Folk/Alternative artiste, John Ighodaro alias Johnny Drille, has revealed that he failed the West African Examination Council, National Examination Council, and the Joint Admission Matriculation Boards exams because he was focused on music at the time.
Jonny Drille who just released a song titled Papa in time for Father’s day said this in a recent interview EElive, where he talked about the early stages of his career and the come-up so far. In this excerpt of the interview, the MAVIN artiste talks about how focused he was on his music, almost forfeiting his education in the process.
“Like everyone else I started in church. Both my parents are pastors, so at an early age I was exposed to music. First the children’s choir, then I started to play the keyboard around 2001, at about 11 years. I first joined a group called ‘Soul-Awakening Singers’ with my sister and some other people and started to learn music production in 2006,” Johnny shared, recalling his beginnings.
Talking about the effect music had on his young mind, he said; “Because of music production I failed my first WAEC, NECO and JAMB same year because I was trying to do the whole music thing; but the next year I tried harder and got admission into the University of Benin to study English and Literature. I didn’t really push music in school because there was really not that much time but I kept doing music production on the side and I finished in 2012.”
“I went for MTN Project Fame and that’s when I started music professionally.
I didn’t win but I was top 12 and the platform exposed me to how the industry works. The whole pressure; how you needed to perform constantly and create impression. I was putting out music and not a lot of people were listening, just a few friends. I was just posting on Facebook randomly and I will just have like 10 or 15 people say – “Hey I like that song”, and that was enough for me at that point because I knew I had to start from somewhere,” the artiste said, commenting on the challenges in the beginning.
“I kept pushing and started to do more covers, I did a lot of covers that a lot of people didn’t even notice. At some point I did a cover of one artiste, I don’t know who asked me but I sent the cover to him on Facebook and then he heard it; I’m not going to mention the name of the artiste and then he said – “If you like yourself you better take this down”. I don’t know if the cover was too good or he didn’t want anybody covering his song because it’s a cover and right now a lot of people do covers. This was me trying to come up, I thought I would get a bit of encouragement like “Hey nice one”, but the guy being a lawyer told me “take it down if you don’t want a law suit” so I took it down and nobody got to hear it. Anyways I continued to drop covers and dropped a cover of ‘Awww’ by Di’Ja, and this was totally different because she loved it and posted it on her Instagram page and I think somehow that’s how Don Jazzy got to hear about my music.”
Johnny Drille was born and raised in Edo state. He was signed to Mavin Records in 2017.