In his recent visit to the Pig Wrestling Podcast, Hull composer Chiedu Oraka talked through a range of subjects, from his best recent purchase to habits that have changed his life. One interesting answer was his response to how he feels he has learned from failure in his life.
Chiedu discussed how he spent some time in HMP, which “made me [Chiedu] the person I am”. It was in jail that Oraka decided to turn his life around, and three years after his short stint in the clink he got a degree in sports development and coaching. Chiedu views this as a “massive success story”, and it’s fair to say. Many people who spend time in prison will often find themselves without support on the outside, and slip back into old habits and potentially criminal tendencies. However, the young composer found himself needing a change and forged himself a new path (difficult for someone that sees himself as “not an academic person at all”). As someone who never saw himself following the academic path, Chiedu sees this as his “proudest moment”, which came from his time and development when he was in prison.
He went on to discuss the responsibility of being a composer that people feel able to look up to, and the fact that many people view him as a role model puts him in the unique position to use his past when guiding people and giving life advice, rather than avoiding his past. As he said in the interview, “I understand the responsibility because of where I come from, because there’s no one that made it in the genre of music that I have”. As a trailblazer, Chiedu aims to do what he can to improve the lives of young people, whether that’s taking a picture with a fan or replying to everyone on social media. He aims to make a positive impact in any way he can, because there’s “no better feeling” than helping someone through a tough time.
You can hear the rest of Chiedu’s open and honest interview on the Pig Wrestling Podcast, and get to learn the Yorkshire musician and poet’s story.
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