Wednesday, 17 July 2024
EditorialInterviewsNew ReleasesNigerian

SunshineGzuz: The Trail Blazer of the East [Excl. Interview]

one of the top R&B voices from the Eastern part of the country in recent times.

SunshineGzuz promotional photos.
SunshineGzuz promotional photos.

Born Onugha Victor Chike, but fondly referred to as SunshineGzuz, the fast rising Afrobeat artist’s peculiar R&B voice, pen game, and catchy hooks has earned him a spot as one of the major talents exported from Eastern Nigeria, and into the mainstream in recent times.

The Anambra native artist is slowly becoming a force to be reckoned with in the music industry since he broke into limelight nearly four years ago during the outbreak of COVID-19 where he first captivated the world with the release of debut professional single titled “Energy”,

Since then, he has moved on to become a rising sensation in the world of music with his outputs poised to take the industry by storm. SunshineGzuz with his infectious rhythms and captivating lyricism, is not just an artist; he’s a storyteller and one of the best R&B voices to have come out of the South-eastern part of the country.

Upon the release of his new single “I Greet You” released on June 28 – his first since he released his debut EP in April – our representative had a virtual chat with the exciting talent to capture the vibrations of his world upon release of his new single and the beginning of a new era in his artistic journey.

Tell us how was it growing up ?

I grew up in Anambra state which also happens to be my home state. I lived with my parents who are still alive till today. I am from a small nuclear family with a comfortable background. Growing up was fun because I had people around me who we vibrated and enjoyed ourselves together back in Anambra. I remember those times fondly but it’s all in the past now, we’ve moved on to greater things.

SunshineGzuz is quite a unique name, what’s the Insipration behind your stage name?

This is a long one. Initially, I was called “Sunshine” by most people I had around me. How I got the name is quite funny because it came unexpectedly. So, there was an event at my home, people came to celebrate with us, drinks all over and we were just enjoying the time. So it happened that where we sat down to enjoy, the sun was shining on us. I took the name from that moment and before I knew, it flew around. People started referring to me as Sunshine, and this was way before I even thought of music. Then the “Gzuz”, it was initially spelt as “Jesus”. I tweaked it because I felt it was too long as “Sunshine Jesus”. I wanted it simple and stylish but must also refer to the same thing I wanted. I adapted Jesus into my name because I felt we Africans at times are too religious and feel we shouldn’t bear the name cause it seems like irreverence to the most High. Also, I’m a Manchester City fan, we’ve had players like Gabriel Jesus and Jesus Navas bear the name in recent times, so it felt good to take it up and add it.

How did you find your interest in music ?

Music particularly has been something that runs in my family. Although, I’m the only who has gone to become a recording artist in my family, but there has always been the signs there. Many of my family and relatives are musically inclined, they may not sing or record, but they can play instruments, lead a choir or be an avid consumer of music. You just need to find which one you belong to. So it’s really a family thing.

Who were your musical influences very early on and at this time too ?

I was heavily influenced by Burna Boy. He has been the one I’ve admired since the beginning and even till now. Fela too was inspirational. I remember having a mix tape compilations of a large percentage of his songs. It gave us the vibe, listening to his music and relating to his music. So, literally it’s been Burna Boy and Fela majorly. I’ve had other influences too locally and abroad, but they have been the major ones.

[LISTEN] “I Greet You” by SunshineGzuz.

So when did you decide to dabble into music professionally?

I would say I started music professionally in 2020. Although, I have been releasing music as far back as 2017 to 2018. I released energy back in April 2020, it was my first release as an artist. Professionally, I chose 2020 because the first songs I recorded were pretty much not really up to standard. I think we took them off DSPs because there were a lot of mistakes in them. Those early times, we just recorded music because we loved it and wanted to, it was what pushed us. Now, I’m under a label with a more organised structure controlling everything. So I feel like my professional career took with the release of Energy in 2020.

How would you describe the kind of music you make ?

I make Afrobeats or to put it better Afro-Fusion. So, my music is a mixture of genres. You will hear Afrobeat with the elements of RnB, Pop and other genres there are. So I’m mostly found in the Afrobeats space creating good music. Also, I’m a kind of artist that pays much attention to my song writing, I want my song to always pass a message, and allow my audience understand what it is I’m addressing in my song. I make sure that my songs are properly written and the message can be decoded.

Your EP “African Spirit” was released earlier this year with over 300K plus streams across all DSPs. How was the experience and expectations?

Well, the “African Spirit” EP was a good one in that all the features came correct. I feel like it was me announcing myself to the world. It felt good to release something to the world that was about me. Yeah, about the expectations, I was not really satisfied about the outcome. I don’t know, maybe it was because I had too much expectations, but sometimes I tell myself that it wasn’t too much. So, the “African Spirit” did well to an extent but I was expecting more. So I know the next time I drop a project, I have to do better in order to meet my expectations.

[LISTEN] “I Greet You” by SunshineGzuz.

Your new single “I Greet You” was released on Friday. Tell us what inspired the new single and are there any expectations?

The new single “I Greet You” is one for the streets. It’s even bubbling already. It was a funny session because I wasn’t really interested in recording something at the time when the producer played the beat while we were in the studio. I was just there vibing to the beat and I connected to it so well, so I decided to just record something. The title “I Greet You” was inspired by the streets, that kind of way you greet friends on the street. The intention is almost similar, so I hopped on it and I recorded it. To talk about expectations now, I always do have high expectations for my releases because I know the amount of work we put in. With this new single, I’m focused on putting myself out there, reaching more people than the last time and aiming to achieve better performance in the market.

What are your next moves as an artist even from the release of this new single?

I think I’ll be dropping more singles in near times, maybe some features too as it comes. A project for now seems like a long stretch but plans do change. I’m working hand in hand with my label to make sure that the music gets to the right people and places, so we are really taking it one step at a time.

What message will you like to leave for your fans.

I’ll say to them that they can achieve their dreams. Anything is possible if you put in the work. More importantly, keep streaming my music, especially the new single, let’s stream it out. Thank you for the support, I appreciate them.

[LISTEN] “I Greet You” by SunshineGzuz.

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