there is anything the stylishly critical Faze knows how to do best, it is killing birds with one song – or stone, if you like. Consider what he does in his popular number, Kolomentality, in which he gets people rocking with excitement while yet drumming it loud into their spines that they should heal themselves of mad rush for foreign things.
He invoked the same style in Johannesburg , South Africa last week where he attended the Channel O Awards alongside several other Nigerian artistes such as Video of the Year award-winning P Square , Baba Dee, Tuface, Ikechukwu and KC Press. But while others disappeared from the city as soon as the programme was over, Faze stayed back in South Africa to shoot the video of Spend my Money, one of the tracks in his new album titled Story of my Life.
As if that is not enough to justify his one-stone-two-bird philosophy, Faze captures a symbolic drama in Mother’s Blessing, a track in which he makes his mother to sing with him, even if it is not a conventional kind if song.
‘I must tell you, it is one of the most important tracks in the album,’ he says. ‘I took my mum the studio for her to pray for me because you cannot quantify the importance of a mother’s blessings on the life of a child. Without her, I wouldn’t have been where I am today.’
Yet, the story of Mother’s Blessing is deeper than that. In the beginning, the artiste’s mum was not too favourably disposed to his going into music. Her fear was that the career would lure him into smoking and drinking and, perhaps, a few other things that tend to trail the lives of many showbiz chaps. But, according to the Faze, the mum is very happy at the end of the day because he neither kisses the cigarette nor suckles intoxicating bottles.
‘I don’t smoke. I don’t drink. So, my mum is very happy and she has eventually been supporting me.’
But how does he escape the lures of such things that, many believe, have a way of making them high?
‘I think it has to do with determination,’ he says. ‘Right from the start of my career, I had made it a point of duty that I wouldn’t drink or smoke. I don’t like condemning those who engage in the acts, but people generally know that smoking and drinking are bad.’
Apart from the multiplicity of its tracks, Faze’s new baby, Story of my Life is very ambitious in terms of the subjects it addresses as well as the musical forms the artiste plays with. As he reveals the story of his life, so also does he tell the Nigerian story from different perspectives. While one of the songs, which he initially wrote for BBC Africa, addresses the plight of the Nigerian kid, the title track itself is critical of the political brigandage that many of Nigeria ’s so-called leaders worship. Spending my Money, which Faze decided to shoot in South Africa because of relative availability of exotic scenes and objects such as cars, professes a bohemian lifestyle just as I’m in Love, coming as an R and B, rekindles the old connection between music and love.