Oluseun Oyewole is a young Nigerian singer, song writer and dancer based in the United Kingdom.
Speaking in an interview, Oyewole talked about the perception of Afrobeat by the whites in the UK. The artist who described his songs as a fusion of Afrobeat, dancehall and hip hop also spoke on how music immunes the soul.
What drew you in to music?
I grew up in a music house, my mother, my grand- parents as well love music. However, l and my siblings grew up listening to Fela, Lagbaja and my dad likes jars and classical music, so we had a lot of music in the house, the car, every time we sat together, it is music, during Christmas periods, it is always joyous and amazing, music has been part of my life.
Precisely when l was twelve years old, l was asked to sing in my school choir, l was reluctant because l had cold, eventually I sang and l never knew l could sing very well.
Singing in my school choir and doing it very well propelled me to be a singer and that was the reason I studied multi- media computing in Coventry University in Coventry and master in Film making postproduction in Met Film school so as to mix arts with technology.
When l was growing up, I spent my primary school years in Nigeria, teens life in South Africa and 20s in London, the combination of these three cultures had huge influence in my life as a singer.
What was your first production like?
I have three tracks for now and the first one tagged, ‘’Lagos to London’’, here I wanted to do something that would reflect me as a Nigerian born in United Kingdom. Besides, the track also reflected the fact that l spent part of my teen’s life in South Africa.
It is a track that l would like everyone to listen to so as to understand how l feel.
“Lagos to London’’ is open to different interpretations. What you hear is not necessarily what l am singing about, but l left it open to people to listen again and again. The song also reflects the diverse nature of my life.
As a song writer, what inspires you?
l write depending on my mood. I could also write when lam sad because that is the only way l could feel better quickly. l hate feeling negative, and music guides emotions for better.
Once I am inspired to write a song, l will put it down in a paper. So, music is the best medium to lift the weight in me.
Having been writing and singing Afrobeat in a foreign land, what has been your challenges and how has such challenges made you a better singer?
The first challenge l had was self-doubt, I thought l cannot do it. But something kept on telling me that l can actually do it. So, at the onset, there was a struggle withing me whether l can do it or not. I am glad that l overcame that struggle because now l strongly believe that l can do all things by His grace. Now, l am ready to show the world what l have and what l feel about this life.
Can you narrate your developmental stages in your music career?
l will say that in this life everything that happen is for a reason.
I have always been desiring to expand in whatever l do, as a result l decided not to hang up on the fact that l do not have the resources. Since l have my voice to sing, I went ahead despite the challenges.
I started with melody, l like good beat. So, I started with anything that comes to my mind, l will do that for some weeks or months and by so doing l am developing that melody in to something bigger, something that makes more sense. l will then sit down with a paper and start writing whatever that comes to my mind.
After writing, l will go through it over and over again. l will listen to it severally, when l am sure l have gotten everything right, l will go ahead for final production.
What is the perception of Afrobeat in the United Kingdom?
Afrobeat is well perceived in the UK. Both the blacks, whites and Asians so much like Afrobeat. Take for instance, in UK if you walk in to any shop, restaurants owned by Europeans you will hear Afro beat play because it does something, it immunes the soul. So, shops owned predominately by the whites in the UK do play Afrobeat
The whites so much like African music, if you look at what the South Africans are doing with Am piano, it is everywhere, everyone is going after it. Nigeria is also integrating Afrobeat with Am piano and the same thing is happening in UK. l will say all people of colour are experimenting and trying to join the band.
African musicians are performing wonders all over the world including Nigerian artists, they are been nominated for Grammys awards and l believed that in years to come they will perform more.