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  • Writer's pictureThe Real Ding


Photo: Bolade Olawoye

Having already established himself with a breadth of rich and emotive delights these last few years, UK-based Nigerian artist Eri Ife has now returned to deliver his vibrant new EP 'Centre(d)'.

Featuring the previously shared gem 'Adore', this new five-track collection makes for an incredibly sweet and tender listen. With his spellbinding vocal performance layered across a sweeping production at every turn, he is certainly looking to turn some heads with this compelling new release.

So with the new EP available to stream now, we sat down with him to find out more about his origins and influences over the years.

What was the first band or artist you fell in love with? 

That’s gotta be Àṣá. This was, what, early secondary school? I was at a cyber café owned by my dad - or I was on the way home from school - I can never remember which it was, lol. But Àṣá came on, and I remember the song “No one knows” just searing itself into my consciousness in the best way, and I ended up listening to all of her music. I still do.

Did you ever form a band when you were younger and if so, what did they sound like? 

Bahaha, I formed a band with a couple of friends in secondary school later on, and we were called “R-Rated”. Which is hilarious looking back, knowing now what R-Rated means. Anyway there was a bunch of rappers and someone who would make, like, beats by drumming on the table, and then there was me who would write and sing the courses. I think mucking about with those guys and seeing how much fun our mates had, played heavily into me being brave enough to strike out as an artist. 

What has been your primary inspiration in writing music? 

Writing  music has primarily been inspired by my own life experiences. I’m a really sentimental person, and I feel my feelings pretty strongly, so over the last decade in a bit. I basically learned to distil those feelings into songwriting. Most of the songs that I write are either a reflection of my own perspectives, and my own personal experiences, or my perspective on how another person's life plays out. It’s usually overwhelmingly stuff from my perspective though.

What is a song you wish you had written yourself? 

Oh, there’s loads of those. There’s this brilliant young Nigerian musician called “Anendlessocean”, and I’m so inspired by his songwriting and the way he bounces through his words on his music and yeah I wish I wrote quite a few of his songs, haha! I definitely have heard songwriting from Jon Bellion as well that makes me go, “Oh I wish I wrote that”. 

If there was any moment in your career you could relive, what would it be? 

I’m definitely trying to not be the type of guy who holds onto his past, but if there was a moment in my career as an artist that I could relive that would be I suppose back in 2017 when I put together an event with my friends called the New Culture Festival  in my final year of uni. It was an incredible experience. We had like a 16 piece band And the most incredible music that you could find at that level and at the time. I had a bunch of people asking you over the next couple years if we would put on subsequent editions, but yeah the mathematics of it never really just panned out and it just kept getting overtaken by different things.

Which artist would you most love to share a stage with? 

Oh man, it would definitely be Àṣá. I genuinely think she’s such a phenomenal performer. I’ve seen her twice and I hope I see her at least a dozen more times. 

And is there an artist you would love to collaborate with as well? 

This is the cross Nigeria and the UK that would absolutely love to collaborate with and across different genres as well. I would give you my top five I think: Àṣá (obviously, haha), Anna Toria, Limoblaze, Greatman Takit, and I'd say Jo Deep as well. 

Where do you see yourself in five years time? 

I’m definitely optimistic that my music would’ve taken off significantly over the next five years. hopefully having worked with everyone on my little collaborations wish list haha. I’m definitely hoping I would have been able to pull off a euro tour by then and maybe a continental US tour definitely a UK tour by then. It’s definitely ambitious but I think it’s fully achievable over the next five years.

Eri Ife's new EP 'Centre(d)' is available to stream now. Check it out in the player below.


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