Bodman Speaks About His Journey In The Entertainment Industry
Entertainment personality and entrepreneur, Olabode Tawose, popularly known as Bodman is the Chief Executive Officer of Bodman Entertainment Limited, a South Africa-based record label scouting new and fresh talent.
The ace producer who launching his label after realizing his calling in the entertainment space went for it with no regrets but not without challenges.
In this interview with Toki Anifowose, Bodman spoke about his journey, his Nigerian-South African album, current projects among others
Tell us a bit about your background?
My name is Olabode Oladipupo Tawose, professionally known as Bodman. I was born on 6th November 1985. I am the co-founder and CEO of Bodman Studio and Records. I was born and bred in Ogudu Ore-Oke, Lagos State, and later moved to South Africa in 2012 to pursue my dream.
I first attended primary school at TenderCare Nursery and Primary School and later moved and finished off my primary level at Madegbe Nursery and Primary School. I went to Ogudu Grammar School for GSS1-GSS3 and completed SS1-SS3 at Maryland Comprehensive School. I then went for my NDs at Federal Polytechnic Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State. Furthermore, I completed a direct entry at the University of Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State.
I come from a humble family of four siblings. Namely according to age, Olajoke Tawose, Olakunle Tawose, Babatunde Tawose and Olayato Tawose. The five of us owe our lives to both our mom, Mrs. Shola Tawose, and dad, Hon. Nimbe Tawose. I am married to Venacia Lerato Tawose, we have two beautiful sons, Olamerun Katleho Tawose and Olatigha Kaboentle Tawose.
You are a singer, music producer, and record label owner, how are you able to combine all of these?
I am humbled but I am not a singer, sure I just jump on the beat here and there but I will safely leave the singing to the gifted. Regarding being a music producer, record label owner, and entrepreneur, it can get really hectic, however, with good time management, prioritization of tasks, dedication, and support from my family, it has become second nature. I know I have to put in the work and my family inspires me to do so every day.
How would you describe your struggle over the years finding your feet in the industry?
It took finding the right team, networking, knocking on doors of every potential opportunity, and sometimes taking risks by investing a lot of money. I knew from the get-go that it will not be easy, the journey is still long but from the beginning, I knew I had to be ready before going in to ensure myself and the team hit the ground running. We all know that starting something big from scratch requires blood and tears, but I am proud of where we are now with the company.
Aside music, do you have any other things you’re doing with your company?
There are definitely projects in the pipelines under the company. Just to mention a few, we are currently based in South Africa, one of the projects on the ground is bringing in celebrities from Nigeria for club tours here. We also launched Bodman Pictures for photography and video shots. Last, but not least, we will soon launch our YouTube interviews, more details will be shared at a later stage.
Who are some of the artists you’ve been able to collaborate with over the years?
In the 2 years, we have been formally registered, we have been blessed to have collaborated with Magnito Fresh Out, Idowest, Trod (Dagrin’s younger brother), Omashola (Ex BBN housemate), Scoobynero, Glenmena, Earl W Green, SK6, Spiro Beats, MorningStar, Raps, Lin Sensie and many more.
Tell us about challenges you face as a Nigerian artist working in abroad?
The main challenge was being present, I am someone who prefers to do things by himself, however, in this business, I’ve learnt the importance of delegating, and now that I have a great team in Nigeria it makes it easier. I’ve also had to learn and understand the difference in music laws of the two countries (Nigeria and South Africa). One always has to be informed about laws and the latest news that could potentially affect the business, I am beginning to wrap my head around this but again I have a great team that ensures that everything is up to par when it comes to abiding by the different laws.
Lastly, this one took me a while to figure out, I learnt that our orientations are definitely not the same, what you would expect people to do easily in Nigeria gets done completely different in SA, however, I am trying to blend in as we are not brought up the saw way, definitely keeping an open mind open to learning.
Your major project, titled Nigerian-South African featured some Nigerian acts, tell us about the project and artistes involved?
It started with the idea to bring the two countries together on one album, each track has an upcoming artist(s) and well-known artist(s). Not all the artists are based in Nigeria, some are also in the USA, thanks to technology the making of the album was fairly smooth. All the beats were produced in SA, we had to send the songs back and forth to get the final cuts. The artists all understood the memo and were all dedicated to completing the project.
Do you have any Nigerian artiste signed under your label?
Yes, he is one of the hottest upcoming trailblazer artists, he goes by the name of Hybrid. Take it from me when I say this boy is fresh to take on the Nigerian AfroBeats scene. I am so confident about him that I have made him my retirement plan, He is about to shake not only the country but the entire world with his new vibe. He just dropped a single titled “Overdose” and of course, it’s available on all platforms and his music video is also out.
Hybrid recently did a song with Magnito and he just came out of the studio with Peruzzi. Trust me when I say you must remember his name, he’s definitely coming for everything and more.
What project do you want to embark on now?
At the moment we have two South African artists that we are in the studio with, working on projects, we will announce in due course once we fully know the direction of the projects. There’s also a talk show underway, this will be an open platform to discuss, enlighten and educate through informative topics. I am also open to any ideas that are pitched to me, if I see potential in a project, I invest.
When did you decide to venture into the music business?
I am more on the producing side, scouting new and fresh talent. This is what led me to create, invest and one day leave my footprint in the music industry. In the years leading to launching my own company, I was involved in a project where I realised that this is my calling and I got ready and went for it with no regrets.
Who influences you in the music industry?
Don Jazzy and Olamide, from their humble beginnings to where they are at the moment in the industry is what inspires me. Their ability to spot talent that brings about a new type of vibe keeps me on my toes and I take away a lot from them. I respect someone who respects their craft and I think these two have done a lot for the Nigerian music industry which I hope to do so in the near future.
What do you think the future holds for the Nigerian music industry and African genres in the international market?
We are definitely global, this makes me super proud as we all have to level up each time. The Nigerian music industry has created its own culture and the bar has been set high. This means we have to work hard, our industry is breaking boundaries and bringing countries together. We have witnessed some of the greatest artists of all time like Beyonce coming to Africa and collaborating with artists all over Africa, such historic moments are paving the future of our indutry. We have also witnessed the merging of genres, African artists are breaking out of genre bubbles and are now jumping on different beats be it Afro, Amapiano, RnB, or Hip Hop. Music is uniting us as Africans and I am loving every part of it and I want to be part of that legacy for our future in music.
What was your parents’ reaction to your decision to go into music?
They were surprised because I grew up loving sports, but they also know my love for music has always been there and that’s what got them to become supportive. I believe their reaction at first came from a good place just like any good parent would be worried when their children take an unconventional route in their career. Sustainability was the main concern, however, they quickly learned that I am committed to what I am doing and they couldn’t be more proud as they know that I am also an entrepreneur.
If you’re not doing music, what will you be doing?
When I am not in the studio I am focused on my poultry business, Tawose Fresh Farms, we supply eggs and chickens to the local community and surrounding with the goal to expand in the near future. I am also working on launching my film production company called Bodman & Sons Films Production, making short films, and eventually growing into bigger movie projects. There are also a few other projects that I am a part of that will be announced in due time.
COVID-19 has affected the industry, how have you been coping?
It’s been a challenge as COVID-19 hit when my company was a few months in and we were just gaining momentum for big things. One of the difficulties I faced was not being able to travel between SA and Nigeria. Having a family, I had to ensure that I protect my family first, so this meant that my movement was very limited. Thanks to technology, we were able to send beats, files, host meetings over video calling, and simply find a new way to get the job done.
There’s a strong synergy between Nigeria, South Africa, and Ghana musically, who are the top Nigerian artistes you want to collaborate with?
This question excites me as this is part of my future plan. To drop a few names, Tiwa Savage, 2Baba, Wizkid, Patoranking, BurnaBoy, Davido, Omalay, Stoneboy, Sarkodie, Shatawale, Kwesta, Casper Nyovest, Sho Majozi, DJ Maphorisa, and many more great artists.
The train is moving. I am confident that we will stop at each of the above-mentioned great artists and many more.
Your advise to upcoming artistes?
Stay, focused, keep trying, keep making good music you will never know that one song that will change the narrative for you and set you on your path to greatness. Stay loyal and get yourself out there, use technology to make yourself visible. Know your people, keep them close and stay away from anything and anyone with negative vibes that do not align with your goal.