Up Next: LB on the Beginning, Present and Future of his Music Career

Patrick Ezema
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LB is armed with a demeanour that appears beyond his upcoming status – unfazed yet passionate, and with a confidence that is devoid of arrogance, the type that accompanies a self-aware competence in your craft. As is the case with many artists, his music reflects this, with a soft sounding cadence that floats nicely around RnB and Afropop fields, usually landing somewhere in the delicious middle. His latest release, “Matter”, exposes, and is driven by, a vulnerability that undercuts popular expectation of a man in love. If you leave me girl. As it begins its rounds around radio stations while it’s video does this same for TV, it was imperative to have a sit-down with the singer to unpack the man behind the music. LB’s responses are marked in bold and have been lightly edited for clarity. 

It all started back in church. I was a leader in the choir, he says, and this comes at no surprise to anyone who keenly follows the stories of Nigerian music stars. What comes next, though, immediately puts him ahead of the many choral talents. One day when i wanted to go on stage, I overhead people saying “this guy is a performer”, he says, and though this experience did not immediately ignite the fire to become a performing artist, he would come to reflect on it as the first step that eventually snowballed into an interest in music – from that day the dream was born.

His inborn love for music, of course, came long before this, for it inspired him to enter the choir in the first place. I developed an interest in music at a young age, writing music at every opportunity I got and watching different acts as they sang their songs on TV. And now that he’s got his chance, he makes this music for himself as much as for others, as he finds solace in the familiar corners of the studio, where real life emotions can not only be laid bare, but employed to charge heart-warming music. 

Every experience I go through can be turned into song, he says, before specifying, peace of mind, my feelings, everything. Music was and will always be therapy for me. It helped me express myself because I really did not have so many friends, so music was a way for me to express my emotions. It is my escape. 

The artist reveals emotional turbulence that stretch back to his childhood. I am from Abia State, Nigeria but I grew up with my family in Lagos Nigeria, Growing up we were pretty comfortable financially. My father had to be away most time to get some money in and my mum stayed with us a lot. Down the line, things weren’t really going okay in my family and it opened my eyes to appreciate people and life in general. It was a point of reflection about life, and it opened my eyes to a lot. Even as a songwriter and artiste.

He intends his music to satisfy all types of emotional needs, but with a bias for the romantic. His latest release, “Matter” walks down this lane, and LB has this to say of the love-charged single. LB begs his lover not to leave after an argument. Despite his obvious shortcomings, LB is determined to prove his affection and pleads with his lover to give him the chance to come through.In Nigerian music, love songs can quickly become sex driven, but he doesn’t stray far from his side of the line, another small distinction he makes from mainstream pop. 

His music influences are plucked from the very highest branch of Nigerian music stars. I grew up listening to Tuface and Wande Coal, he states, and he is determined to keep working to improve his artistry and rank among the greats. I’ve grown a lot in life, LB of 3 years ago isn’t the same LB today and my sound has matured so much. It’s amazing to see. He isn’t ready to slow down too. I have to continue being very patient in life and keep dreaming. 

For his immediate plans, however, he is a bit more guarded. He skirts the subject of collaborations he has in the works, preferring to speak vaguely on music projects he has lined up. I have more music coming. More singles, even an EP, he says, promising an even busier year for his fans in 2023. And if he lives up to the standards set by tracks like “My Number One” and “Matter”, there is no reason why he cannot punch through the ceiling next year, and begin to assert himself at the top level of Nigerian music.

Patrick Ezema

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