INTERVIEW: Why I left Nigeria – Mike Okri


Veteran Nigerian musician, Mike Okri, dominated the music scene in the 80s and 1990s with hits like ‘Rhumba Dance’, ‘Time Na Money’, ‘Okpeke’, ‘Wisdom’, ‘Oghenekevwe’, ‘Burnin’ and many others. He left the country over two decades ago and recently returned to oversee some projects. In this interview with PREMIUM TIMES, the singer speaks about his career and the state of the nation.

PT: You left Nigeria at the peak of your career 26 years ago. What influenced this decision?

Okri: I may not be able to give you a direct answer but I can only say that I just left because I was tired of how we do things. And frankly, I figured there was greener pasture out there. Another thing was that I was very concerned about losing ground in my kind of music. The idea that I had an idea (about the direction my music should go)and it was not possible for me to showcase it further than I had done was the reason I had to leave.

PT: Did it have anything to do with your record label?

Okri: There were so many things involved. It wasn’t just the record label or me. If you noticed, most of the record labels were dying out, especially after I had packed up and…



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