Sleek_Tee is vibe king
After 13 years of struggling to be heard and given a platform to showcase his talent, 30-year-old, Owoade Abdulhamid Tiwalade, popularly known as Sleek_tee, has finally been rewarded for his talent and resilience.
The Afropop artiste was recently declared winner of the maiden edition of Vibe Session, a competition organised by Kingsmen Entertainment.
The competition, which started in September through December, had tens of entries where eight contestants were selected to go into the production of different songs.
However, the contestant with the highest votes after the 90 days duration of the contest was rewarded and declared the winner.
Speaking with The Guardian after the presentation of the N250, 000 cash prize, Tiwalade said: “I submitted a Song I did a month before the competition and thereafter, I was contacted to do a real song. I wrote the song I presented the day I was going to the studio and the rest is history.
“I started singing in 2009 while I was in my second year. I love music so much but then, I didn’t have the voice or the platform to build myself. I started downloading songs by different artists, listening to them and mimicking them. I carved my own niche; I never went to any music school.
“I used to be a rap artist but I jumped on R&B and I fell in love with the genre. I did a song in school and it was widely accepted. So, I started writing songs and kept hope alive.”
Speaking on what winning the prize means to him, Tiwalade said: “This means a lot to my music career because it keeps the fire of believing in myself burning. This will give me the zeal to do more, not to look out for a competition, but to face my music.
“I want people to hear my voice as I put in more effort into my music to get to the top. I have to be heard. I won’t relax until I achieve it. I give kudos to Kingsmen for the Vibe Session; this is an encouragement. It will go a long way.”
The Executive Director, Kingsmen Entertainment, Akin Onitiri, said: “This is part of our mission statement, which is to empower Nigerian youths. They are disenfranchised. They are trying to showcase their talents and prove that they are not fraudsters.
“They are looking for opportunities to get themselves out and that’s the same platform we are providing as young men who have made it in other industries and want to give back to society and at the same time pursue our passion, which is music, movie and television.
“We decided to form the Kingsmen Entertainment with the aim of empowering youths, and vibe session is part of the things we are doing to empower them.
“This was an idea we came up with and put it on Instagram and YouTube. There, some people that like Sleek_Tee saw it and they accepted the challenge. While some claim it is not real, others said we are doing it for clout, but we are happy to unveil Sleek_tee as the first recipient of the reward for his effort and now they know it is real.
“We had a lot of entries and we had to filter down to eight participants who were taken to the studio of one of our sisters’ company, CMC Studio and we put out the eight songs to the public and Sleek_tee emerged the winner.
“We want to keep this going; so, we are going to start the second edition. We want as many as possible to become stars through this platform. We are also into movies and we have had three movies to our credit. Nene’s Happy Ending, Donkey Curse and Lola’s Gift are the movies. They will be out in the next one or two months time.”
On the choice of music as a way of giving back to society, he said: “Someone like Sleek_tee has been singing for years, but he hasn’t had a platform. When I asked him if the last time he had a performance, he said he hadn’t had any in two years despite his talent”.
“So, this platform was born to give an opportunity to those talents like him to come out. Anyone, who wants to showcase his or her talents, should check us out on Instagram at Kingsmen_ng and look out for the next one.
Also, the Executive Director of the firm, Jolomi Omamuli, said the competition tagged, ‘recognition of talents’ was meant for people in Lagos and Abuja.
“This is different from others because all participants benefit from the same professional studio recording and videography. The same amount of money is spent on advertising and marketing their audio/visual content. Our goal is not to make money but to empower the young,” Omamuli said.