[INTERVIEW] NIGERIAN AFROBEAT ARTIST CRAYON DISCUSSES NEW EP ‘Twelve A.M’ AND STAYING SANE DURING LOCKDOWN

If there’s one thing Crayon is good at, is the consistent quality of hits he delivers. The Mavin afrobeat artist based in Nigeria has lyrically grown expeditiously since 2019. His EP “Cray Cray” was one of the most celebrated EP’s of the year 2019 with hits such as ‘So fine’ and ‘Gock Am.’ Last week, the melodious artist released his EP “Twelve A.M” We caught up with Crayon to hear more about his new release and how he has coped during the pandemic.

How has lockdown been for you?

It’s been the same during lockdown but I’m happy everything is going back to normal again. I’m just happy that the world is getting back to normal with the vaccines and everything. Good stuff is happening, like Twelve A.M just dropped, I’m excited about the reception, it’s been amazing. Big shout out to everyone that’s been streaming the EP.

How have you managed to stay creative during lockdown and get inspiration for the EP?

It’s been tough because we haven’t been able to go out and have our normal lifestyles. But, I’ve managed to find my way around things and get used to it. Sometimes I’ve gone to the studio and left because I felt sad, like it happens but my fans keep me going. They’re always messaging saying “We need a new song Crayon.”

Why did you name the EP ‘Twelve A.M’?

‘Twelve A.M’ stands for a new dawn, a new beginning, a new day. Everybody knows that in general, fans always wait till Twelve A.M for new music. It’s a traditional thing. It was me giving my fans something to hold on to and a thank you for waiting for me and rocking with me through this journey as I move through my life and their personal journeys. A lot of work went into this EP. It’s a spiritual project.

Let’s get into the singles of the EP. We love ‘In sync’. What was the inspiration behind it?

‘In sync’ is about me talking about a girl that I want to treat nice. The song is about me asking the girl, whether or not we are in sync.

So I’m sure we all want to know; is there a girl you are talking about specifically?

Yes, for sure, there’s a girl that I’m currently syncing with. But it’s a song for all the beautiful ladies out there. For that song, I wrote the second verse three times. For the first verse, I wasn’t feeling it and then I wrote the second verse and the third one wasn’t as catchy. I wasn’t feeling it either. So I just walked out of the studio and I saw Ayra sitting on the couch and we were like should we try something. 

Can we expect a song from you and Ayra? 

Yes for sure, we’re working on some stuff now.

On the topic of relationships, I’ve seen you and London work on a lot of songs together such as ‘So fine’ and ‘In sync’. What is it like working with London?

Working with London is like working with my guy; we see each other almost every day. We connect. We’ve been friends since like 2019.  He’s like my brother. The chemistry is easy so we make music easy breezy. Working with London is so easy, because the chemistry is easy.

We feel it in the music too. We can’t wait for you to come to London. Let’s talk about your track ‘Mandem’, featuring UK’s very own One Acen. How did that collaboration come about?

I wrote a verse, and I knew I wanted a UK artist on it. I spoke to my management then got in touch with One Acen. Within 3 days he sent back his verse and it was crazy. I felt like I was in London and Lagos at the same time! Everyone that worked with me are like family and friends, so it was amazing. 

Should we expect to hear more UK features from you?

For sure, expect more UK artists.

If you could name an artist who would it be?

I would want to work with everybody, if I’m honest! Everybody in drill, everybody. Stefflon Don, Stormzy, Loski- that’s my guy. Anybody that feels right really and that has a perfect blend. 

“Cray Cray” has six tracks on it. Whilst Twelve A.M only has four. Is there a reason why?

It was a strategic move to pick four songs with four different sounds so that everyone could have something to pick from and hold onto. It was really strategic. 

So if you were to pick a favourite track from the EP? Which would it be?

That’s a very hard question, I can’t pick because they’re all my babies. They are all very special to me. They are all special records. It changes every week.

How did the single ‘jackpot’ come about?

It was this year when Bella Shmurda said we need to link up. I left a birthday party and I went straight to the studio and made it happen. Jackpot is all about winning, wanting to reach your goal and happy moments. 

What is it like working with Baby fresh?

I want to say a big shout out to Baby Fresh. He was the one that discovered me in the hood, when I was nobody. Some of the Mavin staff was playing one of my songs and he heard it. He hit me up in my DMs and said come with my producer. Baby fresh then introduced me to Don Jazzy and introduced me to Mavin. He basically put me onto Mavin and we’re here now.

If you want your fans to take one thing away from this project what would it be?

I want them to take this project to their heart. I wish this project would help them to overcome any obstacle that they may be facing. I know things are quite crazy now, but I hope this can help you with your struggles. 

Should we expect any visuals for the song?

Yes for sure, I’ve shot two videos already, like two days ago. For sure there will be visuals.

I have to ask! Are we getting one for jackpot?

Oh yes for sure. 

Big shoutout to my fans for sticking with me, we’re about to take things to the next level.

Make you stream ‘Twelve A.M’ on all platforms 

 

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