Crayon, the rising star from inner-city Lagos, burst onto the global music scene with his 2019 EP ‘Cray Cray‘. From being a standout on Don Jazzy’s posse cut to earning nods at the Headies, Crayon’s evolution continues with his latest release of ‘Trench to Triumph‘, a contender of Album of the Year and a soundscape that oozes ambition, growth, and transition.

I caught up with Crayon right before his ‘Trench To Triumph’ live experience at Omeara London to speak more about his performance at the O2 arena, the making of his latest album and the secret weapon behind his success.

Bethel: You’re hot off the O2 stage where you were supporting Rema. What is it about your performance that you would re-live?

Crayon: Just being on the stage. I felt really, really comfortable like I was at home. That’s the first time I’ve been so calm on stage, and I loved it. Just to share the same stage with my friends, my brothers, my sister – coming from where we came from, it’s a real triumph story.

Bethel: You and Ayra performed ‘Ngozi‘. What’s the story behind the song and how does it fit within the theme of ‘Trench to Triumph‘? 

Crayon: ‘Ngozi’ is a really beautiful song, big shout out to Sarz for producing it and for producing ‘Ijo (Laba Laba)‘. It’s a major record and I want to say thank you to my songwriter Mbryo, who is also signed to Mavin, from the same hood as well. Everything is really connecting. When Sarz sent me the beat, I sent it to Mbryo and then when Ayra came, she loved it. She wasn’t supposed to be on the song in the first place; she was supposed to be on another song. The song wasn’t even supposed to be called ‘Ngozi’ at the time.  

Bethel: What was it called? 

Crayon: There was no name. It was only after Ayra sent her verse, I heard it again and said ‘Ngozi,’ then Jazzy said, “That’s it, that’s the name. Don’t change it” 

‘Ngozi’ means beautiful girl. It’s an Igbo name from Nigeria and it means the girl is a blessing – if the girl is a blessing it means you’re actually triumphing, you know?  

Bethel: Tonight is an important night for you. Tell me what you want to take away from it and what you want us to take away from this experience. 

Crayon: I want to really connect to every person in the room. It’s my first time performing an album experience in London. I want my fans here to connect with me and know that I’m a real person behind the music. I think I’m different in the way that I relate to my fans, the way I talk. I want people to see me.

Bethel: That’s a beautiful answer. What do you say has been your biggest advantage in this industry? 

Crayon: The fact that I have God on my side. That’s it. 

Bethel: You have such a diverse list of collaborations on the project, how have they added to your style or your approach to working? 

Crayon: That’s a really good question. I love connecting my brothers. With Victony – who’s an amazing artist, we kind of exchange, I gave him one of mine and he gave me Belle Full. We came from the same hood as well, like I know his mum! His school and my secondary school used to do singing competitions. We could have literally been walking past each other in the hood and I wouldn’t know I was walking past a superstar. 

I’m a very open minded person and I like to try new things. When you get a pack of crayons, you see different colours inside and that’s how my music is. Different colours in one, for all races. Wherever you’re from, as long as you love music, my music is for you. 

Stream Crayon’s latest album below and discover more from GUAP’s Music section here!