I had the opportunity of getting an up close interview with Tevin Francis, the dashingly handsome son of Irish-based Nigerian blogger, Primrose Obata Dodo. Follow me, as we get to know better, the next international Afrobeat Most Valuable Player…
PBW: May we meet you?
My name is Tevin, I am 22 years old… I’m an Irish based Nigerian artist and I make afro music.
PBW: when and how did you come into music?
I fell in love with music from day one I’ll say it was due to my environment, at the earliest stages of my life I was living in Onitsha with my grandmother and anybody that knows the Onitsha culture will believe me when I say that music is part of the everyday make up of that society. I went out a lot with my Nan to festivals and other group/social functions e.g. The “Ofala” festival which involved a lot of cultural music and tribal dancing. Then also growing up in Lagos/Dublin exposed me to a lot of new methods and vibes musically with a broader understanding of other Genres/sub Genres of music, I’ll say this two cities expanded my knowledge and love for music and the sounds I cultivated from all those surroundings brought me where I am today and it inspired the music I make. So to sum it up I would say I started music from being around other musicians and music lovers from a very young age.
PBW: Is your family musical?
Yes we are very musical, starting from my late maternal Grandfather who was a musician all the way down to my little sister Yoma Dodo who has a single and a video out, so yes I’m from a very musical family.
PBW: Who are your musical influences locally and internationally?
I don’t brand music based on region or brand an artist based on where they are from, so my influences will come in one package and in no particular other I’ll start by saying “Ikem Mazeli, Bright Chimezie, Cam’Ron, Jay Z, Pac and Big, Femi Kuti ,2face Idibia, Damian Marley, Awilo ,Psquare and lastly the Great D’Angelo.
PBW: Tell us about your new single “Follow Me”?
Follow me is the first single from the upcoming project I’m working on, the song was produced by the talented Chris kabs and it was directed by myself. The theme of record is attraction with the quote on quote “love at first sight” with a cheeky twist to it, follow me was actually the second song I recorded for the project and one of the easiest to execute. I wanted the song to have a certain feel to it “an eastern Nigerian feel” so I hope people enjoy the record as much as we did while creating it thanks.
PBW: What’s your source of inspiration?
To be honest with you ….Wanting to be the greatest African musical creative or at least be in that conversation, so yes I would say I draw my inspiration from my desires to create genius level art….that might not answer your question but that’s the truth.
PBW: Are you signed to any label or up for signing with one?
At the moment no, but I’ve got an independent umbrella that I’m under called “constant Records “.that allows me to create and bring you tracks like “follow me” so at the moment that’s the brand, but you never know for me it Is all about upping the levels, if a situation comes fourth and that situations enables me to reach a wider audience and also enables me with a big space to create then who knows…. But until then I’ll be making records constantly, no pun intended haha.
PBW: Do you see yourself collaborating with any artist in the future?
Yes I’m a big fan of “musicians” who embody the skills set required in this form art…songwriters, instrumentalist, dancers, visual artist , etc. ….Femi kuti, Ty bello, yemi sax, eddy kenzo,fally ipupa, 2face, Tinariwen band from Mali, black coffee, uhuru ,asa, the Soweto choir etc. haha What’s your take on the Nigerian music industry? No comment…. Why no comment? I am new in the game so I can’t really say anything maybe 6month – one year’s time I will have something to say.
I am a very simple guy…making music/listening to music/discovering new music…..I’m a big football fan like major! (Manchester city in and out) …emm yeah that’s it pretty basic lol Tell us something we need to know about you? Well I’m very passionate about my music, I’m business driven, and I’m shy but bold. So yes that’s me generally. Any message to potential fans? Thank you very much for the interview VRH and to the people at home who might see and read this I’m thankful , I want you all to please support my single “follow me” and yes there will be more to come from Tevin and the constant crew amen. God bless you all