WurlD… I create with no rules and limitations
No doubts, the Nigerian-American singer and songwriter Sadiq Onifade, professionally called WurlD, sure knows how to win the hearts of his audience even with a cosmopolitan style that plays against the prevailing sounds, which he describes as electro-fusion.
Instead of the usual house and EDM-inspired rhythms, the blue-hair singer fuses both genres with RnB and afro elements to make his own inimitable sound, thus, laving the listener enwrapped. Not only that he leaves the listener spell bound, he also weaves a spell with his personality.
Since his entrance into the Nigerian music industry, he has demonstrated an irresistible skill for infusing sounds not necessarily within the conventions of mainstream pop, but has taken it further with his experiment of indigenous sounds like Fuji, Juju and Afrobeat to form a his own sound, which he calls electro-fusion.
In a chat with Guadian Music, he spoke on his music, Universal Music deal, signature blue hair and the stage moniker, WurlD and other issues.
Born in Lagos, WurlD began his career after moving to Atlanta, Georgia, for school and recording his own music, described by VIBE as electro-fusion.
His distinct feature goes beyond the dyed hair, but more into the power of his music, which he says ‘people should hear more’. His debut EP, Evolution, was released in 2013.
Speaking on his stage name, the singer said, “the first few songs I created as an artiste were constantly referred to as world music by close friends, which I shared with them.
The name was initially spelt as World, which stuck with me as I was constantly referred to a world music artiste. I later changed it to WurlD, which is the same pronunciation, but easier search on the web.”
Asked what inspired him to go the the route of genre of music he play, he said, “nature, family, people and places inspire me daily. I’m pretty much inspired by everything around me. I create with no rules and limitations.”
He added, “It started as far back as being a child listening to fuji music, juju, afrobeats. I was literally taking all these vibes in and so the fusion is just me putting it all together and that for me makes me satisfied.”
According to him, lately, he has been using a lot of afrobeats and fuji music sounds to create a new age world music sound. “And it’s really the best feeling,” he enthused.
With his debut project, Evolution, released in 2013, which he admitted he held onto for two years before its eventual release, WurlD is back six after, blending more sounds in his second body of work titled, Love Is Contagious, produced by his frequent collaborator, Shizzi.
He explained that he was introduced to Shizzi by a friend, Kingsley, and immediately they connected the song was created. He later shared the ruff with Walshy Fire and the final version of the record came to life.
His 2016 single, Show You Off featuring Shizzi and Major Lazer’s Walshy Fire, brought him the biggest mainstream success. The hit earned him MTV Base’s ‘Ones to watch for 2017’ list.
Describing his experience since he got signed to Universal Music Group Nigeria, in 2018, he noted that there has been signifcant growth and changes, adding that the partnership brought him closer to home base supporters and he is grateful for this.
“We share some similar visions and have so much to give to Nigerian music and rest of the world. The journey has just started,” he said.
Having lived a greater part of his life in the US, WurlD describes the Nigerian music movement and penetration into America as a giant strides, saying, “the movement is stronger. What is happening is like everyone is sharing the music with their peers that are not Africans, more clubs are playing the songs, and people are consuming the music in larger numbers.
“It is a beautiful time to be African, the likes of Wizkid, Davido have done an amazing job, but it takes a village, it takes more than two or three people to get the movement going. We have a lot to offer to the world and the music is one of them and people are ready to accept what we have to offer.
“I believe Africa is the future on the world music stage. My role is to add a different layer to what the world have seen so far from African born musicians and creatives. I approach every song with intent and to inspire future generations of Africans to be fearless in their creative choices,” he explained.
On the inspiration behind his recently released Extended Play (EP), Love is Contagious, a nine tracker, the singer who has been into music for 13 years, but professionallly eight years haid he believe everything starts and ends with love.
“I created this project with all the love inside of me and I hope the title Love is Contagious serves a reminder of one of the most important energy that can be shared. That energy is love. Every song on this project shows a different side and range of me as an artist. I felt it was important to take the audience on an ultra emotion ride of feelings and sonics.”
Asked the story behind his signature ‘blue hair’ the singer explained that blue is his favorite colour, stressing that it worked easily when he first tried it on his hair and he has the colour ever since.
He described his collaborations with American acts like Mario, Timberland as a beautiful learning growth process, adding that he finds himself seamlessly able to adjust to any music environment he find himself.
“I’m currently working on new international collaborations for 2019 and beyond. Expect more contagious sound.”
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