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INTERVIEW: Nigerian Born Performing Artiste, Songwriter, Actor and Model, Black Gs talks Living in Malaysia, Setting up a Talent Agency, Upcoming EP in 2017, plus more…


INTERVIEW: Nigerian Born Performing Artiste, Songwriter, Actor and Model, Black Gs talks Living in Malaysia, Setting up a Talent Agency, Upcoming EP in 2017, plus more…

Born and raised in Bayelsa, Nigeria, Graham Sampson Dabbey aka Black Gs started realising his potential in singing when his mother and grandmother heard him sing one faithful morning and saw the talent in this young boy.

It was Black Gs’ overall love for music that pushed him to continuously improve himself.

Black Gs ventured into commercial acting where he had his first appearance in a MEPS commercial which is still played on MEPS ATM machines all around the country. Since then, Black Gs has made appearances in various other commercials such as Dettol and Caltex.

He first came to Malaysia in 2009 to further his studies. Without a doubt, he took Malaysia by storm. Of course, like every great artiste, he started from the bottom and now he’s up and as performed on the same stage with stars like Wizkid, Phyno, Olamide, Burna Boy, Ice Prince, Kevin Lyttle, Timaya and many more.

Black Gs has proven that the world is his oyster and nothing is out of reach for him. So the question that must be running through everyone’s mind right now would be “What’s next for Black Gs?”, as we all wait eagerly to have our minds blown yet again by Black Gs, check out my exclusive interview with him below:

Hey Black Gs! would you like to introduce yourself to our readers?
I am an artiste who has ventured into several fields such as singing and dancing, in the studio and stage performances, song writing, and acting. I am also a businessman who runs a talent and modelling agency.

Talk me through an average day in the life of you?
I wake up each day, thank the lord, and attend to business once I’ve had my cup of coffee, my daily question from my gf if I am going to the gym, hit the gym, and eat.

What institution(s) did you attend and what did you study?
University of East London. I did my Bachelors of Arts in Product Design. Product design is when you create an innovative product to overcome or upgrade the current standards of living.

Why and when did you decide to venture music?
Started off as a dancer – joined the church choir in 2004 – my grandma got me to join the church choir – I learnt a lot about music which sparked my interest in music – since then my love for music has continuously grown.

How did you come up with the stage name “Black Gs”?
The ‘G-S’ stands for Graham Sampson, which is my actual name. ‘Black’ is because I wanted to stand out, even as a kid, and I found ‘Black’ to be something universally loved.

Tell us more about your “Inside Out” EP you released in 2014, what inspired the titled and how was it received by fans?
The EP is a collection of songs depicting how my journey started in the music industry, the background and inside out where nothing is hidden. It represents Black Gs as an independent artiste as well as a brand by itself. My fans have shown tremendous love and support towards my EP and I am always grateful for that.

You have performed on the same stage with superstar acts like; Wizkid, Phyno, Burna Boy, Ice Prince, Kevin Lyttle, Olamide, etc. How did that make you feel?
It makes me feel like I am involved in something international. I feel honoured to have performed alongside such great names and at the same time a sense of achievement and confidence that I will one day hold centre stage.

You just released a brand new freestyle single titled “Feelings”. What’s the song all about?
“FEELINGS” is a song produced by Tony Westside, a Malaysia based Zambian producer. I was inspired by the melody of the beat when he played the instrumental to me and I knew it would feel right if I could sing on it the way I felt.

In 2015 moved into commercial acting, what made you ventured into it?
Acting has always been in my mind ever since I decided to become an entertainer, but I didn’t know how and when to start until 2014, when I met one of Malaysia’s most incredible and legendary actors. His words of wisdom about the acting industry motivated me and of course, a daily dosage of motivation from my gf had me to go all in for it. 2015 was the right time for me to fully move into commercial acting because I had finished my studies and was open to opportunities.

You also run a Talent Agency and supply talents and acts for brands. How is that working out for you?
It has been really great and with God’s blessings, I was recently in a commercial for U-mobile Malaysia (A Malaysian mobile telecommunication service provider) as a 100 metre sprinter which is now on air nationwide. I have also recently supplied talents for a Nutric commercial as well as a Martell Commercial, among other brand commercials.

As an artist, how would you describe the industry in Malaysia?
It’s a fast growing industry.

Do you think Malaysians feel groove to music from Africa?
Yes of course, Afro-beat is slowly taking over Asia.

How do you balance your personal and professional life?
I’m always busy with my professional life but at the end of the day I have to allocate time for my personal life, especially for my love ones.

Looking at your photos from 2013 to now in 2016 there as been massive changes and improvements. What will you say motivated/inspired you to stay dedicated in it?
I’m motivated and inspired by life itself which gives me the will to do better and become a better me today than I was yesterday. This keeps me focused and gives me the drive to push myself beyond my limits every day.

How often do you go to the gym and how many hours do you spend while you there?
I go to the gym almost daily, with a minimum of three days a week, and spend between 2 to 4 hours there depending on which body part I’m working on.

What’s your 5 Dos and Don’t of being a musician?
1. Stay humble
2. Stay positive
3. Be flexible with other musicians
4. Be original
5. Always work to improve yourself as an artiste.

1. Fake it
2. Force it if the moment is not for you
3. Be greedy
4. Diss other artistes
5. Use fame to promote violence

What would you say is the main misconception the public have about musicians?
The misconception is that all musicians promote violence and drugs, and that they’re either players or live irresponsible lives.

What aspect surprised you the most once you started in the industry?
How my talent was accepted.

Which brands, clients, producers and celebs have you worked with?
Regarding collaboration with artistes, I have worked with Presh (formally known as KC PRESH), Durella, Tony 2dope, DeeKid, Vessbros (Iranian DJs), V.I.C (Nigerian producer), Tony Westside (Zambian producer) and many more. Regarding my clients, I have worked with various brands such as Caltex, Dettol, Vodafone, Facebook, O’live young, and many more. I have even acted in various TV commercials such as MEPS TVC, Caltex TVC, Dettol TVC, and Umobile TVC among others.

What has been one of the most memorable jobs/clients to work on?
Well every job has their challenges but I’d say the Caltex TV commercial was among the most challenging job as I had to go through 2 to 3 levels of casting before I got selected for the job and it took about 3 to 4 months to finish the project. Working with PRESH was a big challenge for me as he is a very talented artiste and a great vocalist.

Who do you want to work with that you haven’t yet?
The list is quite long in fact, but the one artiste I would love to work with is Chris Brown because the dude has got endless talent.

Tell us two things people don’t know about you?
I like to cook and I love gardening.

What do you consider your biggest professional success so far?
I think that would be me being an entertainer.

What has been your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge is me being an actor because I have to constantly update my physique in order to fit a particular role.

You are very active on social media. Do you think its important to be online and if so why?
Yes, because I have to stay in touch with my fans and also update myself with what goes on around the world.

You are a Bayelsa state, Nigeria and reside in Malaysia. How is that working out for you?
It has been pretty great, so much love, good food and a very friendly culture.

What are your must visit travel destinations?
I am a highland person so I’m definitely going to visit Thailand.

Name 5 things we should take seriously about our style choices?
Well I believe that style is more than just clothes. It’s how we wear them, what we are trying to express through them without the need for words, so I would say;

1. Dress according to the weather. Don’t dress like it’s winter during summer.
2. Your style of dressing should be able to tell people about your profession.
3. Dress like you’re free to do so.
4. It’s okay to wear clothes that show people the things you’re interested in; sports, surfing, music, etc.
5. Dress to inspire.

How would you describe your style?
Smart casual.

What style genre appeals to you the most?
Progressive house and soul.

Name your five must have accessories/essentials?
Must have accessories would be;
1. Watch
2. Shades
3. Ear-rings
4. Shoes
5. Long tie.

What are your favorite fashion trends?
Skinny jeans and anything that looks good with it.

What is your favorite dish?
Egusi soup.

What songs are currently on your playlist?
“Grass Ain’t Greener” by Chris Brown, “Rival” and “No Limit” by Usher, “GIDI Love” by Banky W, and “Luv” by Tory Lanez.

Apart from music, fitness, etc, what other projects are you currently working on?
For now, I’m mainly focusing working on my music while working on my new EP which I hope to release sometime in 2017.

Seeing you’re doing your dreams, what advice can you give others to pursue their dreams?
Well, what I can say? Nothing is impossible, stay focused, stay positive, and most of all, believe in yourself.

Any specific plans for the future?
My future plan is to be a successful international artiste.

Any final words?
I would like to say shout out to everyone who has believe in me and supporting my music since day one.

Where can we follow you online and on social media?

Asuquo Eton founded, now one of the most visited TV, music, tech and features website, in 2011. He is also a social media analyst, media and entertainment consultant.

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