Raphael Onyeise is an American-Nigerian vocalist and producer. He was raised in Lagos, Nigeria for a quarter of his life and then moved to Houston, Texas. He became interested in music after he joined the choir at his church at the age of 12, and began playing the piano for the church at age 15. Growing up, he had a rough childhood so he used music to express his emotions.
When he was 17, he decided to start rapping, singing and producing through trial and error. Even through the difficult times, he never gave up on his passion for music and eventually became the artist he is today. He has a unique sound, unlike anybody else. It is an amalgamation of American culture and Nigerian culture, and he calls it the “Afro yankee”. Some of his musical influencers are Wizkid, Burna boy, Drake, Omah Lay, Rema and Flavour.
Raphael is self-produced. He records his own vocals, mixes and masters the songs himself and sometimes even produces the beats. He is not a big fan of sitting down and writing lyrics; he likes to listen to the beat over and over again until he can come up with some melodies, and then freestyles the rest of the song.
He made the song “JO” when he was drunk late at night and was in need of some type of affection. The pretense of the song is relatable to a lot of people and the vibes just make listeners connect to the song on another level. It’s a song about beautiful women and love. That message as well as the smooth vocals and chill melodies in the song grab the listener’s attention.
Raphael’s raw vocals and style attract a lot of people to his music. He sees himself collaborating with a lot of African, UK and American artists in the future as he’s very versatile with his sound and always down to try something new. Some of his favorite places to perform are clubs and day parties; these locations are significant to him because the crowds are always hyped up and energetic, which gives him more energy on stage.
Social media is an important platform for him because that’s where he engages with his fans. He loves all his supporters from the bottom of his heart and interacting with them makes him feel closer to them. Social media also allows him to communicate new releases to his fans, such as his upcoming EP “Letter To The Girls I Loved”. The title is self-explanatory. He painstakingly made sure each song in the album was perfect, with good melodies and vibes, making it fit for the soul.