The R N B music genre is one that is dared only by true talents.Â In Nigeria,Â and perhaps all Africa, it’s held firmly by soul singer Darey Art Alade. In this interview with yet-to-debut Nigerian-born Boston raised R N B singer, Femi Adeyinka, he talks about himself and his love for R N B.
This Westminister College graduate of Business Management’s promo single, Never Felt a Love, playing on radio and TV,Â is one of the highly rated, very promising, R N B attempts made by an upcoming act. Femi is signed to Kennis Music. Enjoy your read.
My full name is Olufemi Oladipupo Adeyinka. My artiste name is Femi. I grew up in Nigeria till I was aged 11, 12. Then I went to the States. I have been there ever since. I grew up in Boston area and got into singing in my second year in high school. Later, I joined a group in the University and that was it.
Has it always been R N B?
It’s always been R N B music for me. I love Hip Hop and others but R N B is what I connect to. I grew up listening to a lot of people, including Stevie Wonder, Al Green, Sam Cook, Bon Jovi, Daniel Jones, Joe and a lot of others.
Why just Femi for a stage name?
I think Femi speaks for itself. One, it is my name and two, it is what I think makes sense to me. I have thought about other names but I want people to know where I come from. I am Nigerian to the core. Femi just fits.
What is your relationship with the comedian, Gbenga Adeyinka the 1st?
Gbenga Adeyinka is a big brother to me. He is my first cousin and has always been a big brother since I was younger. I remember our grandma would send us both to the market while growing up and he would go and play football and buy me something to keep quiet (laughs). If I were to come back to this world and pick a big brother, I ‘d pick him.
Is there music in your family?
I am the only one in the family doing music. It must have come from God. I started off as a dancer. I always loved music as a child. I was one of those kids that couldn’t wait to go to a birthday party and win first prize in dancing. I don’t have any form of training whatsoever in music. My singing is a gift from God and I have also picked different things from different artistes that I have worked with along the way.
Did it ever cross your mind while growing up that you may end up a singer?
No, I remember when they’d lined us up as kids every Christmas and ask us what we’d like to be when we grew up. I used to say, a lawyer or doctor. God just has his way of making things happen. I just know music has been a blessing to me ever since.
Have you relocated to Nigeria now?
So, tell me what exactly brought you home?
Actually, I haven’t been home in a while, so I came to see myÂ family. Then my big brother, Gbenga Adeyinka, heard my music about a year and half ago and couldn’t believe it was me. So, he said I should come down here and check out the music. I came with Never felt a love but a lot of people said I was too foreign. So, I recorded a song with Ego of Lagbaja. It is called Mapami. I thought that would be my first single release but then I met with Kennis Music and they loved Never felt a love. So, they released it. I have been around for about 4-5 months now and the song is well accepted.
The next single is dropping this week. It is titled Baby I got it (money). It features a home-based artiste which I am not telling .
Where was the Never felt a love video shot?
It was shot in the States by Corrigon Smokehouse production. It was shot two days after the song was recorded, because we loved the song.
Did you write the song?
Actually, the song was written for me. I was in the studio with Mandy, a song-writer back in the States, and I said I was looking for a song that could express love beyond the word L-O-V-E. I was going to write the song but he presented his song to me and I liked it.
Is the song more fictional than real?
For me it is both. When the song was written, my ideas were incorporated. It was one time that I felt something for someone-a very deep connection. I could barely wait to be in her presence, just like the song says. So, I could relate with the song, although the situation has since changed.
Who first moved on?
Both of us. We had a mutual agreement to move on because it was a time when we were both focused on our careers. That was about four years ago.
Is the song that old?
No, the song was written last year but the experience was years ago. Sometimes, you write in the moment, other times in the past.
Are there plans for an album release soon?
I am recording right now. We are looking at an April release, God willing. But we are dropping the second single first. I am looking at 12 or 13 tracks. It is an R&B album, no doubt, but there will be a couple of pop songs too. I have a catalogue of 60 songs but I am still recording because we are trying to find the best songs that define Femi as an artiste and will at the same time appeal to the market.
Do you speak Yoruba at all?
Yes, I do. Mo gbo Yoruba (I understand Yoruba).