Interview with Trumpeter, Etuk Ubong
by Jane Folodi
1. What was the moment that inspired your music journey?
The moment that inspired my music journey was the first day I heard Victor Ademofe play the trumpet. I was astonished because I never realised that the trumpet could produce such beautiful sounds. And a very big thanks to my lovely mum of precious memories who got me into music; We never knew that it would become my profession.
2. What are the three factors that motivates you to begin the day?
Three factors that motivate me to begin my day are; 1. Impact, 2. Passion and 3. Legacy.
3. What are your views on using social media as a platform for your music?
My views are: To create more awareness , a means of keeping in touch with fans and followers and keeping in touch with what’s happening around the world because (social media) seems to be more like the fastest means of information in this 21st century.
4. Where did you grow up? What elements of your childhood are incorporated in your music?
I grew up in Lagos State, which is the centre of Excellence in Nigeria consisting of millions of people from different classes, tribes and cultures – who come together to make a better life themselves and families. I grew up in this beautiful place where life meet ups with you, either good or bad. You grow up with street smarts and a zest for life. And getting into music at an early stage didn’t really give me much opportunity to enjoy my childhood. I was too busy trying to perfect my craft.
5. Do you have any key mentors or people who deeply influenced who you are , what you believe in and what you’re committed to in your work and life? Tell me about them.
Yes, I do have people I do look up to. People who taught me, even till today. People like my family ( Mum, dad and sisters). Practically, Victor Ademofe, Etop Aldophos( who was my very first trumpet instructor), wynton Marsalis, Clifford Brown, Miles Davis, Royhargrove, Christian Scott, Freddie Hubbard, Arturo Sandoval, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Victor Olaiya, Canoonball Adderley, Nat Adderley, Lee Morgan, Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, Fela Kuti, to mention but a few. In addition, life itself.
6. What is the future of Jazz within the African continent?
Exciting, it’s definitely getting to another level of technicality, simplicity and creates a very promising and lucrative business. Also, parents now encourage their kids to study music.
7. What is one of the funniest /peculiar moments you’ve ever had in the music industry?
I was booked to play with a trending Nigerian Female artist Kaline. I rehearsed with her, went for the gig and we didn’t play any of her songs that we rehearsed. Probably, because she got carried away and forgot that myself and the Saxophonist existed. However, we had fun and it was funny because I was paid.
8. If you were on an Island, and were only given one choice, which albums would you like to take on an Island with you?
Hmm! Sigh that’s deep. Probably my musical album.
9. Words of encouragement to aspiring young musicians?
Never give up, the journey isn’t easy and not meant to be easy, But be Brave and courageous; consistency and hard work will aid in making you grow and of all acquire education, regardless of how best it is or not. Most paramount, love your fellow living and non-living beings, like you yourself.
10. What is the most challenging factor about your career and how do you overcome it?
You get tired and frustrated at some point that you might wanna give up. But two things keeps me going – keep on working Hard and being focus regardless of the odds and of course “The God Factor”. He has always seen me through especially, in the aspect of commitment and diligence.