Nwokeoma Elvis popularly known by his stage name, MC Lordell is a graduate of Civil Engineering from Enugu State University of Science and Technology. He was born into a family of 3 kids (an elder sister & younger brother) and his dad hails from Ohaji Egbema Local Governement Area of Imo State while his mum hails from Delta State. He lost his dad at a very tender age and had a rough life as he completed his primary & secondary education in Ajegule in Lagos State where he lived all his life till he came down to the east for this university education. Today, he is opening up about his life, journey to success and his career for the first time.
What triggered your love for your present career?
My love for entertainment. I grew up as a singer from my days in the children choir till I came to the east. All my life in Ajegule was music but I knew that whenever I talked my friends laughed hard & my mum always beat me because of my loose mouth. When I came to Enugu, I knew I had to take care of myself because I’m not from a rich family (I had to wait 5 years for my sister to graduate before I moved to Secondary school) so except from the little things that she was sending to me I had to hustle things for myself. So I join an organization called Hype Foundation which was a youth NGO under Dominion City Church and the pastor told me that I had a gift in me which was apart from my singing. He told me that since I talk and people laugh that I should be the MC in one of their events and I did the first event and everyone said that I was good at it because I was spontaneous and I could sing as well as crack jokes. So I decided that I could merge comedy & music as well as passion and make it a thing and use it to support myself. So I can say that what triggered my love for my present career was basically me trying to support myself.
When did you discover that you could make hyping a profitable career?
It’s good to differentiate yourself from people. I’m a good singer but I discovered that a lot of people are into music as well as comedy & some are great in it. Despite the fact that I’m one of the best when it comes to comedy, there are people that I respect and have worked with like MC Franchez, Two can talk, MC 4 God, Forever the preacher (that is NO 1, he was always there to direct me. He was like a father to me). I wanted to differentiate myself by merging my talents of singing & cracking jokes so that instead of getting 2 or 3 people to do a job, you can get just me because I have everything together & that was the birth of my hype career. And then I tried it and the feedback was super amazing & that moment I realized that I have found my career.
What year did you start your hype career?
Just this year January although I started learning last year, 6 months before I started, I took out time to go round and learn from people.
As a graduate, how did your mum react to your career choice?
She was screaming at first that why did I just waste 5 years of my life to attend university for nothing till she watched me twice on television. Then when my stepbrother was getting married, he asked me to be the MC at his wedding and everyone was surprised but after the wedding, my mum gave her full consent to the career because she saw that I was great at it.
Comparing the hype business in the entertainment industry now & back when you were training and earlier started, are there any differences in the aspect of the acceptance of the career?
While I was working under someone, I caught the vision which he didn’t see about the career. Then no one cared about someone screaming with a mic but I knew that this was what I wanted to do. I can say that where I previously worked, for a year I wasn’t paid anything. I moved about with my money. I sowed every seed & I had to ensure that the hype career was appreciated in Enugu. And today people care to see a hypeman in their events as well as parties and clubs.
What are some of the challenges you faced when you started?
Apart from the fact that I worked under people without getting paid for an entire year, the other challenge I faced was attitude and response from people. People didn’t actually believe that it was relevant instead they saw it as a sign of poverty and joblessness. Sometimes I go to places & they tell me that they don’t have mic for me to shout my mumu shout. But then I don’t regret the journey because if the road wasn’t rough there won’t be a success so I just give glory to God for everything.
In the midst of the challenges, what kept you going?
Sometimes you go to an event & everyone except you is funny or everyone is recognized and you are not. But I see it as the growing stage of life & I know that I have to keep pushing it till get to the stage that I don’t need to introduce myself. The vision I have is also what kept me going to be the best not just in South-East but in Nigeria, Africa as well as the world.
Being South-East No 1 Hypeman, do you feel a certain pressure to always deliver well?
There is no other option than to deliver. Being South-East No 1 Hypeman isn’t where it ends but it is only the beginning & just like I am chasing the likes of Basketmouth so is someone chasing me. And the reason why it’s quite hard to get to the likes of AY, Basketmouth, Bovi and the rest of them is because even at the top they are still pushing because they know that people are after their title. So being in that position, it mounts the pressure of making sure that any gig to be done is delivered well so those that are chasing you won’t catch up with you so there is always need to deliver.
If you could change anything about your career, what will it be?
If I say I want to change the rough roads that I went through then I won’t be here today but the one thing that I’ll love to change is the fact that I didn’t have the opportunity to do all the three things I love (music, comedy & hype) while in the church but instead I noticed the hype aspect outside the church.
What is the inspiration behind the Food Concert & First ever hype mixtape?
The food concert was actually the first food event in Enugu State. It was an idea to bring people together to have different kinds of food, listen to good music, comedy & have fun. The event took place on my birthday. For the 1st ever mixtape, there are a lot of hypemen in Nigeria that I respect like Jimmy, Turtle and so on, so I had to step up & do something that hasn’t been done before. I know people usually buy mixtape to listen to so I decided to inject hype into it. People always want to go to the club on Fridays so why don’t I bring the club to you & that’s what I did.
Is the Hypemix a project that you tend to continue?
Yes, it is. Expect a volume 2 and so on with little changes. I’m gonna be dropping more back to back. It is a continuous assessment project.
As a trendsetter, what next should your fans expect?
I can’t let the cat out of the bag because I don’t want to ruin the surprise. There will definitely more things and projects as well as more new trends from me so just expect more.
Apart from being a hypeman, are you involved with any other line of career?
Non for now although I tend to venture into idea development & provision for companies.
Any philanthropic work done or yet to be done?
Yes there is one in the oven. We are actually planning “The Hercules Returns” which will be a fundraising event for motherless babies’ home in the state. I came out from a really rough environment & I know how it feels to be in a dark & helpless place.
Any special Lady in your life? And if yes, what do you love about her?
Yes, there is. The main thing I love is that when I’m not being the type of man she wants me to be, she accepts it and understands that no one is perfect.
In the next 10 or 15 years, do you think you’ll still be in business or a Godfather?
A Godfather. In the aspect of comedy, I hope to be the likes of Ali Baba while in the aspect of hype, I should be a legend because it will take millions to bring me out.
Do you have plans of doing strictly comedy events?
I’m a 3 in 1 person and I do all three together & bring out all qualities in my events so it is difficult to differentiate them. I’m learning more about being spontaneous when it comes to comedy. So I’m just trying to push all three together. Although some events, I bring out just comedy but it is strictly on what I’m called to do. If I’m wanted for comedy, I’ve had events where I had to crack jokes for straight 1-2 hours and if for music or hype, I’ll deliver. So it depends on what they want.
What don’t you feel comfortable about the career and will love to change?
I love to change the perception of entering the career because many people enter the career for the money. It is better to get involved with the career because you have the talent or passion or you are ready to work very hard.
What do you want to be remembered for?
As the guy that brought hype into Coal City & made it a platform to raise more people. Someone that is extraordinary & always bringing something new.
Any word for the young ones looking up to you?
Ensure you have the talent and passion, work hard, love God, learn more & always listen.