Q: Tell us a bit more about your background, how you grew up
Phyno: I grew up in a family of five. I’m the fourth child. I grew up in Enugu state in the East. That’s where I was born; my education, everything. I finished everything about me there. It was where I started my career as well. I was a producer there for about seven, eight years.
Q: So you started producing before rapping?
Phyno: Yeah. I’ve been a producer for about eight years. I’ve always loved music and when I wanted to start making my own recordings then; this was in the East. I couldn’t get any producer to give me what I wanted. So I said the best way to do it is to take the bull by the horns and I started learning production. I taught myself production basically, nobody taught me.
That’s how I got stuck on production for so so long till like 2010 and I said to myself, I think I’m done.
Q: When did you move to Lagos?
Q: So you obviously hooked up with Capital Records when you got here (Lagos).
Phyno: No, no. When I moved here, I moved as a producer. I started producing for a couple of people. One of the biggest songs I produced was ‘Life a N’agaga’ by Timaya and M.I. After that, I chilled for a bit before I decided to start my own album. So I started recording my own songs
Before then I had already met Illbliss. He was ‘Dat Igbo Boy’ from the East; but I had never met Clarence. It was when I wanted to shoot the video for my single ‘Multiply’ that I met him.
Q: So are you signed to any of these outfits?
Phyno: Goretti/Capital for management, yes. But my record label is Penthouse.
Q: So the first single that brought you into the mainstream was ‘Multiply’. On the remix you had heavyweights like M.I, Flavour, Timaya, Nigga Raw. How difficult was it for you as an upcoming artiste to get all those big names on your song?
Phyno: It wasn’t really difficult, to be honest. Initially, I was to record individual songs with them but after I recorded the original version of ‘Multiply’, they all loved it and that was how everybody jumped on the song. So it wasn’t really hard. Like this person would hear this other’s person’s verse, and be like okay, I think it’s time for me to do my own. So that was how I came up with the song basically.
Q: You’ve gone on from ‘Multiply’ to ‘Shutdown’ to ‘Ghostmode’. ‘Ghostmode’ is getting serious airplay right now. What was it like working with Olamide? What do you think about him?
Phyno: Hmmm, bad guy. The first time I heard Olamide on ‘Eni Duro’, I was like waoow. I’m saying it on air for the first time, Olamide inspires me a lot. I told him one on one and he laughed about it. He was like you inspire me too, but I know it was just wash. But I was being honest.
Olamide brought out a different part of me that I had previously taken for granted. I knew I always had it, but I never took it serious. That’s the indigenous part of me. If you listen to ‘Multiply’, I rapped everything in English, apart from the Igbo chorus. But it was different on ‘Ghostmode’. When it comes to rap…..i envy him.
Q: You’re an Igbo rapper. There haven’t been too many Igbo rappers on the scene, especially outside of the East. How would you rate your acceptance level in the Lagos market?
Phyno: I think 70%. Yes.
Q: So you feel you’ve gotten a high level of acceptance here?
Phyno: I don’t think 70% is high enough. At least 95. That’s what we’re working towards
Q: Tell us about your upcoming album. What should we expect?
Phyno: My album should be ready around May, June of this year. No names yet. I still have a lot of titles in my head, I’m yet to pick one.
Q: Some pictures of you surfaced online a while back. We saw you with tattoos across your chest and other parts of your body. We hear they’re not permanent
Phyno: I’ll skip that part (laughs)
Q:: When are you going to make them permanent? Or you have something against permanent tattoos
Phyno: Nope. If i did, the why would i have videos of me with tattoos? I’ll skip that part