The Kabusa oriental choir group is quite vibrant in the Nigerian digital space with about 225,000 followers on Instagram. Consisting of four young men – Austin, Victor, Ransom and Ozoma – the group makes their own versions of popular songs. Austin tells TOLUWALOPE KAREEM how their group launched into social media stardom.
The group of four expressed their clarity and certainty on choosing which side of the divide they would stick to when it comes to constructive, educative and reverential entertainment. With the high level of moral decadence, break down of society and sky rocketing sexual perversion, the group said thy would rather do it God’s way and not add to the already flaming fire of sexual pollution choking the Nigerian entertainment field.
Below are excerpts from their interview:
How did your group form the name kabusa oriental choir and what is its relevance to your brand?
When we made our first video (our cover of ‘Yeba’ and ‘Baba’ by Kizz Daniel), it turned out to be very hilarious and we figured that we needed a name.
As a group, we didn’t want something classy like ‘Wembley Choir’ or ‘Pittsburgh Choir’ but needed a name that would match the local ‘Naija’ choir theme we had created– a name that had a savage ring to it.
Kabusa is not just a place in Abuja, it is also where the studio we recorded the song is located, so why not ‘Kabusa’? It sounds like a place where cavemen live and that’s what made it a perfect choice.
It was not like we sat on a round table and placed the names before us for everyone to vote. This choice was made three minutes before the video was posted on Instagram because we needed to include it in the caption. We called it ‘Kabusa Oriental Mass Choir’ but it was too long, so we shortened it to ‘Kabusa Oriental Choir’.
The group is made of four young men. How did you meet one another?
We met under different circumstances but music brought us together. I (Austin) met Ransom through an online challenge he started on Instagram. Ransom is a producer who makes beats and releases some of them online for artists to freestyle on. Sometime in 2018, he put out a beat titled ‘Shomo Age Mi Ni’ and dared artists to write a song to it, after which he would pick a winner.
I won the challenge so I was invited to the studio where I met Victor (the one I usually slap in our videos). He was a serving corps member and so was I. Ozoma (the Reverend Father) who is an artiste came later to the studio to record a song. We all met and became friends. As time went on, our relationship went beyond the studio. We started hanging out as friends and hung out more at the studio; helping each other out with our individual projects, before Kabusa Oriental choir took shape.
At what point did your group decide to open an Instagram page for your craft?
Our first video was posted on our individual pages, so were our second and third videos until Don Jazzy suggested to us to have a single page where people could find us as a group, and we did that.
What influenced the group’s idea to post skits on social media?
We are living in a social media era /generation. Many people are on the Internet. If we don’t post on social media, where else should we post? Social media has bridged the gap that TV and radio couldn’t. Now, one can comfortably reach the whole world from the comfort of one’s home. This is a huge advantage and we are utilising it while it lasts.
How does your group get inspiration for skits?
Our inspiration comes from above. We pray every time we are about to record a song and it doesn’t take long before ideas start flooding our minds. The church is also another big source of inspiration for the content we make.
We have had testimonies from people, who hadn’t been to church in ages, going to church just because Kabusa Oriental Choir reminded them of their churches. When we hear a song, we tend to imagine what that particular song would sound like if it were to be sang by a local ‘Naija’ choir and if it plays out nice, we do the song.
Don Jazzy often reposts your skits. What is your relationship with him?
We don’t have any blood ties with Don Jazzy and we didn’t have to have any for him to show interest in us. It’s just his nature; he is known for helping people randomly without knowing them or expecting anything in return. He is one of a kind and we are blessed to have him as a father and a big brother to look up to in this industry. We keep saying that God proved his love for us by giving us Don Jazzy.
Has any artiste attacked you for ‘remixing’ their songs?
Not at all. In fact, the reverse has been the case. Artistes are usually bemused by the remixes we create of their songs; it makes them laugh and they love it. Their fans even go as far as requesting our own version of their favourite hit songs so at the end of the day, everybody is happy.
Beyond social media, do you perform at events?
Yes, we do. In fact, it’s almost as if we perform at events more than we post on social media.
On many occasions, we were not able to post content online because we were busy performing at one event or the other. We’ve just not had time to collate some of our live performance videos and post on our online platforms. Hopefully, we would do that someday.