Nigerian-born Sean Dampte, formerly known as Dampte, whose real name is Oluwaseun Oluyole, is an Afro-Pop artist based in the U.K. Sean Dampte sharpened his talent for rhymes, wordplay, and metaphors at a young age. He bares his mind with Vanguard on his new project, his relationship with his white manager amidst mixed reaction on racism.
What got you into music in the first place?
I have to be in music so long that I cannot say particularly why I am into music other than it gives me joy and fulfillment to be part of the culture. I guess I can confidently say it must be the love for music itself.
The brand Sean Dampte is gathering great momentum in the music scenes, especially in the UK and Nigeria. How do you feel about that?
I am humbled, to say the least, but in all honesty, there is still much work to be done. I am grateful to my team, friends, family, Awoodahites, and everyone that is part of this journey.
How did you start and push the brand to this applauding level?
Like I said earlier, I am humbled to see how far we have come. The most important thing for me and for everyone for that matter is the resilience that you possess. I started by believing in myself and ability and over time, loads of people started to see I would not be going anywhere and began to take the brand Sean Dampte seriously. It’s been a long journey, but we are thankful.
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How would you describe the music that you typically create?
I like to call what I do Afro-Calypso but ultimately it is part and parcel of the AfroPop vibe with loads of other cultures present.
How does your work comment on current happenings in the social and political circles?
Yea it’s been and still a trying time overall and I cannot shy away from the happenings. With that said, that is one of my reasons for the single ‘Adura’ just to point out that only prayer can uplift us. And we must always continue to pray.
Your manager is white, while you are black. How do you feel given the recent uproar about racism against the black race?
Personally, I understand where and how the current uproar affects the psyches, however, it is never about white versus black but rather about us, from a black background, being treated equally and respected.
I support the #BlackLivesMatter movement wholeheartedly and willingly believe in what we trying to achieve.
Where and when do you get inspired to write your lyrics, inside the plane, or while talking a walk?
Inspiration for me comes standard and I am actually grateful for my team. It happens anywhere and when that happens, you can bet am on to my team. We working always to get the best for everyone. My key producers Joey Benks, JayOcean, and Jomane have been fantastic. Sometimes 1 AM, 2 AM we are still up working across continents. Hahahaha
Do you sing in the shower? What songs?
I do sing in the shower but it’s never the same song. Although I have been singing Adura for the last couple of days and I am sure you know why. Very uplifting I find it.
Most people believe nowadays artistes don’t undergo much stress to blow, unlike the days when there was no internet or social media when musicians had to go from one town to another to perform. But now it seems easy as many music talents have blown via social media?
It is really difficult to comment on that but one cannot undervalue the effect of social media and technology as a whole. The truth is that the challenge is still there and more importantly it has opened up the opportunities for more talents to be able to showcase themselves and direct their musical career.
Where have you performed? Which artiste have you performed with?
I have performed at a host of events, to say the least – But in the last two years I have been on stage with Wizkid at the YCee concert, Falz the Bahd Guy, Davido all in the United Kingdom, Kizz Daniel in Amsterdam to mention a few.
Which is your favourite song to perform from your songs?
In truth, I enjoy performing to all of my songs at every opportunity I get. Considering I enjoy listening to good music. However, if it were to happen that I was put on the spot and had to perform one, I would most probably choose Marcelina – it’s a very different vibe that gives.
Which famous musicians do you admire?
There are loads of great artistes and musicians out there, to say the least, and that follows that I probably would admire a lot of them. But
What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?
Hahahahahaha! Seriously …… that alone is enough to get one into more trouble wouldn’t you agree! Awoodahites are always right! Let’s just say that is it.
What is the best advice you’ve been given?
Wow! I personally find every piece of advice useful at all times. But what my dad always told me growing up was that talent in anything is never enough to excel – so you must work harder, pray harder and dream bigger!
If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?
That in itself would be a monumental task for one person to take upon him or herself. Hahahahaha, I would only want more to be done to protect the artistes and their investors really. No one likes their work to be infringed upon and no one likes to be cheated. So yea, protect all stakeholder rights as much as humanly possible.
- If you could go open a show for any artiste, who would it be?
Hahahahaha, I have been on stage with most Nigerian Artistes and all so maybe for me now, having to open up for Drake at this moment would do it.
- You once said in an interview that you almost killed yourself due to depression. How did you get over it?
It was a dark place to be in. And it’s not somewhere I like to visit. But one generally needs to keep on focusing on the good things and love for family. It is important to keep in contact with close family and friends and speak out. That works for me and hope it helps others do who struggle with it.
What is one message you would give to your fans?
I mean all my Awoodahites know how we do now! We plenty like stars! Life Money Happiness crew. We keep on keeping on. I love my Awoodahites and they love me too!
What’s next for you?
Yea it’s been an interesting year, to say the least, and following all the great reviews we have had for my hit single ‘Adura’ – I think it’s time I let people into my world and so will be dropping my Sophomore EP on August 21 titled “Awoodah Rising: Man Like Sean Dampte”
Make sure you look out for it!