“I’m proud to be different”
His 6’3” athletic frame, strong <g data-gr-id="42">jaw line</g> and charming personality <g data-gr-id="53">makes</g> the first question you'd want to ask him “are you a model?” Born Princeton Ugoeze Aguocha, this <g data-gr-id="52">22 year old</g> is as affable as they come. I met him at his friend and music colleague Natasha's house. She calls him her kid brother and swears he's the most mature “kid” she's ever known.
Despite many talents, Princeton prefers to call himself a karaoke host. He handles two weekly events at two Mumbai pubs, 3 Wise Men and Copa in the Khar and Juhu suburbs. At the shows, he gets rock star treatment from patrons who obey his word and react to his every instruction as he alternates between letting them belt out often <g data-gr-id="40">off key</g> tunes, and singing himself, wowing the audiences every time he delivers a popular rendition.
<g data-gr-id="41">Priceston’s</g> journey began in New Delhi where he was born to a Nigerian father and an Indian mother. The family then migrated to Nigeria where he spent the first three years of his life. His parents then separated and his mother returned to India with him and settled with his grandparents in Mumbai, which has remained his home to date.
Growing up as a school kid, he didn't face racism as most Africans do in India thanks to his imposing height and witty sarcasm. “I don’t even want to touch you because you won't survive if I do”, he says with a smile as he explains how he reacted whenever any kid spoke of Jamaican reggae star Bob Marley or Sri Lankan cricketer Malinga within his earshot. “I am proud to be different, because given the choice to be like everyone else, I'd rather stand out”, he explains.
His fit physique is not an accident of nature, <g data-gr-id="44">Princeston</g> Aguocha played hockey, volleyball, football and basketball in college. He made the basketball team and represented the institution in The University games. He also represented the University in the interstate championships. However, he quit competitive sports after graduation although he still plays basketball for fitness and health.
Despite the talent apparent at his Karaoke gigs, Princeton is still reluctant to call himself a musician.
“I don’t play any instrument and I believe it would be unethical to take all the limelight from someone else's production, so I won't call myself a musician until when I can write my own lyrics and compose my own melodies”, he says.
After some prodding, it turns out that the Karaoke singer is also a budding model. He has appeared in ads for Airtel, Reliance, Quickheal and <g data-gr-id="45">Burnol</g>, and just last month, an acquaintance recommended him to <g data-gr-id="46">Inega</g> Agency. The casting head immediately took a liking for his personality and features and cast him in a Nike sportswear shoot, handing him his first professional assignment as a “reluctant” model.
Currently, he’s been picked for a ramp show later this month, forcing him to learn on the job as he has no formal training in the profession. He is however very humble about it and almost in disbelief at the opportunities knocking on his door. At the moment, he’s more focused in his pet project, a music parody act which is the brainchild of his friend <g data-gr-id="59">Natahsa</g> AKA Gangsta Gudiya. The duo has been creating a buzz online with their parody takes of famous songs, social messages and life experiences in Mumbai.
Looking ahead, one thing Princeton is sure about, is the fact that he doesn't want a 9 to 5 desk job. He tried it once in a BPO and the employer saw the last of him after he got his first pay cheque.
Music is his passion and he hopes to make a living doing it, however with the new modelling prospects looking bright, he might have to learn to do several acts at the same time.