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In a recent interview, fast rising rapper Gabriel Halliday aka Slim Burna tell us about himself and the challenges he faces as an upcoming artiste in Nigeria. Read the interview H.E.B had with the talented artiste below.

Helen: Tell us about your early life?

Slim Burna: Ok! Gabriel Halliday aka Slim Burna was born in England,
yep, came to Port Harcourt, Nigeria when I was two. Actually I first
resided in Trans-Amadi, then we I mean, my family and I left the place
to reside in Eligbam. Back then, my father was the general manager of
NTA Port Harcourt and my mum was running a small-time business nearby.
I lost my sister when I was 5 years old, and she was four then, acute
malaria was the case the doctors reported. In 1995 we moved to D Line
and my father was appointed a commisioner during the Komo era in
Rivers State. And I have been living in D Line till now…

Helen: How did u come by the name Slim Burna ?

Slim Burna: Growing up I was a big fan of American Hiphop group called
Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, and my childhood friends knew that so first they
started calling me “slim bone”. I loved playing with fire then, so
they changed it to Slim Burna.. Meaning “slim bone that burns”. It
also made sense when I found out that one of the members of Bone
Thugs-n-Harmony, Layzie Bone’s nick name is L-Burna.

Helen: How long have you been writing your own songs?

Slim Burna: Ever since I could hold a crayon hahaha I’m just kidding.
Basically, I have been writing songs since the age of 15, ’cause I was
in a rap group in my secondary school, Ompadec. So we wrote songs
together but just rap.

Helen: What’s the inspiration behind these songs?

Slim Burna: My inspiration comes from my environment.. The everyday
activities.. Things that I’ve seen, heard or learnt…everything that
happens around me inspires me, the life’s struggle, love and
relationships, street life..everything.

Helen: What are the challenges you face as an artiste?

Slim Burna: The first challenge is the market (choice of songs), let’s
take rap for example, back in the days, it was rap, rap, rap. So I
grew musically as a rapper, now with the new evolution taking place,
it’s difficult to make a good living off rapping alone in this
country, so now you see rappers becoming singers or combining both
musically because they have to get paid we have to put food on the
table via our occupation which is music and if people you make music
for don’t appreciate the sounds you offer them they won’t buy it trust
me and definitely won’t call you for shows that’s reality right there
you feel me? Apart from that, I found out that I also had amazing
singing and vocal abilities which is a talent that needs to be put
into good use, I did just that and I’m glad I did. Another challenge
is publicity i.e promotion..after making your song or songs you have
to get it out to the public, now the various promotion/distribution
mediums (blogs, djs and media houses) are the deciders here, if you
can’t get their services, best believe you are not getting anywhere.

Helen: As an artiste, Do you feel intimidated at any point?

Slim Burna: Yes sure we all do, When there are guys out there doing
better than you, making waves and all that, so at one point you feel
intimidated. Sometimes you even feel like quitting. But you just have
to move on..”Never say never”

Helen: Who is your role model in the Nigerian entertainment industry and Why?

Slim Burna: I have to be honest to you, I really don’t really have a
role model in this country but if I must choose, its going to be 2Face
Idibia, because of his style. His style is universal, it can be
accepted anywhere. He sings but you still feel the hiphop in him. He
was also a rapper sometime in his life.

Helen: Have you ever performed on stage? What was the experience like?

Slim Burna: I have performed many times on stage, and as for
experiences, if you are new in the business, and your songs are not
popular, you will have shaky moments, it’s everywhere, it’s normal but
when you are popular it’s crazy, performances are moments you will
never forget.

Helen: Where do you see yourself in the next 5years?

Slim Burna: In five years, I hope to become an established
international superstar.

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