The Birth of a Song: How A Street Jam Became A Hit

IA@Iamshabz - E dey e own body too!

If you’re anything like me who thinks singing only happens in the shower, you would think it’s a whole big kerfuffle to get a song out – a whole bank of writers; shopping the song about to see which artist wants it or whose voice suits the lyrics the best; and then a million takes in the studio while faffing about with auto tune and other enhancing things.

And yes, there are songs that are made this way; songs that are commercially successful even before they were ever written or sung.

But then sometimes, you get a couple of people who hear a beat and let their talent do all the talking. The euphoria sets in, the muse flares up, and a song is written, sung and produced in the space of a few hours. Because the stars were all lined up.

This is what happened on the streets of London on Wednesday, 2nd September, when a group of Naija artists were chilling around a car listening to a beat a producer by the name of IAmShabz had run over.

IA@Iamshabz – E dey e own body too!

Sammie Okposo, MC Abbey, Karl Nova, Henri Soul, and Nikki Laoye were listening and nodding along, all appreciating the beat, when suddenly Karl Nova and Sammie Okposo started mumbling some lines under their breaths.This got louder and louder as suddenly, a free-styling song/rap/beatboxing flow started!

Emma Oh Ma God, Michael Tubes and I were in the flat coming to the end of what had been an emotional interview with Emma. We couldn’t believe we could possibly know the people making the racket outside (worker’s permit no be joke. Who wan go house back??), but curiosity got the better of us.

Of course, as soon as we got outside, we were instantly engulfed in the joy of what had turned into some sort of a full blown concert. Passers by on the quiet street had gone from that stoic London indifference to wide beams of bemused happiness.

Emma got into the thick of things very quickly and spat out a few bars of free-style rap himself. Kai, this guy – odikwa very talented! Next thing I heard was a chorus of “Quick, to the studio! Before e cold!” and everyone starts to march forward.

Aproko is my hobby, so of course I followed! We walked for less than five minutes and went upstairs into a building. A maze of doors, and I soon found myself in a recording studio! MC Abbey was pumped to the gills and was making the most beautiful noises to a Fuji background while Sheun David-Onamusi was looking on with the smile of a long-suffering agent:

The noise, the rhymes, the feel-good factor continued for hours as the artists began to see a hit song in their collective mind’s eye and started to furiously scribble down verses.

This is the ‘Work In Progress’. As you might gather, the song is called Overcomer:

Hmmm…this is what the call “Like play like play” because they finished the song that night! Production, the works!

Still pumped to the max, they set about starting the video the next day. Hian! I say when the Spirit MOVES!


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