Welcome to Temmy Balogun’s Blog! Its another inspiring interview with a young, handsome and energetic US based Nigerian who is both an actor and a musician. His unique competencies and strengths stand him out among many in both industries he found himself.
Ibrahim Ahmad popularly called Deezell by his fans in Nigeria, USA and other international countries picked his passion from industries with large pool of talents but this didnt stop him from forging ahead in his choosen career as he believes his unique abilities and strengths will get him to the peak of his career ladder. His belief has so far helped him reach significant milestones in both industries.
In this interview he talked about his career, his unique features, what keeps him going and gave his words of wisdom to youths.
Kindly relax, enjoy his interview as you read on and drop your comments…
TELL US ABOUT IBRAHIM AHMAD, ETHNICITY, EDUCATION, FAMILY AND LOCATION
Ibrahim Ahmad is infact who i am, my name to be specific. I am 28 years old , i had my AA in Media & communication and BA in International business. I am from a family of 5 and i currently live in the United States of America.
YOU’RE POPULARLY KNOWN AS DEEZELL, HOW DID YOU COME ABOUT THAT? IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN IBRAHIM AHMAD AND DEEZELL?
Deezell is a nickname my friends from high school call me with and so a lot of people around here. I didn’t really come about it as a stage name – Its always been Deezell. And well, there isn’t really much to distinguish between Deezell and Ibrahim cause when you put them together you get the same person both famous for what they do.
YOU’RE A NIGERIAN BUT HAVE LIVED ABROAD FOR SO MANY YEARS WITH THE PRESENT STATE OF NIGERIA’S ECONOMY ARE YOU STILL PROUD TO CALL YOURSELF A NIGERIAN?
Well, technically am an American – If being born here makes me one. My parents lived here, so i was born here in the states until we moved back to naija when i was 5 but came back here 7years later. And as you see, the economy of a country should not define the countries value or the virtue of its people, if that was the case then so many great countries wouldnt have been great, so yeah, i am and will always be proud to call myself a Nigerian.
YOU HAD YOUR PRIMARY EDUCATION IN NIGERIA BEFORE MOVING TO THE USA, WHICH OF THE TWO EDUCATIONAL SYSTEMS DO YOU PREFER AND WHY?
Your answer to that is laid out, the difference in educational endeavor between Nigeria and the States is eminent. I prefer the one from States because after i left Nigeria i did my middle and high school here, it was hard for me in the beginning to catch up on alot of things. Their level of gap was very expanded; and then i realized how far behind we are, there in Nigeria.
YOU SING AND ACT, HOW DID BOTH BEGAN? HOW DO YOU MANAGE YOUR TIME AS AM AWARE BOTH ARE TIME TAKEN? DO YOU HAVE PREFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO?
I have always aspire both. But my acting began way before my singing. I think it was one summer we back to Nigeria and there was this show at British council in kano, so i was invited and hell it was my first time performing was so nervous. I went up that stage and began rapping uncertain of what the crowds reaction will be and then all of a sudden people were wailing and clapping – That was it, that was when i realized what i had in me, what i could be.
HOLLYWOOD IS A VERY LARGE INTERNATIONAL INDUSTRY WITH LOTS OF OUTSTANDING TALENTS, HOW HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE TO GET SIGNIFICANT ROLES AMONG THE POOLS OF TALENTS AVAILABLE? WHICH WAS THE FIRST MOVIE YOU FEATURED?
I have an agency, its much easier than it is complicated on the inside. when there is a role with specific requirements that matches your acting skills your agency contacts you and then you decide if you want to take it.
WOULD YOU SAY YOU STAND OUT IN THE ROLES YOU PLAY? HOW DO YOU ACHIEVE THAT?
Every role requires a different acting skill. you are no longer yourself, you are someone and something entirely different. So, i guess yes, like everyone else. Even though i’ve never been given any lead role.
DO YOU HAVE DIFFICULTIES GETTING ROLES AS A BLACK AFRICAN OR YOU WOULD SAY THE INDUSTRY IS FREE OF RACE DISCRIMINATION?
Racism is not always a tool administered in the industry. The story lines of a movie gives roles to people and those roles determines what kinda of race or skill that character requires. so i’d say getting a role in a movies depend almost entirely on the story line
HAVE YOU EVER FELT INTIMIDATED BY A CAST YOU ACTED WITH?HOW DID YOU HANDLE THE SITUATION?
No,i’ve never felt intimidated by by any cast or any A-list artist. If you’re here then am here for the same reason, we are both qualified to be there. so there is no reason to be intimidated
WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES YOU’VE WITNESSED AND STILL WITNESSING IN THE INDUSTRY? ANY PLAN TO GIVE NOLLYWOOD A GO?
There isn’t much challenges, its often getting same role with another person thats qualified for it and the basics have to come down to who has a better profile besides that i think its all good.
Yes, infact i’ve been considering it. About two years ago i got this contract from nollywood that i declined for some personal reasons , but i might just give it a try now. I think every industry has its own way of running things and we all know that nollywood can’t step up their game as far as reaching hollywood. But of what i see, i can say they are doing a pretty good job at it.
FOR MUSIC YOU DO HIP-HOP/AFRO BEATS, WHY THESE GENRES? WHAT STANDS YOUR SONGS OUT? WHATS YOUR TOP 3 SONGS?
Well, Afro Beats are quiet catchy. The beats mostly define the nigerian vast cultures, cause its not aimed at certain set of people- its for all and people love that. while hip-hip is generally world wide often beats are changed to adjust to your kind of audience. Afro beats in Africa and to Africans are music to their ears.People enjoy itm they relish in the tone that even at this age and era we find a way to expand out cultures through music, art and dance.
My voice, i guess? I mean every artist has a unique tone and streak for their music that is what differenciate them. For me,i’d say my top 3 songs will be “Beautifull day” , “Girma” and “ubansu”
Click Here To Download ‘Girma’ by Deezell ft Dj Abba & ClassiQ
Download ‘Ubansu’ Video here
WHAT ROLE DOES CREATIVITY AND ORIGINALITY PLAY IN BOTH PROFESSION?
I’d say originality and creativity is in line with all my work. Without it you have nothing, its like walking with no destination – whats the point of it? So you need creativity in order to flush your work out for people to see and create your own game, make your own name so people may see you for that.
AS A MUSICIAN WHO ARE YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE? WHO IS YOUR MOST LOVED MALE/FEMALE MUSICIAN IN NIGERIA? WHY?
Everyone is. My music is not made for a specific group of people but rather anyone that enjoys it. Doesnt matter who, where or when as far as it reaches you and its what you desire.
I don’t really have a favourite artist but the person I respected most in Nigerian music industry is M.I
WHAT PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY DO YOU WORK WITH AND HOW HAS IT HELPED IN YOUR PERSONAL AND CARRIER GROWTH?
” I see a horizon, i see how far it is, with it my dream lies beneath its realm, fear strike me not for every step i take brings me closer to it” I say that to myself often when i feel stuck, i guess as a reminder that i have a long way to go and giving up or stopping isnt an option
WHERE DO YOU SEE DEEZELL AND HOLLYWOOD’S IBRAHIM AHMAD IN 5 YEARS?
I see myself in a better place than i am now, excel in what i do and be more than what i am now
ADVICE UPCOMING ACTORS/MUSICIAN
I’d advice them to be patience. it might take forever and at times seems impossible but someday you’ll look back and see that the struggle was worth it
INSPIRE YOUTHS IN ONE SENTENCE IN ENGLISH AND YOUR DIALECT…
Nothing is impossible the word, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’
Daga rarrafe say Ta ta
Thanks for sharing with us Ibrahim Ahmad
You can connect with Ibrahim Ahmad through:
IG : officialdeezell
Snap : officialdeezell