By Pearce Bolaji of Halcyon Inc.
It said that music is a universal language; it is also known to be as old as creation itself. From the beginning of the world man has been enjoying good music for relaxation, celebration, ritual and or traditional rite. Over the years talents had come and gone creating and performing music in various forms, style and genre. Some of these performers we will forever remember and others shall occupy unknown chapters of our history books.
Also in this present day we know the artistes that history has chosen to be generous to and likewise we can tell those that are beginning to fade away from our consciousness. Eke Oti Armstrong belong to the Former. Although still a rising star, his talent is one that can be found one in a generation. With a self-branded name “Armstrong”, he has moved from grass to grace. Born over 27 years ago in Lagos Nigeria, to the family of Mr. and Mrs. Augustine O Eke. He was first introduced into music in the early 1980s by the sweet and tender voice of Curtis Blow, Musical Youth, Bonny M and developed the love for dancing through the enigmatic dance steps of the late Michael Jackson.
His primary education started at Rev Payne primary school, Upper mission Benin, were he became famous amongst pupils after miming to Lionel Riches “All Night Long” at a speech and price given day. It was until his secondary schooldays at Adolo College Ugbowo, that he knew he was born to perform music. While there he performed both Rap and reggae hits with his seniors, Big Ben, Mc George and Smooth Prince, he latter rose to become the school’s social prefect. In furtherance of his education he proceeded to the University of Benin where he obtained a certificate in Social Works.
In the year 1999 he started a group the “Karaktaz” with his friends Andy Adetimehin a.k.a Night Dawg, Dare Dagunduro AKA Warlock and Charles Oaikhena AKA St Charles. They were supervised then by Big Bamo, they performed in and around Ibadan the biggest city in West Africa. Upon the disintegration of the group by illness of their manager and the pursuit of better life by other members of the group, he decided to forge ahead all alone.
In the bid to find his own course he performed many other genre and brand of music, Trying out the then popular hard core Rap, also Shakadamous’ and Shaba Ranks’ Dance hall Reggae.
However many years later and different styles, he finally found his greatest influence in Wyclef Jean, the Haitian-American super star. With the voice of Wyclef blearing from his speakers, Armstrong finally fashion his niche.
Armstrong while still with the “Karaktaz” in the year 2002 recorded their first sets of singles “Gimme Money” and “Sample” .The songs gained considerable air play in Ibadan and also in Lagos. With challenges so enormous, he rose as a solo artiste to win the Sony Erikson’s sponsored “Campus storm“ talent Hunt in 2007. He walked away with a new branded Honda city salon car and a management contract for a year. He later recorded his hit singles” Slow & Steady”, “Raba” and a musical video to compliment.
Upon the expiration of his management contract with Sony Ericson and Laface in 2008, Armstrong began a search for a record label to further enhance his burgeoning career. He found that in Pearce Bolaji’s Halcyon entertainment, a new record label in the Nigerian music industry.
Armstrong is set to blow big, not just in Nigeria but at the Global Stage. Just returned from a Tour of Gambia with DMT Martinie a fellow Label mate and with his recently completed album, recorded in [Jos] Plateau state capital. He is now here to stay after going through a couple of metamorphosis, once known as Black stone and later 7:45 (Seven Forty Five). But the name Armstrong has come to stay and he sure promise to leave a lasting impression in our consciousness.
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