“I need to work twice as hard as male rappers” – Pryse
Popular rapper Princess Esindu AKA Pryse in a recent chat with Punch Newspaper’s Ademola Olonilua opened up about her career ,her love life and being able to cope in a male dominated industry;
The interview below:
At what age did you discover your talent?
I actually wrote my first rap verse at the of age 10 for my church’s kids choir. Well, at 14, when I really started recording, the likes of The Remedies and Plantashun Boyz were coming out. Nigeria was just beginning to pay attention to its own musicians. I remember looking up to Sasha and Blaise and admiring them, thinking I can do that. I think it was actually a lot easier back then to get the people’s attention. A combination of less competition and lower expectations, I guess. Nowadays, the standard of music is out of this world. More and more international standard artistes are emerging everyday. The emergence of MI and the Choc Boiz basically paved the way for a new generation of rappers. Artistes like Wizkid, Burna Boy, Tiwa Savage, etc, are pushing the bar higher and higher. Competition is fierce now. I feel like this is a good thing though because there is so much music to choose from. You can go to a party and dance all night without hearing any foreign music. That’s progress.
Some female rap artistes were tomboys when they were growing; what were your early days like?
I was the only girl and last born among three elder brothers so yes, at some point I had tom-boyish tendencies. I used to play like a boy – football, catcher, ninja. It’s safe to say I got interested in hip-hop because of my brothers’ influence. I was a bit timid as a child because everybody in my house had authority over me.
Why did you choose to become a rap artiste? Being a lady, one would ordinarily think you would opt for slower songs?
Rapping came naturally to me from an early age. It’s something I really enjoy doing. I feel like everybody doing music in whatever genre is doing it because that’s what they’re good at and that is what they enjoy. As for being a lady, so I should sing? I despise stereotypes.
How were you able to convince your parents that your career choice is to be a rap artiste?
It was not as hard as it could have been actually. My brother and I have always been into music because our family owned an audio studio. So my parents were aware that I was interested in music. But I was a teenager and under them so they never let us take it too far. When I went to the university in the UK, I was able to do what I wanted to do. My folks’ plan for me was to join the family television business after school. They were disappointed when I said I wanted to do music full-time. But by the time I graduated, came back and they saw that Chocolate City was interested, they eventually got on board. Now they are very involved in all I do. I was a bit too old to be grounded. All my dad said was, since this is what I do, I would support myself financially.
How has the experience been since you moved back to Nigeria?
It has been an interesting experience moving back to Nigeria. I had to adjust my standard of living drastically. Issues with electricity, mobility, traffic, Internet, were part of the things I had to bear with. Dealing with people’s mindsets and the things they seem to consider as priorities have also been challenging. At the end of the day, this is home for me. I had no intention of living in the UK full-time. So, all the hardships involved will only make success sweeter.
Nigerian music industry is male dominated, especially the rap genre, how has it been for you?
It has actually been all right. I pride myself in saying that I can hold my own on any track with any rapper, male or female. It is just necessary to work twice as hard because it is hard enough to break in as a rapper, let alone a female rapper. I do not expect a different set of standard for me because I’m female. I went on a track with MI, Boogey, Ice Prince, Jesse Jagz, etc. I’m so confident of my skill; I don’t need to hear what the other rapper will do first.
Other ladies like Tiwa Savage of Mavin Record, Niyola of EME and Zaina of Soul Musik, sing slow songs, would you later change your kind of music?
I wouldn’t change a thing. I love the fact that I stand out in my chosen genre. I’m great at what I do and not what these talented ladies do.
Who was your first crush?
I had my first crush at age 11 on a classmate in JSS1. It was funny because he gave me a love letter and my friends made me report him to a teacher. Peer pressure.
How do you handle male fans?
I just try keeping a respectful distance mostly.
What is the most common misconception people have about you?
The most common misconception about me is that I’m shy or quiet. I just take my time to study people before I open up.
How often are you in the studio?
I try to get in the studio a few times a week.
Are you in a relationship?
Not at the moment.
What are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on my album. It’s called The Enter-Pryse. I would absolutely love to work with Tuface. I have admired him as a talented musician for as long as I can remember. I can only imagine what it would be like to work with him. I would also love to work with Asa. She holds it down for the females as a real artiste. I absolutely love her. I think those collaborations are definitely going to happen sometime in the future. It is only a matter of time.