Conversations with Truce

A little background? School?

My name is Ebuka Dusten Anyasie, everyone calls me Truce, which is basically the nick name I was given since secondary school lol.
I was born and bred in Isolo LGA lagos, started off living in Charity, Oshodi up until I was 5 and then we moved to Ejigbo, then Okota and I pretty much shuttled about the entire area; Festac, Jakande, Surulere, Ire-akari, Ajao my entire teenage life. These were my formative years and the experiences I lived through in those periods, pretty much make up who I am today. As for school, I studied electrical engineering at Yabatech, couldn’t finish cuz my mom had lost her job at the time so I had to start hustling from early to get by… I remember charging people 20k for a verse back then, based off my modenine feature, and the money I made at the time was basically what I survived on until I started working a paid job. Lol bro, my first job was even as a front desk person at a phone store in Ire-Akari market that year, I was there on weekdays and then on weekends I juggled going to the studio and selling some of my printed out CD’s to random people in the hood. Lol those were simpler times.

Afrobeat is gaining grounds internationally how does this affect you as an African artist?

Well the game is changing and what that has done for us locally is force everyone to improve on the quality of their content. I mean artists like myself have been putting out conceptual projects for a while now, and no one really cared about all that. But right now, it’s a different conversation, right now people are checking for your discography, for your body of work, for your roll out executions, you know. It’s a good thing. But the only problem I see in the near future is that somehow some way, because our industry is still small, a few people will always find a way to monopolize opportunities, pushing us back to where we were about 5 years ago, I guess we artists always have to find a way to beat the system.

We are influenced by what we consume, who/what would you say guided your art.

I understudy a lot of great artists and their stories. People like J.Cole, people like Nispey Hussle (rest his soul), Mac Miller (rest his soul) and a host of others. What you would see is similar in their career projectiles is how they’ve always played the long game, always focused on executing their ideas in the best ways possible without necessarily paying attention to what the industry is doing at the time. And it’s important to understand who you are and what you plan to achieve because there’ll always be people in your ear, telling you what they think you should be doing or could have done and if you lack focus you’d end up in a tub of sand; sinking while you try to please everyone but yourself. So in essence I guess I’m guided by artists like the ones I mentioned before, them plus others like Anderson Paak, The Internet… you know, people that are comfortable with being different
and understand that everything isn’t for everybody.

How did the music journey begin? How was it like growing up as a creative?

Growing up I never really understood that I was a creative tbh, I just know that I was really smart but I wasn’t interested in doing what other smart kids loved to do. I was in science class and I was the only student in my class that offered Fine arts as a subject, and I was really good at drawing. I was great at Biology and English, but I hated math which was counterproductive seeing that I was trying to be an “engineer” lol. I guess I had to grow and stumble upon my talent before I was really sure it was there, but my mom saw it from the start sha, she advised me to tow the creative path and join the art class but I never listened, I was stubborn.
My music on the other hand was born from the need to express bottled up emotions. I had a lot going on in my head at the time and I used to pen down my thoughts. Got my hands on 50 Cent’s “Get rich or die trying” and that was where the idea that I could do music came from, then the first time I actually attempted to make a song was when I heard M.I’s cover of D’Banj’s “Mogbona Feli Feli” song. In my head I thought to myself, “if he can do it, shit I can too” lol.

What would you call your sound?

Lol this question. I really don’t know tbh, I rap, I sing, I compose, I catch cruise lol I guess I’d leave the definition of what I do to my listeners, but I try to make music that mirrors my experiences and the environment around me more than anything else, stuff you can relate to as an average every day guy, so guess my music is bespoke but generally appealing at the same time, because my approach is different.

What do you feel about the alternate sound in Nigerian Music?

I’m very excited by it, I’m excited that people are thinking and creating outside the box and I’m glad that it’s even more younger people doing it.
People that have more time on their hands and don’t have to worry about Life’s harsh realities just yet. I feel like the sounds coming out of Nigeria in the next 3 to 4 years would be more mind blowing and I’m here for that experience.

Social media is important to the way music is consumed, marketed and distributed in the connected age, does this change the core concept of the type of music you create?

Not really, social media has always been my best friend when it comes to marketing and promotions. Lol back when twitter was still new, we didn’t have promo posts or sponsored ads, what we had was DM to DM marketing. I remember sending as much as a hundred DMs a day to random people either asking them to download my music or request my song on radio, lol it was crazy and I was a nuisance but hey it worked. I’m just glad that its easier these days, but the down side to that is information overload, because now everyone has access to consume more information as well as create more content so it’s easy to miss stuff.

Some artists use their album art as a visual metaphor of their personal lives like you have done with your album covers, tell use more about the 2B1S cover

The Album 2 Birds 1 Stone is a metaphor of where I am currently in life, I’m caught in the middle of working a 9-5 to pay my bills and provide for myself, and doing the music cuz I love it and hope that it pays off somehow.
That was the big idea or should I say “mood” that informed the album. In execution, we created the music to reflect the metaphor by making two-part songs, and on the cover art we told a literal visual story.
The cover has me in the middle of work-life and music-life, with my laptop somewhere there, my little music monsters (lol the personas I assume in my head whenever I come up with ideas for songs), food, flex, Lagos landmarks…. We basically tried to tell a story of how hard it is to achieve balance for the average Nigerian trying to kill 2 birds with 1 stone. Thankfully a lot of people can relate to the story I aimed to tell so it was easy for them to understand the visual and fuck with it.

Tell us a little more about your merch 2Birds1Stone

The merch has a target circle focused on 2 Birds on the back of the Tee shirt. So the two birds could be anything, and the target circle could be from a gun, or a sling shot lol.
Worked on the shirt designs with the team and we didn’t want to do the obvious thing of taking my album cover and slamming it on the shirt lol (even if we have a version like that sha)
So what we did instead was interpret the concept / name of the album differently on the merch to keep it interesting.
At every touch point from the music, to the cover art, to the merch; it’s a different 2 Birds 1 Stone experience.

As the juggling between pursuits continue what are the plans for the future?

Well right now we’re in DJ Babus’ spot “Fatboi Studios” recording some songs for my next set of singles. But we’re still rolling out 2 Birds, 1 Stone. The Merch is available for pre-order on my website, we’re working on the tour and on videos for “Feel” and “Conversations”, and “Roll up” might get a video later on. Lol it depends on what my funds are saying sha at the end of the day, we can only do what we can.

Do you have any advice for the dreamers that hope to take their craft more professionally?

Talk less, do more and do it for yourself if not for anything else, because in the end achieving your dreams is your sole responsibility.

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