Thursday, October 27, 2011

Freezy, the Happening Berom Boy

It started like a joke but the dream of Freezy, the Happening Berom Boy, is growing steadily. It has taken him from Jos where he comes from to as far as Ghana, a few weeks after releasing his debut album titled, Veimot which means “my arrival” in Berom dialect. The album was released in collaboration with Black Diamond Entertainment in Jos.
In 1998, when the tide of Hip Hop became strongest, taking with it everybody, Freezy was also blown by the Music of Bone, Tugs-n-Harmony and also the New York rapper, Nas. He got additional inspiration from his late father who loved music so much and wanted to start a music label by the name of “Galilee.”  He started by miming the music of Bone, Tugs-n-Harmony, taking part in inter-school music competitions in J-Town and eventually releasing his opening album early this year.
Having been inspired by Hip Hop Music, it naturally followed that his music cannot be anything else. The music is Afro-Hip Hop basically. Nigerian Afro-Hip Hop is a mix of local vernacular and Nigerian street English also known as Pidgin English.  In his case, the local vernacular is Berom, a tribe from Northern Plateau State, Nigeria.
The versatile Freezy was the first Jos-based artist to grant an interview to Rhythm FM in Jos with L-D Extra-Large as his host. During the lunch of his album, Terry the Rapman honored his invitation by not just coming but performing as well. It appeared that Terry was impressed and subsequently included Freezy in his tour of Ghana.
The Mecca of music business in Nigeria is Lagos but most Jos-based artists usually drag their feet when it comes to moving to Lagos until it becomes too late. His journey to Ghana meant a lot as it emboldened him to move to Lagos to begin to work towards pushing his dream ahead.
The trip to Ghana and the subsequent relocation from Jos to Lagos also worked to give him the relevant exposure. In Ghana he met a number of artists including, Kingbling of R2B and started learning how the music business works. At Lagos, he started working hard to promote his album by performing at clubs and meeting music promoters. One of the clubs in Lagos where he performed was D-Jakes at Lekki. His collaboration with Durella the King of Zanga in track titled “Teach Me Yoruba” was also a milestone. The single was produced by a notable producer in Lagos that goes by the name G-Ballo.
Back home in Jos his music has found him recognition. His insistence of singing in Berom has led him to meet with the Gbong Gwom Jos, Da Jacob Gyang Buba. Another traditional ruler in his Zawan ward in Jos South bestowed him with a traditional titled of Davwel Berom Zawan, meaning The Father of Berom in Zawan.
From what Freezy has seen of the industry so far, the greatest challenge is the ability to work towards meeting high standards. He says that when you make your music and think it is good enough there is the need to wait until you find out what the market wants. That you can only know it from music promoters in Lagos who listen to the music and tell you the fans want. The music must reflect the Nigerian feel from all its ramifications and should be danceable mostly.
The Happening Berom Boy says he has heard about the fact that music is a universal language that can be understood by everybody. He however felt it the most while in Lagos. After performing, the track, the “Happening Berom Boy” that has a lot of lines in Berom language at D-Jakes in Lagos, the electric respond of the fans took away any iota of the misgivings he had regarding the universality of the music language.
The artist from J-Town says he loves one of Naeto-C’s line that says Naeto-C is “the only MC with a M.Sc.” He says he loves that line because it encourages young and aspiring artists to get good education as he himself has seen, one must go to school to be a good MC.
Currently, he is doing alliance with number of artists. There are General Pipe and Mallam Spicy in Lagos and Spartan MC in Jos.
Freezy’s birth name is Humphrey Pam and is the first child of a family of four male children in Zawan in Jos South. He went to College of Mary Immaculate, CMI, Zawan in Jos South and subsequently attended the University of Jos where he bagged a Diploma in Theatre Arts.