An Interview with Paybac Iboro
Only a few artistes carry out the art of imputing the controversy within their thought process into their art. One of these few is Paybac, and he does this masterfully (though he might not admit to it.)We have him on our Radr this month, and in this interview, we talk about his beginnings, and his forthcoming project, CULT.
Good day Paybac
How’re you doing today?
I’m good man.
That’s nice. Shall we begin?
Let’s go back to the beginning. If I may ask, why did you start making music? What’s the story behind that?
Well, my sister put me on to rap when I was a kid. She was using the old walkmans – pausing and playing a Biggie song, you know, copying out the lyrics – and I fell in love right there and there; and if you have an artsy brain you’d know that the only thing better than appreciating art is making it.
That’s right. Can you run us down on your early day’s discography?
Well, I was a part of a duo balled Paybac and Ohdes. Our first song was released in 09. My own first solo song was released in 2010 and my first collaboration and solo project was released in 2014.
The collaboration project was the one with CHX yeah?
Yeah, Broken Speaker Symphony.
So how about Ohdes? Does He still make music?
Nah… He moved to the US in like 012.
Oh… So you had to learn to go the long roar alone… how did his departure affect you or your music?
Well, I really don’t know if it affected me. I was finding myself so it was just a part of the process. I have never looked back to think if it affected me or not to be fair, so I’m not so sure (if it did).
There is a line in Activ8 where you said something about chilling in Okota and the inspiration came. What’s the story behind that?
I’ve lived in Okota for the most part of my life and it’s kind of an unknown part of Lagos, so I’ve always wanted to put it on.
That’s only right.
How can you describe your sound? Sometimes there are infusions of comedic attachments that seem to drift away from the seriousness we mostly know rap music for, is this intentional?
Man, honestly I’m still uncovering new angles and spaces for my sound.
I think soul would define me best but even saying that is limiting. I like to experiment with any and everything. The only box I can put myself is the fact that anything I make has to have soul. Gun to my head, I’ll say my sound is whatever excites me with a little bit of soul.
That’s pretty straight up.
You had a song out last Christmas, Lonely at Christmas – what’s the inspiration behind that sound?
Yeah. It’s a part of the Frank Ocean type beats vol2 I’ve had since like early last year.
Actually, Christmas is like the saddest time for me cause imalways taking stock; so that was just to cover that emotion.
Is it going to be a track off the forthcoming CULT?
Nah… it’s a loosie.
You held a beat for that long! That’s crazy!
(Laughs) I hold not only beats for long. I hold even whole songs. I have like 3 unreleased EPs on my phone presently.
Three whole EPs?! Your fans must not know this.
(Laughs loud) that’s what they would say, but the onus is on me to promote them. One way or the other, they’ll still get to hear them.
So when exactly is CULT coming?
Hmm… so what’s CULT themed on? The controversy around it has begun – especially with that charade of picking a name for your fans. Are there more controversies to be expected from the project itself?
Nah. I don’t think that’s my bag – controversies. CULT is themed on self-love. It also feels like a brash art statement from me. I don’t want to say too much to give the whole thing away, but I’ll say a large part of my music has become centered aroundfixing or touching on childhood insecurities and problems.
That’s only right. I’m one of the few weirdoes that believe that music should be therapeutic.
So far in your music journey, there are surely lessons you’ve learnt and applied towards growth. Can you share the most defining ones?
Cliché, but be as you as possible and as long as possible. We are all very insignificant, so in that immense insignificance, the only way to have any impact on the world around you is to be who you are.
And also, pay attention to the business before your music gets good enough.
Not so much of a cliché actually. There are lots of people still struggling with finding selves, so it’s a good thing to say this.
Yeah, that’s the saddest part because it wouldn’t make sense till it all begins to make sense.
So… what are your plans for this year and the decade at large?
Right now, I don’t want to say too much. Just the music is confirmed. Im trying to explore other forms of media; other sh*t that makes my brain’s penis get erect.
Huhn? (Laughs) any words for your fans before you sign out?
Man, just have the best time you can, but plan for your future; both in equal measures. And by the way, fuck A Politician!
Thanks for doing this with us…
Oh, it’s my pleasure.