For any budding artiste, sharing the stage with top musicians like Wizkid and Olamide is not a tea party. But Oluwaseyi Opeyemi aka Fynest Roland had the one-in-a-lifetime opportunity and made good use of it. Though, initially, he was star-struck, feeling like the whole world was coming down on him, Roland braced up himself and performed alongside the stars. Today, with over 50 songs to his credit, the school dropout is a star in his own right.
In this chat, the musician opens up on the secret behind his rapid success, including his best and worst moments.
Tell us briefly about yourself. Who is Fynest Roland?
I am Oluwaseyi Opeyemi aka Fynest Roland. I am from a family of six, and the second to the last born of my parents. I grew up like an average child. I attended Goke Progressive Children School, Orile, Iganmu, Lagos. I later proceeded to Ikenne Community High School, Ikenne, Ogun State for my secondary education. I then attended Lagos State Polytechnic where I studied Mass Communication, but I dropped out while in ND 2.
What led to your dropping out of school?
I dropped out of school due to lack of finance. My parents are alive but the economic situation of the country led to that. After dropping out of school, I decided to venture into music. I had the talent since I was a little boy, but I had to pursue my education first. Even though, all those around me then were not happy that I dropped out of school; I thank God that all has worked out for good.
How did you discover your talent?
I was born into a good Christian home. As a matter of fact, I used to be a chorister in my church. My mum is a prophetess in Celestial Church of Christ and there is this popular belief that prophetesses are naturally blessed with the gift of music. I believe I inherited the talent from my mum. But I preferred to go into pop music while she settled for gospel music being a minister of God. When I was a little boy, I used to watch D’banj perform. I used to tell myself, ‘I can be like D’banj’. After seeing him perform, I would start singing his song, using the sitting room center table as drum. That was how I discovered my talent.
Did your parents support your idea of singing hip hop rather than gospel music?
It was really tough doing hip pop and not gospel music. My dad kicked against my dream. He felt I was becoming too ‘razz’ for his liking. He would always say pop music is for rascals. But I made him believe in my dream. He started believing in me the day I won an award as the Next Rated artiste in my community. When I ran home to show dad the award, he welcomed me with open arms and gave me his full support. My mum wasn’t that harsh on my music career. They all came together to support me, and here I am today with over 50 tracks.
Which of your songs brought you into the limelight?
It’s ‘Eesoro Rapper’, which means ‘are you not afraid of this rapper?’ It was a single and the whole community welcomed it. The song, which was dropped in 2011, made me famous in my community. Thereafter, I started receiving invitations to perform at shows. My fans were all going crazy for me. Their support boosted my morale and that’s how I started performing alongside stars like Wizkid, Olamide, Seyi Shay, CDQ, K-Switch, Solid Stars and others.
Where did you perform with the stars?
I was opportune to perform at the 2013 edition of Felabration. At the audition, I defeated all my rivals and the organisers including Femi and Seun Kuti all gave me kudos. My performance at the audition drew the attention of Wizkid and Olamide and I was given a task to perform with them on stage. That day, I felt like the world was coming down on me. But I braced up myself, and with my fans edging me on, the performance went well and both Wizkid and Olamide praised me.
Aside Felebration, which other big shows have you performed?
Last year December, I performed in the presence of the Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode at the One Lagos Festival. Since then, I have been performing almost every week and that has really boosted my career.
Have you been able to shoot any musical video?
Shooting videos is kind of expensive, most especially, for young artistes. But I dropped some (videos) a few months ago. The first video I did was entitled, Online. It’s about the way young guys make money through the Internet. I was glad to pass the message across. The video attracted global attention and my fans loved it.
Aside hip hop, which other music style do you fancy?
I also fancy fuji music. For a musician like me, fuji is an avenue to learn many slangs. I listen to fuji musicians like Alabi Pasuma, Taye Currency, Saheed Osupa, Remi Aluko and host of others. If we don’t listen to fuji, where do we then get our slangs from?
What can you say about the negative impact of nudity in hip hop videos?
I don’t buy the idea of using nude ladies to attract viewers in music videos. On the other hand, I can’t blame those using nudity to enhance viewership. They believe that is what most people want to watch. But for me, I don’t buy that idea; all I’m interested in is passing the message across.
What’s your favourite musical instrument?
I love to play the piano because it remains the best musical instrument one can think of. Although, I am not too good at playing it, I believe with time I will improve. All I do now is to mix tracks and beats with the help of my DJ. Already, I have a mix tape album, Trap Tap that consists of 26 tracks.
Lastly, how do you handle your female fans?
As an artiste, there is no way you can do without women. They will surely come around you. One just needs to keep his head cool. Women are the salt of the world. Once they are behind you, the sky is your limit. But one just has to be careful.