Samuel ‘OG Mage’ Ogaba, a native of Benue state in Nigeria, has been around the block since he started making music in 2014. He is a graduate of Information and Media Technology from FUTMINNA and currently works as a software engineer and visual artist.
The 26-year-old artist, influenced by rap heavyweights like Nas and J. Cole, displays his lyrical dexterity, and tackles soulful themes in a style unique to him. One would also find the artist’s careful observations about his environment. The music is quite personal as it is entertaining.
What first got you into music?
Well, I can’t say one particular thing got me into music. It started with my love for hip hop/Rap. I enjoyed singing along to my favorite songs. I would sing the songs word for word and do it with so much passion, you would think I wrote the song. Later on, I started to experiment with writing my songs. Along the way, I met people who inspired and encouraged me to continue on the path till I got where I am today.
Who inspired you?
A lot of people inspire me. They include friends and those close to me (Diyo Matalo, Oluwafemi, TMJ, to mention a few). They also include artists like Ladipo, M.I, Nasty C, Jon Bellion, Eminem, Wizkid, Hopsin, J. Cole, Joyner Lucas, and Ditweni. In one way or the other, they have influenced me.
What kind of singer do you think you are?
I would say, I identify as an intelligent and creative lyricist. Most of the songs I make are inspired by personal experiences and observations.
Can you describe your creative process?
My creative process begins with an idea. The idea could be a random line or an instrumental or past event. I bounce the concept around in my head or run it by the people around me till it starts to take shape. Thereafter, I continue to refine and collaborate with the necessary people until I get an excellent result.
In a very competitive industry, What sets your sound apart?
My originality, my style, and my relatability.
In an industry where commercial songs gain more traction, I am carving out a niche for myself. I intend to do that with a unique style (as is evident in the Alter Ego EP) and with original and relatable content.
What do you enjoy most about being an artiste?
I enjoy creating. I get an overflow of joy when an idea comes to life. To be able to share that with the world is a means of catharsis for me.
Your recent project “Alter Ego”, can you tell us the creative process behind it?
The Alter Ego project started sometime in 2017. I remember I used to picture myself differently in my head.
I pictured myself as more confident, charismatic, creative, and dare I say, better looking than most people. So I wanted to make a song from the point of view of that person I was in my head, my “Alter Ego”. The idea was to make songs in pairs, one from my perspective of my “Alter Ego” and the other from my perspective. As time went on, the project became a review of where I’ve been, a description of where I am and a forecast of where I am going to be.
Our top pick is ‘Owe dem money’. What inspired that song?
‘Owe dem money’ is the first song I attempted to sing on. I wanted to make a song like that, but the ideas never fell in line. So one day, when I was chilling with my friends-we were just playing different beats and vibing-a line from the chorus hit me out of nowhere, I followed it. Though the chorus came easy, the verses were giving me tough time, so I reached out to my friend Oluwaf3mi (who I featured on “Too Blessed”), and we worked on it together. Then my producer, Mon Lee, delivered the finishing blow with a dope instrumental.
On A Piece of Lovely Cake, you tell quite a melancholic story, is this inspired by a true love story gone wrong? Or the brainchild of your imaginative writing?
‘A Piece of Lovely Cake’ was in fact, inspired by events that occurred a while back. To be more specific, it is a song about heartbreak and everything that came with it. Who said good things can’t come from the bad?
What inspired the fusion of jazz, RnB & soul on all of the tracks?
Like I said earlier, my style is one of the things that set me apart. When I imagine how I want my songs to sound, I always try to throw in some unique flavor. If I am unable to do it myself, I’ll search for help elsewhere. God has blessed me with very talented friends who also inspire me. As a result, I don’t have to look very far to find what I need. Expect more of this.
Which other artists would you like to work with?
I have a well-thought-out list of local and foreign artistes I would like to collaborate with. I update the list from time to time. The list also includes producers. A few names on the list have been mentioned where I wrote about the people who inspire me and I’ve reached out to some of the people on the list. Others on this list include; Johnny Drille, Simi, Tems, Witt Lowry, Jessie Reyez, Jhene Aiko, Eva, Teni, and a lot of other amazing artists. Somehow, Ryan Reynolds and Morgan Freeman are on this list.
What should we be expecting from the rest of the year?
As soon as I released the Alter Ego EP, I went back into to creating. A few singles will follow later this year and possibly, another project in 2022.
You can connect with the artist on Instagram @ogmagenews