Alfred Izonebi also known as Jking is the young man anointed by the late King Robert Ebizimor before his demise, Alfred who started out early in search of greatness is a graduate of Theater Art, from the Niger Delta
University, Bayelsa State, he is well loved and respected among his equals, this song bird is a shining star from the family of Mr. and Mrs. Gbayena.
In this interaction with Oludaniels of Creekvibes magazine, he reflected on his past and shed light on the way forward on Ijaw music terrain.
At what age did you start going to shows with the late King Robert Ebizimor?
I joined King Robert Band in 1992, then I was in Primary five.
I attended CSS Primary School, Sagbama at class six, I was made the head boy because of noticed brilliancy by my teachers.
I proceeded to Community Secondary School, Sagbama, and Read Theater Art at the Niger Delta University, Bayelsa State.
Going to school and doing music simultaneously.
Have you had any embarrassing moment while on stage, off the stage?
Yes I’ve had one, but it has been sorted out amicably.
How many award to your credit?
Roughly over 10
Which one was most fascinating?
I think, I would want to say Bayelsa Media Award but back to back each of the awards fascinated me, I like all of them, 2018, 2019 all cool.
Ten years from now where do you think this brand of music will be?
By His grace ten years from now, the ways things are going this our music is evolving and my kind of music is not growing with the trend, upcoming music artist are interested in Yuppie kind of music they don’t do my kind of music, though it is not been easy doing live performance going to location with musical instruments with a lot of boys, and everyone will mount his own instrument and perform till next morning before we could realise some amount of money, while on the other hand, you will see one or three persons on stage with keyboard and two speakers and mime some music tracks till next morning then will be paid hugely.
Ten years from now, if our music go that way? It’ll reduce the quality of our music, it will also kill talented instrumentalists, there will be no need for them anymore, because we play all instruments live, so if we tailor the keyboard way, what will be the fate of those that are interested in playing one or more musical instruments?
Will you go the keyboard way?
No, I won’t, I will rather re-brand Owigiri and make it more interesting with stage craft, that will make it more fascinating for those that don’t understand Ijaw.
I will need a very good music director to do breath-taking videos that will sell outside the shore of this country, an irresistible video that could make my band to be invited outside the country.
All in all, we need people and government officials to encourage our brand of Owigiri music in order for us to stand tall so that ten years from now will be like tomorrow.
Are you planning to go outside of the country?
By the grace of God, yes.
How many collabos have you to your credit?
I’ve had a lot of Collabos and still planning to do more.
What is your advice for upcoming musicians that sings your kind of music?
These days upcoming artists are no longer creative, imagine me in a show with an upcoming artist and he mount the stage to mime my songs, if he does that, what will I sing? I will encourage them to do more songs of their own and mime little of other people’s song.
Their songs can still take them out, they shouldn’t be thinking of hip-hop kind of songs alone.
Has government been helpful in supporting Owigiri brand of music?
I will say no…’them no try.’
If you are invited to U.S or UK for show, will you go?
Anywhere you take me to, I will perform gladly except for Southern Ijaw, where I lost N15.5m worth musical instrument due to boat mishap, I had only used those musical instrument for two weeks, on the 1st of November, 2019 we were billed to perform at a burial ceremony in Southern Ijaw, on our way coming back we had a boat mishap and I was looking at my over N15.5m musical instrument going down into the sea.
Did you lost any man?
No, I did not.
Five things you love doing?
Five things is too much o! Firstly, I love doing music and I like being alone, perhaps clutches my phone that’s all.
The new government should continue the yearly celebration of the late King Robert Ebizimor memorial event, ex-governor Seriaki Dickson came in handy, I will plead for the new government to step up the yearly celebration to the standard of Felebration and other notable music icon around the world.
Thanks for your time we appreciate. Nice day ahead.