By Remi Diagbare
Olumide is precocious in every way. In the polite way he addresses you, in his carriageÂ Â and in his genre of music. He is only 24 years old for Christ sake! Olumide, a 400level Actuarial Science student of the University of Lagos is a classical singer, withÂ a deep baritone voice, thatÂ Â Â belts out songs capable of melting the hardest of hearts.
At the Allure (International womenâ€™s Day Seminar in March, he belted out soulful classical music to rousing applause. Early this year, he performed again at the Rare Gem Awards organized by TW magazine. This time, heÂ surpassed hisÂ last performance,Â renderingÂ some R&BÂ songs,Â laced withÂ Nat king Cole, Ray Charles, Billy Dee Williams and The Maytals. In a chat with me haven won me over, I asked him about himself and how he got into classical music, rather than, hip-hop. Olumide by the way, will perform at the Wmen On Wellness seminar, WOW. Excerpts
Tell me about yourself?
My name is Olumide Dada, I amÂ from Abeokuta in Ogun State. I belong to a family of seven , including my Mum and Dad though my dad is late but my mum is still alive. Iâ€™m a Christian, a catholic to be precise.
I am a final year Actuarial Science student at the University of Lagos. I started singing in 2003, about a year after my secondary school, while still sitting at home because of JAMB. It was during this periodÂ Â I discovered myself, then I joined the church choir. To God be the glory, I discovered myself and one or two professionals too. I became a member of aÂ group Best coral group in Africa in 2004, there I learnt a lot of things. Since then I have improved on my singing and professionalism in classical music and I have been able to lead a choral group.
What is Actuarial Science?
Actuarial Science basically deals with insurance but it is more of calculation, though I actually applied for accounting. Actuarial Science is about finance, investment and insurance.
What is your specialty in music?
My specialty is classical music, though I do contemporary and some highlife. I have a band, though small, that is where my passion is and it is what I know how to do best.
Why not hip-hop?
Answer:Â Â Â Everybody cannot do hip-hop, though classical music is not profitable in Nigeria yet, but ,it is coming up.
Is there an audience for classical music?
There is but not as big as the hip-hop.
How frequent do you get to perform?
On the average, I get to perform at least twice a month. Though it is okay but, it can always be better.
What are the grades of people that listen to it?
What kind of audience do you perform to?
Any audience. I feature in some church programme; it could be at the beginning or after the opening prayer. For me I donâ€™t do only classical music like I said earlier, so I combine everything.
Is it easy to make an album for classical music?
You could produce an album the same way you produce hip-hop, it depends on what you want but it is quite expensive.
What does it take to produce an album?
You need professional hands, in that it is more difficult, it is music in its original form, if you are doing classical music, you need to know music.
Why Actuarial Science and not Music?
I donâ€™t have to study music, I have the talent and by the grace of God, few professional hands helped me.
How did you get into modeling?
My model manager, Seyi actually introduced me. He walked up to me and told me I have all it takes to become a model, so I registered but they lost my contact. I was on the Island, when I met a friend of mine who was also a model and we exchanged numbers. That was how I came back into modeling after one year. My first job was with coca-cola. I also got another one year contract with Starcomms. I am a model by chance because of the money. I donâ€™t really have much to say about modeling.
Do you do runway?
No , I donâ€™t do runway.
What are your future plans?
I Wish to end up singing classical music.
How would you advise people aspiring to go into classical music?
It is not for everybody, it is different from every other kind of music. It must be perfect in terms of tonal quality and texture.
If you are not doing classical music, what other kind of music will you be doing?
R&B, butÂ not hip-hop.
What kind of person are you?
Iâ€™m a reserved person.