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Next To Blow: I Am Pioneering A News Style - Oyinkansola

Friday, June 07, 2013Omobaswagz H



Written By: Babajide Awoyinfa
Her versatility makes it easy to compare her to other talented musicians: guitar-toting like India Arie, vocals like GT the Guitarman- that is Oyinkansola Morounfolu. Except that her talent runs deeper than the similes. Her appeal lies in her mastery at blending soul and folk music into an eclectic mix that is simply top class. You only have to listen to her songs - “Hands Up” or “Sekere” - and your heart would warm up to her.

In a recent chat with Entertainment Express, she talked about her inspirations, her influences and ambitions. She particularly dwelt on what set her apart from other artistes. Excerpts.

What is unique about you?
My  style. I blend Fuji and pop- borrowing concepts from the likes of Kollington Ayinla, Ayinde Barrister and other Fuji artistes and then funkifying them into “new school” songs. 


Tell us about yourself
My name is Oyinkansola Morounfolu. I am from Oshogbo, Osun State. I was born to civil servant parents in Abeokuta. My father has retired from the security services while my late mother was an immigration officer. I am the third of five children. I attended my primary and secondary education in Abeokuta before attending the Ibadan Polytechnic. I started music in the choir.I started singing at a young age. People used to say I was too young to join the choir but I was determined to sing.

Our music director in church really took her time to groom me. She was like a mother to me. I decided to come to Lagos to pursue my music career. I have been here close to 15 years now, doing backup for artistes. I believe now is my time to stand out and pursue my career. I want my face to be well known. I want everybody to appreciate what music is all about. At the moment, I have four songs. I sang “Cry” for my mother who is late. I have “Hands Up” featuring GT the Guitarman. I also have “Love Wantintin” featuring Brymo and, of course, my hit song, “Kokose” which I believe will make me blow. I am a humble person. I learnt it from people I grew up with. I practised it and it worked for me. I also appreciate people that believe in me; I will not let them down.

How did the struggle start for you?
When I came to Lagos in 2001 from Ogun State, I met with Plantashun Boyz and Black Trybe.  I started following them as a diehard fan. I asked them the way to the top and what it takes to produce videos. At that stage, one needed a solid rock for support, even though you can sing like an angel, you still need to struggle and sweat for it. I later joined Black Label, my record label, four years ago but my contract has expired with them at the moment. People are now getting to know me gradually.


What kind of songs do you sing?
Formerly, I used to sing R&B, but I had to later change to what Nigerians want, which is commercial songs. I play the guitar very well. Now I have a way of mixing a lot of things together - my R&B skills, my Yoruba-accented vocal, my guitar - and it works for me. I infuses Yoruba culture and folk tunes into my song.

Who will you say you sound like?
People say I sound like GT the Guitarman. We eventually met. He heard my song and he said he liked it; that was how we became close. I am very close to him now. I go to his house. I am free with him. He is like a brother to me; we go for shows together, always in the studio together. It’s fun being around him.

How do you get your inspiration?
Whenever I play the guitar, or any instrumental I hear, I always have a melody of what I should sing. 


Who are the people that inspired you?
I grew up listening to Whitney Houston. I now listen to the likes of Brandy, Tracy Chapman and India Arie. I was glad when Yinka Davies said I have this powerful voice. She motivates me a lot and she is wonderful. People frequently say: why not [sing like] Asa? After all you play the guitar too. I said no, I don’t sound like Asa, she is a jazz singer.

Who are the people you would like to work with?
I want to work with Yinka Davies, Maye Hunter and Chuddy K. I don’t want to work with those who majored in dancehall for now.


Tell us about your latest release, the inspiration behind it and public’s response to it?
I released “Sekere” months back. I got the inspiration while playing my guitar. I wanted something that will appeal to both young and old, so I contracted a friend who produced it. We decided to make it commercial, without the guitar and it was successful. I am glad every one accepted the brand new style.


What are your album plans?
I am dropping my album this year by the grace of God, I was supposed to have dropped it last year but now, I think the appropriate time will come soon.

Of the four singles, which do you consider your hit song?
I think it is “Hands Up”; the song has taken me to places. It brought me to where I am now. A lot of people got into it and loved it.

What has been the response on internet and Twitter?
Good responses so far. Many people love me beyond the song. I was scared at first, thinking it wouldn’t be accepted but I am glad to say that my fan base is increasing.Some people compared me to Yetunde “Omo Ibadan” of Project Fame. I was also compared to Asa.

Why come all the way to Lagos?
Lagos is the thick of the action, where you can get the main people. And it is from Lagos other people tapped from to succeed. I can make it in Osun State though, but I still have to come down to Lagos. P Square made it in Abuja and they came down to Lagos. Lagos is the Centre of Excellence. You have to come down here to struggle like others; that is how you prove that you have worked and you know what you are doing. Coming down to Lagos is like a reward for your hard work.

What are your top five albums of all time?
I love all Brandy’s songs. I love India Arie and Trey Songz. I listen to Kollington Ayinla, Ayinla Omowura, Haruna Ishola and other old school songs.

You can follow me on twitter @oyinkansola01


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