Young Artiste, Humble Smith made fame with his hit song, Osinachi. The native of Ebonyi speaks to SAMUEL ABULUDE about his rise to fame and challenges experienced on the road to fame
How has the year been for you?
It has been sweet, great, awesome, remarkable and more promising for me. I give glory to God almighty.
No doubt, OSINACHI is indeed a huge success, how has that affected your life?
Releasing Osinachi has done so much for me; believe me, Osinachi brought light to my dark tunnel. Basically, the success has made me to believe so much in myself and what I’m doing, whatever thing that pushed me into doing music. There’s actually a reason for it and today it has really paid off. It has also made my parents to believe more in me, they are proud of me. All those that have supported me in any little way are now proud of me. I’m happy now that I’m being recognized, the respect I’ve been seeking for I am getting it now. You know to handle stardom is not easy, I’m now seeing the other side of life, you are facing stardom and people now talk about you every day for good or bad, that makes me feel good about myself because it shows I’m relevant, I am grateful to God.
How was growing up for you?
Growing up was fun and though for men I won’t lie to you, it was rugged, challenging and entertaining. I grew up in Ebonyi state with my whole family, mum, dad and my siblings. Things weren’t easy for us at all, so we needed to hustle. My brothers and I hawked on the streets of Ebonyi. I hawked from Primary 2 till I finished my secondary school. We sold a whole lot of things most especially moi-moi (beans cake) I was very popular hawking then. When I’m coming, people will be shouting ‘yea nwa moi-moi don come’, I wasn’t shy about it because I can’t steal. That was where our family income comes from. My mum used that to raise all of us from primary school to secondary school and to the glory of God; my sister is a graduate, courtesy of my parent’s sacrifice. At the time I was hawking, I was still doing my music stuff, acting and dancing at the same time. I did a whole lot then. In my secondary school, I was the drama director, I love Theatre Arts. If I had furthered my education, I would study Theater Arts. I had my own group then and I was teaching them acting. We present our own drama then and it was fun. At a point, the school now made my drama group the school drama group and I became the school drama director. We go to schools to perform and people pay to watch us, so I made small cash from it aside the money I get from hawking and that was in Ebonyi state. I write songs for people, teach people how to dance and all.
Who were your mentors?
I actually started music while I was 6-years-old; my mentor till date is Bright Chimezie although I haven’t met him one-on-one. When I was younger, my Dad used to take me to shows where he performs, so he is my mentor. I look up to Flavor, Tuface, Davido, Wizkid and more.
Why feature Davido and Phyno in one song differently?
(Smile) I can say that’s the way God wants it. God just wanted me to be blessed in what I do. In the original version, I featured Phyno and I never had any plan of making a remix of the song but like I told you, anywhere the market is driving to, you follow it. That’s music and business for you, if not; you are not going to make money from it. So after Osinachi with Phyno, it was big and a success but surprisingly Davido has been supporting the brand since 2015 that since I dropped the song and I never knew. He has been twitting about the song, helping to push it that shows he has much love for the song. So early in the New Year, Davido called and said we should make a remix of the song though I have met him before. I took a CD to him and showed him which he literally loved and enjoyed. Since then, he has been supportive. The song doesn’t need to die, it’s no big deal if the song turns out to be an ever-green song, so wonderfully, Davido took the song to another level, he took it and made it huge internationally. Big shout out to Davido, he did a whole lot. I really appreciate.
You recently bagged an endorsement, how much was involved?
(Laughing) I should tell you how much was involved? Firstly, I want to thank God for that super opportunity and I can’t stop thanking my manager for his support, Bob-Kelly has been so wonderful. Less than 3 years into the game, see where God is taking me to. I happen to be the first brand ambassador for Tummy-Tummy. As regards the amount, I will get back to you about it.
Did you ever think music will pay you this big?
I will say yes, that was why I kept pushing it and believing that soon, it’s all going to end in glory. A whole lots of people actually discouraged me but see me today, it has been sweet. The journey is still long, we are not there yet but I’m so optimistic that I will get there.
Who are those artistes you will love to work with?
I seriously desire to work with Harrysong, Timaya, Wizkid and again, I will really love to work with Davido again.
Before your relocation to Lagos, what were you doing?
I left Ebonyi State in 2008/2009 and came to Asaba and engaged myself with acting. I have been acting in Ebonyi but movie making is bigger in Asaba, so I came in there to also push my music. At a point, I just noticed that the movie business is not going to help me so well because I don’t have money to sponsor myself or produce a movie, so I decided to work on other aspects of movies, although I got little money from it, I have worked with Ameco, Ifeanyi Azudo and co. I have done sound tracks for some movies and I made money from it too, so i did a whole lot.
Your philosophy in life?
Life is simple, if you work, you must eat. Believe in yourself and the sky is just your starting point.
What is the craziest thing a fan has done to you?
Recently, I went to Ajegunle, I never knew I had a large fan base there. I went to . football with some footballers, so after the game, I was surprised by the responses I got. They wanted to collect everything on me, they took my shirt and some things but I really loved it. It’s nice to know you are appreciated.
A word for your fans?
I love you all, I am also your fan without you guys, I can’t be here, your love has kept me going and I love you all. Don’t be scared to pursue your dreams, and some day, it will pay off.