Michael Monday Onyinyechukwu popularly known as MM Natural Sax-calaphone master is from Delta State Agbor and has mastered the use of of his vocal cords to mimic many popular musical instruments. ROTIMI IGE caught up with him recently to enquire about his unique talent, challenges and hopes in the entertainment industry.
Tell us a bit about your background and musical influences.
I was raised by my paternal grandparents. My father’s younger ones are into music so I got my music inspiration through their influence
Your natural instrument is your voice which you tweak to make percussion sounds. How did you discover your talent?
I discovered my unique talent when I was about seven years that I could also play many instruments with my mouth, my hands and other contraptions after seeing a street brother that always placed his hand on his lips to bring out sounds that seemed like a saxophone. I tried it one someday and found out that I could do the same. I started disturbing the neighborhood with the sounds after discovering myself and I also advanced from playing the saxophone sound, placing my hands on my lips to the use of combs and paper, plastic bottles etc to my newly discovery instrument that I am the pioneer. It is called ‘Calaphone’ because it is made from the calabash.
What would you call your type of music?
My kind of music is indigenous Afro jazz and Folk jazz because I love jazz music. So I combined the western pattern with our own Africa pattern in my music e.g Scat.
How has this been accepted?
The truth is that I am always accepted because I study my audience and I always find a way to win their hearts with my performances.
What challenges do you face?
Doing free shows for some many years and also not getting the accolades my craft deserves. I don’t mime on stage, I do live music.
How do you hope to surmount these challenges?
Firstly, I have to trademark my instrument (Calaphone) and then by constant posts and online engagements via excellent content and promotion on my social media platforms.
What should your fans expect from you soonest?
They should expect the acceptance of my instrument (Calaphone) globally very soon because it is a work-in-progress.
Asides music, what else do you do?
I am into a palm wine and bush meat business. I am also a vendor at events.