Numerous Nigerian Christian hip hop acts have had wins in their art in 2019. One of them is rapper, singer, visual artist, and music producer Angeloh Anosike. Angeloh has been able to make a name for himself with his music and designs. With over a million views for his track with Tbabz Beatz and thousands of streams on other platforms for his releases, he surely has a promising music career.
In a recent interview with the Furilla Records artist, Angeloh shares more about himself, new project, art designs, and viral song “I Do It” with Christian rapper S.O.
What do you do?
I am a music artist, Visual artist (Creative Direction, Illustration, and Graphics design.) I am also Host of Jesus x Common Sense podcast; budding speaker and culture architect.
What label are you signed to?
I am independent. Myself and Team run Furilla Records as our operational label. I am the forerunning artist “signed” on at the moment.
How have you been able to merge being an artist with the role of a designer?
It’s brutal (laughing). I grind long hours. And I have a purpose for my work: my art business keeps me financially stable so that I have no need to place pressure on my music ministry. So I can wait on it, as well as preserve its purity – because I am not hungry.
How long have you been into music and your first song?
My dad was a DJ, so technically I was born into music. As an adolescent, I toyed around with covers of popular music. As a teenager, I understudied under several rappers, singers, lyricists and producers between three recording studios.
My first single “In Ur Presence” was released in 2012.
What was the reception of your first single like compared to now?
Well. At the time I was not on streaming platforms. Streaming had not become a thing in Nigeria at the time. But for an underground artist making Christian hip hop in Surulere Lagos, I was relatively known. But of course, my current response dwarfs my humble beginnings. We thank God for growth.
You’ve had a lot of wins recently, getting features on music and designs. How did it all happen?
Diligence, Staying power, and opportunities man. “Seeth thou a man diligent in his work, he shall sit among kings (Influencers, Clientelle, and fans)…” “The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but time (span of time) and chance (opportunities are seen and ceased) happens to them all.” “… No vegetation had sprung from the ground because God had not sent the rain, and there was no man to till the ground.”
Those scriptures are literally the counsel I lived (and continue to live) by that have proven true in this regard.
How did you get to work on a joint project with the popular emcee ‘Bouqui’?
Amazing project. Well, I was at my house, Bouqui called my team and pitched the idea. It was a fabulous and timely idea.
What inspired your EP ‘The Love Child’?
Man, I have seen all shades and sides of relationships (from personal experiences to close quarters third party observation.) I had a bucket of hopes going into relationships in my time but got my heart wrecked. I had relationships I believed in and was willing to go all the way through thick and thin if the other party was game, but that didn’t happen either. “Wanted More” and “We Go Dey Ok” were inspired by these.
The upside was I eventually found love, and I battled with insecurities and uncertainties that threatened the relationship. Thankfully God’s word and character came through and I became a better version of myself. “God Forbid” is the fruit of that final experience.
You’ve had several features with so many artists from Nigeria this year, can you mention them and what it means to you?
Phew! Bouqui, TBabz, Gaise Baba, Limoblaze, to mention a few. I love great opportunities for collaboration. In some cases it has been an encouragement and an honor; in other cases, it has been epic fun times. Jesus is being preached all the same!
You have a new single titled “I Do It” featuring Nigerian American rapper S.O, how did it all happen? And why S.O.?
Yes indeed. Four years ago I made the beat and recorded the hook and my verse to “I do it.” I and my team immediately knew S.O. had to be on it. At the time we did not have any connections nor feature fees to afford to have him on the track. So we kept it in the cooler.
Last year, S.O. posted that he was open to features and all. I hit his call to action and contacted him. He was gracious enough to forego a fee. He heard the song, and replied with a “what is the tempo?” Well, the rest is history. Milestone moment.
You’ve made a lot of designs for so many artists lately, can you mention some of them?
Ah! CalledOut Music, Bouqui, Limoblaze, Kelarthrillz, Snatcha of RoofTop MCs, etc.
Would you say there’s a point where music and design meet?
Everywhere. Music needs packaging. The packaging is design. Design in most cases does better with music/sound. Beyond functional uses, Music and Design are Art. Art is self-expression. An expression is an action of making known one’s thoughts or feelings. Design and Music meet where expression lives.
That’s my attempt at being deep (laughing).
How important would you say cover art is for an artist who is about to drop a track?
Well, you would not buy your favorite item at the grocery store if it had terrible, unappealing design would you? It’s as important as a movie cover to a movie, a book cover to a book, or a poster ad to a brand campaign. It’s probably as important as a music video (on a minute budget.) It shows professionalism and lends a sense of seriousness to the respective artist and/or project. And it goes a long way to show the audience you care about your craft as well as for about them: Nobody will care about what you offer if you do not present it as something worth caring about.
What makes a good cover art?
At the core, a good cover art looks good (whatever passes for that.) as long as it invites the eye of the consumer, it’s great. Secondly, good cover art communicates the essence, theme or story behind or of the art, whether in abstract, obvious or subliminal form.
Who do you look up to in Christian hip hop?
In my earlier days, I used to “lookup” to a number of CHH artists. At this point in time, for a myriad of reasons, I don’t do much “up looking.” Not in a prideful or disrespectful way. I guess, My heroes turned out to be VERY human. So in the words of Andy Mineo, “All of my heroes are frauds… just like me.” That aside, I currently love Andy Mineo, S.O., Bizzle (especially version 2019), JGivens, and Humble Beast.
What do you have to say about the growth of Christian Rap in Nigeria?
Man, it’s a whole web, probably requires a session on all it’s own. It’s a growing space. A lot of natural selection/sorting is taking place. Some good and noteworthy things to be encouraged about, some to be indifferent about, others that tend to be potentially disturbing, etc. Overall, the space is growing and thriving and only those who wait on it will reap the harvest of their labor of love.
You have two projects in just a year, Love Child and now you just released Highway. Why is that?
There is no specific “Strategy” as to why. It just happens to line up in good timing. Highway EP has been due for about three years and for several reasons kept being pushed forward. This version released is the fourth iteration of the project! I released Love Child as a birthday month gift (my birthday is Valentine’s Day by the way). I had experiences that would typically not fit into a Highway EP setting so Love Child was a good avenue to vent, unburden and profess. Volume 2 is not far away.
What should we expect in 2020 from Angeloh?
Expansion; musically, art-wise, Urban Christian Culture related, and personal milestones. It will be quite a packed and fulfilling year.