By Tosin Ajirire
Sensational musician, songwriter and producer, Tolulope Samuel Babajide popularly known as TBabz has independently released, produced and contributed to over 50 songs.
But then, he is not betraying any sign of slowing down, even after working with the likes of GiI Joe, reggae maestro Buchi, Marizu, Limoblaze, Angeloh and crafting production for UK gospel legend, Faith Child as well as rapper/singer, S.O.
TBabz’s latest songs, Still Blessed featuring Nathanael and Gotta Be God, which he did with Sal Ly and Da’ T.R.U.T.H, are currently heating up the global music scene. Aside these rare feats, his works have generated over 13 million streams across major digital music platforms.
In this interview, the extremely gifted TBabz chronicled his amazing journey to the top. Please enjoy it.
Can you briefly tell us about yourself and how you came into music?
I am Tolulope Samuel Babajide popularly known as TBabz. I’m from Abeokuta, Ogun State. I was born into a Christian family of four. I have a BSc in Banking and Finance. I’m a professional musician, songwriter and producer. I came from a musical background. My dad is a music lover while my mom is a choir lead and an instrumentalist, who plays cello. My sister plays the violin. So, I believe that’s where my music interest came from. I remember in my college days, I would write songs; I had two notebooks full of songs. Also, I joined a group called Champion Squad, and I was with them for a while until we decided to do things differently. In the university, I picked up interest in (music) production with the help of some of my mentors, Twize and Woye. I kept practicing until I started professionally in 2016/2017.
Of all genres of music, why did you decide to do gospel Afrobeats?
I get this question a lot. First, I am deep-rooted in Afrobeats. I grew up loving Afrobeats sounds. So, being in Christ, one of my desires is to inspire young adults through my sound. A lot of folks have the notion that church music isn’t fun. So, my primary purpose is to produce sound that is generally accepted, propagating the message of Christ. Therefore, I do different genres of music: drill, trap, R&B, lo-fi… but Afrobeats is like my go to! It connects with me more because of my Nigerian roots.
You are a musician, producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, where exactly lies your strength and what kind of instruments do you play?
Production is definitely my first love! Others follow. It’s fulfilling when I experiment with sounds; tweaking vocals, turning knobs etc. For musical instruments, I play the piano, drums and flute.
You’ve released, produced and contributed to over 50 songs, can you mention some of the songs and then which is your favourite among them and why?
Ahh! It’s a lot. I have released several songs including For Sure, which I did with Angeloh; Call on You with UK-based Naffymar; Lay Low with Ashaelia and Amose; and I collaborated on the song, Follow with Chileshe Bwalya from Zambia. Also, I did By My Side with Sharyn and Marizu.
Some of the sounds I produced are Sound Of Victory for Limoblaze, Grammy nominated artiste, Da’ T.R.U.T.H and stellar award winning artiste, Travis Green. Also, I produced a few songs on the project, ‘The Larry Ginni Crescent Album’ by US-based artiste, S.O. I equally produced Normally for reggae minstrel, Buchi, and Crazy for Dominican Republic-born artiste, Ada Betsabe. I wouldn’t say I have a favourite because every song is a blessing, and I connect differently to every song.
As a gospel Afrobeats musician, how would you describe the acceptance of your songs among Christians?
My music is widely accepted among Christians. Christians accept my music mainly for the message of Christ it preaches. Also, they accept my music for possessing the power of Christ that brings joy and peace in the heart of every listener, and the well-crafted sounds of excellence it brings.
How would you describe your first time on stage?
My first time on stage came when I was a teenager in the choir. I was so shy that I hid behind my colleagues who were in the front row. At different times during the choir presentation/ministration, I would miss the lyrics. But I’m over that now. I’ll play the keyboard in front of the president if called upon to do so today.
Some musicians drink or smoke to get inspiration to create music; in your own case what do you do?
Majorly, it’s Holy Spirit that gives me inspiration. Oftentimes, my mood and serenity of the environment inspire my creativity. And learning from skilled creatives also helps to inspire me.
What are some of the challenges you encounter as a musician?
Every creative has a low moment when it seems he or she is running out of ideas and wants to create something new. Also, it can be challenging and tasking wanting to stay consistent. Sometimes the pressure is high when there are different projects from different artistes, with deadlines to meet. But I am thankful because I somewhat meet those demands.
What’s your advice for the up and coming artistes?
It is simple; don’t give up! Once you find your purpose, run with it. There will be challenges, highs and lows, disappointments, mistakes; learn from them and keep pushing. One day, you will be grateful to God and grateful to yourself for not giving up.