I used to play for Arsenal – Naira Marley reveals

Popular Nigerian rapper, Azeez Fashiola, known professionally as Naira Marley has said he could’ve been a footballer if he wanted.

He said that he grew up in Peckham, England playing for Arsenal youth, Millwall, and Charlton teams but many people never knew when he returned to Nigeria.

The British-Nigerian artiste, while being interviewed on Cool FM Lagos, said his father banned the speaking of English in their house while allowing only Yoruba.

The Marlian Music boss said that though he was in England, most of the things he did and liked were mostly traced to Nigeria. Naira Marley noted that he listened to Fuji music, ate African foods and they lived in Peckham, which was like an extension of Lagos.

“What made it easy for me (to blend with Nigerian street music) is that I grew up in South-East London, Peckham to be precise. That is like small Lagos, you know what I mean?

And all my life in England, my dad banned speaking English in the house. So, we had to speak Yoruba and all these Yoruba stuff. I still listen to Fuji. We eat African foods. Even though I’m in England, it was like I’m still in Nigeria. Yeah, it was easy for me.

When I came back (to Nigeria), people didn’t really know I came from London. I could have been a footballer too, i used to play for Arsenal Youth, Millwall, Charlton,” he said.

Meanwhile in similar news…

Nigerian rapper, Nicholas Ihua-Maduenyi, popularly known as Psycho YP, has revealed that he started his career as a footballer before switching to music.

The ‘Long Way From Home’ crooner singer said he attended Arsenal Football Academy but later quit his dream of playing football and chose to be a musician. The Hip Hop act, however said that Arsenal remains his team and he still cherishes the moment he had there but he had to choose between the two.

Pyscho YP made this known during a recent interactive session on Citizen TV Kenya’s programme, 10 over 10, in Nairobi.

He said; “I attended Arsenal Football Academy but I stopped playing football when I started music. I had to pick one. Arsenal is still my team. My experience at the academy was all good. But after that, when I started music, I just fell in love with it.”

On why he chose to do rap despite afrobeat being the trend, the rapper said, “I just love hip-hop. I love rap. I grow up listening to rap.”