The ability to bring back thousands of memories with a song is the major plank upon which Olaleke Owolade built his artistry.
Fondly called Payroll or Ishola Ekun, Owolade is currently working on two songs, ‘Ori’ and ‘Only Your Love’, which he believes would impact a positive message and move people spiritually.
Here, he opens up on his beats, challenges, struggles and many more.
How are you doing?
I am doing pretty well; I am super excited sharing my music with everyone.
In the last four years, what has really changed about you?
Many things have changed about me since the last four years. Some of them are good while others are not so good. So much musical, emotional and spiritual development has happened in my life. I give all the glory to the Most High.
How do you relate with your female fans?
So many stories come to my mind when it comes to fans, most especially the female fans; they are sometimes crazy, sometimes funny, and sometimes emotional. But every time or anytime I get a chance to look at them in the face; I let them know I appreciate every bit of their love. My fans sustain me; even in the dark days they are my soldiers of love.
What are you working on now?
I am currently working on two songs, ‘Ori’ and ‘Only Your Love’. I am really excited with the recording of ‘Ori’ and I hope it leaves a positive message and moves people spiritually. I want everyone to hear it and feel something.
Who is your greatest influence or mentor in the music industry?
For mentor, I don’t think I have one. As for influence, it’s the ability to bring back thousands of memories with a song, including the emotions and the art.
How do you come up with your songs?
Most of my songs were inspired by memories, whether traumatic or pleasing. For example, the song, Ori is more of an explanation of my feelings at a particular time of my life.
Your song, Ololufe was everywhere some five years ago, why did you keep quiet since then?
To be honest, there has been an intense tension in me, because of too many great artistes out there to compete with. So, I take my time to write and record songs. In 2017, I dropped a single, ‘Gidi’ and last year (2019), I dropped two major hits, ‘Girl’ and ‘I Don’t Know’. ‘Girl’ is currently enjoying massive airplay all over America.
What’s your target audience?
Afrobeat has taken over and we all know music is a universal language; every culture enjoys music and songs. I don’t have a specific target audience, I believe the wider your reach, the more fans you get.
What can’t you be caught doing?
I can’t be caught messing around with married women.
What is your greatest fear in life?
I have learned a long time ago that change is not to be feared. I embrace whatever comes my way and leave everything to God Almighty.
What has life taught you?
Life has taught me to say sorry when I do something wrong. I don’t let pride get the best of me. When I do something wrong, I apologise immediately by saying ‘sorry’ and I mean it.
If not music, what would you have been doing?
I would have been a footballer or an IT person, which I’m also into now.
What’s your most embarrassing moment as an artiste?
One day, I got too drunk and blacked out. There is footage of me somewhere out there, and that terrifies me.
Where do you see Nigerian music in the next five years?
Nigerian music has really grown and it’s still growing, so much development everyday and I’m excited to be a part of it. In the next five years, I see Nigerian music riding higher.
Where do you see yourself in the next three years?
I see myself push my songs globally; making an impact that will last for years to come. I see myself making high quality music and being a force for good to all.
Tell us about growing up and how you came into music?
Music has always been a crucial part of my life. Music is my best friend, my best therapy. There was never a moment when I thought music wasn’t for me. I don’t remember a day that music didn’t play an important role in my life. As a teenager, my brother and I shared same room, we both loved to fall asleep to peaceful sounds, wake up to morning playlist, blast music on every car ride, dancing and partying. I hope my dad don’t get to see this (laughter).