In Talks With Pheelz: “I was still in my room making music and ‘Finesse’ was doing wonders outside…”

Sweeney Gloria

By Sweeney Gloria

Sweeney Gloria

20 May 2022

Meet Pheelz – the Nigerian artist behind the global “Finesse” smash hit and viral TikTok movement. 

The multi-hyphenate talent initially carved his lane out in 2012 via his chart-topping beat making cuts for fellow native stars such as Olamide. 

Recently, the Afro act’s rising status brought him to London and during a busy shooting schedule, Pheelz and I discussed balancing crafts, attracting new listeners, collaborating with UK artists and more!

Hi Pheelz, how are you today?

I’m okay, I’m doing alright. Just chilling, enjoying this London weather!

How are you enjoying London so far?

It’s cool, London is a beautiful place. I always love coming to London – always.

Describe how you feel about Nigerian music attracting more global listeners than ever?

Nigerian music, it’s beautiful right now. I feel like we’ve been ready for this opportunity and now that it’s here, we’re gonna take it by the horns. The world better get ready cause it’s a storm that’s coming. [Laughs]

What was your reaction to “Finesse” going viral on TikTok?

Bro, it went crazy! At first I was chilled about it because I had no idea it was that big and quick. I was still in my room making music and recording and ‘Finesse’ was doing wonders outside – I just didn’t check because I was deep in the mode of making more music. But when I found out, it blew my mind and I’m just very grateful to be here.

Describe your relationship with Buju/BNXN – why did he get the call up to be on the single?

BNXN is my guy! We’ve always wanted to work together – since last year he wanted me to produce some songs for him, but just never got the chance to get to the studio because we’ve both been busy. So I went to the studio and recorded ‘Finesse’, I posted it online then a few days later he saw it and sent me a message like, “Bro, is this just a TikTok sound or is it a regular record?” and I was like “ah, omo! It’s my record’o, do you want a verse?!”, he was like “hell yeah!” He pulled up, recorded his verse and that was it. My G.

When you’re making music, now, who [which audience] do you cater to?

To be very honest, me! [Laughs] cause, I’m an artist. I only make art and it comes out of me. It’s not really catering to any audience, it’s just me expressing my energy, my sound and whoever relates to it, relates to it. It’s for somebody out there, I don’t know where, but I’m just doing what I’m here to do and that’s create art.  

I know you’re an amazing producer – but has having a hit song made you want to focus on being an artist more?

I think this is who I’ve always been, I don’t think I’m shifting sides between being a producer and an artist. I think I’m everything in one as a musician. I’ve always been this guy, writing songs for artists and doing harmonies for 90% of the songs I produce, so i’ve always been both, it’s just my time now to do my thing.

You showed off both skills in your “Finesse” live rendition [with the choir] – what were your plans when preparing for that performance?

To be honest, I was telling my friends that growing up, that was a normal Sunday service for me. I was the choir director in my church and I’d perform some of the special numbers, like that was my thing! Just me singing and playing the instruments, playing the drums. Don’t worry that was just the tip of the iceberg, that was entry level – what is coming.. don’t worry!

You’ve managed to break into the UK scene – will we see you collaborating with any artists here soon?

Yeah for sure, I’m always a fan of collaborating and creating vibes together with other creatives. I have a really nice song with Tion Wayne – he teased it on his TikTok, it’s an amazing song. I’d love to get in with everyone, so Stormzy, Stefflondon, Adele, Ms Banks, Ed Sheeran – I just wanna create Art. Wherever God takes me I go, wherever the Universe takes me, I’m there.

A lot of people like your music, but are still new to you – what’s something they don’t know about you, that you’d like them to know?

I am amazing, I’m awesome and it’s not ego, it’s just I know what I am and it is something I would say about another artist and creative if I know they’re awesome. I’m going to create in different sectors – I’m multidimensional and… I gotchu!

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