Nigerian musician, Divine Ikubor, better known as Rema, has opened up on the struggles of being raised by a single mother and how it forced him to grow up early.
The 21-year-old singer spoke in a recent edition of Afrobeat Intelligence with Joey Akan.
The Benin-born artiste said his father’s death forced him to become “the only man to provide for my family at the age of 15.”
Rema, who had recently revealed how poverty forced him into secular music, said, “I had to get my hands dirty in different aspects.”
“It’s too many to talk about. But I’d just say there were struggles in growing up. You know, between my mum and my dad, losing my dad, the insecurities. The fear within school trying to meet up with people’s expectations, peer pressure, within the church, living by the rules. I would say trying to convey the feeling of giving praise to the Most High and also feeding my family going through a lot,” the singer said.
“Switching up the sound, going into secular music, the competitions I went through in Benin City, the ones I won. The people that used me in different phases of life, in different aspects where I was deemed not smart enough. So most of my knowledge or wisdom didn’t really come from books or people, it literally came from experience.
“Running away from home, going to Ghana to work shit out for my life, my family. My mum going through her phase and me being the only man to provide for my family at the age of 15. I had to get my hands dirty in different aspects. So yeah, that’s it.
“I would say I grew up way too early and you know, I was forced to abort my childhood. I know I’m still young. But I’d say, my early youth, I didn’t really enjoy it. I didn’t really do what youths do during their 15s or their 20s or 21. I’m 21 but life got serious real quick, so I had to man up. I feel like a lot more people have gone through their own phases, but not a lot of people wake themselves up. but I did and I had to put down some things.
“Like some sacrifices which some youths won’t like to drop. They want to live life fast but I had to stay grounded and push.”
In 2019, Rema signed a record deal with D’Prince’s ‘Jonzing World’, a subsidiary of Mavin Records. He put out ‘Rema’, his self-titled debut EP the same year, which peaked at number 1 on Apple Music Nigeria.