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Entertainment of Saturday, 28 August 2021


Wizkid, Davido, Burna Boy influence my style of music — Equation Billionz

Afam Efiong Ephraim is also known with his stage name ‘Equation Billionz’ Afam Efiong Ephraim is also known with his stage name ‘Equation Billionz’

Afam Efiong Ephraim, also known with his stage name ‘Equation Billionz’, was in Nigeria recently to release his debut album and has since returned to London where he resides. In this session with FEMI OGUNTAYO, he speaks on his love for music and how Nigerian music has gradually become a favourite brand overseas. Excerpts:

Why have decided to push your music career more from Nigeria than in London where you reside?

Nigeria is a global stage and I feel like that is what I am ready for. I started music in London anyways but I needed change. You need to change and revamp yourself in order to excel and evolve, and that is what I have done.

How influential has Nigerian music become in the UK, and even Europe in general?

Nigerian music has taken over the world; just has it needs to (laughs). Not even just in Europe, even in places like South America my song got played at a night club in Chile. It showed me that Nigeria is taking over and made me proud to be an African.

How do you think you can contribute to the already competitive industry?

My style of sound is still being crafted as I speak but I offer the Afro fusion and UK wave to my music, this is just to give my supporters the best of both worlds. I still have several sounds I can tap into and you will begin to see more of my versatility.

You mentioned Davido, WizKid and Burna Boy as some of your mentors. In Nigeria, a majority who has any mentor does everything the same way his mentor does things. So, are we seeing these three guys in your music or you have a style which is different from theirs?

My style of music was obviously influenced by the biggest three in Nigeria that’s no doubt. I must say that I have similarities when it comes to Afro fusion from the likes of Burna Boy especially. I bring a UK flavour and merge it with the current Afro scene; something I call Afrobrit. I have my own style of singing and my own pattern of melodies. Yes, there are similarities but if you listen closely to my sound you will know it is different.

What would you say your strength is when it comes to music? Is it singing or composing songs?

My strength lies in both the singing and composition of my music.

From your understanding of how things work in the UK, what have you discovered about the music industry in Nigeria which you feel is not professionally handled?

I haven’t actually experienced anything terrible in my journey so far in the Nigerian music industry; I’ve met with some wonderful and helpful people during my time and still look forward to meeting many more. The industry is like any other business; it is a difficult ride but nothing good comes easy. So to answer the question, I can’t actually say to be very honest.

Many of your age are now doing everything to be heard from home first. Do you think the influx of Nigerians abroad will kill home-based talents?

There is enough space in the industry and entertainment business for everyone my age and older. Being Nigerian and abroad can’t kill home-based talents. There are so many people doing music and the competition increases every day. Many people across the world are showcasing themselves online with great talent. Nothing can kill home-based talent.