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HOT SEAT : FOLA SHEVA

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In the HOT SEAT today we are joined by Folarin Ayeni aka ‘Folasheva’  a Nigerian World Artiste and Producer.
His music can be described as ‘Universal’ combining a fusion of everything but with that hip hop feel to it; from catchy hooks, quirky verses and deep lyrics, one can only imagine the sound  Folasheva brings to the industry.

 

SK: How would you describe and rate the music scene in Lagos right now?
FS: Hmmm. Well, I’ve got to admit that it is actually hot at the moment. In other words, I believe a lot of artistes are beginning to understand the importance of their craft and image. Consequently, lyrics are getting better and that is something I strongly care about
 
SK: What was the creative process behind Keep Calm?
FS: To be honest, there wasn’t too much that went into the track, and id expatiate on that. It is one of those tracks that kind of ‘wrote itself’. I remember I was in the studio with Austynobeatz and I had just finished recording a track. We needed a ‘change of ear’ and he played me this instrumental. I was like ‘dude I’m so going to record on this’. All I fully remember was the phrase “Keep Calm” which for some weird reason kept resounding in my head. And like they say, the rest is history…

 

SK: In what ways has your newest music changed from when you first started?
FS: Oh gosh, a whole lot. Don’t get it twisted , I had always incorporated singing in my songs but I will admit that back then, my go-to was rap. I would hear any beat and my default mode of delivery was rap. So it is a bit funny now I’m sure to people, that there is more singing than rapping at the moment and I find that really comfortable. I have not dropped rap o my people. [laughs] I just don’t tie myself solely down to rap now thats all.
 
SK: What are the main inspirations for the lyrics you write?
FS: Well, as said earlier, I try not to mess with lyrics at all. I don’t care what the subject matter is. Just make sense of what it is you are saying is my own. With that in mind, I believe it is fair to say that I source inspiration from any and every where. It could be a gesture, an argument or a stimulating conversation that triggers words for me. I can not speak for everyone but yea, that is definitely how I get my inspiration. Some times, it Is the instrumental or beat that gives me the inspiration.
 
SK: What would be your dream venue in which to perform?
FS: Ah there are many places oooo. lets not go there sef! 02, MSG, Eko Hotel…haba the list is crazy. That question even scares me if I’m honest cause it lowkey makes me realise how far off I am. But God dey
 
SK: What’s the most important thing to you when you are performing?
FS: Energy!!!!!!!! it is all about the energy. I tell myself all the time that I’m an actor. So once you are on that stage, if you have to act, you act. People have paid money or atlas sacrificed something to see you perform.. And you will not give them the desired energy??? Naaaa

 

 

SK: Your style is so unique. What or who inspires your looks in your videos and when you are performing?
FS: Thank you [smiles sheepishly]. To be honest, I am a very simple guy fashion wise. I do not do too much. I have however worked with a couple of stylists and I have picked up one or two things, in terms of looks. When I’m performing on the other hand, I usually wear anything that is loose.. You know I need that freedom . We do not want our energy being tamed.

 

SK: What is the importance of the connections you make? How do you utilise them?
FS: As they say, your network determines your net worth ..so of course connections are absolutely important. These are your peers and colleagues and if you do not utilise their resources, I really do not get how you’d move forward. It is like a trader not willing to trade with other traders regardless of their commodities.. That is how I see it. 

 

SK: How do you get people to take you seriously as a musician?
FS: Well, that is on them to be direct with you. The onus shouldn’t be on me to make you see I’m serious. I say I’m a recording artist..If I’m recording songs and releasing them and doing promo and getting closed doors in my face, frustrated half the time and still making up to release music. If at that juncture you aren’t taking me serious as a musician then that is on you. It is one thing not to like my music  But a completely different thing not considering me a serious musician . When it is not as if I’m playing games out here.
 
SK: What do you hope to accomplish this year?
FS: I will give an umbrella answer that hopefully covers most of my desires for the year. First and foremost I’m hoping to expand on my fan base as well as engagement; shows and bigger exposure.

 

 

SK: Please recommend two artists to our readers which you feel deserve their attention.
FS: That is simple; OzBeazy and Mich Straaw. Undoubtedly two of the most naturally gifted talents I know and have encountered. Oz has this voice that when you hear, you’d definitely be like ‘thats Oz right?’ plus his melodies and flow are different. Mich on the other hand has an incredible voice and has this ‘to the left sound’. I won’t call it ‘Alte’ but definitely different from mainstream as it were.
  
SK: What is next for Fola Sheva? What do you want your supporters to know about you?
FS: I just released a song called ‘Keep Calm’ so guys please go and cop it if you haven’t  (u know i have to do quick advert in there ). 
I plan on releasing a body of work together with Oz called “Shots, Lime and Rocks. I also initially had an EP to drop but I think that has been moved to the first quarter of next year. So just more singles, visuals and more goof!
 
SOCIAL HANDLES – All handles are @folasheva
STREAMING PLATFORMS – All streaming platforms are @folasheva
For all updates on music, new release and general information , please check out folashevas website; www.folasheva.com
 

Interviews

HOT SEAT : NQOBILÈ

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Joining us in the Hot Seat today is the beautiful South African born, UK based international Dancer Nqobilé.

Inspired by dance and the New School era of Afrobeats, Nqobilé brings a truly unique and eclectic vibe to the Afropop scene. 

We had a chance to talk about her latest release ‘Look at Her’, her decision to tap into her passion for music, who’s on her playlist and much more.

 

SK: “Look at Her” is your first official single as an artist, at what point did you realise music was something you wanted to take seriously?
NQ: YES! Omg I still can’t believe my 1st single is actually out, finally. It’s all exciting. 2014  is actually when I proper made the decision to tap back into my other passion : MUSIC. After I wrapped up the CEO Dancers North America tour I got into the studio and started playing around with sounds.

SK: Talk us through the song, what is the message behind it?
NQ: With Look At Her I was in such a good space in life and was surrounded by great energy in the studio. When it came to creating and executing the song, I wanted to create a sexy, ballsy, feel good song. Essentially a feel good anthem highlighting and celebrating THE FEMALE. As much as it’s a easygoing dance song, it has under ones of female empowerment which I’m all about.

SK: How has your culture and surroundings shaped your sound and creativity, and in what way(s)? 
NQ: Being Southern African I’m super in touch  with my culture in every way. From the music I listen to, the food, language, fashion and dance. When I started embracing my culture a lot more I feel it opened a lot more unique doors for me, from literally me being myself. Everything about my culture is inspiring. And then having been in the Afrobeats industry for over 8 years I’m very influenced by the West African culture as well. I mix both cultures in music and performance for sure. 

SK: How have you managed to transition from the dance space to the music scene?
NQ: It’s actually been an organic transition for me. I feel music and dance go hand in hand. In my music you can hear and feel that dance energy, so I’ve made sure those two remain well connected and that way I also remain true to myself as an all round performer. 

SK: How do you think women can support each other more in our industry?
NQ: I’d love to see more women dominating spaces, being respected and celebrated  equally. Not just the women on the forefront either, I’m also talking about the women behind the scenes that make things happen but aren’t celebrated enough. It’s no secret that behind every successful artist/performer especially in my industry there’s an amazing talented woman connecting the dots, making it all happen. This needs to be highlighted more. 

SK: Who would you most like to collaborate with?
NQ: Production wise Diplo and Pharrell Williams are a dream. DJ Maphorisa is super amazing as well, that collab would definitely be for the culture. There are so many amazing artists I’d love to collaborate with for sure. For now I can so hear a #LAH Remix with myself, Zlatan, Sho Madjozi and an East African artist produced by DJ Maphorisa. Oh gosh, I can so hear it. The dancefloor deserves that remix. Haha.  

SK: What other genres of music asides pop do you think you would be willing to explore?
NQ:  I’m not really tied down to a particular genre. I’ve been developing and perfecting my own sound and I’m definitely now confident with that infusing elements of my Southern African background, dance culture and a bit of the Vogue Ball dance scene as well. I’d love to play around with the Latin or Brazilian Funk sound actually. I find that genre super sexy and energetic. 

SK: What top 5 African artists are on your playlist currently?
NQ: Busiswa, Adekunle Gold, Kabza De Small, Prince Kaygee and DJ Maphorisa.

SK: What’s next for you?
NQ: I’m super excited to release MORE MUSIC. I’m definitely looking at a feel good EP.

 

Be sure to stream and listen to ‘Look At Her’ from Nqobilé on all digital platforms here.
Follow Nqobilé on her social media pages for all news and music updates (@nqobile_danseur)

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Interviews

HOT SEAT : TMXO

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In today’s Hot Seat we are joined by Timi Aladeloba, popularly known as TMXO a Nigerian artist, Grammy nominated music producer and executive.

 

Q: How did you start making music?

A: Curiosity. someone handed me a CD with FL studio, never looked back and here we are.

Q: How would you describe your individual sound?

A: Lots of soul and heavy groove someone recently called it Afro-Butter, apt if you ask me.

Q: Who are your main inspirations?

A: Environment, art and everyone who did it before me

Q: How does Nigeria inspire your creativity?

A: Being Nigerian is an added advantage creatively we get to consume art from all over the world and still have the Nigerian advantage when interpreting, I think the best music producers in the world are from Nigeria.

Q: What was your first studio like? How and for what reasons has your set-up evolved over the years and what are currently some of the most important pieces of gear for you?

A: Funny how my set up has shrinked over the years from the first set of equipments my parents got me  to just my laptop, headphones and my hard drives I think the more you know the less you do or need(?) Loool. And technology has changed over time so I don’t really need much I guess.

Q: Collaborations can take on many forms. What role do they play in your approach and what are your preferred ways of engaging with other creatives through, for example, file sharing, jamming or just talking about ideas?

A: If we can spend time together being random then that’s the first step, it can take any form really

Q: Could you describe your creative process on the basis of a piece or album that’s particularly dear to you, please? Where did the ideas come from, how were they transformed in your mind, what did you start with and how do you refine these beginnings into the finished work of art?

A: I usually start by gathering my references and forming a Pallete, like a mood board sort of and the spirit leads from there and the things that fascinate me the most at the time are very relevant and affect the outcome of whatever I’m working on but the technicality remains the same, I just find new ways to do the same things.

Q: Do you have a vision of music, an idea of what music could be beyond its current form?

A: There’s nothing new in music it’s a cycle and every thing resurfaces and takes a new form every other complete cycle, but it’s all about the feeling, finding different ways to make people feel different things.

Q: Please recommend two artists to our readers which you feel deserve their attention

A: Alpha P and Omahlay

Q: What is next for TMXO? What do you want your supporters to know about you?

A: This is just the beginning, more Fayah!! Lool brap!

 

Connect with TMXO – Instagram @tmx0

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Interviews

60 SECONDS WITH GRACIOUS K

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Meet Gracious K British artist popularly known for his hit single ‘Migraine Skank’, which is still a solid banger after 10 years. He talks Ghanaian Heritage, first dates and what the music scene is like now.

SK: How would you describe and rate the music scene in London right now?
GK: Very exciting. There’s a lot of opportunity right now and I feel as though we have many genres within genres. It’s a great time

SK: How does your Ghanian heritage influenced your work?
GK: Initially I didn’t really tap into it, I grew up listening to Hip life and Hi life music, but being a Grime baby I never thought to infuse my Ghanaian roots into music. After travelling back home a few times it gave me perspective and added a different melody to my style.

SK: In what ways has your newest music changed from when you first started?
GK: You can tell that I’ve grown up. It has the same feel but an updated version if that makes sense.

SK: Your style is so unique. What or who inspires your looks in your videos and when you are performing?
GK: I really look at people like Pharell and Kanye. I’ve always liked trying to stand out and in a time where soo many people look the same it’s imperative.

SK: What are you bringing to this space that you feel is missing?
GK: Hmm, energy, good vibes. I’ve realised that I have a natural ability to make music that makes you dance so I am trying to bring more joy to people through song.

SK: How do you deal with female attention in the industry?
GK: I just smile and face front lol

SK: If you were trying to seduce a potential lover, what music would you play?
GK: Probably some Jodeci, H Town or some Silk in the background. Chilled RnB music always does the job

SK: What would be your idea of a perfect first date?
GK: I don’t know if there is a perfect first day, but I do know that I would like to do something that allows me to get to you know. Cinema you’re silent and food she’s tryna look cute. Maybe an intimate drinks settings and then hit a game type settings to lighten the mood

SK: Who’s your favourite person to follow on Instagram?
GK: Erm Lil Boosie 😂

Follow Gracious K – Instagram

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