By Juliet Ebirim
An upcoming hot stepper, Ahmed Adeola who goes by the stage name Rymez is set to take the Nigerian music industry by storm. In this interview, the Big Star records artiste whose recent single ‘One Parole’ is currently enjoying good airplay, bares his mind on his budding music career – his passion, hopes and dreams. Excerpts:
I started with dancing when I was six. I’ve always had the flair for singing but I didn’t have the courage to do it. I built my confidence by dancing on various stages. At a point, I felt it was high time I started. Professionally, I started singing in 2010. A friend of mine introduced me to his uncle who is a producer. He asked me to sing and he liked it and since then I’ve been going to the studio to record. I don’t really write songs. I just sing as the inspiration comes to my head.
How many songs have you done so far?
I can’t count them but the recorded songs are up to ten . Popular among them are ‘Heavy Something’, ‘Exotic’ and ‘One Parole’ which is the one I’m currently promoting.
What’s going to make you unique as an artiste?
My style is my style. There can’t be two Rymez. I sing in a way that when you hear the beat or listen to the lyrics, you’ll immediately know this is Rymez. I don’t sing like anyone else but me. One has to be unique in order to make it. Besides, I sing and dance and that is not so common in the industry.
What influences the kind of songs you do?
I think it’s God basically and then the people around me. Most times, my mood determines the kind of songs I do.
What kind of songs do you do?
I’m a versatile artiste. I do RnB and Afro Hiphop . I also plan to do a gospel song in my album.
What’s your take on the lack of good lyrical content in our music these days?
I don’t really blame the artistes. A child is a product of his environment. Nigerians like feel-good songs, we hate to be told that we are suffering or that things are not well, even though that’s the reality. I think that’s why most artistes are basically singing for fun, not really to make impact.
Should we expect those kind of songs from you too?
That is why I said I am unique. The challenge has been to make sense and also meet what the commercial market demands. Now I’ve conquered that challenge. My songs have good messages with positive impact, they appeal to the youths and by the grace of God, also meet commercial requirements
Why did you choose music?
I didn’t choose music, music chose me. I started singing in JSS3 at the choral club in school. The first time I sang, everyone laughed at me but I didn’t let it deter me. Gradually, I got better and everyone wanted to hear me sing and I also joined the school choir. Right now, if I don’t sing, I don’t think there’s any other thing I can do.
You hope to proceed to the university, how are you going to combine schooling with your music career?
I’ve been doing that since my secondary school days and I intend to study music in the university. The truth is music is business and most artistes fade away because they don’t understand this. When you study the business side of music, you’ll know what you’re doing.
Does that mean that you are into music for the money?
No, I’ve been doing a lot of free shows and performances. I’m doing music because of the love and passion I have for it. I am only saying that everything has a business angle to it
Most artistes just come into limelight and after a while, they fizzle out. How do you intend to remain at the top of your game?
I think most of them fade away for lack of solid foundation. That is what Big Star Records and Entertainment Ltd has built for me. However, I will remain humble and rely solely on God for help, because I’m not perfect.
Have you done a collaboration with any artiste?
Not really. A lot of people actually want to do music collaborations with me, but my record label feels it isn’t yet time, as we strongly believe in taking one step at a time. Right now, our major preoccupation is to develop ‘The Rymez brand’. But I did a studio remix of Wizkid’s song, Ole and if you listen to it, you’ll stop for a while. That’s the only collabo I can say is in my collection.
Which A-list artiste do you look forward to working with?
Justin Beiber, Usher and Chris Brown. I’m dreaming big and by God’s grace I’ll get there. The Nigerian music industry is growing rapidly and you see most of our local acts featuring international artistes in their songs. One Nigerian act I would definitely love to work with is Wande Coal because he inspires me.
Is he like a role model, someone you look up to?
Yes, because he actually made me start listening to Nigerian songs which I never used to do.
How do you intend to handle the fame that comes with being a music artiste, especially dealing with female attention?
My management company has already told me it isn’t going to be easy especially with the girls, but with the tips I’ve already been given, I don’t think that’s going to be a problem at all.
What motivates you as an artiste?
Listening and watching good music. Also, listening to other upcoming acts makes me want to do more. I like to discover something new about myself everyday. I play the guitar even though I didn’t learn it from anybody. It was something I felt I should do and I did it.
What has been your experience since you started music?
It hasn’t been easy, because most times as an upcoming artiste, you go for shows and at the end of the day, you don’t get to perform. People don’t want to see what you’ve got because they feel that you’re just like every other person. After spending time in the studio to do a song which you intend to perform, you don’t get the opportunity to do it and sometimes you’re asked to pay to perform. But I thank God that I’m taking a big step in my career at the moment.
Can you remember what your first time on stage was like?
(Laughs). My first time on stage was in my street carnival and when I mounted the stage, people were like “Is this not Ahmed? When did he begin to sing?”. I introduced myself as Rymez and they were surprised. When the DJ played my song, everyone screamed in excitement. Some of them even came on stage and started spraying money on me. I was impressed. The next day, I stayed indoors because I was very shy to leave the house. Other people started backbiting, but I didn’t allow that deter me.