The Martian Has Landed: Spaceshipboi!
For some of you, it started out with IBK bursting onto the scene with a killer remix on Don Jazzy's Enigma competition. For others, it was him producing BET's Naija Cypher that caught the eye; Beyonce's End of Time competition has garnered an even greater following.
In truth, IBK the Spaceshipboi is massively talented, versatile, driven, hardworking and thankfully, here to stay. We at IWA have closely monitored his progress since he popped up on our radar and we thought it would be something really special to get you up close and personal with this musical genius who has topped our Airplay Top 10 Charts over and over again.
QCan we get an insight into your background, where did you grow up and what was it like for you?
AMy name is Emuwawon Ibukun Kevin and I am from Ondo state. I grew up in Warri and growing up for me was pretty awesome.
QWhen did music start for you? As a hobby and then on a professional level?
AI'm not sure if it was ever a hobby. I started writing music at a very young age, putting stuff together and singing it in front of the mirror, I remember doing a jingle for "ginger ale", my unofficial ginger ale jingle, I used to love that drink. I also recorded a lot on my tape recorder. I remember an amazing song I wrote then, titled "Jesus in my heart", the choir picked it up and before I knew it the entire Warri was singing it. Now that was amazing... So yeah, music has been since way back then.
QMost people think it all started with the enigma competition. Tell us what it was like for you before the great win (which we never got a share of by the way)
A(Laughs)What most people don't know is that I was in Lagos long before the competition. For me, music has always been about doing what God has called me to do, which is inspiring people and letting them know that the only way they can fulfil their dreams and destiny is when they discover their purpose in God. Winning that competition, moved it up a notch for me, and I just felt more responsible, I became more conscious. I saw myself as a role model, whose every move they were watching.
QI've heard a thousand and one opinions on IBK’s stand in this industry? Some say he is gospel, others say he is secular, while others just insist that he floats in between. Where do u really stand?
AEverybody has their own perception and is entitled to an opinion . I believe that everybody has a calling, and mine is to use every opportunity to put God's work out ,and that's what it was for me with the enigma beat competition, a lot of "Christian rappers" had an issue with the competition being instigated by a "secular act", but I didn't see it that way . I saw it as a great opportunity and the same goes for Beyonce's end of time competition, I love that record and I saw my participation as an opportunity to shed more light on the message of love "umbrella-ed" in the marriage context. So my stand is this, I AM GOD'S SERVANT FULFILLING THE SCRIPTURE IN Matthew 28: 19-20.
QAre there any projects you are currently working on?
AI'm working on stuff with a lot of great people like Muna, Rooftop Mcs, some people in Kenya and a gospel rapper (Redd Lettaz).
QTELL US ABOUT MARTIANSHIP
AMartianship is the label, I am the brand, that's what' up! Plans are huge, everybody that's going to be signed on to the label has to go through training, because for me, it’s important you know what you want to sell, as well as your audience and most importantly to have a team. These things are what I am going to be teaching the people who come into the label. Right now, I am trying to build a company that will have an affiliation with an international brand; probably labels that are not owned by artistes.
QPLANS FOR THE FORTHCOMING ALBUM
AWell, I want my album to come out in August, God-willing, and it will be titled "I COME IN PEACE"
QWHO WOULD YOU SAY HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST SUPPORTER IN THE INDUSTRY?
AJide Folayan a.k.a (Mix Master J) and CAMP definitely. I worked with Jide Folayan at MORE-LOVE studios back in 2008 when I did my IT; he's a good producer and mix engineer. Cobhams on the other hand opened his door to me when I started out here in Lagos and he also helped out with my first clients. Bez's manager has also been very supportive, we help each other out in everything.
QWhat's your take on gospel music in Nigeria? At least we all know the music is good but, you will agree that there are a lot of great gospel guys whose music goes unheard and who never get concerts and all, where do you think the problem is? Do you think they are just being pushed aside or the packaging isn't good enough? Or do u agree with most OAPS that their music is only suitable for Sunday morning shows?
AWell, first of all, it's not just in Nigeria that gospel songs are pushed to Sunday mornings. It's everywhere in the world. About the low appreciation of gospel music though, I think its about people not liking things shoved in their faces, they always get defensive and its for this reason, that I like giving you the truth, in a way that you'll see reason in. I also try not to judge, but that doesn't mean that I don’t put my foot down about something being wrong and totally unacceptable. People always stay stuff, yours is to make sure you are following God and your heart and make sure that you are at peace with yourself, regardless of what anybody thinks.
QWhat else do you do, maybe have a passion for besides music?
AWell, i rap, sing, take vocal classes and produce… Everything I do is music related.
QWhat would you say makes a performance/show worth the time for you?
ASomething different from what I already have. Give me an experience ,something I wont forget. I [sic] can't forget when I saw "Fast Five", I got out and was walking like the guys in the movie, I was practically walking like the Rock with the attitude and all. I still wish I could do those cool moves. I just think artistes should to try to create an impact, I want to see showmanship, how you can direct your band and get the crowd to respond to you.
QWho do you "roll" with in the industry?
AThat has to be Bez
QProduction wise, who will you say you've had the most amazing studio session with?
AMyself, I am amazing and totally love the way I work with me, we are an amazing team, if there was an engineer ,it will definitely be Olaitan .The artiste I really enjoy working with has to be Bez, mostly because we are used to working together and also because he listens to my suggestions.
QHow would you react to an offer to sign you from one of the big record labels; that have secular artistes?
AI'll take it based on what the contract says, i would want make sure that I am still me and would want a situation where the label will distribute but not necessarily be in charge of the content I put out . Funny thing is, every time I get that, the only label that comes to my mind is Integrity Music.
QIf you were to rate Nigeria music? How much will you say it has progressed?
AIn terms of production, it is developing, the mix and mastering is still not there yet, but there is also a a big fat room for development ,if only our people will have a competitive mind-set, don't be lackadaisical with your craft, get exposed to international acts.
A"Success is a day's job that started many years ago –IBK The Spaceship Boy."
"Things come on to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle- Abraham Lincoln."
"Be positive after all it’s a process- Queen Latifah –Living Single"
QWho are your favourite rappers on the international scene?
ABusta Rhymes, Common, Talib Kweil and Mos Def, I also love Method Man's voice
QWhat abbout on the local scene?
AMI, because he was able to take the genre and successfully commercialise it in these parts of Africa. Mode 9 because of his lyrical prowess. Blaise is my favourite Naija femcee.
QWhat is your all-time favourite song?
ABob Marley ,is this love?
QWho are your favourite artistes (internationally)?
AFred Hammond Bob marley, Dwele, Kirk franklin, Pharell
QOn the local scene?
AAsa, Bez, Tiwa savage(I love her voice), Bez (again), Onyeka onwenu and Wande coal
QHow many times did you write JAMB?
QWhat was the first record you produced?
AHypothetical, in 2008
QMost interesting/memorable family experience
QWhat is your favourite meal?
AChicken and chips
QMost prized possession?