When Judah was in 4th grade, he fell in love with music after attending a concert by a jazz band. He saw how the horns came in and the percussion section picked up the beat, it was his first time connecting to the music and the rest is history.
Born Oluwagbemiga Judah, the gifted artist, who moved to the United States at a tender age, learned to play the saxophone in order to join the jazz band. He lights a fire on stage every time he performs and has been seen performing in Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, San Diego, Harlem, and more.
Judah went on to form an appealing soundscape for Afrobeats fans around the world and quickly built up her own fan base. In this interview, he talks about his beginnings, major projects and his creative process.
What is your main inspiration?
When I was in fifth grade, I went to a Jazz Band concert and the second the horns came on and the percussion section picked up the pace, I fell in love with the music. I knew from that moment that I would one day learn the saxophone and that music would occupy a large place in my life. I didn’t really start creating my own music and recording my own voice until I was in high school, but that experience was the first time I connected to music and fell in love.
My main musical inspiration is Michael Jackson. If we talk about what it means to be a complete musician and an amazing human being, Michael Jackson is that person. He is my inspiration because his life literally belonged to music, and even though it was tragic, it inspires me to see someone with such arduous love for his craft, his fans, and his ability to ease stress and the problems of others with his talent. Michael Jackson will always be one of the only ones.
Describe your creative process when writing new music
My style of music is unique, it’s a mix between Afrobeats, Afropop and hip hop. In most of my songs I incorporate more than one genre and in most cases more than one accent. For example, I’ll sing a pop rap style hook, then layer the verses with a rough Nigerian afrotrap cadence. It sounds a bit confusing but everything new is confusing at first, I feel like it’s a new style of making music, mixing accents and genres in one record.
When I write new music, I tend to get a whiff of inspiration, and that can come from a whole host of things. I like to listen to the instrumental alone in a dark room and then let my mind work. If nothing comes out naturally at the moment, I just continue to live my day. In my last release, “Can’t Let You Go”, I wrote my verse while I was finishing up a practice session. I literally stopped mid-workout, caught the inspiration, wrote the verse in 10-15 minutes, and started training again.
What accomplishments do you see yourself achieving in the next five to ten years?
In the next 5-10 years, I would like to have critically acclaimed awards and accomplishments, multi-platinum albums and singles, and different tours and shows around the world. In addition to music, I also have many philanthropic ideas and projects that I would like to get into once I have a bigger platform and more resources.
Do you have any hobbies or interests outside of music?
I enjoy meditation, reading, watching historical documentaries and healthy debate on popular topics or a Socratic discussion in a room of intellectuals. I always like to expand my mind and learn something new, so most of my interests and hobbies center around that.
How do you balance music and other obligations like work, family?
Over the course of my career, I’ve had to learn to strike an effective balance and not sway too much to one side or the other, whether it’s my music or my personal life. In addition, I also have other financial activities in business ventures apart from music. So it was tough, especially last year when my career started to elevate, learning to balance everything. I can’t give an effective answer on how I balance everything because it’s an ever-evolving process. I learn daily to better reconcile my personal life with my professional life and my financial aspirations.
What are your strengths that, in your opinion, make you a great musician?
One thing that I realized is unique to me and very few people know is my ability to physically see music. It almost sounds crazy when I explain it, but every time I hear instrumental or raw instruments playing together, it’s like I can almost see the waves that vibrate from each instrument based on pitch, key and the speed of the rhythm. I’m also a music lover and have studied music theory, so I’m well versed in the technical facets of being a musician.
What instrument do you prefer to play and why?
My saxophone is and always will be my favorite instrument, and truly my favorite form of musical expression. I don’t know how to quantify it in words, but all I can say is that most of the time when I play the saxophone I am able to release a feeling that I cannot poetically describe. When words fail me, there is a certain nuance and deep moan in the alto sax that speaks for me.
Should we expect a new song soon?
You should expect an album soon! I know I have fans who are unhappy with me because they have been patiently waiting for my album for a year, but it will be worth the wait because every track on this album has been put together properly and carefully. But while it’s in its final stages of production, you can expect a new music video in February!
In the meantime, you can discover his latest song “Can’t let you go” on YouTube and other streaming platforms.