DAP The Contract: Everybody Falls in the Summer
Born in Lagos, Nigeria, and growing up in a musical family, Dolapo Akinkugbe (DAP) started playing the piano at the age of 4, passed his ABRSM Grade 8 Piano with distinction at 13, and went on to attain a DipABRSM Performance Diploma on the Piano at 17. After high school in London, U.K., he attended the Berklee College of Music for two semesters as part of a gap year, with the intention of majoring in Contemporary Writing & Production or Music Production & Engineering. On his departure after the summer, DAP released a mixtape titled GoodBye For Now.
He has performed frequently in Providence, RI at Brown University, University of Rhode Island, AS220, Aurora, The Colosseum, Lupos, and opened for Warner Bros. signees Lawrence twice at 2 sold-out tour stops at Fete Music Hall in Providence, RI, and at The Queen’s Head Pub in London, UK. He has also opened for Skepta and Burna Boy at the first annual Nativeland Festival at Muri Okunola Park. In October 27th, 2014, DAP released his fourth mixtape ‘GoodBye For Never’, a sequel to ‘GoodBye For Now’, and in late December in the same year, released a joint project entitled ‘Jam On Scones’ with Shane Chubbz under their duo moniker The Contract, for which they performed at the renowned Saatchi Gallery, London. In addition, in September 2015, he recorded at the renowned Abbey Road Studios, London with Grammy award-winning Uptown Funk producer Mark Ronson after being selected for a competition produced by Converse. DAP is presently attending Columbia Law School.
In this interview with Omenka, he discusses his album, Everybody Falls in the Summer.
You recently had a show at Omenka Gallery titled Everybody. Why this theme?
So I put out an album on November 9 called Everybody Falls in the Summer, and it’s for similar reasons that the album is titled that. It’s just about things we all go through. It’s about bringing people together in inclusivity. One of the main themes of the album is love, and I feel like everybody falls in love at some point or experiences love in some degree, whether it’s with family members, friends, spouse, whatever it is. So it was about bringing everyone together. I hope my music is something that anybody could find something useful in. So that’s really the main reason.
What inspired your recent album Everybody Falls in the Summer?
Okay, the first starting point was turning 25. I turned 25 on May 22, 2018. It turns out waking up that morning I just felt like—it wasn’t like a mid-life or quarter-life crisis—it was more like what is 25 to 30 going to look like? What were my parents doing at this age? I have a girlfriend; I’m thinking, When are we supposed to get married, have kids? When will you get your job? When will you financially be independent and all those things? And those thoughts are the inspiration for the themes in the album.
Following that, I thought, if I had a kid right now (because my parents had kids around this age), what would my biggest fears be? And I suddenly started thinking about social media and mental health and all the things that come along with all these likes and seeing everyone’s perfect lives and wanting your life to be like everyone on social media; things like financial independence, like how much money you’re going to earn versus how much you like the job you’re doing; and that kind of thing. There are things we all experience at some point. You grow up and your parents free you and you know you’re on your own to an extent. So that was the starting point.
Then the songs that vibrate are directly about you putting your phone down and not being stuck scrolling all day, 24/7. Sonically, the main inspiration was the guitar.
But, I felt like tying it back into technology and social media. We don’t go outside anymore, and everybody’s on the laptop. They’re on their phone. You work on a computer at work or just type and scroll all day. In the summer, I and my girlfriend went on bicycle rides all the time to Central Park. Of course, in my pouch, I have my phone playing music, and we just ride and go sit by the lake and just chill. So I was thinking about that. What is it going to take us—and maybe even harder, our kids and the generation after them—to go outside and play? It’s going to get worse and worse, you know. So everybody falls in the summer like that.
The theme was supposed to be mixing indoors and outdoors. So in the video for “Vibrate,” for example, I took my living room, my actual dormitory in school, and moved it into this lake by Central Park, mixing the two. If you had the best of both worlds, your kids could run around and play inside or they could take their phones outside. And then from there, you get songs like “Whispers,” which talk about mental health specifically, or “Quarter Life,” talking about turning 25 and saving up money for your future kids and that kind of thing. “Everybody Falls” is just about what love really is, not all perfect and tied in a ribbon for you; it’s ups and downs; the best kind of love is up and down and getting through the problems; that’s the real victory at the end of it.
I totally get what you mean about your album being heavy on love. And you’ve said some really interesting things, like falling in love and having a girlfriend and getting married. When do you think that might happen? How long have you guys dated for?
I like using my parents as a rubric. I trust their opinion on things. I really listen to them. I know a lot of people are going to be mad at me for saying this, but I think it doesn’t make sense to jump into anything until you know you have some sort of solid ground to land on. I don’t think you need to be a millionaire; you don’t need to have everything figured out. But thinking you just fall in love, and we’re both broke, and we’ll figure it out together—that doesn’t seem realistic to me because of the amount of stress that comes with that. And then if you want to have a kid as well, it has a lot of complications. I’ll schedule when I feel like I have a solid plan and the plan is still in motion, as to how I’m going to feed us and how we are going to feed our kids. That’s how I look at it. I’m 25 now. I still have a year-and-a-half in law school and then after that, I go to work for a year to make some money. I got to save up. I think between three and twenty-five years, that’s my range. Realistically, it would probably be between three and five years.
Yeah, that makes sense.
I just don’t think next year, which is what everybody has been asking me: “When are we buying aso-oke? Should we start ordering it now? When is the wedding?”
I totally understand that. I turned 25 last year, and there is this recurring question about finding the next Nigerian man that wants to give me marriage. I totally get that.
Well, you formed a unique strategy by releasing a visual album alongside. Why was this path necessary?
My favourite artists of all time are all artists whom I call 360 artists. They care about how they look in every picture. They care about the tour, what the stage looks like, every music video, every music video treatment, the director, the filming, cameramen, sound production, lyrics, everything. They care about every piece of their artistry. I had never really had the time or the expertise to teach myself how to edit videos or how to direct and that kind of thing. But I always knew I wanted to work. I love watching musical short films, like Kanye West’s Runway that he put out and “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” for example. There’s one that Jhene Aiko and Big Sean did together for their group TWENTY88.
I like things like that, so I felt like it’s a whole other opportunity to articulate whatever message you’re trying to get across. There are a lot of songs that you listen to and you may not like the song, but you watch the video and now it all makes sense. You love the song. There are some songs you listen to, you see one thing in your head, but then you watch the video and it’s like, Oh I didn’t even think about that. Now you understand why the artist made it or what they’re trying to get across. I can explain it to you once, and I can explain to you again. I can shift what you thought the first time. I can supplement what I said the first time. This is an opportunity to say what you want to say more clearly.
In this era of contemporary culture—or whatever it is—everybody’s so visual; everybody’s so Instagram-y and all for the visuals. It has to make sense in my eyes first.
Before, it was enough to be able to rap. Now, you have to be able to rap and sing. And now, it’s not enough; you have to rap, sing, and produce your own beats, and that’s not enough. You have to make a video. I think it’s good that it pushes you. Let’s challenge ourselves; rather than run into the studio, make a song, and leave.
Wasn’t it more expensive?
It was. But I try to save expenses as well as saving money. So, I produce everything myself. I save a lot on studio costs. The only thing I pay for, studio-wise, is mixing and mashes. I don’t have time to do that to the level I want it to be at. But I saved up and got my own video camera. And that’s really all I needed. I knew I can see what I can see in my head if I spend enough time finding the locations. It’s just a matter of learning how to use the camera. You can do that as you go; videos won’t be that great at first, but you’ll get there.
So, how long does this process take?
I started filming in June. I think I got the camera in June, and I already shot some bits with an older camera, and then I started shooting properly in July. I was shooting and editing all the way up till the end of October, and the album came out. The visual came first week in November, so it took a while—and I’m in law school at the same time. So that was crazy, but I think there are enough hours in the day to do it. If you really, really want to do it, you’ll do it. I had an advantage because I produce my own stuff, and it’s the same language; it’s just visual. Rather than listening to what you just edited, you’re watching it. It’s like cutting things, moving things, overlaying things; it’s the same language as on a computer. It was easy to learn how to edit my own videos.
Do you intend to pursue law as a career when you do finish school?
I think about that every single day. And every day I go to class, I ask myself, How does this come together? and How do I make sense of these two? Anyone else would describe it as separate tracks, but I try and see them as one track because I’m one person with one life to live. My dad always reminded me that it is not Plan A and B; it’s one plan.
I think I’ll have to make that decision when I graduate—and I definitely want to graduate. I want to take the bar. I think that’s where I realized the value of going to school, aside from the network I’ll create from going to school. But I think I can do both together, just not to the level I would be able to if I put all my time into music. But I’ll always be able to create. I can’t create. My health will deteriorate if I’m not creating. So, I will always find time to do it. The reason I’d rather stick it out with the law track until I blow up or have a reason to completely drop it is that it gives me leverage; it gives me more legitimacy; going to school and working in a law firm …. The third thing is finances; it allows me to be my own record label since I’m very protective and don’t want to sign away my rights.
It means I don’t have to go fishing for money from anyone else if I’m handling it myself. I financed the whole thing, this album Everybody Falls in the Summer, from working a summer internship at a law firm. I bought the camera and I paid for the T-shirts. We made all the merch. I and my girlfriend paid [to get actors to the set]. I paid for equipment, for props, for mixing and mashing of the actual album, everything that I could cover myself. And I am producing everything and editing the visuals myself.
I’m saving a lot of costs. I don’t need a budget of a hundred thousand dollars, and then I spend fifty thousand in the club. I know I have a budget…. I earned it myself, so I’m not going to squander it.
I try not to sacrifice creatively because I don’t have money to do something; I just find a way around it. There’s always another way you can do something to get the same message across visually without saying, “Oh, we couldn’t rent out the studio in Hollywood.” That’s really why I’m still a lawyer and rapper because I think they make sense together.
But I know, realistically, at some point, I have to make a decision—one will have to come before the other. Now I have the time to make my music still, even being in law school (which is hard). I can do both almost 100 per cent. But working in a law firm, there’s no way I’m going to miss some deadline for my clients because I was in the studio last night. One will definitely have to take priority over the other, but I’m prepared for that if it comes to that.
I know I’ll be able to create enough, and enough quality, to eventually shift it. Eventually, the goal is to be able to do music full-time and to live off it, to earn enough money to feed me and my family. But I want to do it my way. I don’t want to sign away all my rights to everything.
Makes absolute sense. You grew up in Lagos, right?
Yeah, until I was ten.
You grew up in Lagos. Are there any factors about the city that have motivated the artist you are today?
That’s a big question. Definitely a lot of things. I am trying to think where to start. First of all, I’m the youngest in my family and I could dance. So it’s always, “Dolapo, dance, dance, dance.” …So I grew up dancing to Lagbaja, listening to Fela, all that old school music. My mom was a piano teacher.
My dad doesn’t play an instrument; he sings a bit, but he knows more music than all of us put together. So, my family is really, really musical. I had everything from high life, Afrobeat, jazz, soul, gospel, house, hip-hop—any kind of music, I’ve heard in my house growing up. So, musically, I definitely was very influenced by Nigerian sounds, rhythms, everything. I didn’t really catch the lyrics while I was so young, but you don’t really need them. You felt the music before you understood what they were saying.
The other thing was the juxtaposition—growing up in a fairly wealthy family and then driving out of your house and seeing beggars on the street. One of the biggest inspirations for my music is seeing children’s fingerprints on your car window. I had that image just stand in my brain for some reason; I don’t know why. I remember going to primary school and seeing these kids younger than me carrying their younger sibling, begging for money. Seeing things like that made me realise not only how blessed I was, but how messed up the systems are, because it doesn’t make sense for there to be such ridiculously rich people right next to ridiculously poor people. There’s clearly an imbalance there. So, I guess the reality is one of the main things I took from growing up here.
It’s so sad because I’ve been in Lagos for a year now, and I tend to be disconnected from beggars sometimes. …I hate it. When I see charity workshops and stuff, I have to make sure I go sometimes, because I feel like they reconnect me to a part of myself that I have tried so hard to put down… because I’m someone that internalises pain a lot. So, it’s bad for my mental health sometimes.
That’s crazy you said that because in Nigeria I was taught to just look down when homeless people and beggars are knocking on your car. But I later understood the reason I was told that was because you give one person money, and God forbid, ten others see you, and then they’re going to come to swarm your car. So when I first went to America I used to just ignore everyone. And then I had one friend; her name is Bolaji. She is Nigerian, but she grew up in the States, in Boston. Every single time, she will stop and say, “Good evening” or “Sorry, I don’t have anything” and keep on moving.
I started recognising that I really have a strong perspective on homeless people and beggars. Because to me, it was like, What if they used the money to buy drugs? or If I give you the money, more people will come. So just ignore them.
But then that dehumanises them. They’re still human beings. We treat them like they don’t exist. Imagine what that’s doing to them. People walking past you, and it’s literally like you’re not there.
I think it’s something I saw on social media. I can’t remember when, but it wasn’t so long ago, and it was something about this guy that helped this girl years ago with money and then she saw him again somehow on the streets like 20 years later. So there’s this reality behind the homeless, poor people especially, in this economic climate we live in where you can go from zero to 100 really quick. It’s so sad. I don’t know if in that sense Lagos helps and sometimes doesn’t help with the psyche of everyone around it.
As a young Nigerian creative, what artists have contributed to your interest in discography?
Okay, let me start with the Ogees, and I’ll come to you, the young guys. So Lagbaja definitely was one of the first ones, mainly because he was always separate from everything else. This was before my time, so I am going to mix the decades. Lagbaja was always like the Burnaboy, how Burnaboy is now—everyone is there, and then you’re outside, literally. And that’s why the album was called Outside, like the outsider. I always like those people because it’s hard to be separated from the pack unintentionally. It’s easy to be a sheep.
I think those artists and me are intentional about their music; they want this colour in this video for this reason; they specifically chose this word for this part of the song, those kinds of things. So, those two: Lagbaja, Burnaboy. Fela, definitely. I think he’s the greatest artist in Nigeria, maybe in Africa.
Who else? To be honest, I grew up with so many different kinds of music, and I was a classical pianist. I was listening to a lot of classical music, but then also soul and gospel and that sort of thing. So, I didn’t get as much older Nigerian music as I would have liked, but I definitely feel like I know it without having experienced all of it. You know people like Ajebota, for example. I think he’s so intelligent with the way he delivers his music creatively on the track and also marketing and the rollouts and the packaging of everything on his album, telling what happens in Lagos. I like storytellers. He’s telling the story of what it’s like to be a Nigerian living in Lagos in this day and age.
I love Odunsi. I think Odunsi’s album is a classic. We’ll be talking about the album in ten years, remembering how we didn’t even appreciate him as much as we could have done at the time. I can’t wait for Santi’s album to drop. Odunsi and Santi are equally my favourite artists of this generation.
Mr Eazy—some of that is again very intentional, like this last album he put out, the whole theme Lagos to London, the visuals, or the animation, everything. He’s always thinking about the next move. I like people who are intentional.
From the slightly more mainstream side, I would say Runtown and Techno, but mainly because they stand out to me from everyone else. I think Techno was a producer first. I think his post-production is amazing. And Runtown—there’s a song, “Breakout” or “Mad over You” I think it was called, even the guitar on that song, I can never forget what that guitar made me feel like, because it was very different from anything else that I was hearing. Again, intentionality. I’ll stop there, but I love where Nigerian music is right now. I could go on and talk about a lot of different people.
Can you tell us why you create and what influences your sound?
Generally, my answer is very similar. First of all, I couldn’t not. My mom was a piano teacher. My sister has a film scoring degree. My dad knows more music than all of us, and he doesn’t play an instrument. My brother played the piano. My sister plays the All Grade A piano. In fact, my mom told me the other day that my great-grandmother was the first woman in the musical in her state. (I think it was Cross Rivers. I might be mistaken.) It’s so deeply ingrained in our family, and we’ve put on a family Christmas concert for ten years straight, from about 2005 to 2015 or so. All my cousins play instruments or sing. Everyone performs, and my dad MCs the whole night. All the money goes to our family charity. We buy equipment and laptops and that kind of thing for science students.
So music is literally the only thing I’ve known my entire life from birth. So I couldn’t live without it. I literally couldn’t. That’s why I said I couldn’t stop creating, even if I’m in a law firm and I’m working from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. I’ll be down finding some way or another to make music. Somehow, I have to; otherwise, I’ll be unhealthy.
Why I create—I think music is the most powerful connection we have to each other and to whatever higher power, whatever you call it—God, Alok, Jah, whatever is up there. I feel like music is the closest heavenly thing we have on earth. I know I’m biased—I grew up in a musical family.
Music can be bigger than almost any politician, any billionaire, any engineer, doctor, anything. Being a musician or entertainer at least is the most powerful voice you can have if you do it to the highest level. Music is the most powerful communication. I’ve been able to communicate something in music that you can’t say with words. That says something about music.
My only goal really is to spread more love and to help as many people as I can. The main reason I’m excited to be blown and be successful is so I can say, “Okay. How can I build a school in Nigeria and Lagos? How can I help make sure that everyone has clean running water? How can I make sure that there’s electricity to everyone? Why’s there an imbalance in the distribution of wealth?” That’s what I’m looking forward to doing. I can set up my own charity helping people.
I’ve lived the best life I could have lived. My parents made it easy for me. I had everything I wanted. I went to the best schools and the best teachers. It would be blasphemous for me to now just be here chilling. I want to be able to make the biggest stamp I can on the world in the most positive way. I think my best way of doing that with my abilities and my beliefs in music is through music.
So that’s really why I create. I think that’s the thing I am best at and the thing I’m most passionate about.
That’s amazing. You talk about music the way I want to talk about a film one day.
I’m getting into that more now, shooting all these videos and stuff.
I think you already covered what influences you then.
What influences—I take it from everywhere. I take little things that stick out to me—when I’m scrolling on Instagram, at a party, anywhere I am. If something just catches my attention, I write it down immediately. I take it from books (I try to read a lot), things my parents tell me. All those things you hear as a kid that you think are just as Mummy and Daddy—like “Be patient, save your money, hard work pays off”—they’re just such throwaway phrases to us, but when we really think about it, those are life lessons. There’s a reason they’re called life lessons. That’s survival information.
That’s my biggest inspiration. Things my parents told me are direct lyrics in my music. Throughout my whole album, I can point you to things—“Oh, my mum said that; my dad said that.” My dad told me, “You’re not a genius; you work hard. Don’t let people tell you, ‘Ah, resident genius is getting all the grades in school.’ Nah. You’re not a genius; you work extremely hard. That’s why you’re stressed; that’s why you got here.” So the main thing is really things I’ve been told by people I respect and trust. And then it’s from everywhere else: music, school books, friend’s conversations, things I’ve seen, everything. Outdoors, nature. My favourite place in the world is at Tarkwa Bay. There are these rocks—sitting at the end of those rocks, looking out into the ocean, is my happiest place. I have the ocean, the sky—that’s all I need. So, that’s a big inspiration for me too.
Wow. I should probably go there when I feel more inspired.
It’s the best; it’s just quiet, but it’s grand at the same time. When you think about how big the ocean is, we are so tiny as individuals, yet we have the ability to make such an impact.
I think the first song I ever heard of DAP the Contract was “Too Young,” and I know there’s a personal story there. Could you please tell us about it?
That song was hard to write. One of my friends lost their very close friend. I had a conversation with my close friend, and I just really didn’t know what to say, because this person was really going through a lot and then this happens. I was just lost for words, literally. So I wrote that song as what I wanted to say to the person, or what I thought the person who passed away would be saying to them from up there, the comfort that I feel like they would provide.
I imagine when you die you still see everything, and you wish you could communicate something, but you don’t know what happens when you die. But that is why I wrote; that’s the perspective I wrote it from. The chorus is “When children die too young, do their bodies grow/ Does anybody know?” That’s one of my favourite lines I’ve ever written.
I don’t think there was Apple Music then.
Yeah, yeah, Soundcloud or something.
Yeah, it was on Soundcloud. I had to always go back to the song. It helps me because I’ve lost people, of course. I’ve even lost this cousin and family members that were way younger than me, and then it just helped me. I don’t know why, because you’re asking questions like “Where do their bodies go? Does anybody know?” —all this weird stuff that I ask myself sometimes. It’s nice to put all of that to music.
I know. This blew my mind, because that’s exactly why I make those kinds of songs. So whoever hears them, if it can help, I hope it helps. It was nice to know that helped somebody.
That was a tough song to write because I really didn’t know what to say. So, I’m like, “Where do I even start?”
Instead of the generic “It is well, it shall be well.”
This is very dismissive of the whole thing. I mean, family members and his close friends are going to be really upset about this. Some people may get depressed about it, like, how do you cope? I personally have a very weird relationship with death. I’m very fearful of it because I haven’t experienced it a lot. Two of my grandparents are still alive; my mom lost her parents, but I was too young to digest what was happening. I haven’t lost super close friends or aunties, uncles. So I’m just waiting. I know the first one is coming; it’s going to hurt, and I’m just bracing myself. I really don’t know how to deal with it at all. I honestly just feel nothing.
I think the night before my cousin died, we were all playing together, and he was really stubborn. I was about nine or ten at the time. And he was flogging us all over the house. My mom was screaming; she was like, “What’s wrong with you guys? Go to bed!” That’s how we went to bed, and then we woke up to my mom screaming and calling his name. “What’s going on? Wake up!” That’s one thing that can’t go out of my memory. It’s just there all the time. And then the question, “If I go to heaven tomorrow, would I find him?”
So thank you for giving me that question.
Thank you for bringing that up. I’m glad I made that song because it helps me as well. The closest thing I’ve felt to being sad was seeing my mum cry when my grandmother died. That was the first time I realised my mum is a human being too. Until that day she was superhuman. That day I was like, “Wow, you can cry; you can be in so much pain that you can’t even comfort me right now.” I remember that feeling distinctly. That was what made me sad, not anything else that was happening. Those memories last for sure.
You recently got featured on Show Dem Camp These Buhari Times. How important are these collaborations that highlight the current state of Nigeria, especially as a lawyer?
One of our biggest issues is a lack of law enforcement. You can pay your way out of anything. I have some more songs I’m writing about similar topics. So, first of all, shout out to Show Dem Camp. That’s a hard lane to occupy in Nigeria because people don’t love hip-hop or rap as much as they do Afrobeat, shaku, and everything. So to be able to do what they’re doing at their level—they’re really pushing the envelope; people have to pay attention to their lyrics. People are talking about the things they’re talking about in their songs, and their features are also on board with the messaging, and they’re saying real things.
I actually wrote that verse waiting to get my U.K. visa. I was in a FedEx trying to photocopy documents, and I was so frustrated; the system was trying to block me from coming home for Christmas. I was so angry that day, and Tech just sent me that beat like, “Yo, we’re working on this album; it’s super late notice; we’re trying to drop it the first week of January. Can you do it?” I wrote it in ten minutes while waiting for this thing to photocopy. I got my passport back; an hour later I went uptown to my dormitory, recorded the song, and then went to the airport. This song came out, and the energy on that song is exactly how I was feeling at that moment.
One of my biggest things for this year is to do more collaboration because I work in a very isolated way. I’m very protective of my music, so I don’t mind having my keyboard, my microphone, and my laptop in my bedroom. I make everything out of my bedroom. I don’t need anyone to be there. I don’t need to go anywhere, just me. I like working late at night when everyone else is asleep. Not that they’re coming to disturb me if they’re awake, but I just like pure silence and peace and quiet. Just leave me alone and let me create this thing.
I’m trying to be more collaborative in general, but specifically in Nigeria. I think because our music is so based on rhythm and sound and melody before lyrics, a lot of the lyrics are the same. “Baby I want your ni ni, I want your ni ni,” and then it doesn’t really matter. It’s all the same vein. No disrespect intended whatsoever. I think those collaborations, in particular talking about “these Buhari times” are important. Let’s talk about what’s happening in our home. This is where we live; where we were born. I was born at First Consultants. I’m not an oyinbo kid, as much as I sound ajebota or whatever. I’m from Lagos.
I was so proud this semester (I was in the middle of law school in New York) when I started seeing the hashtag for the voting campaign on my Instagram. To get the youth out there voting—that made me so proud. Those things matter. It’s not just going to happen because somebody upstairs will fix everything. There’s gonna be corruption, there’s going to be no distribution of wealth, no jobs, lack of law enforcement—that’s all gonna stay here unless we go and do something about it. So, these songs are just a starting point. And like I said, I think music is the most powerful voice we have as human beings. Speaking about it is cool. But now on top of that, you have to go do something about it. Let’s go out onto the streets. Even if protesting isn’t going to work, go to school and put yourself in the position of authority to make the decisions.
What are we going to do about this? We’re going to be 50 years old one day like our parents, with our own kids growing up in the same environment. If we do nothing about it, how are we going to feel? So those are the most important collaborations to me. More than the hit that’s gonna be played on radio every single second is the one that people are going to listen to the lyrics and feel like, “Wow. OK, you’re bold enough to say this,” and I go on Instagram and see that “OK, you’re in this city campaigning. Wow.”
Maybe I should leave my bedroom and go and do something about something because we’ll all live in this together. We’re all in this together. The same people that are running the system are also going to experience the downfall. We can enjoy the money now, but it ends. So those are the most important collaborations to me and shout out to SDC for making an album called These Buhari Times. Thank you.
So what’s next? Do you have any future projects you’d like to share?
I’m in this space where I find I create better when I’m secretive. But what I will say is I’m working on multiple projects. One of them is a short film, as the visual album, but I want it to be more extended, so it’s closer to a documentary, but not a documentary with voiceovers. I want it to be creative all the way. So, if I’m speaking, it’s rap or poetry or something. Another goal of mine this year is to be a lot more business-minded. So, I’m trying to figure out how to get my music to more people. I know it is of a certain quality that whoever hears it will be like, “This is good quality music.” I know how to do that every time. But now it’s about getting it to more people because there’s no use putting it out to the same people all the time. So I want to put out an Afrobeat E.P. to get myself into people’s systems—not diluting my music or anything, but doing that sound, since it’s the mainstream sound in Nigeria, but now my way, and collaborating with people.
After that I want to put a visual album out that is only shot in West Africa, whether it’s Nigeria or Ghana—but not Lagos, not Ikoyi. I want to leave my comfort zone.
Go to Surulere, go to Ikeja, then go to Kaduna. I’ve never been up north in my life. There’s 200 million of us here, and this small 0.01 per cent is just in Lagos. We go to the beach every day and go on boats, the club, even polo club. Come on, there is a whole country here, a whole beautiful country. I want to go and see Nigeria and understand all this fighting during these Buhari times. What is it all for? He’s not the president of Lagos, he’s the president of Nigeria, and he’s from the north.
That’s where I want everything to come full circle to. I want to get this short film out, which is more creative and more American. And then my E.P. so that, sonically, people can start to hear my name. Then I want to put out a visual album and really tell Nigeria’s story from my perspective. I don’t know what the timeline is going to be, but hopefully, all three of them will be out before Christmas 2020.
It was so nice to have you here.
Until next time, bye-bye.
January 28, 2020
January 16, 2020