Meet The Artists!

Posted: September 5, 2009 in Celebrity profile, What's going on...



Born Emmanuel Bezhiwa Idakula, in Jos, Nigeria, ‘Bez’ grew up as a musical child, absorbing every bit of music around him and transmitting it through his beloved instrument – the guitar. He pursued an undeniable passion for music in college, and honed his guitar skills day by day to produce one of the most remarkable playing styles. His first live performance was with gospel group KUSH, followed by other regular performances with Sage Has Son (a spoken word artist). Bez has since performed on stage with Mode9, Terry tha Rapman, Djinee, M.I., Roof Top MCs and many other artists. He features regularly in Taruwa®, an unplugged show, and cites his opening act performance with Cobhams at Asa’s two-day concert in Lagos in June 2008 as the defining moment of his career thus far.

His style can be described as a hybrid of jazz, soul, and world music – a really eclectic sound he terms ‘alternative soul’. Though different from the ever-popular ‘afro hip-hop’ genre, Bez believes the quality of his music will carve a niche for itself and take him to greater heights.

At the Hennessey Artistry Launch, said, “Nigerians, what they need is quality music. It depends on your delivery.  If you give them quality they will accept it in whatever way. We’re going to be doing live performances onstage so we’re going to be tweaking whatever you’ve heard on CD or on radio and infuse any funk or anything that would make it lively. It’s just about quality.”

Adding, “I think I stand a pretty good chance. I’m gonna be loved!”


Mo Cheddah

Modupe-Oreoluwa “Mo’Cheddah” Oyeyemi Ola a.k.a. ‘The Hip-Pop Princess’ and ‘The Swagger Diamond’, began working towards a career as a rap artist at the tender age of 12, with the nurturing of producer Knighthouse. Since age 15, she has committed herself to a demanding double life as both a Creative Arts student at the University of Lagos and a hip-hop artist. Mo has since gone from strength to strength, recording tracks with heavyweights like M.I., Saucekid, Kel, Tha Suspect and many more on Vol.1 of the Knighthouse Street Scriptures Album in 2008.

Mo is currently putting the finishing touches to her debut album, which will be released later in 2009. The confident 18 year old is set on coming out tops at the end of this contest.

“I was born to win! I don’t expect anything less than to win. We’ll see. Either way, we’re gonna have a great show. I just wanna have fun.”



Obafunke “Blaise” Martin-Luther is a rapper, lyricist, composer, spoken word poet and even a producer in her own right. With musical influences spanning from Queen Latifah, A Tribe Called Quest and Tupac Shakur, to Bob Marley and Fela Kuti, it’s no wonder that this young woman has earned the aliases ‘The Scorcher’ and ‘The Torch Bearer’. A meeting with Eldee, front man of the hip-hop group, The Trybesmen, in 2002, proved to be a turning point for Blaise who was included later in the same year as part of the ‘Da Trybe’ collective on the hit single “Oya”. Soon afterwards her singles,  “The Definition” and “Bragging Rights” (a collabo with former Da Trybe mate, Freestyle), earned top spots on several radio stations across the country, leading to a number of Hip Hop World Awards nominations for the young artist. Blaise has composed and produced music for television and theatre productions, and also featured in MTV Base’s Advance Warning in 2008.

Her next move is the release of her album ‘Delivery Report’ which features herself, Cobhams and Jonah the Monarch on production, and a collaboration with M.I. The album will be released on her label – The Beat Cellar.

Having worked with almost all her fellow contestants, Blaise says: “For me, it’s all fun. I mean, we all do different things. There’s no way I can come with a spirit of hostility just because it’s a competition. We’re friends. We all work together and we’ve turned out some nice tunes. It’s just fun to me, honestly.”


Jimmy Flames

Jimmy (a.k.a Damola Sonupe) is the premier artist on the label – N’sayne Entertainment – run by Dokta Frabz. He has lived in Nigeria, Ireland and Guyana in the Caribbean, where he performed with rock groups and at talent shows, worked as a TV presenter and radio host, whilst also honing his rap skills. His experiences in the Caribbean and Europe, he feels, bring something new to the Nigerian music scene and make him more versatile – especially when combined with the stellar production of his long-time friend Dokta Frabz.

Jimmy’s depth and range as an artist is reflected in the spectrum of genres present on his debut album – rap/hip-hop, Afro hip-hop, dancehall and rock and he chooses not to boxed into any one genre: “I wouldn’t describe my music as hip hop. I rap to almost anything. I’m a rap artist. I do sing sometimes but I’m better with rap. Play me any beat and I’ll find a way to rap to it. Sometimes the rap also sounds like singing. I’m coming with something different – my own way.”


Ice Prince

Ice Prince has been described as the “Crown Prince of Hip-Hop”. The lyricist and Jos-native (born Panshak Zamani), cites his musical influences as Nigerian artistes M.I. and Jesse Jagz alongside Notorious B.I.G, Rakim, Jay-Z, Common, Talib Kweli and Kanye West. In 2004 his debut single, ‘Extraordinary’, hit the airwaves in Jos, propelling him to instant fame in the city. His subsequent deft lyrical delivery on M.I.’s hit single, ‘Blaze’, also featuring Jesse Jagz, soon earned him the nickname “the lyrical miracle”. He has since collaborated with other artists like Dekunle Fuji, Banky W, Kel, Gino, Terry Tha Rapman, Sauce Kid, Djinee, El Dee and Naeto C. Ice Prince has performed at the Hip Hop World Awards, Rhythm Unplugged and Thisday International Music and Fashion Festival among others. His debut album, on the award-winning Chocolate City Music label, is due for release in early 2010.

Says Ice: “I feel privileged. I feel honoured to be called as one of the five artistes in the Hennessey Artistry 2009.  I think it’s a good platform for me to be able to show my music to a larger audience. It’s an opportunity for me to be able to learn and make my skill even better. We’re playing live music throughout the whole show. It’ll be a good experience. I feel good. I feel honoured to be part of it.”

  1. lola says:

    heyyyy dokta frabz in the buildiiinnnggggg
    Jimmy flames jangolover
    cant wait to come see ya’ll perform,

  2. wienna says:

    That Bez guy looks like Raphael Sadiq from Tony Toni Tone.

  3. Misz says:

    Go Mo’ Cheddah!!! this is urs for the winning hunnie! we is right here behind you & we aint backing down no matter what anyone says. Mmwahh!!!

    Looking forward to the whole show tho..