From winning D’banj’s The King Is Here rap competition to releasing a hot new single, Reminisce’s new artiste, Ola Dips, is set to make waves in the Nigeria music industry. Bisola Bello recently caught up with the rappper, whose real name is Oladipupo Olabode, and he dished on why he did not further his education and his choice of record label.
How has the response of your family been towards your chosen career path?
They did not support it when I started. You know how parents are towards their children having a career in music. It was a normal thing I guess and my parents were no different. But I did not give up; I let them know that this is what I want to do and nothing was going to stop me. When they saw that, they had no choice but to just say do what you want to do.
With four sisters, you grew up in a house filled with women; did it influence your type of music?
Not really. My kind of music is diversified. It is not like I sing for only the ladies. Everyone can listen to my music because it can move from being inspirational to being a street jam. That is just music. More so it was not like I knew that I wanted to be an artiste.
So, how did it all start for you?
All I can say is that music chose me. I did not know I was going to do music; I just woke up one day and started doing it.
Do you think it was because you saw people making it in the music industry?
I would not say that. I believe it is a gift and when it was time for me to show the world, I started on the path. Once I found out that I had the talent to do music, I worked towards it. I met with producers. One in particular, Braniac, saw the talent and we started working on my career.
Did you expect to win D’banj’s The King is Here rap competition?
Firstly, when you are doing something you have to be hopeful. You have a desire of where you want your song to be and how you hope people will react. Going in, I was hopeful and I did my part perfectly, so, to an extent I was expecting it.
How did you get signed to Reminisce label?
Seriously, Na God oo. I was just in my house that day and his manger called me to schedule a meeting. Before I knew it I was there and I officially became signed. It was really surprising and swift.
Did winning The King is Here influence Reminisce’s decision to sign you?
Not at all. Reminisce never listened to my version of the King is Here competition. He listened to my other songs and was impressed. It was after we met that I told him that I actually participated in the competition and won. He was so surprised.
How did you feel about the signing?
I felt the way anyone in my position would feel – elated. It is what I have been working towards so I was glad that finally I can really push my work under a strong platform.
You are an indigenous Yoruba rapper, if you were given the opportunity to choose between Reminisce’s LRR/EDGE and Olamide’s YBNL, which would it be?
I have always wanted to work with Reminisce; so it is like a dream come through for me. I will choose his label over YBNL anytime.
What challenges did you face before you got signed to a record label?
Loads of them. The everyday challenges of a struggling artiste. My studio was far from where I was staying and sometimes there was shortage of cash, so I had to trek from one place to the other. Basically, just being a man. But we thank God, all the hustling is now paying off.
With new rappers on the block, who is your greatest competitor?
I don’t see anyone as a competition. I see myself as the competition. I just have to work harder and improve so I can be better than yesterday.
You stopped your education at secondary school level, do you not feel the need to go to school or is there more to it?
It is actually a long story. I have always wanted to go to school. I used to be a bookworm but my family did not have enough fund to actually send to me to the university. It’s personal, but it’s all good. God is in control.
Do you see yourself going back to school?
Yes, definitely, when we start making the money.
Who are those you looked up to starting out?
I looked up to indigenous Yoruba rappers like the late Dagrin, Reminisce and Olamide. Those are the major people I listened to while coming up and I still listen them.
What are you working on right now?
Well, you know my first official single, ‘Bounce’, I had my label boss, Reminisce, on it. But right now I’m working on new materials with no collaborations so people won’t start saying he can’t do this on his own. One thing that is sure is that they will be extraordinary.
Is there any lady in your life?
No. I’m single and ready to mingle.