Chijioke Chukwukere popularly known as Mhista C-jay Ozugo is the winner of the 2019 Hi Life festival, organised by the Nigerian Breweries Plc. where he was crowned the king of highlife. The Onitsha-based artiste had enhanced entertainment in the South East and South-South regions in the year 2020. Being selected as the 2020 artiste of the year, he has promised fans, while speaking to CHIDEX ONYEMAH, to expect something big in 2021.
Can you tell us more about C-Jay Ozugo?
I was born and raised in the city of Onitsha. I attended Promise International School from Nursery To JSS 3, had a year in Christ the King College, Onitsha and finished my secondary school at Nkem Comprehensive Secondary School in Fegge. I also attended Abia State Polytechnic in Aba.
During my early years, I was passionate on being a professional footballer and I was really good until I got injured in 2009. I was already singing from the choir to church band before I got injured so it was more like leaving football to focus solely on music and I thank God for the way it has played out so far.
Last year was hectic for many businesses and investments. What is your assessment pertaining to the music industry?
Sincerely speaking, I believe musicians and entertainers in general really had a very tough year (2020) but I can also tell you that it made a lot of them to sit down and have a rethink about their careers such that most artistes came up with EP’s and albums. I’m not sure everyone would have done so if not for the state of things. So, basically, a lot of artistes upped their games last year and that’s a huge positive to pick out from the year and which has had a lot of negative impact on entertainment and entertainers in general.
What has been the reactions from your fans, especially, after your new single ‘lamba’?
I must say that the vibes I am getting from my real fans are positive vibes and that’s a huge encouragement for me
Your new single seems more of hip-hop than highlife; are you leaving the highlife genre?
If the foundation be destroyed, what can the righteous do? Highlife is the foundation of what I do. That said, I’ve always believed I am a musician and not just a highlife musician and that I believe answers your question because I believe I can do any genre of music. But the foundation is highlife.
Most times you look like an actor. Do you have plans becoming a movie star?
Actually, I’m a very good actor. I’ve never auditioned professionally but I’ve got plans of going into acting and I know I’ll do very well
What should fans be expecting in 2021?
An Album or Ep, but I’m definitely putting out a collection of works.
What do you think South East and South-South governors should do to enhance entertainment in their region?
I think the government should, first, create a healthy environment where entertainers can go about their activities without being harassed by law enforcement agents. This is a huge problem that no one is willing to talk about. I think they should, secondly, organise concerts from time to time and give entertainers in their states the same platform and treatment they give to the A-list artistes when they bring them for such events. This will go a long way to encourage entertainers, knowing that the hard work they put in to bring smiles on pale faces does not go unrecognised.