We had the good fortune of connecting with Onny Mbagwu and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Onny, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Ever since I could remember at young age, I have always dreamed of performing on stage in front of a lot of people. Til’ this day, I am still having the same dream. I spent my whole life writing songs, producing music, lyrics, recording and all. I cannot stop here. As I am working on my music career, I am also pursuing a Masters of Orthotics and Prosthetics. This was something I enjoyed doing other than music (because of course music was my first love). A lot of people are wondering what I will choose between both careers. Me, I didn’t even know I had to choose. I just can’t let go of music. I want to make music and I want to do it for the rest of my life if I can. I love the way the creative process fills me up and when it all comes together in the studio, my ears do a lil dancy dance and my heart pumps rapidly. Music is something a lot of people cannot live without. I cannot live without music and I also cannot live without making music. I think it’s something that will be a part of me forever, you know? So why not turn it into a career?
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I have been recording music since the age of 9-year-old. When I moved from Detroit to Atlanta at 14 years old, my parents went looking for someone who will guide me though and help develop me as an artist. During that time, I wrote over 60+ songs and I was the one telling the engineer how I want my music to sound. I performed at different places and I went through a bit of artist development training. The type of music that I do is Rnb/Soul and Afrobeat. Right now, as I am still working on my career, working on building a strong fan base, and promoting my content to the right people. It is not easy doing promotion by myself and it’s even harder when you don’t have the funds to promote well. These are the challenges I am facing right now. People don’t like to look at you or listen if you have a low social media status. But that just makes me want to work harder. Another challenge is putting out unique music that isn’t what is trending right now. I love to set my music apart from others but when the music that I do, does not fit in with what is trending, then it gets left behind sometimes. I can’t give up even if I wanted to because music is my life. I still try to create the music that sets me apart from others, hoping that one day, it will trend.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love food so of course we would be going to all of the food places in Atlanta. But most definitely Slutty Vegan, Iron Age for K-BBQ and if we want to dress up, be fancy and expensive, Fogo De Chao. I like to take walks so we will probably take a trip to the Botanical Garden or have a picnic at Centennial Park. For some thrill and fun, we will go to Sixflags. If we want to get lit and dance, Tongue and groove is my favorite place to go to. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
First, I Want to thank my parents for supporting me from jump. A lot of people are amazed because my parents are Nigerian and supporting their child who wants to pursue a music career. Right when I started singing at the age of 9, they let me take piano, guitar, vocal lessons, and took me to the recording studios. They have always been there right by my side through all of the ups and downs in my music career. They also continue to encourage me til this day. Next, I want to thank my church choir conductor and pianist. Michelle Baines. When I first joined the church choir at the age of 8 or 9, she said to me “Onny you have a really unique and beautiful voice.” These words, especially the “unique’ part, sparked up my creative spirit.