Mr MayD… Return Of The Sureboy
There are only a handful of African artistes who can combine singing and dancing as impressively as Akinmayokun Awodunmila, who is better known as MrMayD. As he performed his hit songs, Ile Ijo, Ibadi, among others, at this year’s Felabration festival, which ended recently, the atmosphere at the New Afrika Shrine was fraught with nostalgia and excitement.
His flexible dance moves, especially his quick-paced footwork, caught the eyes of the entire crowd who were chanting the lyrics of his songs that are nearly a decade old. It was a beautiful reminder of the fine talent that is Mr MayD.
Like a stroke of luck or unusual coincidence, the 37-year-old singer began trending last week on the emerging social media platform, TikTok, where his song, Ibadi, has gone viral after nine years of its release. For the former Square Records act, it’s a marathon of new achievements, especially his just-released EP dubbed, Sureboy. The 7-track project signals his first offering under the Davido Music Worldwide (DMW) records, where he has pitched camp since last year.
The entire EP is a blend of groovy Afro-pop that preaches the need for euphoria. In its core, it’s a simple offering that reflects the easygoing persona of MayD himself. It’s no music for introspection, but it is very relatable and enjoyable cohesively. Speaking with Guardian Music, the Sureboy talks about his new project, joining DMW camp, his life in Sweden, as well his game plan for his music.
How does it feel for you returning to the scene?
It is my job, you know. So, it has just been feeling normal for me. I dropped an EP last year too, but it wasn’t really anticipated, maybe because I had just got back into the scene and it was a rush job.
What’s the vibe with this new project?
The vibe with this one was just different, because I was a bit settled. It was more of me trying to get back into the scene – it wasn’t just about dropping new music. I had to change production and try to do better.
You worked with a lot of new people on this project. What exactly was the agenda behind the album?
There is really nothing serious that I wanted them to remember; I just wanted to create good music as I always do. Most of my songs come from my heart. If I don’t feel it, I don’t voice it. It comes from my feelings.
How long have you been making this project?
It took me roughly about a year to create this.
How did the record deal with DMW come about?
It was just Davido and I saying that there was no point in stalling it. Since we had the remix of Lowo Lowo, we were always together. We have been friends for a long, long time; we see almost everyday. We almost do everything together; we were already on the same team together; so, it was just about making it official. We had been friends from even when I was with Square Records, although we met on a different path away from Square Records.
So, why did you decide to title this project Sureboy?
I am the only Sureboy in Africa. I am the Surest boy in the whole world.
How did you get the name?
I was listening to a song on the radio and I heard something similar to that; it made sense to me. So, I decided to just use it as a slogan. Funnily, it wasn’t meant to be a slogan; I just used it for a song called Ile Ijo, and since then, the name just stuck.
Between when you sang Ile Ijo and now, do you feel your music has changed?
My music, I don’t think will change, but times have. With time, you get new productions. There has to be an advance. Technology is advancing; we have to advance with it.
You worked with Peruzzi and Davido on this project, was it deliberate keeping the features in-house?
It wasn’t actually deliberate; I just have no time for trying to caress someone for collaboration. It is either we get to it or we don’t. If you aren’t ready, I am ready to move on to the next person that is ready. If you are not ready, then the chemistry is not there.
Do you still feel loved by your colleagues?
Love is love. If you have love for someone, it never really dies. As long as you remind them of what it was, it is what it is.
Do you have any game plan now?
I really don’t have any; I am just a singer that loves to dance and create music. The game plan now is Confam Entertainment and 30BG; that is the way forward. We just want to keep dropping new music and topping charts, doing what we do best.
So, what were you exactly doing between the time you left Square Records and getting signed with DMW?
I was actually dropping music then, but I was just not in the country; I was not on the scene. Being on the scene means being in Nigeria. My real fans know that I was dropping music. I was in Sweden then with my family; I have a wife in Sweden, but we are divorced now. I have a son there too.
So, who are you currently feeling in the industry?
I am feeling a lot of artistes, especially Tems, Lojay, Mohbad, Ayra Starr, Ckay and a couple of them.
How is home for you at DMW now?
It is all love.
Do you have anything to add?
Basically, people need to check my music out on all platforms. They can catch up with what I’m doing on social media @mrmayd I have a very big song on TikTok now.
How do you feel about that TikTok trend?
We just thank God; Na God dey run am. I just woke up and discovered I was trending on TikTok. Till date, the song keeps getting about 150 new videos daily.
So, finally, tell us three things people don’t know about you?
I have a phobia for heights; that is why I hate entering a plane. I love watching movies; I can go to the movies twice a day. I love video games and football; I just love sports.