Moriento: My husky voice is my trademark
Rapper Ifeoluwa Daniel Ayeni, better known as Moriento, is one artiste, whose confidence lies in his passion for music, unique voice texture and skills that he has developed over time.
As a rapper/hip-hop artiste, he is dynamic in terms of adaptability to most genres of music. His music is embedded with philosophy, soul piercing, melodic beats, hard lyrics and hooks that stay stuck in the listeners’ head for good, even as his energy, rhythmic flow and undeniable flair capture you instantly.
With a thrilling stage presence, his mixture of boldness and witty lyricism stands him out as an artiste who’s not afraid to be different.
Commenting on his sojourn in music, the Philosophy graduate of Adekunle Ajasin University said he started as a kid out of mumbling.
“My immediate elder brother Seyi once told me that I was around the age of three when I had my peer group gathered in our neighbourhood, leading a chorus that has no exact meaning. I started singing Idiye adidiye and before they knew it, other kids around my age joined me. Whenever I say ‘idiye’, the kids will reply, ‘adidiye’.
“By the time I was in primary 5 at Command Children Cchool, NDA Cantonment, Kaduna, I was lucky to have an elder brother David; he was professionally into music in Kaduna under the group called The Bishops. He was their lead vocalist and they always rehearsed in our house back then in the mid 90’s. This eventually influenced me greatly to start composing my own songs.”
According to him, Nigerian artistes are world class, stressing that their creativity has given them world recognition.
“Nigerian artistes are number one in Africa; even foreigners are now rocking our songs with pride. Imagine if we have the support from the government like other developed nations, we will do wonders. However, I know that we are just warming up,” he said.
Recounting his experience as an artiste, the Akure native stated that he has so many, but gave two unforgettable experiences.
“First was when my local band and I spoiled our class teacher’s table while I was entertaining my primary school audience after school hours in Kaduna. My drum boy (Banbangida) was using two short rods to play beats on the teacher’s desk while I was singing.
“My teacher was so furious the next day when he saw his desk with dents. He reported the matter to the head mistress, who came with other teachers in the school’s disciplinary committee.
“When she asked who did it, I said we were rehearsing my new song. She said okay, she wants to listen to the song. In the end, it became an open school show that even the teachers began to dance and vibe to my live play. I was eventually scheduled to entertain guests at the school’s end of the year and primary six-graduation party.”
He continued: “Another was when I started music as a professional, the DJ stopped my music in the middle of my performance and I continued the performance without a pause; the crowd went gaga,” Moriento hinted.
He explained that his parents, especially his mum, have been his greatest supporters, and had wanted him to be a gospel artiste. He informed that his late Dad wanted him to be a Chartered Accountant and join the Army, but going to the University to study Philosophy changed his wish in that regard.
“My dad later encouraged me to make good use of my music talent after he watched one of my live performances on TV; he was proud of me based on the way I moved the crowd. When I got home, he shook my hands and told me to keep it up. He advised me to start listening to the likes of Fela, Ebenezer Obey, Sunny Ade, Olando Owoh and Bob Marley.
Commenting on the COVID-19 pandemic, the Baltic, Europe based artiste said embargo on social gathering is really affecting the entertainment industry, but counsel artistes to improvise.
“I was supposed to shoot a home training video on the street, but I have to improvise due to the lockdown in this part of Europe that I am residing I couldn’t.”
On why he went underground from the music scene after his debut single Aye Dun, followed by Your Beauty released in 2016 under ChiBana Entertainment, Moriento said his contract ended with label in December 2017, and he relocated to Europe in January 2018.
“Actually, I have been doing music; I released Hold me tight, Let you know and Let’s go under Muzik Jail Records. Although these songs were majorly promoted in Europe, that is why it seems I went underground but in the real sense; I was very active in the entertainment industry performing at different events in Europe.”
Speaking about his uniqueness, the songwriter and composer said his husky voice, lyrics and composition are his plus. He noted that 98 per cent of Nigerian/global artistes shy away from socio-political topics or use their music as a force to tackle social injustices
“This is where I tend to bridge the gap. Home Training, my latest song will give you a clue of where I am coming from. It’s my first activism kind of music. I think the spirit of Fela Anikulapo Kuti in this very song possessed me,” he enthused.
With the late Fela Anikulapo Kuti and Olando Owoh as his role models, his style of rap music is patterned like that of US renowned hip-hop acts, DMX and Ja Rule, but as a business executive, he takes lessons from Jay-Z and P.Diddy.
He encouraged up and coming artistes to be prepared to face challenges and discouragements due to the expensive side of the industry by keeping using little resources to showcase their talent.
“Build your brand by making good use of social media. Consistency is the secret. One day limelight will be your spotlight,” he urged.
The lyricist explained further that he met a few people that told to his face that they are not his fans. He, however, added that doesn’t move him an inch, “because the people that encourage me are ten times more than the few that discouraged me.”
Asked what motivates him, Moriento said: “Anything motivates me; it could be pain, hurt, love and care; it could also be social injustices.”
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