INTERVIEW: “We were ignored and some even flat out turned us down” – PsychoYP

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The Nigerian music industry keeps growing bigger and better by the day. This is largely as a result of the immense talent in the country, ready to be harvested.

JAGUDA, interviewed one of Nigeria’s fast rising rappers, PsychoYP (real name Nicholas Ihua-Maduenyi). The young talent has done considerably well for himself considering that his debut mixtape “YPSZN”, is currently topping the charts on iTunes.

The Hip-Hop/Trap artiste, sheds more light on why he chose trap music, the struggle in the industry and apparently how they achieved so much success on the YPSZN Mixtape.

Read complete exerts below;

JAGUDA: Why trap music?

I grew up listening to a lot of hip-hop and trap is a modern way of expressing hip-hop. For me it’s not just WHAT you are rapping or singing, it’s HOW you are rapping or singing and the kind of emotions you want your listener to feel. Trap creates vibes and it’s a way to actually create emotions through hip-hop.

JAGUDA: You have an EP “YPSZN”, and it has been successful so far on Apple. What’s your take on that?

 

The support has really been amazing because without listeners, I won’t be on Apple Music Top Charts. I’ll give credit to all the producers that worked with me on the tape because it wouldn’t be what it is without their quality work. I spent a year writing and recording this mixtape and had to mix and master the project alongside Marv OTM, Kuddi and Veen assisting within days to meet the release date. It is also great knowing that I can now release music that is being recognised worldwide and this is a huge step from just releasing on soundcloud.

JAGUDA: What is the meaning of the acronym YPSZN?

YPSZN is a combination of “YP” and “SZN”. “YP” means “yung papi” and is the last part of my stage name PsychoYP, while “SZN” means “season”. So YPSZN just signifies that its yung papi season.

JAGUDA: Are you signed to a record label?

I am currently an independent artist, not signed to any label but I have a management team.

JAGUDA: How do you intend to promote your music and do you believe there is a viable market for your kind of music in Nigeria?

Social media obviously because that’s a very important way to stay active, relevant and promote your content. Also, traditional forms of media (tv, radio) because that’s still an effective way to penetrate your music to the masses. Some songs off the mixtape were lucky to get on Apple Music Playlists and that’s a really great way to gain an international audience. My team is also trying to push to as many media influencers and DJs as possible.

 

I believe there is a viable market, of course. Nigeria has been trapping for a long time now and a lot of people just don’t realise it. Take songs like “New Bounce” by Wizkid & Maleek Berry…that’s trap and a lot of Nigerian artists have been doing that with hip-hop culturally for a while. There is also a large audience in Nigeria that listens to foreign trap artists and are willing to accept the same form from a Nigerian artist, as long as it is done well.

JAGUDA: When should we expect a full body of work?

YPSZN is very much a full body of work. It is a 15-track mixtape with about 20 collaborations (producers and features). A lot of work went into it and that’s why I call it my debut project. You don’t find projects with as many tracks these days. But if you are referring to an album, I think once I’m done with school in two years.

JAGUDA: Any features on the body of work?

On YPSZN, there are features from Fasina, Marv OTM, Santi, Ayuu, Remy Baggins, Denzel Oaks and Zilla Oaks. These guys are established in their own right and very talented. I could definitely work with them again in the future. My Management Team and I actually reached out to a lot of local and international artists (I won’t mention names) to collaborate with on YPSZN. We were ignored and some even flat out turned us down. But we kept pushing and everyone that eventually featured on YPSZN brought a lot of heat and creativity and I really appreciate that.

JAGUDA: Which artiste would you like to work with, local and international?

There are so many awesome people out there! I’d like to work with Wizkid, Davido, Burna Boy, YCEE, Duncan Mighty, Maleek Berry, Skepta, J Hus, WSTRN, Chip, Lotto Boys, Yxng Bane, Nasty C, Cassper Nyovest, M.I, Drake… anyone as long as the vibe is there.

JAGUDA: What is your take on the Nigerian Music industry? Do you believe it can get better?

If yes, how? If no, why?

The Nigerian music industry is a driving force in the country right now but funny enough, it is not doing as well as it should be. Look at developed countries now, artists my age have sold out tours, millions of records and great brand endorsements and that is with the help of structured record labels that are working. Only a handful of artists in Nigeria are actually getting that kind of influence but on a positive note, it signifies growth and Nigerian pop culture is actually sought after internationally now. So this is the chance to get ourselves together as an industry.

JAGUDA: Word is you have over 50 tracks, how do you plan railing them out?

Well, I am always recording so I probably even have more than 50 songs. Not everything I have recorded is out though. I am just pushing the released singles and the mixtape for now. My team likes to follow structures and plans. So we definitely have a vision and hoping for the resources to actualise that vision.

JAGUDA: Give us a brief history about yourself.

PsychoYP is Nicholas Ihua-Maduenyi. I am 19yrs old and have been doing music since the age of 14. At that age, I was eager to get my first recording then my best friend at the time introduced me to Kuddi who had a studio and that’s how it all began. I was born and raised in Abuja but I’m from Rivers State. Two years ago, I dropped an EP titled “Lost In The Sauce” and that really gained me a large audience within my peers. Since then, I have done two collaborative EPs with fellow artist Kuddi titled “This Is What You Wanted” and “This Is What You Wanted 2”. In the summer of 2017, I performed in over 30 shows and have released three official singles since then, two of which are on the YPSZN mixtape. My singles Losing You & Black Card have enjoyed high rotation on radio stations in Nigeria and UK. The joint music video for Losing You & Black Card was released via Linkup TV in the UK and premiered on MTV Base West. I released my 15-track debut mixtape, titled “YPSZN”, on 8th June 2018 with the hope of pioneering trap culture in Nigeria and chart my way to the top of the new wave of urban music breaking barriers in Nigeria and beyond.

JAGUDA: Lastly, tell us one secret about yourself.

Before YPSZN, I have given mixing and mastering credit to a lot of other people on my released songs when it was actually me that mixed and mastered them myself.

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