She has been on top of her game since her breakthrough into one of the leading record labels in the country, Chocolate City. Popularly known as the ‘first lady’, Princess Esindu nicknamed Pryse is currently making waves in the industry. In this interview with SEYI SOKOYA, the rapper speaks on her career and fashion preferences. Excerpts:
How I discovered music
I have always been into music. I started with rap music and composed my first lyrics at the age of 10. People used to cheer me whenever I performed in the church or amidst my friends. I started recording at the age of 14 because my family owned a media outfit. My elder brother and I recorded music and rap songs but I never took it serious at the time. The reason I didn’t take it serious was because my parents would never let me become a full time artiste as at the time because I was still a teenager. I recorded my first solo album when I went to school. I pushed the music online so that I could get recognition. It was at this point that it dawned on me that I could have a career in music, despite the fact that I studied Media and Communication.
How I was able to convince my parents
It was Chocolate City that really convinced my parents that I could have a career in music. I went fully into music when I was in school, I followed it up and I was really getting a lot of feedback. Then, one day, I sent a twit to M.I to follow me, he did and when he checked my page and saw it on my profile that I was a rapper, he requested for some of my songs which I later forwarded to him. His response showed that he liked it and as God would have it, that was the beginning of the turnaround. I think they were actually looking for a female rapper at that time. I was really happy with the development. To me, it was a blessing, I didn’t really work too hard for it. It just came like a miracle because, when God says something is yours, it will be certainly yours. I was still in school when this opportunity came, I had to exercise some patience so as to finish my studies and graduate. It got to a stage that I almost left school because of the anxiety, but I remained focused in order to achieve my goal. I had a misunderstanding with my parents when I came back from school and told them I was going into music. They were uncomfortable with it but I made them realise that I wasn’t going to Lagos to struggle because they didn’t really know who the likes of M.I, Ice Prince and others in the label were, but after a clear conviction, they supported me and gave me the go ahead to follow my passion.
Why I returned to Nigeria
The truth is that I had no intention of staying in the U.K permanently. I always knew I would come back anytime. I came back one month after my graduation; I didn’t spend much time there because it was a part of the family’s plan. We have a family business based in Port Harcourt and it is an outfit that has huge potentials, so, I had to come home.
The family plan
As I said earlier, my parents, Mr Mike and Mrs Dolly Esindu own a media house in Port Harcourt called Frontline TV Station. The plan had been there since I was very small that I would work there one day. It is a TV production and my mum used to be a popular presenter on the National Television Authority (NTA). She anchored several game shows before she later left the station and started her own company. It grew to be a family business. My parents sent all their children abroad to study something related to the media; my elder brother studied Graphic Designs, the second one studied Radio Television Production and I studied Media and Communication. So, we had to come back to contribute to the business and make it bigger than what it used to be. I’m the last child of the family and I am the only girl; I think that was why my dad used to call me princess.
It is believed that every recording artiste has his or her own talent. At present, there are so many artistes out there who are very talented, but a large number of them did not have the opportunity to explore it. It’s so amazing that so many people are struggling for this small share and I think out of the thousands of artistes in Nigeria those that are actually making it are not more than 20, the list is very few and if you are not on that list, you are probably not making that much. It’s a struggle and also a major challenge that everybody wants to be on that list. And the race has become so tensed that if you are not one of them, people will not reckon with you.
My relationship with other artistes under the label
I agree with you that it is a male dominated record label, but I think it is about being getting used to them and doing things that were expected of a female artiste. As a man, you only need to dress in a simple manner, put on a T-shirt, nice jacket, brush your hair and you are good to go, but a lot of things are expected of a girl, she has to do her hair which might cost a lot of money, dress gorgeously and also do some other things which might be so expensive.
M.I and I
M.I is my mentor. He is an amazing guy and very protective. He has helped me in so many ways that I can’t even express them. He gives me the right advice and he really cares for me. Ice prince has also being really good and nice to me, we are friends and he gives me advice too. In fact, all personalities under the record label have really contributed to the upliftment of my career in on way or the other.
Why I describe myself as the first lady of Chocolate City
To me, the name ‘first lady’ actually means that I am the first female artiste in the record label and this has been a blessing for me. The endorsement is a plus for me .It is a great privilege to be part of the label and this has really given me an edge over my peers in the industry and has also given my life a turn around.
Description of self
I would describe myself as a cool chick; I am not a very loud person. When I meet people for the first time, they usually think that I am a shy and quiet person not knowing that I am just chilling and getting to know them, the moment I get to know them better, they will beg me to keep quiet.
Definition of style
My style is basically just whatever works for me. I crave clothes with sexy edges, nothing too revealing, but classic and sexy.
Choice of accessories
I like jewellery a lot. I really wear a lot of gold rather than silver because I think that gold looks good on me.
I don’t think I have a favourite colour. Could that be possible? I go for whatever looks good, but I would go for black if I will be specific.
I like Gucci.
I’m not really a designer freak; I just wear whatever looks nice on me. Right now, I am working with Wisps Galantine, she is an upcoming fashion designer based in Lagos. She is really good and she makes fantastic designs for me.
Fashion items I cannot do without
Fashion items I can’t be caught dead wearing
I can’t think of any at the moment. I love everything I put on.
Most expensive items in my wardrobe
That should be my shoes and shades.
Opinion on cosmetics surgery
It has to be very important before I can go for cosmetic surgery, so I feel people who go for cosmetic surgery have important reasons for doing so.
Take on provocative dressing
Everyone wants attention; you get that with the kind of dress you wear.
I love hanging out at the beach a lot, that is my own way of giving myself a treat.
Nails and hair
I am not a fan of nail painting but I love to make a statement with my hair colour, so it must look attractive and exceptional always.
Keeping in shape
I work out a lot, I don’t just eat anything too; I go on fruit diet often.
I don’t have a tattoo, and I don’t see myself having one. It is not a necessity.
How I handle my male admirers
It has not been easy, I must confess; on several occasions, my phone had been flooded with all manners of messages but God has helped me with His divine wisdom to handle the situation in a polite manner.
My dream man
I desire a supportive man, tall and handsome.
Words to my fans
I want to appreciate everyone on the moving train and also welcome those who just joined the train. I respect you all because you have really contributed to my success story. I also wish you all compliment of the season. I love you all.