AN INTERVIEW WITH THE KEYBOARDIST AND FOUNDER OF FOOTPRINT 5, PHILIP SYLVESTER

Posted: May 11, 2015 in Interviews
Tags: , , ,

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Recently releasing the hit song “Ebube” off of their soon to be released album. Rockaholic of NSOR decided to find out more about this trending Christian rock band, Footprint 5.

This sweet group of guys are rocking their way into the hearts across Nigeria. George Igado (George Rock), Kenneth Igado (Kenny g), Clement Ehizokhale (EC Drums) and Excellent Christopher (Ebaze) are the current band members. So we wanted to learn more about this Benin based band, to include their music, inspiration, life, album, plans and all.

Pleasantly, the keyboardist agreed to an interview, you can read our conversation below.

NSOR: Tell me about yourself

FP5 – My name is Philip Sylvester and i’m privileged to be the Founder and keyboardist of FootPrint 5. I’m popularly known as Saintkeys. I’m single for now but soon won’t be anymore *Laughs*. I’m from Edo state and currently reside in Benin. I serve as a music minister at House on the Rock, Benin.

NSOR: Who are the members of your band?

FP5 – George Igado (George Rock): Acoustic and Lead Vocalist

Kenneth Igado (Kenny G): Background Vocals and lead guitarist

Clement Ehizokhale (EC Drums): Drummer.

Excellent Christopher (Ebaze): Bass guitarist

David Ehizokhale (Zel Media): Sound engineer

NSOR: How would you say growing up was like for you, and when did music start creeping up?

FP – Growing up was quite interesting; I grew up as a church boy, in a family of music, my sister sings, my dad used to play the guitar, my elder brother is a piano guru, so it runs in my family. I’ve always sang from childhood, in the choir as a chorister. But I started playing my first instrument (piano) when I was 1and professionally when I was 20 old.

NSOR: Who founded Footprint 5 and how did you come about the name?

FP5 – I (Philip) formed the band on December 25, 2012. We were formerly called Trinity Cross. Then the new name came as an instruction, Footprint 5 which biblically represents Grace (God). The Footprint is God’s, his message, what he stands for and all. Simply put, telling everyone about God.

NSOR: What gave you the idea of forming a band?

FP5 – It’s more of a ministry thing, when God gives you a ministry and a task to function, you would need a team, and music was the strongest tool to channel that message.

fp 5 logo

NSOR: From the way you sound, it is as if you are a man of God who thought it best to reach out to people through music.

FP5 – (Laughing) yup, we are all men of God, outside FP5 we are all ministers in our churches.

NSOR: Really, Ministers as in Pastors or musical ministers?

FP5 – I’m a music director others are leaders, departmental heads and instrumentalists.
NSOR: Okay, so how did you assemble the team together as the founder?

FP5 – God led them, basically we have been friends since our days as students in the university (University of Benin). So at a time I needed to start up something, so I shared the vision with them and asked if they would love to be part of it. The rest as you know is history.

NSOR: (Laughing) speaking of history, when and where was your first gig as a band?

FP5 – (In thought) I can’t imagine that this will be hard for me to remember. But I think it was at Lagos State University (LASU). We had this youth gathering or something close to it which I can’t really recall.

NSOR: What was the reception like knowing fully well that a typical Nigerian music lover isn’t well acquainted with this genre?

FP5 – (Astonished) it was indeed funny and strange, I think we did “Everything” by Lifehouse and “Glory Defined” by Building 429. Among others were collections of worship songs of Jesus Culture. It was like a cinema movie, a state of awe, wondering are these guys white guys or are we listening to a tape or something. It was weird to hear but thank God that didn’t discourage us.

NSOR: (Laughing) okay, is any member of the band still in school, if yes how do they manage the responsibility?

FP5 – Yes, we got some pursuing second degrees, masters and all, personally, I’m doing another course. Well we try and make the best of each free time and do what’s important and right. And God has been helping us too, because it’s really not easy.

NSOR: How many songs have you released officially so far, and what song in your own opinion brought Footprint 5 to fame?

FP5 – Mighty to Save, Need, Back to You, More, Breathe on Me and Ebube, but the first 3 where the first try and all. We got more inspired and noticed some flaws in them. So right now we are planning of re-recording them. But what we have accepted right now as done is Mighty to Save, Need, Ebube, Back to You and More, like I said we plan on re-doing and probably release them as singles.

NSOR: Do you join the crop of people who believe that metal/hard rock is demonic?

FP5 – (Laughing) Nah, we have been inspired by great band like Metallica, Disciple…..etc

NSOR: (Cuts In) sorry you didn’t answer my question, on the song that brought you fame.

FP5 – Oh, ok sorry about that, malaria eyes (Laughing) I think honestly ‘Mighty to save’. Our version of it made a whole big impact. As for favourite song by our fans ‘Breathe on me’ and ‘Back to you’ because they are danceable? A remake on Breathe on me would be released soon.

NSOR: When you came to my showon EBS radio last year I asked about touring and an upcoming album, would you say we should be expecting them soon?

FP5 – Yes we are slow but steady, ensuring we give you all the best, so no rush, we are taking our time to ensure quality and spirit filled and tour soon too. We just got a page on a magazine in South Africa called New Dimension Magazine, so there are a lot on the way

NSOR: (Exclaimed) That’s great news and that leads me to my next question. Rock music is beginning to get attention in Nigeria. What do you think can be done to keep it this way and even better?

FP5 – Well I think no matter how ignorant people may be, the bottom line is everyone loves good music. So before you can change the outside world we first have to change our inside and work on our rock songs. Once it is up to the standard many people will definitely key into it. People who heard us testified of that, because they never expected such good music around and yet it is all Nigerians.

NSOR: Where do you see the Nigerian Rock Music Scene, say the next 5 years?

FPS – That’s without end. I see Americans coming to partner with Nigerians, but that actually depends on us to work more on our craft and production to be standard, when that is done, nothing can stop us not doing great.

NSOR: Aside Gospel/Christian rock which other genre do you listen to and the band and artiste from that genre?

FP5 – Basic truth, like I said we are great instrumentalist and musicians outside footprint 5. So we listen to everything good and worth listening to, from jazz, afro, funk, blues, it’s endless. As for rock and roll guys we like, well generally would be Third day, Casting Crown, Switchfoot, Jesus Culture, Matthew West, Building 429, Red, Barlow girl and many more.

footprint5 real real

NSOR: Aside gospel genre I mean?

FP5 – For me I would say Coldplay, in fact listening to Coldplay inspired me. Paramore, 3 Doors Down and more.

NSOR: What genre would you have gone into aside rock?

FP5 – Jazz, Classical maybe, as for a rock subgenre it definitely would have been Indie rock.

NSOR: From recent years we have seen a rapid improvement in rock music, in Nigeria in respect to artiste/band. Can you name your favourite Naija rock band/artiste?

FP5 – Threadstone, other bands are working hard, Clay too.

NSOR: What’s your advice for those who have the intention of venturing into this genre, but are scared because they feel the market isn’t there yet?

FP5 – There is always a first to everything and you can’t tell an outcome if you have not tried yet. So first take the risk. Then you must get your home right, I mean well arranged, that I mean do it right. Don’t fall for cheap standard or easy way, be a hard critic on yourself. Rock has a right way, no sequenced or fake fill, rock need the live effect. If you can’t play live then avoid it because having effect can be deceptive when you are faced with live audience you will end up downcast.

NSOR: If you are given the opportunity to perform live with a foreign rock band which would it be and why?

FP5 – Switchfoot and Casting Crown, Newsboys most likely too, why? No reason, they are just awesome.

NSOR: (Laughing) Thank you very much, looking forward to seeing an album and a tour from you, and don’t forget you can pop in on my show on EBS Radio anytime you want or have something to air.

FP5 – Amen. Thanks very much, you guys Naija School of Rock (NSOR) are doing a great job, Nigerians should thank you guys, more grace and God bless.

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