Emmanuel whose stage name is Emytova, was born and raised in Obalende Barracks, yet only few of the people in the area know him closely. The day he would be made popular in his neighbourhood, fate came knocking in the guise of a friend who knew of his love for music. His friend excitedly told him about the Coca-Cola state-of-the-art mobile studio which was to visit their neighborhood later that evening, and also informed him that he would get a chance to showcase his talent as well as get a chance to create his own cover of the Taste the Feeling Music anthem like some of Nigeria’s leading musicians. In this interview, he shared his experience and talked about other things. Excerpts…
Can we know your name?
My name is Egwuo Emmanuel Buchi, and my stage name is Emytova.
You emerged the winner today. How do you feel about that?
I feel great. Honestly, words can’t explain how I feel right now, because there are very few platforms which give young street boys like myself the opportunity to actually showcase their talent. Actually, I can’t really express how I feel, only the music can express how I feel. When we were recording, I just had to pour it all out from the heart, it was like I was in another world entirely, that’s how I feel!
Do you live here in Obalende?
I was born here, I grew up here, and technically I’m still here. Obalende is my home!
We need not ask if you’re into music, however, is this your first time in the studio?
Technically Yes, in a high tech studio like this, I have friends we’ve been doing stuff from way back, when we get our laptops, we get beats, we just sample beats, recording in the kitchen and all that?
Tell us about your experience today.
Honestly it’s just unbelievable. I was still sleeping around 7am this morning when my friend called me and was like, guy how far, Coke wants to do something in our area, and in my mind I’m like, oh, it’s just their usual set up coke of umbrella, and Coke bottles. Then he asked me, have you not heard about Taste the Feeling? I answered No, because I have been out of town for a while. He encouraged me to just show up, so I did. I went through auditions, got through all of that and now I’m here.
How did you feel when you did your own taste the feeling cover?
At first I was a bit scared, even shaky. Today was the first time I heard the Coca-Cola anthem to be honest and on hearing such great minds pour their soul and heart into a track to make such a great song, what came to my mind for me was: who am I to put my ordinary voice to this awesome song? I was visibly shaking, I could hardly type my lines into my phone to rehearse. One thing I remembered was the advice of my older brother – he said “Just be yourself in every situation”. He believes one can only be an original or the fake of someone else. That just pushed me to do a rap before the song started, I’m a rapper, so I just had to do my style.
Did you ever think you will emerge as the Winner?
Not really, because I was listening to other guys tracks and I was so carried away with their songs, and I was particularly scared about my rap. I was wondering if I could get disqualified. I said to myself, it’s just a cover so I relaxed and had fun and it came out good, thank God.
When the crowd were screaming that you had to beat the other guy to the first position, how did that feel?
It felt great, incredible. Funny enough I was born here, I grew up here, and this is like my first major appearance in my own hood, because there has never really been that platform for anyone to showcase, and this was a great platform, I know many of the boys and girls here were shocked to see me come out. Am so grateful this platform actually made me “stand out” amongst my peers, and it’s a very laudable initiative from Coca-Cola.
Coca-Cola gave you a platform to stand out within your peers in your own neighbourhood, so tell us what you will like to say to Coca-Cola
I just really want to say thank you to Coca-Cola. This is not really about the phone, but about the platform they brought for every upcoming artiste, e.g. from the hood, from the slum, anywhere you come from, the platform is important, because you go anywhere on it, because if you’re not known, you’re not made. The truth is, no one really gives you a chance to do anything, because selling the brand is priceless, it’s not about the gift or anything. That’s why an upcoming artiste would want to pay to perform free at a show, so for a brand such as Coca-Cola giving us the opportunity to showcase, it’s a big thank you! The platform is worldwide, it is global, you can imagine me seeing myself on TV now and I’ll call my mom like, mama, I’m on TV, your baby is on TV, that is priceless, the expression on my mom’s face would be amazing and priceless, so its way more than the phone, but the platform and this whole feeling… I feel like I just won a car, you know? And that’s just it, thank you very much.