Friday, March 18, 2011


My autographed promotional copy of
Vocal Slender's new single;
Pic: Kelechi Amadi Obi
Concept: Evina Ibru
Hey Peeps, guess who I bumped into driving down Dolphin Estate,'s musician Eric Obuh aka Vocal Slender....remember him?
 As he walked down the streets, I noticed that no one seemed to recognise him, not even my driver who was visibly worried when I called out at Eric screaming "Vocal Slender!! Vocal Slender!!". Eric looked back walked over to the car, I extended a hand to shake him and introduced myself. I was on my way to Victoria Island and he was on his way to Bar Beach Towers so I offered to give him a ride..

He hopped in and we got talking and just like that I had the one and only Vocal Slender all to myself in an unplanned 'drive time interview'...The amazing thing is we just seemed to get on like old friends he is really as charming as he came across on TV...He seemed to have slightly gained weight and was very well dressed..I complimented him and he told me his outfit was kindly supplied by Maze Couture....

Eric Obuh aka Vocal Slender 
Vocal Slender gained popularity (especially in England) when he was featured in  BBC 2's Three-part observational documentary 'Welcome to Lagos' which uncovered the poverty stricken life of inhabitants and workers in Olusosun rubbish dump in Lagos, where around 1000 people live in houses built from scrap over heaps of rubbish. The film followed the life of Eric, (Vocal Slender), Scavenger by day, musician by night, who had become skilled at turning rubbish into money, by selling every bit of scrap he found on the dump, dreaming the money would one day bring him close to launching his music career..a dream he continues to nurture....

Vocal Slender and I
(Pic taken on my bb hence half my face..LOL!)
Watching the program, it was easy to empathise with Vocal Slender, he had a truly endearing personality. Almost every Nigerian in Britain watched the series and Eric’s determination touched millions of viewers that collectively diaspora Nigerians loved and wished him well. As luck would have it,  shortly after the program aired the good news we all had been hoping for  was announced. Vocal Slender had signed a deal with a London promoter and he would be performing at London’s Indig02, where he was billed to sing alongside top acts such as Wande Coal, DJ Zeez, JJC, Tilla Man etc. The show was financed Music promoter, Cokobar, who also financed Vocal Slender’s first ever music video for his debut single ‘Owo Yapa’.

A picture of Vocal Slender from the BBC 2 Documentary
At the time we all hoped that the exposure would be the start of Vocal Slender’s ‘rags to riches’ story so I asked about his take on the BBC documentary, how he was doing and how his music career was progressing.
According to Vocal Slender, the BBC 2 documentary had indeed been a blessing however, he was not entirely happy as to his current situation, he mentioned that he had since parted ways with his London promoters, Cokobar, who paid him only a few hundred pounds for the show.However, he remains grateful for the opportunity they provided for him to realise the start of his music career even though it hasn't been entirely financially rewarding, especially as not a lot of people know him in Nigeria unlike in London where he has millions of fans. So he still has the challenge of marketing his music here on the streets of Lagos and trust me when I say when it comes to the entertainment industry in Nigeria today 'it's dog eat dog'
Vocal Slender mentioned that he had had a lot of bad experiences with people trying to take advantage of his plight to enrich themselves but at the same time he had been blessed with many others who out of the kindness of their hearts,  simply chose to help further his career, like Ace Fashion Photographer, Kelechi Amadi Obi  who photographed his CD cover image. He also mentioned an Evina Ibru lady who came up with the concept of the cover image showing a transition from wearing rags to a dapper suit. As well as the blessing of working with producers such as Chris B and Dan Jigg and others..

Thankfully, Vocal Slender no longer works as a scavenger, although he misses making a quick buck like he used to at the dump unlike now when he relies entirely on being booked to perform at shows, which only happens every now and again. These days he spends more time planning his music career with his new management,hoping to take Nigeria by storm in the near future..

Before we parted ways we exchanged  phone numbers and blackberry pins and I intend to keep in touch but yet again like the first time I watched him on TV,  I find myself wishing Vocal Slender all the very best with his music career..He is truly an amazing character...Dumps to riches...? Not quite there yet but I sure hope he finds a way...To book Vocal Slender for shows and events I will be more than happy to hook you up with this amazing talent...One thing I hope for is that one day we will certainly see Vocal Slender's name in lights  so that indeed Eric's story will be one that continues to inspire......In the meantime peeps please support Vocal Slender and his music in anyway you can as he continues to 'hustle his way to fame...'
I'll let you know once his new single , RECYCLED drops but in the meantime, here is a video from his debut single 'Owo Yapa' ..enjoy!


1 comment

  1. can imagine he's still just as humble
    wish him the best too


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