Sheriff, popularly known as Big Sheff, is an hip-hop artiste and the son of two renowned traditional music artistes; Queen Salawa Abeni and General Kollington Ayinla. He is also brother to Candy, CEO TV reality show ‘Opolo Orin’. This chain of music inspirations and an encounter with American hip hop star, Rick Ross aka Rozay, has influenced the young final year student of Leadcity University, Oyo State.
Big Sheff, a Lagos state born who hails from Kwara state, has decided to step into the shoes of his mum and dad– but in his own case, he will be delving into the hip-hop world coupled with new development around his musical personality. He is now proudly known as Big Sheff aka ‘Young Ross’ courtesy of award winning U.S hip hop artiste Rick Ross.
The change in Big Sheff ’s name began after Maybach Music’s head honcho, Rick Ross visited Nigeria in August to headline the St. EVE’s Summer Jam Fest in Lagos. Sheff was billed to perform at the concert because of the resemblance he shares with the rap star, but he was also lucky to get acquainted with RR and given the opportunity to feature in Rozay’s controversial “Hold Me Back” video shot in Nigeria.
“It was actually Rick Ross’ publicist that saw me first and then went to tell him that he just saw someone that shares a striking resemblance with him. Rozay asked the organisers about me and I was introduced to him; the organisers said “this is our own Rick Ross” and he laughed. We shook hands and to my surprise he said “no, Young Ross sounds better”, and that was how he held on to the name Big Sheff explained. “That is what I call myself normally, Big Sheff aka Young Ross”.
Shedding more light on his family’s influence in pursuing a music career, the young entertainer has enjoyed support from his parents and he also reveals they do not have a problem with hip hop –his preferred music genre. “My parents are indifferent to the style I choose; my mum just appreciates all kinds of musicians”, Sheff said.
Apart from the family’s music history and background, Sheff is additionally surrounded by people ‘through whose minds music flows’. This is one of the reasons why Sheff is promising music lovers to look out for him in 2013. The promising ‘do it all’ artiste, who flaunts his flair for different genres of music is working on the remix of one of his mum’s hit track. He is also signed under “Candiva Signature Empire”, the record label run by his sister, Candy.
Asked what kind of music collaborations his connection with Rozay may bring, he said “we swapped contacts; his manager and I are in constant touch so I guess the relationship would grow but I’m not limiting myself to just Rick Ross”.
Sheff was a witness to the shooting of Rick Ross’s ‘Hold me Back’ video in Nigeria. Based on his direct involvement in the controversial music video in which he featured, he shared his view on criticism by Nigerians against the content.
“My take on the video is neutral because I had already seen the American version which was also shot in their ghetto. Hence, I was excited when I heard that he wanted to shoot a video for the same song in Nigeria so I didn’t read any negative meaning to it and I wouldn’t have even if I wasn’t in the video.
“Sincerely, he wanted to visit the ghetto and he was taken to Sura Market on Lagos Island. It’s not as if he handpicked that location and it definitely wasn’t planned because even the organisers weren’t aware, they just directed the drivers to Sura Market the minute he asked for a ghetto, He was also very friendly with the kid’s because he initially wanted to visit the orphanage”.
Big Sheff has his eye big on the music industry but he doesn’t want to limit himself to just one opportunity. “I want to rather grab my music dreams with both hands”. Already, with his three singles In a minute, Kini tolo bumi and Ema lo binu being enjoyed by fans, he is taking his time to release an album as he reasoned –“I am not going to rush it”.