Rising from the bustling streets of Lagos to commanding the global music stage, award-winning Nigerian hitmaker Pheelz is setting the dance floors ablaze with his infectious new single, Go Low, after capturing international audiences and garnering critical acclaim for his recent collaboration with the King of R&B himself, Usher, on his new album, Coming Home. Celebrated for his blend of afrobeats, R&B, and pop, Pheelz continues to dazzle the world with his musical prowess, versatility, and global appeal, most recently showcased on the Rolling Stone Future of Music stage at the 2024 SXSW Music Festival.
Continuing to push musical boundaries, the release of Pheelz new single, Go Low, not only capitalises on his vibrant and distinctive style but also serves as a precursor to his highly anticipated sophomore EP, Pheelz Good II. This latest track embodies a seamless fusion of catchy rhythms and heartfelt narratives, promising to resonate with audiences worldwide. As Pheelz gears up to further cement his place in the music industry, we delve into an exclusive interview exploring his creative journey, innovative collaborations, the aspirations fuelling his dynamic career trajectory, and his vision for the future of global music.
From your early days in Lagos to becoming a global music sensation, how do your roots influence your music today, and who are the artists that continue to inspire your sound?
My roots are a big influence on my music and will always be a big influence on it. I don't think I would do music the way I do it if it wasn't for my roots. Church music, traditional roots music, percussions, and a lot of Black American music influenced me. The artists that still inspire me today are Kanye West, Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Enya, 2 Face Idibia, Wizkid, Burna Boy… the list goes on and on.
Working with icons like Usher and newer collaborations with the likes of Kali Uchis and The Chainsmokers, how do these experiences shape your music? Can you share an instance where a collaboration led to an unexpected creative breakthrough?
These experiences always leave me with something to learn. I believe in the spirit of collaboration because no man is an island. Every single collaboration that I have contributed to in recent times from Usher to Pharrell, Dr Dre, and The Chainsmokers, has always given me something new to add to my skill set. I've also taught them about afrobeats, which is the sound of where I'm from. So, it has always been an exchange of knowledge and experience. In my opinion, every collaboration leads to an unexpected breakthrough because as artists, we create something from nothing.
Go Low is poised to be a dance floor anthem this summer. Can you walk us through the inception of this track—what sparked the initial idea, and how did it evolve musically and lyrically until its final form?
The initial idea was to let the world dance. It's to shine more energy and positivity into the world, to raise vibrations and good energy because the world is in a crazy place right now.
As you prepare to release Pheelz Good II, could you describe the overarching themes of this project? How does it reflect your growth as an artist compared to your previous works?
Pheelz Good II is the closure for the Pheelz Good trilogy. It is a higher frequency than the initial project. It has new feelings and emotions but most especially, it is dance, groove, soul. It is me taking the world back home and showing everyone what the rhythm and heart of African music looks like in my view.
You recently performed at the 2024 SXSW Music Festival. Could you share your experience performing Go Low live for the first time and the audience's reaction to it?
It was a crazy experience. I got to show them the Go Low dance. It's always a dance performing the song because it has a catchy hook and the dance is also simple.
Looking ahead, what are the new frontiers you're excited to explore in your music? Are there specific genres, techniques, or collaborations that you're particularly eager to delve into in the future?
The new frontier that I would love to dive into is being a scientist with the Afro genre and merging it with other genres to create Afro babies. I would like to get into R&B and try my hands on disco, tech, and dubstep. I would like to put on my producer hat, get into the studio, and just create these little genre babies to shape the world.