His debut single “SLOW DOWN” from his first self-titled album Bobby Valentino spent four consecutive weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and then went on That song also made a major impact here in Nigeria, it was the most romantic song of 2005 (hands up all the guys…and ladies too, who fantasised about their crushes listening to “Slow Bobby’s sleek and sexy voice still resounds through the airways today with his latest work We were so honoured to catch up with the award winning star and rare talent to find out more to be certified gold after selling over 800,000 copies in the US alone. Down”)- too many hands, why not? It is the ultimate “toasting” song. ‘Hollywood Hearts’, which also the title of his upcoming feature film. about the man and his art.
Made Magazine: When and why did you start singing? We know you’ve been asked these question so many times but do indulge us.
Bobby V: I started singing in 3rd grade. I loved music from that point because it touched me in ways more than any other thing could.
Made Magazine: Which musical Instrument do you play?
Bobby V: I played the drums in 3rd grade, but I spent more time playing the trumpet.
My father taught me how to play the trumpet and it’s been part of me ever since then. I’m glad I did because it has taught me how to read music and harmonise.
Made Magazine: What was/were the First tune(s) you learned?
Bobby V: “Ribbon in the Sky” by Stevie Wonder. It’s the first song I learnt though I find it challenging singing it word for word. (laughs)
Made Magazine: Describe your family’s musical interests and abilities?
Bobby V: My Father loves blues. He isn’t much of a good singer but he knows how to handle that. My mum sings everything in an opera sound and my sister has always been into the arts. She is one of those who motivated me to become a part of the entertainment world.
Made Magazine: What famous musicians do you admire? Why?
Bobby V: There are so many musicians I admire and respect. These are the ones that understand the true value of music and put much effort in being creative and original thereby making ever green albums and musical tracks thereby connecting to their listeners.
Made Magazine: Who are the famous musicians you’ve learnt from?
Bobby V: Anita Baker, Boys II Men, Baby face, Mavin Gay, Tony Tony Tones, Joe… amongst others. Made Magazine: Who was your first teacher/ mentor?
Bobby V: Mr. Robert. He was my first band teacher and inspired me. This was alongside Mrs. Blunt who was my choir teacher. I’m glad I had to go through that strict process of being groomed by them.
“A lot of music we blacks listen to or enjoy does not teach us positivity”
Made Magazine: Have you ever been in love / been heartbroken?
Bobby V: I’m not sure what love is because I have had my fair share of heart breaks. The hardest part is not being able to identify who truly loves you for you rather than for the fame or name. But I guess that’s one of the disadvantages that come with fame.
Made Magazine: What are your memorable musical moments in your home, neighbourhood or town?
Bobby V: My memorable musical moment would be in Elementary school when I played Michael Jackson on stage for a fashion show. Being my first performance it opened the doors for me to want to do more and make the crowd feel good.
Made Magazine: Who is the real Bobby V?
Bobby V: Bobby V is a man of humour. A man that loves to be active and competitive. A lover of soccer, basketball and swimming. A family guy and a lover of church when I’m not on tour or on the road.
Made Magazine: Any snack cravings?
Bobby V: I love a fusion of seedless grapes and skittles. It’s an awesome combination. You should try it.
Made Magazine: What are your rituals before performing?
Bobby V: My only ritual is praying and putting all into God’s hands. Made Magazine: How do you handle mistakes while performing?
Bobby V: Truth is most people don’t know you’ve made a mistake, so you don’t stop performing, that’s one skill I’ve learnt over the years.
Made Magazine: Do you get nervous before a performance?
Bobby V:(Laughs) I do. I mean everyone does.
Made Magazine: What advice will you give beginners who are nervous in the game?
Bobby V: Every human goes through that inevitable phase. Case study: Myself! Whenever I’m about to perform, I get nervous. However, I pray. By the time I step on stage and hear the crowd scream, I gather all that energy and incorporate it into my performance and all turns out well.
So my advice is for them to take their time and be the best in whatever genre of music they choose with self-assurance that they can be whoever they want to be.
Made Magazine: Who would you say is the most important person in your career so far?
Bobby V: My family, my team and my manager. All these people keep me grounded and they steer me in the right direction.
They encourage and believe in me and I think every human need people like that because if people around you believe in you, then there is nothing you can’t do
“I’m not sure what love is because I have had my fair share of
Made Magazine: How often and for how long do you practice?
Bobby V: I practice on the piano more than singing now, knowing fully well that I’ve mastered the art of singing. So I give my piano thirty minutes max every day to learn something new.
Made Magazine: What /who are you working with right now?
Bobby V: I’m working on my new movie called ‘Hollywood Hearts’ which I wrote. The single is out right now on ITunes as well as the video on YouTube.
Apparently it was supposed to be a short film until it got funded and we decided to enlarge it which I’m grateful for. The movie should be out later this year and my new album will be the soundtrack to the movie. Watch out!
Made Magazine: How do you balance your music with other obligations – mate, children, and job?
Bobby V: Balancing my career is pretty easy. I work out, record in the studio and continue with my journey on the piano and music. I think I am blessed enough to do things in my career.
Made Magazine: What are your thought about the state off music today and the industry as whole?
Bobby V: A lot of artistes are being independent knowing fully well how lucrative it can be. Social media has even made it possible for people to put out their best and be heard and loved.
Made Magazine: Talk to us about the cultural appropriation of black culture and your view and take on it
Bobby V: A lot of music we blacks listen to or enjoy does not teach us positivity. I know I might sound like I’m old school but most of the songs we listen to only address drugs, excessive spending of money and giving our women inappropriate names.
I love rap and I believe it’s the best for turning up but a weak minded person will be easily brainwashed with all these negativity and think that’s all there is to life. I think from a cultural stand point we should hold ourselves accountable for what we put out there.