Olamide Adedeji, popularly known as Olamide, is a Nigerian hip hop, afrobeat and rap artist. Most likely the biggest alive, the unbeatable star records in Yoruba and in English. In 2011, he released his debut studio album ‘Rapsodi‘ while signed to Coded Tunes. ‘YBNL‘, his follow-up album, was released under his own label imprint as YBNL Nation. In 2013 he released his third studio album ‘Baddest Guy Ever Liveth‘. And on July 2013, Olamide became the first Nigerian to sign an endorsement deal with Cîroc.
Since then, the popular artist became a favourite, not only a super star from Nigeria but from a lot of countries worldwide. We can listen to Afro Pop, Reggae, R&B, and even Trap with Olamide.
Releasing albums non stop, in 2014 ‘Street OT‘, in 2015 ‘2 Kings‘ & ‘Eyan Mayweather‘, in 2016 ‘The Glory‘, followed by a list of singles and huge collaborations through the years, associated acts with artists such as Wiz Kid, Dice Ailes, Fireboy, Lil Kesh, Davido.. to mention some, until February 2020 when he realeased ‘999 Ep‘ on which we can listen to mainly Rap, followed by ‘Carpe Diem’ which he dropped on October 2020 where he continues to show why he will always have the clubs and streets on fire dancing mode!
K: First things first since we live in a really disgusting world full of injustice. Sadly, the whole country of Nigeria is been forced to claim the end of the Special Anti Robbery Squad, also SARS, a social movement and series of mass protests against Police brutality in Nigeria. The slogan #ENDSARS started in 2017 through a Twitter campaign and about 28 million of tweets have been accumulated by now. Without mentioning other social media platforms as Facebook or Instagram. I have no idea of how a nigerian citizen must be feeling about it, and I wanted to ask how glad are you about the population taking the iniciative on this very needed revolution?
O: I think is very sad, you know, we are in 2020, that we still have to fight or protests against this things. But then we all have a member of the family or we know somebody who is a Police officer, and actually doing their job right. Or the Police itself gets hit by the population. It’s very sad indeed and I think nowadays we should all be happy and not even be thinking about this matter. It was very needed to protest but at the same time not every police officer should be attacked neither. I hope we find peace soon.
K: YBNL nation, your own record label, which stands for Yahoo Boy No Laptop, I believe launched in 2012, can you talk to us in more depth about your inspiration on your label name?
O: Is a straight lingua, YBNL is a slang abbreviation which refers to a guy who looks fly, who looks flashy, you know, if you are looking like a fly boy everybody is looking at you, Yahoo Boy No Laptop stands for fly boys, without needing to commit crime or selling drugs type of lifestyle.
K: The fans that know you, we know that everything that you have today is absolutely well earned and your hard work paid off after every single year of your album creations, but how proud is Olamide of his success, not only on his own country but internationally?
O: I am blessed to count all my blessings, every day I can share my blessings with everyone around me, because I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. When I wake up in the mornings and I can open my eyes, I can shake my head and take a deep breath, and all of this little things are the biggest blessings for me. I thank God for life. Blessed and grateful for my family, grateful for my friends, grateful for everyone around me.
K: I know as an artist yourself and also as a human, you love to help anyone around you when it comes to actually give your hand, collaborate or help to achieve achievable goals. We can see it daily through your social media platforms, sharing and promoting dancers, people of all age ranges and countries dancing non stop to your songs. Your photographers, videographers, producers, djs.. You are truly an inspiration and a really supportive big star, and I have so much respect for that. Are you always on a run to find new and young talent?
O: I mean I just feel like it is my own way of giving back to the society, because without the people that I have supporting me I wouldn’t be where I am today, so I always give back to the people. I think if someone helps me is good if I help somebody else, this is how you pass on the blessings. I feel that I can always help anyone around me, it doesn’t necessarily need to be someone that’s in the music industry, it could be anything in general. If I see that you really mean it and you are really dedicated and focus on what you do, and you have talent, I will support you.
K: With Olamide as a musician we are talking about an album or two a year, or an album and an EP, or an album and collaborations, I mean, Olamide never stops, facts. How do you combine being such a big super celebrity by now, an International star, a fashion style icon, and still dropping fire music? Please tell us.
O: I try my best possible, I pay attention to everything that’s happening around me, so from fashion to sound, because everything is involved and connected. Lucky enough for me that my younger brother is a DJ, he is also an official DJ, so I get to hear the new sounds way ahead that are coming out from the underground and from everybody in the game and I always hear their music. I’m not sure if everybody but almost everybody, I hear their stuff when I am always hanging up from my friends, I am hanging out with a lot of DJS, and with a lot of dancers, so they are always putting me on with new sounds so I am learning every day, I am learning production, I am learning a lot so I can involve it into my sound, change my sound, add new things and all that, trying my best every time so I don’t sound the same, and I mean my hunger for success is crazy, because I don’t wanna go back where I am coming from, I don’t wanna go back to the hood! (Laughs).
K: You also promote upcoming young talent, or already known talent to make them reach their top level, such as FireBoy himself. Talk to us about him and other young talent you are planning on working with soon?
O: FireBoy is a very spectacular artist, his writting skills are incredible, I think he is one of the best writters ever. I respect him so much you know, yeah. A friend of mine introduced his record label to me in about 2018, and around November or December we met and since then is been just a wonderful journey, and he is a good guy to make business with. I just can’t wait for him to take over the world, because he is one of the biggest artists we have in Nigeria so far. As soon as he started he has been doing mad numbers, his streaming numbers are crazy. FireBoy records are some of the most streamed, even more than myself! For someone that has just came out by the end of 2018, I mean, just give him around 3 or 4 years, FireBoy will be one of the biggest artists in Africa for sure. I am blessed I know such kind of people, I feel blessed I can say I know him. He is very talented. I have so many other artists very talented too, but I am planning to work with them in the soon future.
K: I have to say, I love «Carpe Diem», which is your currently last album dropped in October. Myself I can dance to it all day. How happy are you about the feedback of your fans with it?
O: I feel like this album is full of love and positivity, and it is encouranging you know, I am so happy to see people appreciate it after all the hard work I put in this project. And it’s been streaming like crazy, and I wanna say thank you to everybody that has been listening to «Carpe Diem» and everybody that believes in me, thanks to everyone who is supporting me, thanks to everyone! God bless you guys!
K: What would be your favourite track of your last album Carpe Diem and why?
O: My favourite song of the project changes almost every week! (Laughs) It changes everything, like about two weeks ago it was Green Light, but right now my favourite song of the project is Loading, this is only because when I made the songs I didn’t even realise they would be that danceable. But since the record came out I see the people dancing to it and I say to myself, oh okay that’s nice! And I see different dance steps and dance moves and I think to myself, I am learning! It makes me happy that people comes out with different sets of dance steps and I am learning them aswell. So when I see people dancing I say to myself, okay that’s my new favourite track now!
K: Also, what would be your favourite track from your first ever album «Rapsodi», doing a 9 year old flashback, I want to know Olamide reflection on your first and last album too. Would be amazing to know!
O: My favourite song from my first album would be Omo Toh Shan without a doubt mate, featuring Wiz Kid, yeah, because it was a game changer for me because when I started out with music I was doing just Rap, but with Omo Toh Shan I was able to do it singing and that you know blown way beyond my expectations and made me realise that I could combine singing with rap, and that really helped me navigate my way through in my music career because I was only doing Rap and I enjoy myself better now with different sounds and it really put my eye out to expand my music.
K: Last question from us today, what are Olamide goals for the next ten years? Looking at how of an amazing artist you became till nowadays, what are the next dreams to achieve personally and professionally? How do you see yourself in 10 years and where?
O: In 10 years I should do my fashion business full time, doing fashion but also doing movie production. I wanna focus more on distribution, in fashion as well as movie production and all that world. That will be a next level for me. I don’t want to necessarily be in a movie but I do want to be in the production of films. That would be my goals for the next coming years.
Olamide is grateful for this interview with Klueless Magazine director Giselle Palou and commented on his favourite place for holidays is Barcelona and he will be visiting Spain soon, as also Mallorca where Klueless offices remain and he is owned a very well deserved visit through the Balearic Island in the near future.
Photography: Emmanuel Soyombo.