Exposed Vocals: How did you hear about Exposed Vocals? What made you decide to sign up?
Anthony Okotie: I was looking through my twitter just following promoters who were already following me and I just happened to run into Exposed Vocals. When I saw the fanbase on twitter and the website, I was like wow! Then I saw that I could promote my video for free! Why not? I just had to sign up.
Exposed Vocals: So tell us your story. Where did you grow up? What made you decide to become an artist?
Anthony Okotie: I grew up in Warri, Nigeria. It is one of the worse towns in the country if not the worst. Only thing we can brag about there is the oil, but almost everyone there is suffering because of the country’s economy. its lacking. I decided to become an artist because it has been my dream to tell the story of what goes on in Warri and in Nigeria to the World. And I will make it a reality. We are being oppressed here, its actually not cool.
Exposed Vocals: How did you come up with that name? What was your inspiration behind it?
Anthony Okotie: My name? I answer my birth name. I chose to use my birth name as my stage name because I am trying to be real out here. That means people have to know me for me, not an alias.
Exposed Vocals: What do you think about online music sharing? Do you ever give your music away for free? Why?
Anthony Okotie: Online music sharing is great! Yeah I give my music away for free on Soundcloud. Because if someone really wants the song at the time I always wanna give them the satisfaction of having it. Only the person that downloaded the song knows why he/she downloaded it. I want that individual to enjoy it, besides I’m not giving everything for free HAHAHA! How do I fund my music then?
Exposed Vocals: Since everyone was a start-up once, can you give any smaller or local bands or artists looking to get gigs and airplay some tips?
Anthony Okotie: Just be real and humble man…. don’t forget who you are. I used to lie to people about myself, I am gonna talk about that on my tape which comes out in January. If you come out rapping about something that isn’t yours or doesn’t involve you in anyway? you’ll always lose. Just be yourself.
Exposed Vocals: Do you ever make mistakes during performances? How do you handle that?
Anthony Okotie: Yeah! I made a mistake in my last performance at the University of Hull, UK. I slurred about 4 words in one of my songs cause I ran out of breath, but then I jumped down the platform to distract people from it HAHAHAHA! Mistakes are common its the way you rebound that counts.
Exposed Vocals: Do you tour? Anything interesting happen on tour that you think our readers would enjoy hearing about?
Anthony Okotie: Nah I’ve never done one, no finances yet, I’m still getting my parents to support my music, my mum only supported it after she listened to the video on YouTube, my dad is stuck in his own world, he will come around soon. A Tour? Yes! After I drop my tape.
Exposed Vocals: Where do you usually gather songwriting inspiration? What is your usual songwriting process?
Anthony Okotie: My experiences, if I know people are doing something to me that they would hate if I did to them, I share it. Plus I talk about my struggle growing up in Warri, it wasn’t easy, it is a great source of inspiration, it keeps me going. I love to sit down, play the beat over and over again for about 45mins – 3 hours until I’ve written my heart out on my phone or on that piece of paper.
Exposed Vocals: Do you have a band website? What online platforms do you use to share your music?
Anthony Okotie: Yeah my website. I use Soundcloud and YouTube mainly but I might try other services like Spotify and iTunes soon.
Exposed Vocals: What are some really embarrassing songs that we might find on your mp3 player?
Anthony Okotie: HAHAHAHA! Definitely my Unapologetic (FreeStyle) and Celebration ft RookieSBK. I was really young and naive when I made those, I was rapping about stuff I didn’t have at the time. lol too fake! but I still take pride in them, those were hard tracks lol
Exposed Vocals: If you were given half a million dollars and a year off, what would you do? How would you spend it?
Anthony Okotie: What!? Half a Mil!? and a Year!? I would Blow too quickly! you gotta put your head down after that. Do you know how much that is!? in Nigerian Currency? if I got that kind of money in Warri? The whole world would know the story and what we go through here.
Exposed Vocals: Any planned studio upgrades? What are you working with now?
Anthony Okotie: I got a mic, my mac, my camera, my monitors, and my room. I record, mix and master, make videos, edit videos and post em up all by myself. I won’t lie to anyone I don’t have cash. I didn’t pay anyone else to do these things for me. You have to work with your resources, took me a whole year to get and to learn how to do everything. Allot of rappers can’t say that they did that at the age of 19. I take pride in that, never been in an actual studio in my life.
Exposed Vocals: How do you find ways to promote your music? What works best for you?
Anthony Okotie: Cloud Killers is the best for me. That website has so many people ready to listen and comment on your songs, I go there when I wanna promote from home. Then YouTube is my favourite, everyone uses YouTube, so I give people the link.
Exposed Vocals: If you could perform anywhere and with any artists (Dead or Alive) where and who would it be with? Why?
Anthony Okotie: AH! Me Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Big Sean and Tory Lanez performing in Warri at the Mum’s Civic Centre! We would tear the place! Why? I am not gonna lie, it might sound silly but I drew allot of inspiration from listening to three of them, Drake: Humble, Big Sean: Work Hard, Tory Lanez: Proving People Wrong and Kendrick Lamar: Show People The Way and Embrace Everyone. These are the things I need to win at this Realness and Rap.
Exposed Vocals: So, what’s next? Any new upcoming projects that you want to talk about?
Anthony Okotie: Watch out for Famously Ordinary in January. I am gonna come clean on that, share the whole story to the world.
Exposed Vocals: If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing?
Anthony Okotie: Probably still trying to get through Law School. My dad wants me to sign contracts for a living. Lol I can’t imagine that right now.
Exposed Vocals: Do you remember buying your first album? Who was it? What was going through your head?
Anthony Okotie: AH! Eminem’s Recovery Album. That was in 2010 I think. The first thing that came to my mind was “I’m gonna listen to this everyday!” I still love the album! I am not tired of a single song on it.
Exposed Vocals: How do you juggle the rest of your responsibilities while trying to stay ahead in your music life?
Anthony Okotie: There is time for everything, I allocate music and work in my schedule. But I get poor sleep. I don’t mind though, I make up for it during the weekends.
Exposed Vocals: What should fans look forward to in 2016?
Anthony Okotie: Hopefully in 2016 I would have come clean in my tape Famously Ordinary and will finish P.E.T which is my next tape. You’ll find out about that later, the story on that is going to touch the hearts of billions. Well hopefully we will get there.