Blaq Jerzee isn’t just a stage name. It’s who Okhuofu Isaiah Oshoriameh is, and has been ever since high school. “When I was a kid, I had to go to school in uniform. You needed to have five or six days’ uniform you could change into, but my family could only afford one or two,” the Lagos producer-songwriter recalls. “So I had to do laundry all the time.” This meant turning up to social gatherings, church groups or music practices not in school clothes like his friends, but in sportswear. “I’d always be wearing a jersey. So my friends started calling me that, and it stuck,” he laughs. Oshoriameh has come a long way since those humble beginnings. Today, he’s one of Nigeria’s premier hitmakers, with production credits on smash songs from Wizkid and Tiwa Savage, to name a few. Now he’s about to embark on a new chapter, with a new project, where for the first time, he’s stepping out into the spotlight himself.
“Wizkid is to blame!” says the artist, who grew up in South Nigeria’s Edo state. For years, Blaq Jerzee had been all about lifting up others. “I have a passion for making stars. I never had intentions of releasing my own music. Dr Dre is someone I really look up to not just because of his sound, but because of the business behind his sound, seeing people with talent and helping them achieve success,” he explains.