Born into a musically inclined family, singer, songwriter and performing artist Ogranya followed the train. His father was a musician and it meant having various instruments around the house, listening to songs performed by his dad and a wide range of music by other artists. These factors didn’t entirely nudge Ogranya to start making music, but they played a major role in his love for it.
Starting with songwriting in his early years at Uni, Ogranya’s interest in singing peaked in his final year after releasing his first song which garnered about 10,000 downloads.
Ever since, he has released remarkable body of works including Eden Evermore, Chronicles of Magik, Vol. 1, Chronicles of Magik, Vol. 2, Imperfect and Festival of the Sun.
Although Ogranya’s music genre can easily be classified as Afro-soul and in general terms, alternative music, the kaleidoscopic artist sifting through various genres refuses to be hemmed in and is still on a journey to creating a genre that suits his music best, “The genre conversation is one I’m still yet to fully understand,” he said. “I like sound, I love music. For me, music is like experimenting. I want to experiment with as much sound as I possibly can. I don’t want to be boxed into any genre specifically.”
Speaking on his journey so far, Ogranya is having a good time with every encounter along the step of the way. He describes the exposure as beneficial in terms of social interaction considering he naturally likes to keep to himself, “I’m getting to know myself better, getting to understand how I process the world and how I relate with people because music has brought me out of my shell. I’m having to socialise more than I’d normally want to.”
For the future, Ogranya is aiming for the moon, with a desire to win the Nobel Prize in Literature.
From your point of view as an artist, what exactly would you say music means to you?
Music helps me express myself better, it helps me get things off of my chest. I could have complications or confrontations with people, and I wouldn’t necessarily know how to have those conversations, but music lets me search my heart properly to see how I really feel about things.
In your recent project, Festival of the Sun, you revealed A Good Time was inspired by a personal experience with your mum and your sister. You also just mentioned that music helps you to fully express yourself. Do all your songs come from personal experiences?
The majority of them, not all of them, come from personal experiences. On the Festival of the Sun project, there were six songs, out of which two—Doings and Ecstasy —were written for fun. With Ecstasy, it was just Moliy and I in the studio and we decided to write some music. A Good Time, I’m sorry, Brenda, and Abeg were all from real-life experiences from a real place.
From your other project, Imperfect, I really love Luna, did that also come from a personal experience?
The inspiration for the song was from a relationship. Luna was a name I used to call her, so I just described her with a song basically.
Thank you for making relatable music.
Thank you for listening.
Your Spotify Wrapped statistics showed your music was streamed over 4 million times this year. Congratulations, how did the numbers make you feel?
It was impressive and encouraging. I started putting music up on Spotify in late 2018, or early 2019, and the trajectory has consistently improved. Every year the numbers increase, so it’s just heartwarming to see that more and more people are listening, or people who are listening are listening more.
I’m happy for you. How do you think these numbers and comments from your fans would influence your career moving forward?
Thank you. The comments and feedback just make me realize that more than anything, people actually use my music as part of their process. Just last night right before I slept, someone texted me to tell me that my music helped them get through a lot. I get this type of comment all the time, consistently. And they always stay at the back of my mind to let me know that I’m not going to stop music anytime soon. I’m going to keep putting out music as much and as often as I can because people need it or say they want it. There is demand, so there will be supply.
I love that. You said you recorded your first song in 2013, when did you first perform on a stage?
It was in 2013 as well, but in uni, and I don’t like to count things that happened in uni. After that, the next one was at an event in Port Harcourt somewhere. It was the first time I performed outside school.
How was the experience?
It was encouraging. I think I was the first act that night, I was the only person who did R&B, and the audience was very receptive. It wasn’t a dance music type thing, it was a sit-and-listen event and it went very well. Relative to the other performances I saw that night, the reception towards my music was impressive.
You’ve had numerous stage performances ever since, which one was the best?
I barely have memories of my stage performances, but the ones that I hold dearest, one was Asa’s concert in May this year, and the other one was my headline show in Lagos, in December last year, where fans came around. These two performances were perfect.
What has been your favourite project to work on? And why?
It would’ve been my Eden Evermore project, the first project, but I wasn’t consciously working on the project when I did that. I just love the songs on that project so much, and I hold them dearly because they were the first set of songs I ever worked on. I feel like they’re closest to me. But as a body of work, Imperfect would probably be my best foot forward, because it was a more deliberate project.
What’s your goal with every project you put out?
The goal of each project is more or less to redefine myself as an artist. I feel like Festival of the sun is significantly different from Imperfect. It’s a bit more colourful, a bit more fast-paced music. Like I said earlier, I like to experiment, and with each project, I like to see how differently I can approach music. And from the listeners’ point of view, it’s a thing of trying my luck. I like to see, okay, what do you guys really like? Because I feel like if I had to do the same thing I was doing at the beginning and stick to it, I would get bored and I wouldn’t be able to continue. I like to try new things.
I think it’s commendable that you’re receptive to change. I can’t wait to see what else you have for us.
Yeah, I’m excited. The project I have for next year is exciting.
When is it coming out? Let me be the first to know.
It’ll probably be a lie if I tell you any date right now. But it’s supposed to be next year.