Olawale Ojo is an up and coming talented singer who is ready to prove his relevance in the Nigerian music industry. Ever since he emerged the winner of 2014 edition of the MTN sponsored Project Fame, he has proven that he is the next kid on the block. In this interview, he talked about his career and why he loves Tiwa Savage.How would you describe your experience in the Project Fame and why did you go for the competition? It was a great experience. Immediately my friends brought the form to me in school, I developed the interest in the competition. So when it was time for auditions, I went to Ilorin. And to tell you the truth, I auditioned three times in two different cities, Ilorin and Ibadan before the judges finally saw something in me and allowed me into the competition. When I first auditioned in Ilorin, I got a ‘no’, and when I went to Ibadan, I also got a ‘no’. Then I decided to
go and meet another judge because the same judge auditioned me in Ilorin and Ibadan. But then, as God will have it I got a ‘yes’. The Project Fame house really helped me a lot; I learnt how to be an entertainer and a performer amongst other things.How did you feel when you were announced winner? I was overwhelmed with joy and short of words. At the beginning of the competition, I never thought for a second I was going to win, but on the day of the grand finale, I told myself, this is it, I might be the winner. When my name was announced, it was mixed emotions. I just kept on reminiscing on the journey, how I got into the competition, the good and the bad times, the rejection and the acceptance, I almost cried, but then I was excited.What’s the concept behind your new video, ‘Is Nothing’? I recorded it the first time I entered a recording studio. DJ Klem who produced the song played the beat, and I loved it, but the truth is that I was really nervous, and I kept telling myself is nothing, that was how I got the title of the song. I developed that thought and gave the interpretation as a young guy who, after winning a music competition might be nervous, but still believe that the sky is his starting point.Do you feel under pressure seeing the success of the other Project Fame winners and runner-ups: Iyanya, Praiz and Chidinma? I won’t call it pressure, I’d rather call it a motivation to work harder and do my part. I am at the experimental stage of my career now and I am still getting to discover my style as an artiste. I have a good team, and we are going at it slow and steady. I have the right team; the guys at Ultima Studios, M.etal Entertainment and Zebra Stripes Networks are helping out a lot.
In the Project Fame house, you mixed a lot of Yoruba in your music, and listening to your song now, I hear a lot of Yoruba, Is that still your music direction? If not, what would you call your genre? My genre of music is Afro-pop, but I can assure you that it is deeply laced with Yoruba language. Is Nothing has a Fuji influence, but right now I am in the studio working on other songs. I am releasing a new song called “Jupa” next week. In my album you will hear a lot of Apala and highlife.You are currently a student. How do you combine school with your music career? It has really been hard, I wont lie about that. I am trying so hard to make it work, I promised my parents that music will not affect my education and I plan to make that happen. But sincerely, it has not been easy, I have had experiences sleeping in the studio and heading out very early to Ogbomosho for an afternoon lecture.What’s your ultimate goal as an artiste? Right now, my short-term plan is to make Olawale a household name in the music industry where fans would recognise my sound and know it’s me. On the long-term, I am heading for a Grammy.Which artiste or artistes would you like to work with? I love Tiwa Savage; she is an energetic performer and a brilliant musician. There is a lot to take away from her. I can never forget performing with her on Project Fame stage. I love Sound Sultan and Don Jazzy, because they have good contents too. I will love to work with three of them..