Off the back of his recent release of a new single titled ‘NOYE’, this week we caught up with energetic singer and ‘Ekamba’ crooner Lybra. In this interview with Emmanuel Harrison, he explores his identity as an artiste, creative process, and musical memories amongst other spheres of his personal and professional life. Excerpts:
Who is Lybra? How did you get your stage name, Lybra?
I am an entertainer, singer, songwriter extraordinaire. I am actually a Libra, that’s my zodiac sign. So I coined my stage name from it, and created Lybra. LYBRA is actually an acronym for Living Young Boy Revolutionizing Africa.
How would you describe your genre of music?
I do Hip-Life music, it is a fusion of highlife and hip-hop sounds, with inclusion of afro-pop.
Do you ever take inspiration from personal experiences to write your music? Like on the song Ekamba where you gave a grass to grace story?
Yeah! My music is about what happens around me. It might be a personal experience or someone else’s; it has to do with reality. As an artiste, I love to communicate with my audience, I speak reality.
What makes you stand out as an artiste from other artistes?
I don’t follow trends; I just do great music and give out positive energy. I try to be myself and be original.
How did you get started in the music industry and what gave you the motivation to stay with it?
In my nursery school days, I was actually in a cultural troupe called ‘Udo Mariam Theatre Troupe’, I don’t know if you can remember it. I was part of it back then and that’s where everything started. Then in my secondary school days, I played drums and keyboard, also in church too (laughs). So I’ve always been around the musical environment and entertainment as a whole, I’ve always been doing it. I don’t think I can do any other thing right now, music is my life (laughs).
Do you have local musical influences within the state that inspires your music?
(Thinking) Errrm, not really, I don’t think I have any one within the state that inspires my music. I just love to keep it real, Lybra is Lybra. I love to sound the way I sound (Laughs).
You recently released a new single titled NOYE, tell us what’s the creative process and inspiration behind the song?
NOYE is a song that appreciates the African woman. It’s me telling them to be proud of themselves. (sings) ‘Baby NOYE o’ means give them, show yourself without fear. It is a self-esteem booster. (sings) ’30 billi for isin, show me say you dey ready’ (laughs). You no understand? I’m trying to make them feel welcome; you know I love the African woman. So on NOYE, I was playing my part as an African man. You know I love big things! (laughs).
Your music has been making heavy waves across the AkwaCross music scene and beyond, how did you get this far? also, any advice to for upcoming artiste?
I am a proud fan of who Lybra is. I am a fan of myself, I believe in what I do. I believe in my music because music is my life. I’ve been consistently putting in the work and constantly promoting it. I’ve also believed in God and trusted him, because above all na God o, na God. So my advice to upcoming artistes is to just do their thing, push it and be out there, be consistent. You never can tell what might happen tomorrow, so always give your 100% all the time.
What are your thoughts on the current state of music in Akwa Ibom State?
The Akwai bom music industry is actually growing. The artistes out there are trying; they’re trying to put the state on the map. It is high time the private sector, the government sector and everybody else should put in hands to push the industry to the next level. You know, endorsements from companies and brands also. It’s high time we actually things properly, pay artistes well; pay them what they’re worth. There is more to entertainment than what we’re doing right now, but above all we are actually growing and I’m proud of it.
What should we expect from Lybra in the coming future? a new project or video?
Yeah! A couple of big collaborations will be coming soon (laughs). Definitely, a project is coming and a video. You know, I’ve always been working and they’ll be out soon. I’m going to put out my first body of work very soon and trust me you guys should expect ‘A Classic’ from me, I also need everyone’s support!