Music In Nigeria Is Competitive, Says Oludre
WHILE growing up, Babatunde Oludare aka Oludre was a keen lover of sound. He enjoyed listening to the likes of Obesere, Pasuma and other fuji artistes. But he never knew he would be a musician someday. Oludres’s desire to do something new different from his regular work made him delved into music.
“ I was not fulfilled doing what I was doing In the United Kingdom. I wanted to do something that makes me happy and I noticed the emergence of new artistes each time I switched on the television and I felt I could do better than they were. After a while, Oludre gives what he loves doing a trial and soon found out that was his calling. He started writing his songs and before he knew it, he began to sing. Though, his youthful love was Fuji music and that has really influenced his choice of music which Hip-hop Fuji.
Oludre flair for music has been from childhood because he grew up singing in the church choir. He said: “I grew up in the church choir and I have always enjoyed singing. “ He however told The Guardian that the first time he heard Obesere’s song as a child was about 5:30am in the morning, but he jumped up and started dancing to the song.
Asked why Fuji, he replied:” I have always loved Fuji and that genre of music influenced my sound, hip-hop Fuji. My music is different and I believe I am original. I like to promote my culture and my origin, which is Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State. For him, Afro-beat is getting massive attention in the United Kingdom.
“Once the people hear what you are saying, they embrace your music. I live there; so I understand what I need to do. I infuse English language a great deal into my music and that helps them to relate with it. But since, I do hip-hop fuji and it has its roots in Africa, I cannot remove that home factor from it. I want to be accepted here as much as I am accepted in the UK. I am established there and I want to be established in Nigeria too, “ Oludre disclosed.
His latest single, London Party, he says is doing well. He notes that television stations in the UK play his single a lot and there is hardly any club that you go that they don’t play it. Interestingly, Nigerian’s population in the United Kingdom is plus for his record patronage. “ The fact that Nigerians are many in the UK makes it better. There are some places in the UK that look like Lagos. That is where I get most of my acceptance. The white love to dance to good beats too,” he insists.
Though, he is yet quit his job, Oludre strongly believes he has the potential to become the next big artiste in the UK that hails from Nigeria. He states, “I am still working and I am also doing my music. It has not been easy, but I have made up my mind and once I am determined to do something I go for it. I already have large supporters in the UK, which signal to the fact that I am doing well. I have never thought of giving up on my music since I started, though I have faced some challenges.
When I started singing fuji in the UK, the concept was relatively new. Of how he managed to thrive in the foreign land without rejection based on his skin colour; Oludre says he managed to overcome that challenge through self-esteem. He however admitted that racism couldn’t be totally eradicated. “Personally, I like when people look down on me because it gives me strength to show people my strength. I have not faced any encounter with my music, but I have had issues in my workplace.
It is quite difficult for you to rise at work if you are a black man in the UK. We don’t complain most time because you may be out of job. Oludre also disclosed that he no longer get disturb by racism because he is on the path to success. Unlike in the UK, he admits that the competition to do music is quite stiff in Nigeria.
“It is easy to do music in the UK while I do other jobs, but I cannot say the same about Nigeria. From what my friends told me, I figure things to be tough here. An average, Lagos resident leaves his house by 5am and does not come home till 9pm. How can such person compose music?” Though,not married, Oludre has two children. He says he likes it when a lady is original.