Much like politics, tribal/ethnic/regional representation has come to be an unspoken yet important and unifying part of music and its creation; both on the global scale and within the Nigerian community. With both of Nigeria’s frontliners hailing from the west, Tochukwu “TCH” Ezeji’s objective is to join the likes of Phyno, Psquare and Flavour in putting Eastern influenced music on the world map.
Born and bred in Enugu Nigeria, Tochukwu’s career launched in 2017 under the moniker Tboy and this foundational phase saw him trying out his strengths on a range of sound elements.
For his official debut in 2017, Tboy introduced himself and his bespoke Afro life genre with a highlife influenced tune called Whine. Choosing not to do it alone, he enlisted the help of amazing guitarist Fiokee who gave the song the needed melodious string flavor but on his sophomore Kilofe, Tboy showed linguistic versatility with a Yoruba verse, as opposed to the Ibo themed Whine.
Both songs wormed their way through digital and traditional media, instantly inaugurating Tboy into the league of upcoming stars to watch out for. He began to appear and perform at various shows, one of which was the 2017 edition of Phynofest. The BME Team then liaised with Duncan Mighty who was also at the Phyno headlined concert, leading to the super collaboration called Monica.
The Billionaire Minds Enterprise label also serves as home to rising stars like Pacino, Moffizay, and Fric P; some of whom featured in BME’s first collaborative 3-track project called ATL Vibes.
In the ecosystem of music, new entrants are mostly perceived as wannabes until proven otherwise, and this was not any different for Tboy.
“People look at me and think I am a joke,’ he said, “or that I do not know what I am doing so I needed something to show my versatility.”
When the revamped BME team thought the time was right, the transition from T-boy to Tchap0 began. With regards to how he feels about adopting the name of a Mexican drug lord, Tchap0 dissociated himself with negativity around the “Chapo” title.
In his words, he doesn’t support things like trafficking drugs or human beings. As for him, he plans to traffic good music and good vibes from Nigeria to Africa and eventually to the world. To mark the beginning of this new era in his career and to also show the depth of his capacity, Tchap0 released his debut body of work under his new name.
Titled Paradox, the very well thought out and arranged EP holds 9 different tracks, all of which have fantastic features from the likes of Boybreed, Mars and Barzini and the rest of the BME Family. The idea behind the features, Tchap0 says, is to cross his art with that of his collaborators, as well as tap into each other’s listenership and fan base.
Despite being a forex trader, a realtor and a fashion designer, music is Tchap0 innermost passion and his tenacity in just 2 years, echoes this fact loudly. The dream, however, transcends the music, as there are long term plans to turn the Tchap0 brand into a full-fledged entertainment platform that will help showcase Nigeria’s brightest talents. In the interim, Tchap0 vows to continue giving the art his all until Nigerian music becomes the global centre of attraction.
Davido and Wizkid have already begun to set the pace as they have been slowly penetrating and rising up international charts, bringing the industry closer to Tchap0’s ultimate dream. It might be Davido and Wizkid today but with continued hard work, smart work and focus, it is most likely to be Tchap0 tomorrow.