Christian Kwabena is the second runner up of Project Fame Season 7. He tells Saturday Beats about life after the reality television show
How do you feel coming into the Nigerian market as a Ghanaian artiste?
It has not been easy penetrating into the tough Nigerian market as a Ghanaian artiste. It is part of the reason I moved here because I like challenges. For seven years in Project Fame, no Ghanaian or even anybody from any neighbouring country has been able to win it. It has to do with the attitude about the show and secondly, the votes, because in comparison, Nigeria is like seven times the size of Ghana. The exposure we got in Nigeria was far bigger than what we got in Ghana. The people that were supposed to show the Project Fame in Ghana had something doing so they ended up showing it late.
Are you saying if it was held in Ghana, you would have won?
No, that is not what I am saying. If it was held in Ghana and a Nigerian is on the show, he would probably win it because the population of Nigeria is far bigger than that of Ghana. I don’t care what anybody else thinks about it but as for me, that is what I feel. It just has to do with your performance and the votes.
Do you think you have what it takes to withstand the Nigerian market?
Well, I think I have the zeal and the heart to be able to stand it. I started this when I was very young in Ghana, and I think I will be able to pitch myself to a certain level. And the level I have got to today is because I made a choice to come to Project Fame. For people to know, I auditioned for Project Fame for seven years before I was picked. That tells you how much I wanted to get into the Nigerian market. For the fact that I was able to do that for seven years before I was picked means I can brace up for anything. The previous year before I was picked, I was in Nigeria where I was dropped. I couldn’t make it to the top twenty and I had to try again before I made it. So, it is how much you want it and where you want to get to. I am ready for this and I am ready to put everything into the industry, not just in Nigeria but globally. My big brothers, P-Square, D’Banj, 2Face and others have done it. So I feel it is my time to carry the cross and I am ready for it.
I am surprised you didn’t mention Sarkody and other big stars in Ghana, why?
Funny enough, I have worked with Sarkody, Trigmatic, Tiny, Emem and most of the big names in Ghana. Sometimes, mentioning them, I look at where they have got to. I think they have given me the leverage and the platform to ride on their backs to be able to get to where I am going to. I really appreciate them.
After the Project Fame, how has your rating been in Ghana?
It has been amazing. Project Fame gives you a very big platform and exposure to excel. So, I don’t want to relent and that is one of the reasons I came to Nigeria. Having worked with big stars in Ghana, I don’t want to feel comfortable with that. I want to push much more than that. There are many Ghanaians who had been in Project Fame that are doing very well at home. But I feel they could do better if they had come to Nigeria or a bigger market, a more risky and challenging market like Nigeria.
What kind of music do you play?
It is Afro pop and RnB dance hall. Though I am comfortable with every genre, where I want to major is Afro pop.
What memories can you recollect in Project Fame?
There are a lot, and I owe thanks to Wizkid. It was Wizkid’s On Top your Matter that I sang on probation that shot me up. I did it first time, it brought me on probation. The following week, I did it and it shot me up. From that time, my performance just kept going up. The most memorable performance was when I did ‘Kiss your Hand’ by Wande Coal. The ovation started right from the front seat to the back. The judges and everybody were amazed. And I was amazed myself. I thank God for it and Nigerians for accepting me the way they did.
Were you in a relationship before you got into Project Fame?
No, I was not in a relationship. It broke up before Project Fame. I didn’t bother myself about it because I needed to move on to get what I needed in life and avoid those distractions.
After the Project Fame, did she try to reconcile with you?
Yes, but being in Project Fame taught me a lot of things that you have to set your priorities right. So, I decided to set my priority right and not to look back, which I think was the best decision for me.
Did you tell her that?
No, I didn’t. I just told her that she had to move on because I am now in a different country and it is something that is not going to work. She is also a singer too and she understands the business and how it works. She should know that such distant relationship cannot work. Right now, I am single but not searching.
While on Project Fame, were you having a crush on anybody?
No, I was not having a crush but I was close to somebody. I was close to Flourish. I just like her. People didn’t understand her because she had a temperament she couldn’t hide. When she is angry about something, she lets people know about it. People didn’t understand it and I was the only person that understood her. So, we got close.
Have you been in touch since then?
Well, it’s been a while now. It should be about two months now. Since my mum passed on, we have not been in touch. She passed away last year, after Project Fame on November 25 and we buried her December 20. So, I couldn’t celebrate Christmas.
What led to her on death?
She had a minor stroke. She was fighting it but it was just going on and off before she died. She was a pastor.
Is it that there was no money to fight it?
There was money. The woman was just a workaholic. She wouldn’t just let things lie. It got to a point I told her to stop working but she wouldn’t listen. She had a church, a school and would want to take charge of everything. I think she suffered the stress of handling all things by herself.
What was the most memorable advice she gave you?
She told me when I was just starting music that I could do secular music that could be played in church. She was a very strong Christian woman. I come from a very strong Christian background but she gave me the freedom to do whatever I wanted to do. That is one of the things I loved my mother.
How did you spend your money?
My money is not finished. My money is making money because I invested it wisely. I am proud to say that my money is getting more money. We thank God for that.
How do you capture your feeling about the deal between you and Bespoke Entertainment Company?
It is interesting because in the past after a performance, you see people walking up to you to sign you but at the end there is nothing. It has happened to me a couple of times in Ghana. So, when these people came to me, I said let God’s will be done. But Mr. Tunde Praise kept pushing on and on. I got a lot of offers from a lot of people but I told God to direct me. Right now, I think I am on the right path. It is an amazing feeling because everything is happening so rapidly.
So far, how many songs have you recorded?
For now, I have two, Bum Short and Jogodo, which we just released. We will start working on the video from next week.