Ocktane (Born Chibuzor Emmanuel Ajah) is a Nigerian musical artist who defines his style of music as conscious and reality-based songs, with the aim of motivating and educating people.
The EBSU graduate talks about his music, upbringing, forthcoming project, and many more in an online interview with Music Journalist and Blogger Obama-Naija. Read excerpts from the interview
Good Morning, Nice having you here.
Introduce Yourself to the audience
My name is Ocktane. I am a Rapper, singer, and songwriter. I like to see myself as a music artist first before anything else because I never wanted to put myself in a box or define myself musically. The type of music I make is mostly conscious and reality-based regardless of the genre because the idea is to pass a message, educate and motivate.
When did you start Music?
I recorded my first song (Going high) back in 2012 with my friend Tony Udorji.
That is basically when you started singing
Yeah, it was actually my first song and I had him on as a feature… And then that same year I gained admission into the university and somehow I couldn’t stay consistent with music while in school due to my tight academic schedules and other extracurricular activities that took my time. But I kept on making music even while I was in school, I just didn’t take it too seriously until after I graduated.
In 2012 was when you decided it’s Music or nothing, or have you always wanted to be a Musician from your Younger Age?
Yeah, I grew up knowing exactly what I wanted to be. From my primary school days, I already knew that I wanted to be a musician. I remember back in junior high, my classmates used to beg me to sing for them almost every day whenever we had free hours because at that stage I was already very good at miming almost every song I heard… I can’t recall exactly when but i had known I would be doing this since I can remember.
How did you come up with the Name Ocktane?
My Birth Name is Ajah Chibuzor Emmanuel, but as an artist, I needed a name quite different from my real name, I studied Geology and mineral exploration at the university so that was how I came up with the name. I think it was in my third year first semester, one of the courses we studied that semester was Petroleum Geology. So one day I was reading a handout we got from our lecturer on the course and I came across the name for the first time. An octane Is a form of hydrocarbon that is both volatile and flammable. Then I used to go by the name “Nace” but after I passed out from NYSC I decided to change my name and I wanted to come up with something unique and different, and that was when “octane” hit my head again and I just ran with it, I only rearranged the spelling by adding “K” to make it even more distinct.
So it’s’Ocktane’ but still pronounced as Octane.
We attended the same secondary school and I was your senior (Laughs) you know I was the best in Chemistry in my class, I already have secondary school knowledge of what Octane means, it is an organic compound of 8 carbons found mostly in Petrol. Octane rating is used to check the quality of PMS.
Exactly! The higher the octane number, the lower the chances of engine knocking, it is highly flammable and volatile which also reflects my personality.
Let’s leave the chemistry lecture, coming back to music, So how many Songs/EPs or Albums do you have so far?
So far I’ve released about 5 songs. ‘No loose’ end which I released in 2017 when I still went by the name “Nace”, “Choice” which featured my baby brother “Draycee”, “amazing season” with my bros “Meraki and OD”, “thankful” which was the first song I distributed globally and “Adrenaline” which was my first single of this year.
I have not released anybody of work yet, although I have one coming on November 02. I already perfected plans to release the project last year but I lost my dad and I had to push everything back to be with family. Now I feel ready and I made wholesale changes to the project, I only included one song “Joanna” which was actually my parents favorite from last year.
So the Joanna was as a tribute to your late dad?
No, not at all.
He just loved it because according to him, he always wanted me to make a danceable song so when he heard it, he was so happy and danced to it. I can still remember the smile on his face that day.
So from your answer, I will say your dad supported your Music?
Yes. From day one I had undiluted support and the blessing of my parents. Like I said earlier, I made my first song while I was still a Jambite. I can remember vividly when I came back home and played the song, I didn’t tell my parents that I made a song cos I was scared they’d be against it, but to my surprise, they like it and my mom started calling me NACE. (Laughs)
All they wanted me to do was go to school and return the degree to them which was the main reason why I wasn’t so serious with music in school because I wanted to fulfill my parent’s wish before anything else. Last year when I came home and played some songs I intended to put in my EP to them, my parents asked me to go on my knees and they prayed for me and blessed me, they’ve always done that overtime but that was the last time my dad did that before his untimely demise so I can say I have always had the undiluted and undivided support of my parents and family. You need to see my mom singing after my songs with passion (laughs)
I will say you graduate from university and dropped your certificate, So do you intend to practice geology in the future or are you practicing already?
Oh my God! (laughs hard)
I didn’t drop it o, I still have it with me and still practice. Just not cut out for the corporate world. I still practice Geology but mostly as a consultant or surveyor.
I love my profession and I intend to start up my drilling firm at some point in the future. Just have other priorities now.
Apart from Music, which other priority do you have?
I have intentions of going into business at some point as well. I was born and raised at Aba so I’ve always had my eyes on business.
You cannot grow in that environment without being business-oriented.
Are you signed to any record label?
No, I am independent.
What if a label comes calling, would you consider it?
Yeah, I would definitely consider, but I’m not in a hurry. I’ll have to take my time to consider whatever offer I have on the table before I commit.
What should we expect from your forthcoming EP and the date it will drop?
My forthcoming EP Rabbi is a 5 track Extended play that I actually started working on last year before the pandemic happened, although after I lost my Dad, I made big changes to it and only one of the songs from last year made it to the final tracklist. All songs were carefully and consciously written by me and every song is unique in its own right.
All the songs on the project were produced and engineered by Precido ODM and it features tracks such as ‘Elohim’ featuring Boy Fard, ‘Adrenaline’, ‘Looku Looku’ featuring ElDani, ‘Irrelevant’ and ‘Joanna’.
Thanks for your time, We look forward to the EP.
Appreciate you, bro🙏🏾, fans should expect Ocktane on a different level this time around.