Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Jilex Anderson is an amazing, soulful RnB/Hip hop artiste that has been on the rising for some time now but is now becoming a voice to reckon with in the Nigerian music industry with the release of his hit single "Afro Lover".

The song is on the lips of almost everyone these days, the rhythm, melody, and lyrics are breathe taking, you literally cannot help but fall in love with it, I had the utmost pleasure of interviewing him a little while ago and I had an amazing time learning about his life and how the music and sound we hear today has always been even before he ever entered a studio. It's such an amazing read, have a lovely read every one.

DVF: Welcome to the DvfStyleCollective, please tell me about yourself and background?

Jilex: Thanks for having me, I'm Emeka Jacob Anderson... I'm an artist and a songwriter, I hail from delta state but born and raised in the northern part of Nigeria "Kaduna state" precisely

DVF: That's nice, can you speak Hausa?

Jilex: Yeah, sure

DVF: So how long were you in Kaduna and when did you leave?

Jilex: It always has been Kaduna and Abuja for me, I grew up in both cities

DVF: I see, that's cool, so when did you discover your love for music and when you officially started singing and writing songs, was there a trigger, or was the passion for it always in there somewhere?

Jilex: Well ever since I was a kid I have always loved music 

"I mean everyone in my family loves music", my Dad especially, growing up he would always play RnB songs every morning so I just got caught up, I started writing songs in my junior secondary school but I never had the chance to get in the studio.

I recorded my first song when I was sixteen I guess, it was terrible! Believe that

DVF: Hahaha....what's the name of this song and what was it about?

Jilex: (Laughs) it was a rap song, I used to majorly just rap, I mean I still rap anyways but I do more of singing now and  Nah... I'm not telling anybody the name of the song

DVF: Why? (laughs)

Jilex: So you don't go and look for it 😂😂 

DVF: Not fair...is it online? It is definitely online if you're worried that I'd find it

Jilex: Yeah, it is somewhere online

DVF: Okay so then after the release of this "secret song" what came next? 

Jilex: I was busy chasing girls in high school 😌😌

DVF: What about now though?... Aren't you still chasing them, from your " Afro lover" song the ladies must already be feeling you

Jilex: (Laughs) yeah.. but no I'm not chasing girls... I'm way older now and have a lot of things I need to get to

DVF: That' true, so anyways did you go on to write more songs and make more music?

Jilex: Yes, I was in a group of four, we called our selves 'CCMC' means croc city music crew, we made a lot of music back then but wasn't as serious as I am right now with it, I mean I made songs than to chase girls and I dated the hottest girl in my school... hey! 

But I started making music professionally in 2015 and I released the song "Slide-in" as my first official single

DVF: Hahaha... well ladies love a guy that can sing so getting the hottest chicks is kind of inevitable, was it a rap group?

Jilex: (laughs)... yes, it was a rap group

DVF: Is your first official single " Slide-In" a Rap song?

Jilex: No it's an urban RnB hip hop song

DVF: That's nice, from the name though it sounds very sexual 

Jilex: Yeah, it is a sexual song, I won't say much just get the song it's out already, I mean it's been out and the video will be out soon too

DVF: Yeah, already on it, so who would you say has influenced you the most in music, in terms of finding your sound and getting inspiration

Jilex: Craig David, I grew up listening to Craig David, I still listen to his "born to do it" album and it was released around 2001/2002 I guess, a lot of other artists inspire me too... the likes of Drake, J.Cole and down here in Nigeria Wizkid, Ice prince... the list is quite long

DVF: Coming into the music scene you really have come with your own sound and vibe and obviously doing things in your way and direction.

A  sound that many may consider very western and is always a fear that it will be tough to succeed within the Nigerian music industry, how did you manage to stay true to your style and not conform or sway into the typical "Nigerian sound" and weren't you at all phased by the fear that it might be tough to buy the hearts of Nigerians and create a fan base that will appreciate and welcome you and your sound?


Jilex: Yes, now that's key. I won't call my sound "NEW" it's just refined from the old and the new, here is the thing I don't listen solely to the "mainstream" music that is on the TV and radio because I feel they are quite addictive... I mostly listen to basically what people generally won't want to listen to and here is when the pressure sets in "when you listen to what everybody is listening to" you probably start to sound like them or want to make what everyone wants to listen to and that's what eventually brings about the fear of whether you're going to be accepted or not.

So I don't get caught up in the pressure and yeah I got the feeling that it might be tough to buy the hearts of Nigerians, trust me I did "Naija people that love to dance" I mean even I like to dance too 😭😭

DVF: (Laughs) yeah we really love to dance, most Nigerians prefer the Timaya's and Terry G's 

Jilex: But my music still makes you dance though.. so I'm good, I'm not pressured, we go still dance

DVF: Yeah that's definitely true, I mean I dance to Afrolover. How or what helps to bring you to a place where you get inspired to write?

Jilex: Real life issues, I go about writing my songs with a subject first, first off I already know what I want it to sound like cause I produce sometimes then I play around with the sound and write but it depends on the work process though, sometimes the beat is so good it tells a story already

DVF: Yeah true, a beat can naturally birth life to a song, so you produce? that's nice! How did you get into production?

Jilex: Yeah I do, I never had enough money to pay for studio sessions so that inspired me to save money and get myself what I need to produce

DVF: That's dope, okay so I'm a little conflicted here, how did you go from not having enough money to pay for sessions to going abroad often and shooting a hit song in South Africa?

Jilex: It's God. When I made SLIDE IN, I uploaded it on my sound cloud page and it was also on top Nigerian music blogs and I got recognition from industry heads, I mean I woke up one day and I saw MI ABAGA post my song on his Instagram page

DVF: Wow.... awesome! Now I feel so dumb for not knowing about 'SLIDE IN' earlier

Jilex: It's okay (smiles)

DVF: Are you under a record label now?

Jilex: Not long before I made AfroLover, I had already gotten contracts from different Nigerian labels that were interested in working with me (sign me) won't mention any names though but now yeah I'm signed to MOZAY ENTERTAINMENT, it's a new label with a new artist

DVF: Why did you pick Mozay entertainment over the rest?

Jilex: They never wanted to infiltrate 'my sound' the company allows me to make music the way Jilex would want to make

DVF: That's cause they believe in you and that's everything we all hope for, that we find those that believe in us.  Is your music majorly RnB, hip hop, and Rap or do you venture into other genres?

Jilex: Yeah I do dance hall and afrobeat also I call my sound 'Afro-soul'

DVF: Yeah I agree, definitely soulful. What about your family? do they support you going into music or are they like 'Boy, school first' like most Nigerian parents generally do?

Jilex: My family supports my music, my mum got me a USB midi keyboard when I decided to start producing

DVF: Wow... that is the sweetest thing ever, so cool of her, I love that. The support is essential

Jilex: I know right!

DVF: Yeah... so did you play a part in the production of Afro lover?

Jilex: Yeah, I was in the studio with my producer "DANJA" who fully produced slide In, when he already had the lead sound in Afro Lover I just thought we should have some African drums with it instead of making it another moist RnB song mean, it's still moist but with an African vibe so we played around with other sounds until we got done

DVF: Yeah, it does have a strong African referral to it. It's so dope I recall the first time I saw it come on trace TV I was going through music channels and found myself changing to the next with each song that came on then I got to trace and suddenly heard this sound, I didn't even think it was a Nigerian song till you got to the chorus and I heard "Na you be my Afrolover" and I just froze like.... what?? It is such a good song ... really!!

Jilex: (Laughs) thanks a lot, still making music though so you will hear more songs and see more videos too.

DVF: Yeah... so the big question here, is the Afrolover song inspired by a real lady in your life or one that was?

Jilex: No, one that will be

DVF: Oh!...that will be... that's nice, are you a romantic?

Jilex: I don't know, I'm a Little gangster though, I'm the type of boyfriend that will send you flowers every day, take you out on a date with a gun strapped at the back of my jeans

DVF: That is kind of scary but if I were a girl and I had such a boyfriend who was doing it for our protection, I think it would make me feel safe as long as the gun was legally bought and he's well trained in using it (laughs)

Jilex: (Laughs) yeah, so you do the math but I don't know if '' I'm a romantic''

DVF: Definitely a romantic, flowers everyday seals that. 


Let's talk fashion for a little bit, what does fashion mean to you and how would you describe your personal style?

Jilex: I dress simple every time, you can check my Instagram out, I love everything black but I'm not the fashion guy hey! I just get whatever I like at H& M's and TopMan

DVF: What is the one thing you would never be caught wearing?

Jilex: The Versace shirt, the one that has the big medusa head on it


DVF: Any specific reason why though?

Jilex: The saturation was just too much at one point in time

DVF: Totally!! ...way too much but I'm not the one to speak, I had two of those shirts (laughs). 

So I saw some videos with you and Ice Prince performing together and you guys seem like really good friends.. how did this friendship come about?

Jilex: He likes my music and he's my idol so we relate, I made a cover of ice prince song aboki in 2012 and now we performing together in 2016. Dreams come through.. hey!

DVF: That's amazing, that's like a major dream come true moment

Jilex: Yeah but it's just the beginning

DVF: You mentioned how M.I also likes your music too earlier

Jilex: Yeah he does

DVF: Have you had the chance to meet him too?

Jilex: Yeah we met one time at a picnic in Abuja where I introduced myself and he was lost a little but my name did ring a bell but we didn't get into any deep conversation or anything like that

DVF: That's so nice but I feel like more relations to him is almost inevitable because of the Ice Prince link, still on this discussion should we maybe be expecting a collaboration from you and Ice?

Jilex: Well 🤔🤔 Probably...

DVF: Okay, speaking about collaborations.. which artists would you like to do some collaborative work within the industry?

Jilex: Probably everybody because for now I haven't really thought about it

DVF: Okay. When you're going on stage do you ever get nervous about how the performance will go and what the crowd's reaction will be?

Jilex: Yes I'm always nervous, see I'm a very shy isolated human being, I don't like showing off my face and it's becoming a problem with this lifestyle that I have chosen

DVF: How are you managing to cope with audiences and crowds because I see you doing really well on stage dancing, grooving and being interactive with the crowd

Jilex: I don't think I'm interactive with the crowd 😭 I'm shy asf (as f**k) but I try

DVF: (Laughs) I noticed you wear caps a lot and put your face down often does that help you to avoid directly looking at the crowd?

Jilex: Yes it does, I will soon begin to wear dark RayBan shades on stage and go into ghost mode (Laughs)

DVF: (Laughs) like how many performances in total can you say you have done this year alone?

Jilex: Ermmm, I'd say maybe just about five major performances this year

DVF: Well not to worry, with the level of success the AfroLover record is gaining, you soon would not have a number


Jilex: I say Amen to that

DVF: And by then you would have spent so much time performing for crowds you would not even remember that you were shy

Jilex: Exactly. I hope so cause I don't even like interviews, I mean audio interview and online chat interviews like we are doing right now is fine by me but otherwise, I'm not into it

DVF: Well you should stick to whatever makes you comfortable, Sadly for me, we have come to the end of this interview but one last question before I go, do you have any Nigerian designers whose work you think speaks to you as an artist and would represent or represents the Jilex Anderson brand well?

Jilex: Yes, SanusiLagos (which is Africa's first urban streetwear luxury brand) the founder is a very dope designer and his brand represents me well, he totally gets me and his designs easily fit in with my style persona

DVF: That's very cool, I just checked his Instagram page out, he definitely represents you well. 

Thank you so very much Jilex for your time and for having this interview, I'm honored and I loved every second of it

Jilex: Yeah... me too, you're welcome






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