Some of the heavy hits on the Nigerian radio airwaves right now have Chopstix tied to them. Ice Prince’s Aboki & More, Endia’s 48, Dash Me Da Ting by Dee Money, Endia & J-Milla, Red Rose by Yung El, and many more. Chopstix has been hitting on all cylinders over the past couple of years and you can say he’s only just beginning.
I had a chance to sit with Chopstix for a one on one interview and we discuss his background, how he got into music, his thoughts on hip-hop in Nigeria, and most definitely plans for the future.
Aribaba: So for those that might not know who you are, please give us a brief introduction of yourself.
CHOPSTiX: My full name is Olagundoye James Malcolm aka Chopstix. I’m a music producer. I’m part of the GRIP musik fam.
Aribaba: How did you get into the business of producing?
CHOPSTiX: Way back from high school actually. I used to be in the church band and my school also had band as well where I played bass guitar and the piano. We had a recording studio back then in school so I used that to hone my skills. My principal was a music lover also so that helped. It’s the same school P-square graduated from – St. Murumba college.
Aribaba: Oh nice. I went to Murumba too for a while. In the industry today there’s a lot of representation from Jos. Why do you think that’s the case?
CHOPSTiX: Maybe it’s cos of the environment in Jos. It’s very diverse so it allows room for creativity and self expression. Coupled with the fact that there are loads of people you get to meet that do music proper, so you sorta have some kind of music orientation. I was privileged to meet a few of these people and picked up one or two things, from the likes of Device, Jeremiah Gyang, Meca E etc
Aribaba: Nice. Yea. That’s interesting. So speaking of music orientation, who were some of your influences in music. Both as artists and producers?
CHOPSTiX: I had a couple of influences as a producer. From DJ premier, Timbaland, Ryan Leslie to Scott Storch. Then as a rapper I basically listened to any dope rapper and learned a couple stuffs from them.
Aribaba: So you rap too? Or used to?
Chopstix: *laughs* I used to… Well I kinda still do but not seriously. Kahli Abdu featured me on a track in his M.O.C (Ministry Of Corruption) mixtape so I’d say I still do a little of rapping once in a while when its needed. But for the most part I stick with my first love, music production.
Aribaba: So now u represent GRIP Musik to the fullest. How did all that come about? How did GRIP Musik come about?
ChopStix: GRIP MUZIK business started way back with me being the producer and 3 other talented artists who are doing great currently YungL, Jmilla and Endia. We have done a couple songs together and individually. We collaborated with other artists and wrote for some artists too as well.
Aribaba: So how exactly did you guys meet?
CHOPSTiX: I met all three of them separately actually but Ice Prince officially introduced them to me basically. Before then they had their various music business going on, and we just clicked and took it from there.
Aribaba: Over the past couple of months you’ve become a hot name in the entertainment industry especially with productions. Talk about how you’ve gotten to where you are right now
CHOPSTiX: *smiles* Well I’d say its hard work and people’s prayers that got me where I’m. I’ve still got a long way to go though and there’s a lot more to be done, I’d just keep pushing those keys till I get there.
Aribaba: Who are some of the artists you’ve worked with so far?
CHOPSTiX: I worked with quite a few but off the top, Mo’ Cheddah, I produced “Louder” and “Lady”, Ice Prince – “Aboki” and “More”, GRIP MUZiK -Yung L – “Red Rose”, ENDIA – 48, J Milla’s freestyles, Kahli Abdu – a couple tracks, a lot to name really. I also produced the “Choc Boi” song on Ice Prince’s album titled “Thank You” – co-produced by MI.
Aribaba: Wow! That’s quite a bit. Is there any artist that you haven’t worked with yet that you’d most want to work with?
CHOPSTiX: Yea sure … Tu face, Asa top the list.
Aribaba: What about an artist outside of the country you think you’d love to work with?
CHOPSTiX: The Weekend, Wiz Khalifa, Wale, Kuli Chana, Pop caan.
Aribaba: So what do you think of hip-hop as a genre in Nigeria? Do you think it’s getting its respect?
CHOPSTiX: Well so far I think it’s not really respected as a genre in Nigeria… It seems not to be the center of interest at the moment, but its gradually gaining recognition. Especially with artists like of Mode 9, MI, Ice Prince, and host of others doing their thing.
Aribaba: So do you think hip-hop will ever be as popular as afro-pop commercial music in Nigeria?
CHOPSTiX: It can. It all depends on what the status quo is and what the vibe of the moment is – if u understand what I mean
Aribaba: Certainly do. Let’s shift gears a bit. So the ladies want to know, Are you single?
CHOPSTiX: Hahahaha I’d keep that a secrete for now if I’m allowed to. They’d get to know with time.
Aribaba: Ok. That’s fair. Well what would you say is the first thing that attracts you in a woman?
CHOPSTiX: Well… hehehe a very big urrmm….. *smiles* just kidding – Attitude really.
Aribaba: *laughs* Funny. So are you a dog person or cat person?
CHOPSTiX: I hate cats. Dogs all the way. I love dogs, I think they are awesome friends.
Aribaba: Back to music. So what’s next on your plate in terms of music? An album maybe?
CHOPSTiX: For now I’m doing a lot of work. A couple of projects here and there. Iceprince and I have something coming soon. Also working on something with Naeto C, and a couple other peeps. I don’t wanna let too much out, but there’s great stuff coming.
Aribaba: Oh nice. So if you could do anything else besides music, what would do?
CHOPSTiX: I’d be a professional graphic designer or run an advertising agency.
Aribaba: Oh that’s interesting. Well I’m done from my end. Any last words?
CHOPSTiX: For y’all who have been showing love and support, God bless. Let’s keep it going, There are more banging tracks coming soon I can promise you that. Plus watch out for new music from GRIP MUZIK. Watch out for new materials from Iceprince Zamani. Oh yeah and go follow @Dchopstix on twitter and instagram for updates 🙂
Aribaba: Nice. Thanks for your time.
CHOPSTiX: Thank you too and you’re welcome.