Vector reps Nigeria on his sleeve, every and any chance he can. A true icon in every sense of the word, the Nigerian recording artist paves the way for other African artists to follow suit, showing that they too can make their wildest dreams come true if they work hard, stay passionate and never lose sight of the end goal.
Boasting 1.4 million followers on Instagram, Vector uses his platform to spread the love of music from Nigeria to the rest of the world. His music is not only heartfelt and meaningful but effortlessly sets the vibe for any occasion.
When asked what Vector would be doing if it wasn’t music, he simply has no answer. Having never worked a 9 to 5, the “Mama Maradona” rapper reveals his entire life has been founded upon music.
Most recently, Vector unveiled his newest album titled Teslim: The Energy Still Lives In Me, named after and dedicated to his late father.
AllHipHop spoke with Vector virtually to discuss what Nigeria means to him, the moment he fell in love with music, his Top 5, his new project, the inspo behind “Clowns,” goals and more!
AllHipHop: You’re on the road. Where you going?
Vector: To a party actually [laughs].
AllHipHop: What are the parties like in Nigeria?
Vector: There’s a lot of food, there’s a lot of alcohol if you want. There’s a lot of dance music. There’s a lot of energy, hugging. A lot of jokes and laughter as well. I would never leave over here. [laughs]
AllHipHop: Do you party? Do you drink?
Vector: Yes, we do drink. We do party.
AllHipHop: What do you like to drink over there?
Vector: There’s a variety. Sometimes it’s a wine day, sometimes it’s a champagne day. Sometimes it’s a Cognac day.
AllHipHop: What does Nigeria mean to you?
Vector: Nigeria means a lot of things. On the surface, it means home. In different realities, it means a lot more: concern, worry as well. Nigeria means a lot of things, it depends on what we’re talking about now. [laughs]
AllHipHop: Do you remember the moment you fell in love with music?
Vector: If you grew up in a music family where they’ve always played music, you probably couldn’t tell what moment you heard music first. But the last I remember, my sister had just gotten back from the church choir practice. She says, “When I say ‘so fa la so,” you say ‘mi re fa mi’.” That was my first experience of a real life harmony. It was interesting to me. Hmm okay, let’s do more. [laughs]
AllHipHop: Do you have a Top 5 artists list?
Vector: The music experience I have varies from some country music to some Celine Dion music to Jay Z’s music to Ludacris’ music. To Backstreet Boys to Blackstreet to West Life to Blue, Ronan Keating, Boyzone, a bunch of artists. It’ll be hard for me to give you a Top 5. [laughs]
AllHipHop: How did you get your name?
Vector: It was in St. Gregory’s College. I was learning about vectors and I thought that’d be a nice name. I swear, then I find out that vipers are vectors of venom too. Oh okay, interesting.
AllHipHop: You just dropped Teslim, dedicated to your father. How do you feel now that it’s out?
Vector: Teslim is beautiful. I like the energy. It’s dedicated to my dad, my late dad. The energy has been beautiful. I like the fact that it’s reaching out to people. The audience of music and the fanbase, how it’s reaching out to them, it’s core. Very core.
AllHipHop: How much of a role did he play in your music career?
Vector: He was a very encouraging dad to have. Because again, I was raised in a very very traditional “… I was raised in a very very traditional Yoruba way.” Even I don’t know how I’m this. [laughs] He was always very supportive, even though he didn’t know what metaphors were or how we used them in rap music, or making music or the type of music that I want to make. He always supported and he was always proud to the point of his death. His ringtone was my record.
AllHipHop: What song was it?
Vector: “All the boys them know say we made oh…” [sings] The song title is “We’re Made Oh.”
AllHipHop: Let’s talk about “Clowns.” What were you on recording this one?
Vector: It gets to a point where you realize that people act greedy because they’re afraid to lose. But coming from the traditional understanding as well, it’s funny because they’re just clowns. It doesn’t mean anything. What is the fear you have, that has created the greed that has caused you to kill people? Caused you to destroy lies, sell lies, not tell the truth? It’s just fear. We address that in “Clowns.”
AllHipHop: And that was inspired by the Diddy moment?
Vector: [laughs] Well, I just drew a reference from that. Lyrically, it’s now you feel like there’s nothing wrong that can happen because you’re so guarded, and then boom.
AllHipHop: Talk about the producers you work with on the project too, such as Mr. Kleb.
Vector: He’s a wonderful producer. He’s worked with Burna Boy and a couple artists as well, it’s his hype moment [laughs]. He’s such a talented person. We operate deeper than surface music or popular music or popular opinions about music. We operate on energy from music, and he’s such a wonderful energy to experience as a producer period.
AllHipHop: What is it you want people to get from your story?
Vector: My story has a lot of sides to it. The story of how excellent my life is or my story appears. But then there’s also the story of what my reality also is, in other scenarios if you know what I mean. I am the man that’s living in Africa that’s being exploited. I am the man with the global understanding in Africa that’s being segregated or marginalized. I have a whole lot of realities, but I just do my music. You may understand where my head is at and address me as such, and only as such.
AllHipHop: Is there anything further you want to do with your platform?
Vector: Reaching out to more souls showing that Africa is not a place that is unsafe in every part (like everywhere else in the world). We have parties, you can see I’m outdoors.
AllHipHop: What’s your best encounter with a fan?
Vector: There’s so many. I’ve met somebody who cried. I’ve met somebody who was shaking. I’ve met somebody who was screaming my ears off. I’m wearing one of the gifts from the fans. [shows his watch]. “Ilé l’a wa “[he speaks in Yoruba African dialect] we are home.
AllHipHop: How much was the watch?
Vector: It’s a gift [laughs].
AllHipHop: Any goals for yourself?
Vector: I feel strongly that I’m achieving that already. I strongly feel like that’s not the problem right now. Having a target or some sort of goal, I think we’re headed there already. I’m making music. I’m successful with making music. I’m confident with what I stand for now. I don’t know what goals are. I’m African, I’m blessed [laughs].