Nansel Nimyel, one name that is sure not to ring a bell when mentioned in the music industry. The same can’t, however, be said about Zdon Paporrella, a name that is easily linked to many popular songs on the streets. Yet, both Nimyel and Paporrella are one and the same. The Source recently had a chat with this 31-year-old prince from the Langtang area of Plateau State and in his gentle yet brilliant personality, he took us into his world
You are currently rated as one of the best Rnb musicians in the country today. How did music start?
Music started way back. I started out by dancing the songs I liked as a young boy and I had an uncle who will take us to the Amusement Park in Apapa, Lagos. At the end of the day, when I finished dancing to the songs dished out by the D.J, people will spray me with money and even clap for me. I did the Micheal Jackson act and in school I wrote rap songs with a mindset that singing, was a feminine thing. But when people kept telling me that I could sing, judging by what they hear me sing at times, I decided to give it a try. This was in 1998, so I actually started singing in 1998.
But you didn’t release an album until years later, why?
It’s true, I released my first album on February 1, 2006. It was entitled Experience the Zee. It was released under my label – the reloaded was released a year later. This had to be done because the song, Na You Bi Di Girl was everywhere and people wanted copies but we had not sealed a distribution deal. We distributed it at first and then we caught the eye of a distributor in Alaba who felt we didn’t do it well. He paid for the rights, so we added some songs to it, did remixes and relaunched it with a different title and out-look. The repackaged work was entitled Call Me Z-Don Paporella.
After the success of that album you kind of disappeared into thin air. What happened?
I was signed on to a record label. So when the contract expired two years later, I called it quits with them and decided to go independent. Travelling this route meant you’ve got to do a lot of work. You’ve got to get the music right and do a lot of research. I spend my money now and have to account for every money spent. Basically I had to take some time off. I was out of the country for a while and when I came back I knew I had to study the terrain before I do anything because things had changed.
What were the changes?
You know, music evolves and it is good to do the same in order to remain relevant. I studied the terrain because I am an artiste who likes making statements with his works. I don’t just record songs, they must make an impact, that’s what keeps me going and that’s my biggest challenge. My new songs must be better than the last ones, so it has to take time. I had to study how I would fit in and stand out without being left out. Also, I had to put together resources. Thank God it paid off as I was able to start recording again. I recorded a song with Niga Raw entitled My Time and shot the video. It is currently doing very well and enjoying the airwaves too. My new single entitled Dansia is very successful on the airwaves. It’s on MTN Top 10, Hit Song of the Week in various radio stations both in and outside Lagos. The response is awesome. The album will be out very soon and we are presently in talks with people who will do the distribution.
A lot of music lovers find it difficult to place you, genre-wise.
I play secular music generally and inspirational music basically, because I like to inspire people. I am inspired by the things I write and see, so I try to channel most of the times, my message towards inspiring people positively. I talk to the minds of people. Dansia is actually a peace song. It is a peace song and not just a dance song. The message there is ‘let’s put the gun down, stop fighting and start dancing’. Let’s expend our energy into doing what is right, what is positive. I have other songs like Dance of Love, Where We Dey Go and several others about life.
Now, would you say being a native of Jos, some of your songs are influenced by the violence in your state?
Like I said, my songs are inspired by what I see, talk about, hear or discussed with others. Yes, Dansia was inspired by some of the things that happened in Jos and everywhere in Africa that violence exist. With such songs in the airwaves people can envision what crisis is and embrace peace always. I am just contributing my own quota with what I do.
I learnt you were recently bestowed with a title in Jos?
Well, its more of a Peace Ambassador. I was given that together with some indigenes and non-indigenes. It was at Langtang local government area about two or three months ago.
Many people believe you sing more of love songs, such that they even call you “Lover man.” How do you feel about that?
I think it is because when Nigerians identify you with one particular song they assume you just do that kind of songs. Fine, I am a loverman and not a hater. I think love should be encouraged because its one of the strongest weapons we can use to create so much. If love truly dwells in the hearts of most people, there wouldn’t be crisis even in Jos. If people love not just their spouses but the next man on the street, I don’t think anyone would want to take up a knife and cut off someone’s head or stab him. So, love is something we should celebrate. Its not what we should be ashamed of. I am a loverman. People should be encouraged to love. I love to love. You see, when they call me “loverman” they are over-promoting and over-rating me. I think very few people qualify as true lover men in the world today.
I hear you are in school. What are you studying?
I am actually studying Co-operative Management at the National Open University. I was studying Mass Communication at the University of Lagos but had to drop out because of my schedule which was really crazy. It’s not as if Mass Comm. was difficult, but I was hardly ever in school. Most of the time I was on the road and I had to work most nights. I was an artiste, a full sound engineer, producer, et cetera. I needed to make money to foot my bills.
I learnt that you are a Prince. Tell me about your family?
My dad is the Thaji Langtang, otherwise known as a King. I have a younger brother and I am from a polygamous home. My dad is a retired Colonel in the Army. My mum is right here in Lagos. She is a businesswoman but these days she is more of a pastor (laughs). That’s the history of my family in a nutshell. My mum and brother are the people I consider family mostly right now. At God’s appointed time, I’ll get married. Left to me, I had wanted it to happen last year but it didn’t. It takes two to make a marriage work. The two have to be ready both psychologically and mentally so that when the storm comes you’ll be able to weather it. I don’t cherish telling people I am a Prince because I want to work and make it myself.
So you think music is fulfilling?
Music is something I have to do. I ventured into music without the interest and benefits that comes from it other than self-fulfillment. It was later that it started bringing benefits. So basically I am fulfilled. If I die today, I die a happy and fulfilled man because I had the courage to pursue what I believe in and have passion for.