In the realm of rhythm and culture, Afrobeats has become the most sought-after sound hue. Radiating his majestic aura at the epicentre of that is ‘Gbese‘ crooner, Majeeed – through his music — a true embodiment of the genre’s essence. Majeeed, an exceptional talent in the Afrobeats world brings a fusion of infectious rhythms and magnificent melodies that transcend borders. With his innate ability to weave captivating musical tales, Majeeed‘s artistry is a reflection of the ever-blending Nigerian cultural scape and innovative spirit.
Majeeed, born Ekeh Chiaka Joseph takes us into the heart of his artistic universe. From his spirited upbringing that nurtured his musical inclination to his genre-blurring soundscapes, the facets that make Majeeed an emerging sonorous force.
The Singer and Songwriter signed to Dream Empire Music and had his first breakthrough single “Yawa No Dey End“, in 2022 as the lead single off his extended play project titled: “Bitter Sweet” and has kept waxing stronger with more hits like “Stop Nonsense” and the monster hit, “Gbese Rmx” featuring Afrobeats Queen, Tiwa Savage.
Unrestrained by conventions, Majeeed‘s artistic identity emerges as a blend of influences, shaped by the likes of Fela, Wizkid, Akon, and indigenous legends like Tope Alabi and Chief Osita Osadebe.
Majeeed‘s optimism and dedication to the Afrobeats movement shine through as he shares his perspective on its growing popularity. His words resonate: “I’m proud of the Afrobeats movement, I just hope we don’t get carried away because the movement is so powerful and huge.”
In this engaging conversation, Majeeed leaves an indelible impression about his aspirations—aiming higher, aiming bigger. With each milestone he conquers, his essence as an artist becomes more resplendent, contributing to the transformative power of Afrobeats culture.
Tell us a bit about your upbringing. Did anything from your early life influence your decision to do music?
Basically my upbringing was very tight but not too tight in the sense that my parents used to restrict us from going outside but I’m a goat, I barely listen because I am always outside playing football, table tennis but I think my love for the music started when I realize I could sing small and I was fascinated by what I could do and my role model then was Wizkid. As at then my mom will take me to church I listen to some kind of Tope Alabi and Baba Ara vibes, I think those music kind of influence me, because those music open my mind to music so I will say yes my upbringing influence what I’m doing today.
How did Ekeh Chiaka Joseph arrive at ‘Majeeed’ lol?
I don’t like to live life in a normal way; I like to live life in my own terms-, so I choose Majeeed for myself. The meaning of Majeeed is noble and magnificent because I know I’m exceptionally magnificent and great that’s why I adopted the name for myself. It’s just me going away from the box and doing something totally different.
Who are some of your musical influences and how have they impacted your music (past and present)?
Akon, Baba Ara, Chief Osita Osadebe, Tope Alabi, Wizkid, Davido, Burna and more has actually influenced what I’m and doing at the moment.
At what age did your music and writing journey begin?
The singing career started a year plus but the writing started 3 years ago because I have been writing for some couple A list artistes in Nigeria even before they become A list.
How will you describe your type of music?
I will say versatility, because I’m able to make different kind of sounds, music and able to make people feel different kind of moods with the kind of music I make. I don’t like to box myself and say I make some certain type of music but I would say I could make every kind of music; I can put you in different moods with my music.
Your music often carries uplifting vibes and fun. What unique elements do you bring to your sound?
I think it’s my approach towards a particular song and carriage, how I’m able to deliver such record and make people feel how I’m feeling.
As an artist, you often blend different styles in your music. How do you maintain your artistic identity while exploring new musical territories?
Music is supposed to be free, not cage you in one mind-set. How am able to maintain my artistic identity is through my vocal delivery, I don’t want to be that artiste that does just a particular sound. I want to be everywhere and feeding different audience.
Collaborations have become a prominent feature in the music industry like you have done with Tiwa and Joeboy. How was musical chemistry like?
Honestly it was amazing because Tiwa Savage is somebody I love so much and respect has a big sister. So having her on a track is a major for me and I’m not going to take it for granted.
Touring is a significant part of an artist’s journey. Do you have any memorable experiences from touring or performing live that have shaped you as an artist?
The one I had was in Badagry called Lagos Festival, it was a terrible experience and this thing always hurt me every time and makes me very vigilant, thousands of people was waiting for me to perform and the DJ wasn’t ready so I was now singing a capella on stage. So that experience really got to me and it makes me reflect anytime I’m going to the stage, the experience has shaped me to understand that artistic is key and you’ve to take every of your artistic side serious.
What are you working on at the moment, any new project in works?
I’m working on a new project, a new master piece titled ‘Cheers to Life” and I can’t wait to share it, I have some dope collaborations on it, people that I love their craft and admire their works. I can’t wait for those records to come out and share it with you guys.
Who are the artistes you’re working with on your new body of work?
It’s just basically 3 collaborations but one person I’m going to be working with is Jay Z on the record and I hope you guys enjoyed the record.
Are there any other artists, either within the Afrobeats scene or beyond, that you dream of collaborating with?
Yes of course, a lot of artistes that are mainstream and not mainstream, artistes that are mainstream I will love to collaborate with are Rihanna, Post Malone, Justin Bieber, Beyoncé, Burna Boy, Big Wiz, Davido, Olamide.
Are there any specific milestones you hope to achieve or messages you want to convey through your upcoming projects?
I will like to achieve amazing milestones; I will like to go so wild, sell out shows, and perform at stadiums break restrictions with this body of work and go international.
What would say is your biggest milestone to date?
My 5,000 capacities I sold out in Mauritius, first international show after dropping a body of work in less than 4/5 months but more to come internationally not just in Nigeria.
When you’re not working, how do you try to unwind?
Basically I live my life in the studios, but I like to go to the cinemas, gym, massage, sip some wines with great friends and tune out of Majeeed and tune in Chiaka.
How do you feel about the growing popularity of the Afrobeats?
First of all I will like to say I’m grateful for everyone taking Afrobeats beyond and breaking new boundaries. I will love to say thank you for opening doors for people to come in and also continue the journey, we promise we will continue opening doors for other people too. I’m proud of Afrobeats movement, I just hope we don’t get carried away because the movement is so powerful and huge.
How do you feel to be part of the artistes putting Afrobeats out there?
It makes me feel alive because there’s a lot of things people don’t know about our culture and there are lots of bad reputation outside that people associate us with, that the only way to take this off is through our music and I’m happy we can use our music to spread love and bring about unity. I’m proud and grateful to be part of the movement.
Looking towards the future, what are your goals and aspirations as an artist?
My goals never change; they just keep increasing and become bigger.
Watch full interview on Youtube:
Interviewed & Photographed: Bolurin Onafeso
Camera: Ibrahim Olowolagba & Babalola Felix
Assist: Tola Adebayo
Creative Director: Rayo Kasali
Executive Producer Adedamola Edun