Harrison Okiri popularly called Harrysong is a singer and songwriter. The one-time fisherman and Political Science graduate of the University of Port Harcourt talks about the milestones in his career
What are your current projects?
I plan to release an album this year. I just released my single, Ofe Oshe, and the feedback has been amazing. Releasing singles concurrently is challenging because singles don’t sell the album; they only attract people to the album. When people buy the album, they get used to it, hence the need for fresh songs.
Which artistes do you want to work with?
I want to work with artistes like Flavour, Tuface, Timaya, Duncan Mighty and MI.
Do you feel writers have begun getting the necessary attention in Nigeria?
Yes, they are. I feel privileged to be a song writer at this time in Nigeria’s history. I remember I used to write songs for N10, 000 while at Ojez because we wanted to be heard. Now, I get between N1m and N2m to write songs.
Do you really charge as high as that to write songs for artistes?
Yes, I do. People pay for my services as a song writer because they know how much they will make when the song becomes a hit.
But songwriters do not get the credit for their songs
We are working on that and would get there before the end of the year. We intend to get a body of registered songwriters. We have had series of meetings. There are few recognised writers in the country but the talented ones are unknown. That is why we need a platform to propel them to success.
Which song gave you the breakthrough?
My songs ‘Better Pikin’, ‘Mandela’, ‘Ofe Oshe’ were instant hits when released, compared to the rest which took months to catch up. Mandela was an instant hit; I used to travel to South Africa almost every month because of it. It is the biggest Mandela song of our time and the fastest most-downloaded song in the continent.
Talk about your parents
My dad is a professional diver, while my mum died when I was 14. I studied political science at the University of Port Harcourt. I wish my mum was alive to see how successful I have become. I would have loved to take her shopping.
How do you like to dress?
I love to dress cool and comfortable. My favourite colour is black but I am crazy about property. I like investing in real estate. Because of my background, I am inspired by success. I am scared of failure; I always want to achieve something I can fall back on in future.