character that I cannot go astray.
What’s the craziest thing a female fan ever did to you?
A female fan stood close to me on stage and watched me sing. As I brought down the microphone to receive some fresh air on my face, I got an unexpected deep, hard tongue-dragging kiss. (Laughs).
What did you do afterwards?
I was caught off balance and fell into a state of perplexity for minutes. I just walked away.
How do you handle the temptations of female fans?
Actually, I have this personality that makes my fans perceive me from a deep and conscious perspective at the first encounter.
Most times, my female fans would just reach out to me with that cordial state of mind. I hardly think I’m one of those acts you would add sex to their criteria too. I’m just the Lion. (Laughs)
What does love mean to you and how best do you express love?
Love is a serious and deep thing to me and my ways of expressing it vary from person to person. Generally, love is a headache to me because I can’t take someone I love off my mind. I may become too protective and that sometimes means trouble.