by Onyeka Nwelue
The trio of young Nigerian musicians, Ogah Brothers just released their debut single, Tinko Tinko, a sexy blend of clambered rap, amazing vocals laced with magic. Humping and thumping hanging in the air while the lyrics seduce you. Tinko Tinko as a song is best listened to when you are in bed, because it sounds like a lullaby.
What the three brothers can also boast about is the way they sing: they sing straight from their hearts. Just like 3T, the American R&B/Pop music group featuring the three sons of Tito Jackson (from The Jackson 5) and Delores “Dee Dee” Jackson, Jon, who happens to be the youngest, is the lead vocalist. His voice is as sensual as the others, but the high pitch which he adds to it, makes it more appealing.
We asked the boys about how they got together, the new single and their performance at Chelsea Hotel in Abuja and their forthcoming concert at Taruwa on the 31st of July, which will happen at Bogobiri in Ikoyi, Lagos.
It began with the whistling of the birds; the slow but powerful beating of their wings in flight as they perched near our veranda at Ikoyi. It began as early as 5years old for all of us. Back then, we would stand by the veranda and sing with the whistling Tundra swans, those white birds that are normally seen flocking around Eleko beach, Lekki beach and sometimes the damp waters logged areas of the Lord Lugard Street, under the tall palm trees. The loudness of the motor vehicles, hawkers screaming “buy your okpa here!” And the club bangers from wine bars sent our neurons hyperactive with excitement. These little environmental hazards somewhat pinched at the maestros in us. And then all of a sudden, the noise gravitated to being a puzzle, the honing of the vehicles sounded like the trumpet, the loud screaming of the hawkers as opera singers and behold- music was born. We know it somewhat sounds unrealistic, almost like our description of how we fell in love with music is some prosaic essay but truth is, the experience was real. Every morning during the holidays, we would disturb all the neighbors in the compound, singing songs like – “Who stole the meat from the cooking pot?” and in no short time, it evolved into songs from Raskimono to Whitney Houston to Boys 2 Men to Shai and the list is endless. This was the early 1990’s.
Inspiration and aspiration:
Our inspiration would have to be from everything and every being we come across or experience, whether it’s from the bed time stories and songs our grandmother used to sing to us whenever we visited her at Oturkpo, or the girl that was doing us “shakara” when we were toasting her. It could be anything honestly! But in a nutshell, our musical aspirations would never have come to light if people like Onyeka Onwenu never paved the way for so many of us. Child stars like Benita, I recall, gave us the passion we needed to dream big musically also. As regards our aspiration, we look forward to a time when our music would cut boundaries, across Asia, Europe, America etc. Every big castle was once a brick, and that is why we are currently working our hearts out to ensure we deliver classy music, songs that people can call ever-green and yet maintaining our indigenous roots in the songs. We’re all graduates from different fields of study but music is our forte; it’s what we breathe, drink, sleep and even snore sef!
Their work with classical Hindi vocalist:
If you’ve listened to Tia’s voice, you would agree with us when we say that her voice spreads like leaves in a storm; meaning – her voice has got a certain beauty and grace to it, highly artistic in the way she’s able to work her notes and she doesn’t just sing, she seems to feel whatever it is she sings about and that is why when we got the opportunity to work with her, we jumped on it immediately. We can’t wait for you guys to hear it. It’s fun, exciting and happy song. The song is what I would call bi-cultural, a fusion of two completely different cultures, yet it’s sweet to listen to.
What gave birth to Tinko Tinko?
The nursery school musical play o! Michael actually started writing the song using the nursery school rhyme “tinko tinko tinkoloko tinko” and then it evolved into a love song about how this guy loves the way his girl gets angry and then they both get married in the end. As a matter of fact, the marriage part came in the studio when we heard this lovely girl speak, and the way she spoke sounded like daffodils were singing. And so we decided to write a vow for her to take in the song.
Just a good voice and distinct presence on the recording mic would do.
On their debut single and new mixtape:
Currently we have four songs on our mixtape, some of which were produced by The Gospel who is currently one of Nigeria’s finest and then Tinko Tinko produced in Kebna studio, another of Abuja’s best recording studios.
Ogah Brothers will be performing at Taruwa on 31st July, 2012 from 7pm.