Ikechukwu Eric Ahiauzu, a singer and songwriter better known by his stage name Ric Hassani, is the cover star for the latest issue of Guardian Life magazine.
The 27-year-old has been fully immersed in the music industry for over a year now and has managed to make his stand in the music industry as an unsigned artist. Ric currently has two award nominations for the 2016 Headies: ‘Best Vocal Performance’ alongside the likes of Brymo, Darey, Shaydee and Wande Coal as well as ‘Best Alternative Song’ both for his 2015 single, ‘Gentleman’.
In this chat with Guardian Life he talks about his influences, his music and more.
See excerpts below:
On how his career started: I am the last born of five and all my elder sisters were in the church choir, a classical choir. They rehearsed for hours after the church services. The choir was mostly adults, and I was about eight or nine years old at the time. I grew up in an Anglican church so the choir was very ceremonial and respected. During their rehearsals, there were meat pies and as a kid all I wanted was to have some. So, I forced my way into the choir and just became ‘the kid everyone liked’ and the best part? – Because I was the youngest, I now became the one they delegated to go from pew to pew sharing the meat pies!!! My life was complete. I became a part of the choir, I rehearsed with them for months singing soprano, but never joined them on the main services, only rehearsals. Then one day, the choirmaster called me aside after I had just shared out the last batch of meat pies, gave me a new piece to sing, sat by the organ and said: “Oya, as I de play, just start de sing make I hear“. And I sang the whole thing, solfa notations and all. He then said, “Come Sunday morning, pick a robe and join us”. That’s how my career started.
On his brand of music: I would not say I am alternative. I think that most times, people tend to call a new or different sound that they aren’t used to alternative, but I best define myself as a pop artist.
On the fame: I must say it is humbling. The more known I get just makes me want to work harder because it means that more people are watching and I cannot disappoint them. So, it makes me want to put my head down and work harder.
On what inspires him: Love. I am really inspired by love. I watch a lot of marriage proposals on YouTube and it really inspires me to write really nice and honest love music.
Creative Director: Chidera Muoka
Photographer: Niyi Okeowo
Assistant Photographer: Idris Dawodu
Makeup Artist: Jumoke Tychus for Eyesome Beauty
Stylist: Henry Uduku