Ogungbemi Olabode Steven aka Bode Blaq is one the artistes and song writers currently rocking the Nigerian entertainment industry. His genre of music is Alternative Music and Rap. His journey into the music industry started from his days in secondary school, where he began to compose and write songs, but professionally, he joined in 2016 when he recorded a couple of songs and released his debut single in 2017. He is a son of Oye Local Government, Ekiti state. He is a graduate of Microbiology, from Osun State University. In this interview with www.yorubamoviegist.com Editor, GBOLAHAN ADETAYO, the easy going singer speaks about his career, women, fame and money. Enjoy the excerpts:
Why did you choose music as a career?
I made the decision because I have grown so much in song writing, and I have people who believe in me to be an artiste. I have been writing songs for long and when I entered the studio for the first time; I had more 17 songs to lay my hand on. That is why it was very easy for me to have about 20 songs within 4 months that I joined the industry officially. Ever since then, it’s been obvious that this is where I am meant to be.
Meaning you haven’t faced with challenges like your colleagues do say?
I think the number one challenge I am facing is to prove to people that I have it in me. Most people don’t easily accept something new, considering the fact that that my own style is not like other stream of music. The financially constrain for you to make people believe. Look at a new brand for example; you have to spend big on the advertisement for people to get to know about it. So, it has not been easy. I don’t really call it a challenge but a stepping stone. I do alternative music and I rap.
What is alternative music?
It is infusion of Afro and storytelling. It has to do with a lot of music instrument and storytelling through music.
Many music acts especially the already established artistes are now deviating into Afro music, what do you think is the problem?
I think in all truth, hip hop is not really ours, because there is no how you can rap better than the owner of English and that is why you see people going into indigenous music while others go into Afro. Afro is our own traditional drum. It is what we can put up to surpass the trend. That is why when you listen to hip hop acts like Drake, you hear the beat of Afro going with it. I think the recent trend of so many people going into Afro music is because outsiders are now teaching us what we have but we don’t value. Everyone is now seeing good thing in African beat and that is why they are now rushing into it. There are couples of artistes who have Afro beat right from when they started.
Looking at the likes of D’banj, Wizkid and others who are gradually becoming Afro singers, dumping their usual pop music…….
I think they are not deviating from hip hop; they are only infusing Afro into it. Music is infusion of different element of sounds; basically I think they are trying to spice it up. The market is always demanding, people are looking for new thing to listen to. The same way companies are trying to put new component into the brand they represents is the same you see artistes infusing new sound into their music. So, I don’t really see them deviating, everything is music and the purpose of it is to entertain people. There is nothing bad if you can introduce Chinese sound into your music that is if you are so sure that it will make sense to people and also make you entertain your target audience.
There is a rumour going in the industry about your new single, Opa which the concept was allegedly stole from you by Dremo Featuring Davido, can through more light into this?
No concept was stolen in all truth, because I dropped my own On Kpa a month before his own. Dremo is my good friend; we’ve been friends for a while. I see that the media is trying to compare the 2 songs. If you can listen to them, you will see that they are 2 different songs entirely. I am so proud about my own On Kpa because I wasn’t talking about women or sex. On Kpa is talking about money. It is a popular street lingual and in my own track, I was explaining how money controls so many things. I appreciate the accolades I have been getting about it so far, I am not affected by anybody’s song. I didn’t feature anyone in my On Kpa because I am not the type who relies on established artistes to blow. If you keep pushing your brand and you are not too desperate, with time, everything will be okay.
According to you, Dremo is a friend and he went ahead to title his own song the same name with yours, should we say that he betrayed your trust in him?
I feel that ideas can clash, you might be thinking of something here and more than 20 people elsewhere will also be thinking of the same idea. That is why so many businesses are opening at the same time. Basically, such things can happen at any time, so I don’t feel someone betrayed anyone. That is why I keep telling everyone that anything worth doing at all is worth doing well. If I had done a wishy-washy job, by now I won’t feel comfortable with my track but I knew I did a very good job. Whichever season that comes, my On Kpa is standard.
Then again, there is also party animal that came out almost the same time when DJ Lambo did hers, did you guys planned it or she was just like let me do my thing while you do yours?
Let me start with party animal. When it came out, I wanted to get Lambo on the track; I knew she has been using the slang and I tried getting her on board. She approved the party animal but she wasn’t available for the shooting of the video. She is a DJ and she rocks parties more than I do. The song party animal, I was able to do justice to it and it became a bang everywhere. Not only that, I think Balloon too, the song I featured Wale Thunder. 2 days after I released mine, CDQ also dropped his own Balloon. I guess we both released on the same day.
Why are you always a victim of such?
I think the reason is because I try to use popular lingual and in that sense, once slang is out there, everyone wants to tap into it which will definitely bring clashes in some ideas. Right now, I am very careful about the slang I jump on because I have a brand I am building and I can’t just be associated with just any slang. Balloon is a comical kind of song, party animal was a party song, On Kpa is about money consciousness, and I do free style to any slang this days. I am not one of those guys who jump on any trend. When I recorded On Kpa early this year, I shot the video almost 3 months ago before I went to Europe. I plan my things very well than following what others are doing. Balloon was recorded 6 months before we released it. I am here to focus on my brand than to bother myself with peoples’ headaches.
What is your take on artistes praising Yahoo boys in their songs?
It should have reduced by now because the government is doing so much to fight all of those, in the sense that fraud shouldn’t be supported in a society that want development. And it is the angle that the media saw it that really brought everything into light. Like everyone got to know about it. At first, I felt that these people are socialists who make things happen in the club and all of that. I think some people would have badly joined the trend just because they were being mentioned as socialists in some songs. It is a very daisy issue. Even in foreign music, you hear those people mentioning things that are trending, and if a person is trending and his name is being mentioned in a song, the person might actually be involved in drugs but it is all daisies and in all truth, I try to stay away from such. When I want to compose my songs, I get a lot of inspiration from what is happening around me or in the society. I need to respect my audience and give them what they want.
Having baby mama seems to be the trend in the entertainment industry, what is your take on this?
The men are always the victim of this. And this is because of the attention we get from ladies in the society. I am not there yet but I know the numbers of attentions I get from our female fans. It takes someone with God fearing heart not to fall. It is not easy at all. Most of these babes knows they can’t keep such a guy, they know it’s like them over shooting because basically, they see people of their calibers who are going crazy about them, and ready to marry them but they won’t give them attention. It is that guy you know that all most a thousand people want they will be eyeing. Now tell me how the issue of baby mama won’t occur. I am a kind of artiste that has this family ideology that I will love to be there for my kids at every point in time. That is why I am avoiding having a baby mama. When artistes blown to some extent, girls will try to hold them down, and they also try to invest in such a way that I am in my height of my popularity now, if I have a child, he/she will surely enjoy so much. I can imagine Wizkid’s baby celebrating birthday today, the gifts and accolades the child will get from fans will be overwhelming. When they are in limelight, it is very easy to play around and give their children the best life. I still believe that a child from baby mama of an artiste will be well taking care of than married couples at times. It is the society but at the same time, there are thousands of people with baby mama whom we don’t hear about them, simply because they are not celebrities.
You sound like someone who hails from a strict background, can you share with us about your family?
Just like a proper family, 2 girls and 1 boy. That is all I can say. They all welcomed and supported the idea when I decided to venture into music. I started after I was done in school and they felt I was old enough to decide for myself. But they later reacted to so many things about me especially when I pierce my ears. My mum was very mad at me. The video went viral on social media. She rejected me that day, she was like you are not my son. Alas, she still gave us food to eat same day.
At that point in time, how did you feel being rejected by your own biological mother?
I was the one making the video because I knew she was going to overreact. She was even asking afterwards that did Falz pierce his ears; I was force to say yes. When she accepted my going into music, she made emphasizes about some artistes who are from rich background and they can be my role models.