Nicholas Ihua-Maduenyi popularly known as Psycho YP is a rapper from Nigeria, Africa with dreams of taking his music and the trap genre global by creating a form, one which relies on his ability to melodically visualize the things around him, born in a generation with no need to water down their ideas and concepts, he has a lot to say.
His music is founded on rapping out stories which his young audience can relate to as they go on with their own unique lives of dreams and ambitions, a path he’s chosen to take by sparking such conversations through his music and the popular yet [if used well enough] provoking form of rap called ‘Trap’ he’s able to curate a more personal relation with his audience, giving them a vibe encrypted with messages tapped from every day social engagements.
With a catalogue of singles, tapes, features, music videos, and other creative projects, he’s been able to showcase his different views as he grows.
He’s a creative from the new age doing his thing, and he can be proud of the trap masterpieces he’s created so far.
I was able to discuss with him on his direction and thoughts for the ever growing brand he’s carved out as Psycho YP
How has music changed your view of the world ?
Psycho YP : Music is honestly like medicine to me. There’s a way to connect to any song. I see everything as an opportunity to create new music. That’s why more and more artists have started telling stories in songs. I believe we’re all living in a vibe and everything happens for a reason.
I’ll like to highlight that, ‘artist telling stories’.
How do you relate to that ? And how important is in creating your music ?
Psycho YP : In my music I like to throw in a couple short stories. People might not get it at first but it’s always in there. For example my new single “Who Dis” had a couple stories. From the first hook to the last hook. I spoke about the early stages of my career, threw a couple shots and also spoke about my ex. It’s very important to tell stories because nowadays people love listening to stories being told in music. That’s what makes some people go back and listen to understand what the artist was trying to express.
The history of hip-hop has had an effect on different timelines, with this generation more inclined to Trap.
What effect does that sound and form of hip-hop have on the new age in your view and how does your music add layers to it ?
Psycho YP : For me old hip hop is still very essential in this age. As a trap artist I get to work with a lot of brilliant producers who know how to sample and switch up music from back then. Apart from beats it’s also really good to listen to music from the origin because it adds content to the music. Trap music comes from within. Like i said it’s all a vibe. And to switch it up and actually give it good content has to be done with the knowledge of where hip hop all started.
If everyone keeps neglecting sounds that aren’t afrobeat independent artists will branch out and look for labels in other countries that will actually appreciate their music.
Why isn’t trap given enough respect ? And what sets Afro-Trap apart as a strong genre of its own ?
Psycho YP : Respect isn’t given to trap because people don’t take time to actually listen to it. From the beat people just think it’s noise. But it’s good how everyday more people start listening to trap and they enjoy it. I feel like Afro-Trap shouldn’t really be a genre globally. People only introduced Afro-Trap because of the scene in African countries. For example in Nigeria, Trap isn’t really appreciated because as some people say it’s “foreign music” and we shouldn’t be making such in Nigeria. But with Afro-Trap being the genre, producers have started incorporating both Trap and Afrobeat and it’s honestly a pretty sweet vibe.
How important is it for African creatives to own their narratives especially via our sounds ?
As you’ve said, most of our sounds are borrowed but we’re somehow taking charge of them in our own way.
Psycho YP : Its so important because owning your music is branding alone. At the end of the day rap didn’t start in Nigeria let alone Africa. We’re however naturally expressing ourselves in that form so at the end of the day we can own the music and it’s contents with the stories we tell and the lifestyles we portray. It’s borrowed when an artist isn’t being real as an individual and not making music on a personal perspective. The importance of owning your sound to me is keeping everything 100% real.
Back in secondary school, people just started calling me Psycho and it just stuck. They also used to call me Papi Chulo so that’s where the Yung Papi came from. Funny how people don’t know what the YP stands for
Let’s talk about your sound, what inspires you to create ?
Psycho YP : Music is a spiritual thing. I make music so much and still have a lot more to make. And this is because I make music based on my lifestyle. This doesn’t mean everything in my music is 100% real but i make music based on how I live, the type of people I hang around, the type of music I listen to etc. I know talent when I see it and God has given everyone a talent. I just try my best to use mine really well. I’ve also invested a lot in my career. I have my own set up. I’m still learning a lot in terms of mixing and mastering and also delivery. So I make music basically everyday to try and improve and master my craft. I know I still have a long way to go.
How is Abuja’s hip/hop scene like ? What’s going on underground the main media isn’t showing ?
Psycho YP : What’s going on underground is the blood sweat and tears we put in everyday without being recognized and even undermined. Abuja is a crazy city that I love but the structure of the scene isn’t on the level of the artists that put in the most. The hip hop scene on the side of the Artists is booming. We’re at a point where we are sooo competitive amongst ourselves and we’re putting out the best music ever to the point of comparison with Artists abroad. I feel the backup is the only problem, the music promotion, a&r , all that. If we get all that settled we’ll own Everything.
Usually people ask me if I’ve considered something else thats not trap and obviously i have but i feel like I’m not ready yet to put out something that isn’t in my comfort zone. However, its all a working progress.
How do we over come them especially when foreign music companies are sweeping in and taking our artist under their structures ?
Psycho YP : I feel like more people and also Nigerian based record labels should be more open to the artists they sign. If everyone keeps neglecting sounds that aren’t afrobeat independent artists will branch out and look for labels in other countries that will actually appreciate their music.
The kids need to focus on creating our own infrastructure and industry ?
Psycho YP : We’re already doing so much on our own. It’s just that pushing the music is really hard when you’re independent. As much as parents support what we do it’s not everyone’s parents that’ll be willing to put the amount of money we need to get to certain heights. So right now we’re just working and leaving the rest to God.
Working on any project ? A body of work ?
Psycho YP : I’ve been working on a lot of new stuff. I can actually put out two quality projects right now but I still need to perfect my sound. Working on a lot of different sounds with great producers like Higo, Jaylon, Xoe, Johnson etc.
Can you tell us about your immediate project and theme for it ?
Psycho YP : What I’m trying to do with the project is show people that music is a natural thing for me. and I’m showing people that by putting different sounds and genres on it and also not deviating from the fact that i am a Trap artist. Usually people ask me if I’ve considered something else thats not trap and obviously i have but i feel like I’m not ready yet to put out something that isn’t in my comfort zone. However, its all a working progress.
Do you have a name for the project ?
Psycho YP : Not at the moment.
How was your summer in Nigeria ? The music culture was particularly amazing this year.
Psycho YP : i won’t lie this summer has been a dream. Ive accomplished so many things i couldn’t believe were possible. The hard work is finally paying off. Right now I’m just praying for bigger things.
As an artist, what impact would you like your sound to have on your listeners as you and your music grow ?
Psycho YP : I just really need my sound to open everyone’s mind to music in general. I need people to understand that there’s a vibe behind every song.
How do videos, artworks, and branding play in curating an identity for your sounds ?
How profound are they in aligning your vision ?
Psycho YP : These are very essential things every artist needs to put time and thought into. Putting out good music is one thing, but putting out good music and also other materials that gives the audience a face to the music being up out is an essential thing. People need to know who they’re supporting before any other step can be taken.
Do you fear failure ?
Psycho YP : To be honest I do. I don’t think I’m meant to but I do. I know I’ve worked so hard and I’m going to keep working hard and just the thought about everything going to waste kills me.
What’s the one thing that’s stuck with you since you started creating music ?
Psycho YP : I’ve always kept in mind that some people may not like what I put out and that should never bring me down. I know I have people out there who love to listen to what I have to say. And they’ll keep listening if I keep putting out music. And also, I’m a trap artist. It’s hard for us not making music the people are used to. But that doesn’t mean we have to change our sound just to please everyone else. I make music that I feel should be heard. And if it’s good enough it’ll definitely get the recognition it deserves.