The Drille Effect

10 September 2019
Musical sensation, Johnny Drille takes us down memory lane and recounts how his dreams finally materialised.
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It is said that “birds do not sing because they have answers but because they have songs”. Despite the immeasurable growth, the African music industry still remains at a deficit as uniqueness is often overlooked and originality traded for sounds that travel with trend waves. All hope is not lost though because artists like Johnny Drille still choose the path of uniqueness and as such, deliver timeless sounds that speak more than just a few depths. Having fought a good fight and earning the targeted price, this ball of talent still bounces about tirelessly, cooking and flavouring even better sounds.

Born John Ighodaro in Edo State Nigeria, Johnny grew up under the gospel influence and as such, was taken by the melodic wave at a very young age. Despite having been slightly restricted by his family’s philosophy, he went on to carve for himself a path that would see him earning recognition from none other than Mavin Records boss, Don Jazzy; a relationship that took over a year to build and even then, he had to endure blatant rejection because he simply didn’t look like the ‘type’ the big boss would associate with. Soon enough however, the soil on which Johnny Drille had planted his dreams proved to be barren no more, bringing forth a humble harvest.

Having dipped his fingers into the highlife, hip-hop, and afro-pop pots, Drille’s palette sought a different kind of satisfaction and sure enough, found it folk/alternative, a sound he’s so artistically embraced. From ‘wait for me’ to’ Romeo & Juliet’, Johnny is easily the modern-day melodic Shakespeare; narrating love stories so beautifully that we can’t help but lift our calabashes and celebrate his flawless art. Wehdon Sah! Check out the full interview below.

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