It’s no longer news that the global village is enjoying the sounds emanating from the motherland as we have seen some of Nigeria’s leading music stars leave no stone unturned as they take the world by storm.
As this music moves and makes waves, it is clear that a new generation is rising with a sound of their own as they too seek to make their mark in what is already a globally accepted genre of music. One of such hopefuls is Major J.
Major AJ, who was born Ajogwu Boluwatife Vincent, is an Afro-Fusion Nigerian rapper, singer, and songwriter. He was born on the 8th of April and hails from Okpokwu Local Government in Benue State. He spent most of his early years in Kainji town (Niger State), Ijebu land, Ilorin and Lagos city.
In an interview with us, he spoke of how his love for music started at an early age through his church choir and listening to Hip-hop and Afrobeats. However, he could not pursue music professionally until 2019, when he was done with school.
In this deep dive with him, we tell a story of how he has come into his own, his sound, and how his new EP, “RETROVERSE”, laced with the sounds that made 70’s music so popular, will push the afro-beats movement to new heights.
Can you tell us what your creative process was like in the making of Retroverse?
The creative process for me was very organic. It’s extremely important to me that it feels as organic and as natural as possible. I have to feel that same excitement I had when I started making music in the beginning, and I always do everything I can to not make the process serious at all.
As regards the EP, I approached it with the understanding that there were so many people already doing amazing things in the Afrobeats scene, and as an artist, it was important that I created a project that properly introduced me, having just signed with Chocolate City.
So, when the creative process was greenlit, I knew who I wanted to work with, and it was “Dunni”. I had heard of her work in the past and I was already a fan. So, I kept nudging the team. Then, on the last day of the camp, she actually showed up and we created Afro Disco, which then gave the “Retro Disco” direction to the project.
All of this actually started when I listened to Daft Punk a while ago, and I kept thinking of how I could merge the genre with Afro beats. Then, once the meeting with Dunni was over, it just gave the idea wings and served as the inspiration for the rest of the EP.
Who are the artists you draw musical inspiration from?
I love Travis Scott. I think he is a genius. I love Kanye West, Davido, Burna, Skepta, and a couple of other people. I’m of the opinion, however, that you should not limit inspiration to just one person or genre. I can pick inspiration from anyone, everyone, and anything, but the ones I mentioned are my top artists.
What was the most challenging thing about creating this project?
To be honest, creating this project was a really seamless process. The only challenging part was trying to figure out what I wanted my sound to be. It was a lot of work trying to figure out what that was. There was a lot of creative fine tuning with the A&R, vocal training, and so on; that was stressful, but once the entire atmosphere was right and the actual project was greenlit, it was a seamless process through and through.
Do you have a favorite track on the EP?
That is a really tough one o, because I have sentimental attachment to all the songs, but I’ll give “Superstar” a special mention because it chronicles my journey from growing up in Kanji to being a Chocolate City boy; the time where I had nothing but a dream in my head, to where I am now.
What should we be expecting from you now that Retroverse is out?
Now that you mentioned it, I’m taking everyone on a trip to the Retroverse on August 11th. I’m having my listening party because on stage is where I want to be and everyone is in for a treat.
But after that, I’m dropping more music, making collaborations, music videos, and many more. There’s so much of Major AJ coming, from fashion to gaming and the likes. I’m coming in big time!
What is the big dream you have on this journey?
My biggest dream and goal isn’t just about the awards, to be honest (I’d love a Grammy though), but really it’s about the fans. It’s about shutting down the O2 arena back to back. Performing at 100,000 capacity stages.
Five years from now, I want my music to spread the love and happiness that only Afrobeats can bring.
What do you do when you are not making music?
When I’m not making music, I’m gaming. When I’m not gaming, I’m watching movies, but what I really love is fashion. I love buying clothes. I love picking out clothes, mixing and matching and all that. If I wasn’t doing music, I think I would be a stylist.
Do you have any messages for your fans?
Just one word. Thank you. Well, two words actually.
It makes me happy when I see that people love my music. I know not everyone will like the music, but to the ones who love and support me and have supported me so far, all I have to say is thank you.