Harry Carter: Straight out of South-South [Pulse Torch Vol. 6]

Harry Carter tells Pulse about Trap, Drill, Rap and Afrobeats in Benin Delta, COVID, Carterstrophe EP and more

Pulse Torch: Harry Carter. (Pulse Nigeria)

Born Harrison Osakpolor Ogedegbe, Harry Carter is a lot of things. But for the sake of this conversation, he is an artiste and creative.

His existence and successes are products of sheer will & passion. He struggles to classify himself in the most modest way possible, but he is as ambitious as they come. His very soul thrives off progression and every fibre of my being is designed to enable me conquer the world.

He says, "I make music and art in my own way. I believe my purpose on this realm is to simply be great."

He is one of many talented artists from the South-South part of Nigeria, currently making waves in Trap, Drill and Hip-Hop. Earlier in 2021, he released his sophomore body of work, Carterstrophy, which produced 'Cornerstone' as its central track. His 2020 debut was the 6-track Carterlyst.

For the latest volume of Pulse Torch, we meet Harry Carter and discuss his story. You can read it below;

Pulse: Who is Harry Carter?

Carter: I’m from Benin City, Edo state. I grew up in one of the poorest & most dangerous places in the city, Upper Sakponba Area (USA - as we call it). I was lucky to have escaped the vices there that most young people get caught in, but somehow, the most talented people I’ve met in my life are from there too.

I’m from a modest family of seven - three sisters and a brother - and I’m the middle child. Yeah... odd one of the mix. My parents are not very religious, they laid solid academic foundation for us. So we somehow turned out nerds. I’m the only artist in my family. I just rounded off my studies at the University of Benin where I studied Biology.

Pulse: How did you find music?

Carter: I used to dance as a kid, I wanted more. I’d steal my mum’s money to buy workman to listen to music and somehow I always felt I could make music like Micheal Jackson. It was like a burning flame inside of me that I wanted to get out. Later, I saw a friend record a song and I was pushed to start writing my own lyrics.

A producer some blocks from me put out a Rap Battle contest and I went for it. He said whoever won would have a free song fully produced. I waited for my competitors but fortunately, nobody showed up. I just made something and I took it home. My brother found out and shared with it with the neighbors and classmates.

It was embarrassing, but that’s how my Journey as an artist began.

Pulse: Can you produce music?

Carter: I don’t produce my songs, I only write and direct them. I record and know a few things, but I don’t make my beats or mix my vocals. Yet to learn full scale production. though I see through every process of the creation of my music. I have a mixtape and an EP, for which I directed almost every step.

Pulse: Define your sound in a few words?

Carter: [Sighs] I do not have the perfect adjective to describe it, I dabble between genres. My sound is fresh and it sticks; it’s unique and stands out easily. Ultimately it’s great. I don’t like being called a rapper or singer, I just make music. An artiste would suffice.

Pulse: How did you even discover your stage name?

Carter: Oh this is a funny one. Everyone knows how difficult it is to pick a name that stands out to fit your persona. But what happens when you’re a mix of everything is astonishing.

When I was a kid, I was a menace. When I was not getting in trouble, I was causing some. One day my mom was yelling at me and my neighbor called me 'Oduza.' In Benin which means 'a menace.'

Then he started to call me “catastrophe” whenever he would see me. I rearranged it to be something cooler “Carterstrophy” which means record breaker in my own way.

Pulse: Describe the creative scene in Edo/Delta States and the thriving sounds there?

Carter: It’s super crazy, Edo/Delta has so much talent. The unique creativity in these places is that people don’t do the same thing. It’s always a different youth doing something you’ve never seen before.

I believe there is so much talent and potentials, and I wish the people around could see that and support their own so that foreign investors can join in. Benin and Delta suffers serious brain drain and they never notice until there’s a Rema on TV. You can’t blame the creatives that run to Lagos for the bigger stage though.

Everyone wants a name for themselves. The creatives are trying for themselves, they’re mostly independent. It’s a sharing community; I give you, you give me we grow. The thriving sounds are Hiphop and Afrobeats.

Pulse: Give a shout-out to some artists?

Carter: There’s a ton of artists I’d love to shout-out and a few of em are King Efexx, Milly K, Jake Chowman, Lil5ive, Corizo, Kaptain, Ojuju Calaba, Reezy, Monaky, Layzee Ella, Quono, Teddywestside, Song smith, Parpae and Tkrayne.

Pulse: Do you guys pay each other, or is it about learning at this time?

Carter: I’ve been making music for years in my city and I don’t think there’s much to learn anymore besides getting my bread up. I naturally have been charging people for my art. The only exceptions are close friends and people I can mutually learn & benefit from.

Pulse: Any plans to move to Lagos permanently? If not, what's stopping you?

Carter: I have been shuffling Benin and Lagos since 2018, I have a place in Lagos as we speak. I spend most of my time in Lagos going for interviews, networking, making music, videos, until school becomes intense.

I’m grateful to be done with school now. My siblings are in Lagos as well and I’m ready to fully commit to Lagos. My last task for in Benin is my show, which I’m doing with Milly K, Corizo and some other great guys in September. After that, I’ll be pleased to have served my fans in Benin.

I hope God has something in store for me wherever I go... Lagos, Capetown or Nairobi. I hope to catch my big break soonest.

Pulse: What inspired your last EP?

Carter: Carterstrophy was pure emotions and the need to come back. I took a break from music for some months. COVID was terrible, I was ill for months, depressed and in June 2020.

I was in Lagos making music and slowly becoming myself and I had to bare it all out in Carterstrophy, a project I had wanted to create for a minute. Sometimes I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders, like a wild flower in a vase. These emotions were discomforting, but they birthed Carterstrophy EP.

Pulse: What’s next for you?

Carter: It’s simply building reliable relationships and making more music, growing my brand 'Carterstrophy.' I’m hungry and I want to bite the jugulars of the music industry. Plus I’m actually releasing new music in September with Corizo after my first show Rage Fest. It’s gonna be work and consistency from here on by God’s grace.

Pulse: Any other passions?

Carter: Yes, I love art, comics and dance. I can draw and paint. Someday in the future I hope to write a book and auction some of my art. It’s why I’m very picky with the cover art for my songs.

JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!

Unblock notifications in browser settings.

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or:

Email: eyewitness@pulse.ng

Recommended articles

Watch the official trailer for Jennifer Lopez' 'Halftime' documentary

Watch the official trailer for Jennifer Lopez' 'Halftime' documentary

'Funke and my dad cheated on each other' - Funke Akindele's stepson continues to drag her on Instagram

'Funke and my dad cheated on each other' - Funke Akindele's stepson continues to drag her on Instagram

Blossom Chukwujekwu's ex-wife Maureen Esisi reacts as he remarries

Blossom Chukwujekwu's ex-wife Maureen Esisi reacts as he remarries

Imoh Umoren debuts teaser for horror series 'The Farm House'

Imoh Umoren debuts teaser for horror series 'The Farm House'

Resuscitating the greatness of the AMVCA: A 5 point agenda [Pulse Contributor's Opinion]

Resuscitating the greatness of the AMVCA: A 5 point agenda [Pulse Contributor's Opinion]

Lil Kesh recruits Joeboy for new tantalizing single, 'Vanilla Bottega'

Lil Kesh recruits Joeboy for new tantalizing single, 'Vanilla Bottega'

‘Glamour Girls’ lands official release date

‘Glamour Girls’ lands official release date

5 films you should have seen as a die-hard Nollywood fan

5 films you should have seen as a die-hard Nollywood fan

emPawa Africa partnered artist - Nezsa releases new single called 'Trouble'

emPawa Africa partnered artist - Nezsa releases new single called 'Trouble'