Published on May 25th, 2023 | by Dr. Jerry Doby0
Echezona on the Visuals for His Hit ‘TMH’
Born to Nigerian parents and raised in blue-collar Boston, genre-transcending artist Echezona is the distillation of melting-pot America. As a kid, he spent time at inner-city Boys & Girls Clubs and bussed to higher income public schools, then back home to Igbo “I love you”s. He grew up with his peers on Kanye and Jay-Z, while sinking down roots with his family listening to Nigerian legends like Fela Kuti and Eddie Quansa. He sang tenor in the church choir and freestyle rapped on the playground. And what resulted from such a diverse upbringing? Informed, intelligent, independent, and all-inclusive afro-infused hip-hop—music that not only makes you move, but makes you think.
In the midst of the pandemic, Echezona remotely recorded his debut Koma Toast debut single “Galileo” with producer JPRiZM, an indie hit which got picked up by EA Sports for a feature on NBA 2K21. With that amount of momentum there was no slowing Echezona down. Make no mistake: this Son of Africa and Son of America is out to claim his global birthright and, like Galileo, find his place among the stars.
Echezona is out to make a statement with his most recent release, “TMH”. As a siren blares, kicking off the icy trap-driven beat, Eche lets out a series of grunts before diving into a series of boundary declarations against posers putting off TMH—aka “too much heat.” His multifaceted bars will have you immediately hitting replay for a deeper dive, and you’ll be singing along to the iconic hook in which Eche snarls out “How you gonna tell ME about ME?” Roll the windows down, turn up the volume on “TMH”, and let ‘em know!
While the track tells his critics to check their egos at the door, the music video for “TMH”—or “Official Infomercial”, as he calls it—shows us what we get when we buy into Echezona’s world. Scene by scene, we’re introduced to the many faces of Echezona: from the business-savvy public speaker, to the city kid, to the self-reflective conscious artist. Appearing alongside producer JPRiZM and a crew of friends, Eche calls in everyone ready to drop the BS and show up for real talk. With his endearing sense of humor and sizable swagger, it’s prime time to meet this blossoming artist before his inevitable ascension.
We got Echezona to weigh in on a few things with a brief interview.
How did growing up listening to legendary artists from Nigeria and America influence your sound?
Listening to artists from both sides of the world helped influence my cadences, my melodies, and the stories I tell. Both origins of the artists I’ve listened to have unique ways of painting a picture through different themes of life like struggle, societal customs/values, women, and family life. These are a just few of the important themes that have helped me navigate what messages I want to send through my recordings and how I want to deliver them, in a way that’s easily identified by fans as my sound.
We see different versions of you in the “TMH” video. How do each of these personas represent a part of you?
Each persona represents a part of my life. It shows you a glimpse of my life as a college student, from sitting at a desk to envisioning myself as somewhat of a teacher in the music space. It shows you a glimpse of my Nigerian roots through the dances and the attire that showcase culture. The therapy scene of both mes indicates the self-work I’ve been doing to tune out the noise and improve my mental state. The list goes on as to how I’ve put my life on display for people to resonate with to reel them in closer to who I am beyond the artistry.
Can you speak to us a little more about your several social media series’ and the impact you want your music to have on others?
In this day and age, my biggest concern is connecting with people young and old; in other words, evolving into a generational talent, if I’m not one already. Through each social media platform, the goal is to not appear perfect as though everything goes my way. But I have a knack for always wanting to constantly showcase where life is at for me at the moment. I do it through my captions, usually quoting lyrics that correspond with life at the moment. Sometimes they’re my own, in promotion of my art. The goal is to for individuals to turn to my music for a reason, for a certain motivation, and or a certain feeling. Long after I’m gone, the plan is to have music that people will turn to and acknowledge timelessness within it.
This track is very much directed towards your critics. What do you do to deal with criticism and how does it affect your future music?
Writing has always been therapeutic for me. I think “TMH is one of the moments where in creating the song, I made an effort to bring the fans with me in the writing process. I thought to myself, how can I get off the frustration I have without making it something that only I alone can recite? That’s where the whole world chimes in on “How you gon’ try to tell me about me?” Because, yeah, that’s my plight, but that’s the underdog’s plight overall. Anyone can feel that. My music moving forward is to continue to speak on the things that impact my life and continue to bring my fans in on the writing process. This is where the selflessness comes in and I’m now able to take it beyond me and have a generation on board with the ideals I’m promoting.
What upcoming projects do you have on deck to continue proving your critics wrong?
I’m excited for the world to hear Afrobeats records that I have had in the arsenal…songs that haven’t even been recorded yet that will shift the energy of the industry. I’ve discovered what sets me apart in that space, and I’m excited to debut it. Once my team is on the same page, we can move forward with that. It’s time.