Rooftop MCs is not just your average hip hop group. The duo of Sokleva and Snatcha have risen to be one of the top contemporary gospel acts in Nigeria. With chart topping singles and numerous awards locally and internationally, this group is showing no sign of slowing down. Their latest single, “Eromplaini” has received a lot of buzz on the radio and even online. Harry Itie got a chance to interview this awesome group. Enjoy it.
YADA: The last decade was awesome for the Rooftop MCs? Can you talk about how the journey was?
It has been a rather adventurous journey many highs and lows a continuous learning process. Within that period we’ve released 4 albums been nomintated for and won a bunch of awards, performed on stages in and out of Nigeria and one of us is married with a kid. We have seen some of our dreams become our reality. God has been faithful
YADA: The new single is called “Eromplaini”. What inspired the song?
Rooftop MCs is all about impacting/influencing culture and the easiest way to communicate with anyone is in a language he or she understands. Everybody can relate with having a dream a desire to be better. So we simply took a song we sang as little kids and used it to tell the story of how through the practice of faith in God, our dreams/desires were accomplished and we recommend that people give Him a try.
YADA: What should people expect from your new project?
We usually say with Rooftop MCs expect the unexpected. We know we are a break from the norm and our fans know that about us. We intend to take them on a musical adventure. The Album is called CrossEyed and we are saying that we are in the world but not of it. We are in it but our Focus is the cross of Christ and we will show just how being a Christian is relevant to everyday living. That it is not confined to the walls of the church but it’s a way of life and worldview that is most relevant in a world full of uncertainties.
YADA: Can you please describe your creative process?
It usually starts with us sharing just vibing with one another and eventually with the producer we working with. Soon as we get the gist of the matter we let the subject decide the mood of the music, Producer lays the beat down, and we get to writing.
YADA: I have heard a number of times that you guys don’t like to be referred to as Christian artists but would rather be known as Christians who do music. What are the complications of being an “artist of Faith” in the music industry?
The first issue is that the industry has a distorted perception of what they think an artist of faith should sound and look like. It is funny however, that it is the ones who have no idea of what Christianity really means that seek to label the entire sector and for long we have allowed outsiders define to us and for us who we are. Even sadder is that some of our leaders have embraced these definitions and condemn harshly those who do not conform. There is a place for lifting God up with your music (praise and Worship) but there is also a place for introducing Him to a people who probably have never heard of Him or might have a distorted view of who He is (This is what we do). I say to fellow Artists of faith do not be afraid of these labels, people will condemn you but in the fullness of time if you do what you’re supposed to do they’ll realise their error and you won’t have lost a thing doing what you were fully persuaded was your purpose.
YADA: How has the industry changed since you joined 11 years ago?
Technology has probably impacted the industry the most the advent of Digital downloads, ringtones, youtube, facebook, twitter, smartphones, Blogs, amongst others. Fans are able to access their favorite acts a whole lot easier it has bridged the divide. We have also gotten our music international and this has resulted in an increase in the bargaining power of the Nigerian artist.
YADA: Has there been a major downtime in your career? How did you guys go through it?
That would be when we signed a marketing deal with a very popular Marketing Company. The company did not keep their end of the bargain and did not circulate our music as well as it could have been. We prayed about it and decided to just sit tight until the contract elapsed.
YADA: What is the next decade going to be like for “Rooftop MCs”?
We are focused on creating a platform for not just ourselves but to also help propel the bunch of talented young people we meet around us everyday. So essentially, we coming at ya with an army.
YADA: Is there a tour coming soon? Nationally or Internationally?
We are currently in talks with some people who want to take us on a tour of the UK and USA. But that’s all we can say for now.
YADA: A final word for our readers.
Everything was impossible till someone made it Happen. Don’t let anyone tell you it is unattainable, success is not a function of your past it is a function of your future, what do you see?
Current songs on your playlist: Lecrae’s Album Rehab.
Last movie you saw: Cowboys and Aliens.
TV series you are hooked on now: Entourage and The Event
Favourite Bible Verse “What I tell you in darkness speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim from the Rooftops” Matt 10:27
Last book you read The Book of Proverbs (Laughs) We read a chapter each day. Besides that The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell.
Favourite pastime: Go Karting, Video Gaming and watching Movies.
For more information on Rooftop MCs, visit http://www.rooftopmcs.com/
All images courtesy the Rooftop MCs