- Nigerian singer Crayon, discusses the inspiration behind his latest album, “Trench to Triumph Story.”
- He recounts a challenging childhood, including moving to a crowded apartment and financial struggles.
- Despite hardships, he pursued his music dreams while helping his mother in a fruit market, even hawking fruits in traffic.
- Crayon shares an unexpected connection with veteran actress Ngozi Ezeonu, whose name inspired one of his songs.
In an interview with Punch's Saturday Beats, Nigerian singer Crayon shed light on the inspiration behind his latest album, “Trench to Triumph Story.”
The Mavin Records superstar shared his remarkable journey from humble beginnings to stardom, emphasizing the album's embodiment of his life's struggles and eventual success.
Crayon, whose real name is Charles Chibuezechukwu Ojie, narrated his upbringing, which began in Orile Iganmu, Lagos.
At the tender age of seven, he and his family moved into a modest “face-me-I-face-you” apartment in Ojo, where approximately nine or ten family members shared a single room.
As the eldest child in the family, he faced severe financial constraints throughout his childhood.
Money was often scarce, and Crayon found himself frequently sent home from school due to unpaid fees, even retaking the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) five times.
Despite the financial challenges, Crayon never abandoned his dream of making music.
While facing these adversities, he worked alongside his mother in the fruit market, sometimes even resorting to hawking fruits in Lagos traffic.
“My ‘Trench to Triumph' story is about where I come from, and how I got to where I am today.
“I was born in Orile Iganmu (Lagos) and when I was seven years old, we moved to a ‘face-me-I-face-you' apartment in Ojo. We were about nine or 10 people sharing a room. I am the eldest child of my parents, and I faced a lot of financial struggles growing up. Money was very tight. I was sent home regularly from school due to unpaid fees, and I ended up taking the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination five times.
“During that time, I was working on my music, and helping my mum at the stall where she sold fruits in the market. Sometimes, I would even hawk the fruits in traffic. Going from that kind of life to being signed by Mavin Records, and on my way to becoming a global superstar, is my triumph. I used to be in the trenches and now I am triumphant.”
In the interview, Crayon also spoke on his experience meeting with the veteran actress, Ngozi Ezeonu, after singing a song which featured her name.
“First, I appreciate the marketing team at Mavin Records. We were going back and forth on ideas on how to push my song, ‘Ngozi', and Ella, the head of marketing, suggested that should do something with Ngozi Ezeonu.
“So, I reached out to her management, later contacted her personally and shared the idea with her. She was really open to the idea. She is such a sweet soul. She actually knew the song, because her kids used to playing it in the house. I was so excited seeing her, and it was a full-circle moment for me, because I used to watch her in movies while growing up, and my mum is one of her biggest fans.
“When I showed my mum the video of my visit to her, she was quite excited as well. That visit was one of my best and funniest moments this year. When I posted the videos and pictures, some people even thought she was my mum.”