Determined to break barriers and give upcoming artiste a platform to showcase themselves, Williams-Oleka, the Infinity Man, told Forefront that God is backing his vision for a breakthrough in Nigeria’s music industry.
What is it like being on the Nigerian music scene?
Well, as an upcoming artiste, your life-long desire is to become popular in the music industry. However, it requires dedication and hard work to excel because the industry has come of age. There is massive appeal in Nigeria; Africa and globally.
So, one must be courageous and depend on God for guidance since you are dealing with different listeners and calibre of people. Some will mock you at the beginning; some will encourage you to face the challenges squarely; while some see music as an industry for lazy people. Still, there are those that see musicians as people lacking in vision; as a result, they will not like to associate with you. For me, I believe with God, all things are made possible. I am confident of excelling and the entertainment industry will certainly announce me to the world.
Is your dream coming true with your recent singles?
It has been a great relief because I started my career outside the shores of Nigeria, being away in Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo and Benin Republic. The major challenge, especially in the francophone countries, was singing in French, English and my local language to satisfy the listeners’ needs. It was tasking writing my scripts in different languages just to meet these pressing demands. I worked hard to achieve this goal without violating the industry’s code. The challenge is not only being creative and unique always; but shunning the allure of copying people’s work. Nurturing an idea is not easy, so I always prefer a quiet environment for inspiration and serious brainstorming.
Despite massive acceptance by listeners, breaking into the industry isn’t easy and it is frustrating for many artists. From lack of funding and exposure, poor production, to lack of air time and opportunities for gigs, it is a bumpy ride. Listeners don’t have patience for upcoming artiste but they fall over themselves courting established acts.
How do you fare as an independent artiste?
It makes me strong, focused, industrious and creative. Depending so much on people makes you lazy, to the extent that you may not think properly or generate new ideas to grow.
Won’t the story be different if you sign on with a record label?
That sincerely is my dream because every artiste needs a record label to showcase his/her works. It is a proof that you are endorsed and your efforts as an artist are appreciated. It also makes you step up a notch in the industry.
Your future plans and what the fans should expect
My plan is to continuously create excitement and enthusiasm with world class shows that will not only attract traffic to our platform, but also shore-up awareness creation. Building a studio or platform where upcoming artiste can showcase their talents early in life is my dream. Today, we have many talented teenaged artists but they can’t go far due to lack of support or encouragement. As a child, my interest in music was huge, but with no one to encourage me; that is why it took long starting off. My appreciation, therefore, goes to Dominion family that first showcased my talent in Benin Republic. Indeed, that performance opened doors for me.
Your advice for upcoming artistes
In this industry, you need patience; courage, and hard work to be visible. No matter how long it takes; the important thing is achieving your goals at the end. Then, even those that mocked you initially will return to celebrate you.
Are you considering collaboration with famous musicians in Nigeria?
Yes! It is a necessary step because no one is an Island. No tree makes a forest. Partnering other musicians will certainly enhance my growth in the industry.
As a music ambassador, counting your blessings will encourage others still thinking ill of the industry.
Honestly, it has not been easy. But by God’s special grace, I’m a two-time winner of a 50-contestants’ music fiesta design for both local and foreign artiste in Benin Republic. I have performed in five countries, including Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin Republic and Nigeria. Recently, I was in Abuja to present two of my best tracks, ASA Abuja and Condom.
Who are you?
I’m Oleka, Chizoba Williams; born to late Mr & Mrs Igwe Oleka’s family in Isuikwuato, Abia State and my musical career started about 18 years ago. As a teenager, I was a dancer and singer doing copy-right playback, especially reggae. This encouraged me to further explore the industry and I was nick-named ‘Infinity’ after an outstanding performance during one of my outings in Benin Republic. “Infinity Condom man”, as I was popularly called, garnered considerable followership in the course of my social crusade for safe sex and birth control. Infinity is a social crusader with over nine recorded songs to my credit. I am happily married.
Are you doing anything outside music?
I am a business man. Precisely, I’m a car dealer
What is your music genre and any regrets so far?
I’m into commercial music, like Flavour, Phino, Olamide, KC and Timaya etc. I’m happy that my talent was not wasted and by God’s grace, I’m optimistic of a glorious career.
In all, I’ll say, “Oluwa bu Eze”.