It’s no doubt that Nigeria is blessed with talented artists, many of whom have created a niche for themselves and ventured into the music industry, making waves home and abroad.
Some of these artists came into the limelight by performing on public stages, from Project Fame, Nigeria’s Got Talent, Nigeria Idol and some through social media.
It’s absolutely okay to keep up with your faves, but what about expanding your playlist by listening to other talented acts with unique sounds? BN discovered some amazing talents, who have once captured your hearts with their voices. We will re-introduce them to you in a unique way with our weekly interview series tagged #DiscoverWithBN.
#DiscoverWithBN will be published every third Friday and last Saturday of the month.
For our maiden edition, we spoke to R&B singer and The Voice Nigeria Season 2 finalist, Chris Rio whose real name is Uriri Israel Christopher Onoyovwi. With musical influences like Usher Raymond, Mali Music, Lucky Dube, Westlife amongst others, he bares his soul with his unique delivery and versatility across different genres. He has a brilliant lush tenor voice texture, the type you can listen to all day.
We had a chat with Chris to discover what got him into music, the genre of music he creates, creative process, and a whole lot more.
Come along and discover Chris Rio with BN!
What first got you into music?
I’ve always been able to hold a note, but I started taking music seriously when I turned 15 years old after I gave my life to Christ. Up until that point, I would sing here and there and even tried to write songs, but it just didn’t click for me. After I gave my life to Christ, I found that I was able to write songs and became passionate about my music career.
How would you describe the music that you typically create?
I have never wanted to be boxed in by a genre. However, I would say I’m deeply rooted in R&B as well as pop music, so my music tends to be a fusion of Afro and R&B, with pop elements. I dabble in a variety of alternative genres and have created reggae/reggaeton sounds, as well as electronic music. But you can mostly find me in R&B, mixed with that sweet African flavour.
What is your creative process?
Most times, the music just comes to me. I think mentally my mind is constantly seeking out catchy rhythms, and that’s the part that is considered a gift. Sometimes, when I’m sent a beat, the instrumentation of the beat shows me what to write about. It’s quite hard to describe, but it’s a beautiful sort of magic. It can also be spontaneous and come to me when I’m half asleep or when I’m working. There are no rules to this thing.
What’s are you bringing to the music industry, what are you doing differently?
I wouldn’t say I necessarily do anything differently, but one thing I always try to consciously do is to focus my intent. It’s never just a vibe or mindless for me, it has to mean something to the listener before I’m happy with it. I try to write songs from other people’s eyes, just so it resonates that much deeper with the people. So far, I think it’s worked for me, and I guess this may mean fewer songs, but I’m more at peace knowing that the songs I do release are intentional, and have their desired effect on people.
What’s next for you?
What’s next for me is a full-length album, and hopefully a few music videos to go with that. I’m working on some collaborative projects right now, but it’s all TBA. Musically, I will say I am excited for 2021.
Listen to Chris Rio’s songs below: