Exclusive Interview With Umeh Influence: The Sound of Passion

Exclusive Interview With Umeh Influence: The Sound of Passion

Umeh Influence commonly  known as Influential Influence is a saxophonist from the southern part of Nigeria, Delta.

When he played the saxophone to the hearing of an Indian, an Iranian, and an American; they say it made their day.

The 25-year-old saxophonist, the fourth among six children, also has a huge passion for photography as well.

He currently studies music at Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka. “I love using what I can do best to affect lives positively,” he says.

Interview With Umeh Influence:

Knowing jazz music is no longer a thing in the music industry, what keeps you going on?

The sincere truth is how passionate I feel for jazz music. It’s only in jazz music I express myself to the bream when playing.

What was it that attracted you towards playing sax beside other instruments?

Anytime I remember how I fell in love with a saxophone, a deep smile covers my face 🙂

I could remember vividly the first time I came across the instrument; it was in church during my late teen days. I guess I was 19 then. It happens that we were at the camp that period and I was taking a walk alone that night to the choir stand then I sighted the choirmaster holding something so big. I moved closer and felt the way he was playing it. I loved it. I could not resist. I uttered to myself  ‘I must play this thing’ and that was all.

After that night, I began to research that instrument. One major reason why I prefer saxophone to any other instrument is that:  the sound, to me, connects directly to your soul. Anyone who listens to any good saxophonist must surely testify to the connection.

How long did it take you to master the instrument?

As we all know that nothing good comes easy, it took me consistent practice of two to three good years before I could boast of playing my saxophone so  well.

I would be clocking six years as a saxophonist but I still have a long way and much more to learn.

Sometimes when I listen to my mentors play, I feel like I haven’t started yet. I’m pretty good but to me I know I still have a long way to go.

Where do you dream of playing sax?

Wow, I’m so glad you asked this question.

One place I have always dreamt of playing my saxophone is the United States, where most of my mentors and musical influences are. And I would also love to attend Berklee College of Music so I could learn more.

It really hurts that people don’t really value jazz music here. What they do here most is pop and religious music genres. They are good and amazing too. I could join with the flow but there is more inside me I really need to bring out.

Tell us, your top 5 saxophonists?

I listen to so many jazz players and  most of them are Americans. For a list of 5, there’s Kirk Whalum, Gerald Albright, Dave Koz, Charlie Parker, and Fabio Costa.

Thanks for speaking to us, Influence.

By Elijah Christopher

Elijah Christopher
Elijah Christopher is a journalist at A New Touch Of Africa, is also a creative writer, a poet, and an IT enthusiast. He contributed to the collaborative poem written in celebration of Edwin Morgan Centenary, the first Glasgow poet laureate and Scottish national poet from the University of Glasgow. He loves meeting people and learning about new places, cultures, events, and lifestyles.
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