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Ajebutter22 did not choose music. Music chose him. Lagos born Akitoye Balogun, a.k.a, Ajebutter22, was born and bred in Lagos and is staking his claim the Nigerian music industry so fast, he’s leaving spinning heads in his wake. He teamed up with Studio Magic on his debut album titled Anytime Soon which knocked giants like Beyonce, Jay Z and Drake from the #1 album spot on iTunes less than 24 hours after release. He featured on Naeto C’s current single “What You Want” and is working with other popular artistes in the near future. In this interview, the member of the duo, “Soyinka’s Afro” talks about his humble beginnings, his dethronement of international royalty from the #1 spot on iTunes, and plans for the future.
Hello! Can you tell us a bit about your background?
Okay. Ajebutter is a young artist – 23 years old. I grew up in Lagos, went to London for a bit, but I’m back in Lagos now fully. Growing up was pretty chilled for me, it wasn’t too strict, street or rich, I was just a normal kid. I rap, I sort of dabble in singing but not really. I rap with a tune, I rap in Yoruba, as well. I’ve been making music for a while now. I started recording fully in 2011 and I just put out my album “Anytime Soon” early this year.
Why did you decide to go into music?
I think music actually chose me in a way because it was basically like I went to University of Leeds to study Petroleum Engineering. Whilst I was studying, I was putting out music for fun, and it just started to pick up. People around me started liking what I was doing so it pushed me in that direction, more than me pushing myself. It was just a result of the music I was putting out defying expectations.
How did you come up with the moniker “Ajebutter22”?
I mean, I was always going to call myself Ajebutter or something related to that because I just felt like I’m not street and I did not want to act street. I did not want to form street guy because that was what a lot of people were doing at the time and I wasn’t on that vibe. I put it with 22 because I liked it and it just went well together.
You are a member of the group “Soyinka’s Afro”. What was the idea behind the name and how did the group come to be?
My names are always getting me into trouble. Soyinka’s Afro is basically me and my older sister. We started out making music together – that’s how it started. We just liked the name “Soyinka’s Afro”. We thought it was cool. I had one line in one of my songs that had something to do with Soyinka’s Afro so we just stuck with it.
Your debut album “Anytime Soon” was a big success, knocking off international giants like Beyonce Drake off the #1 spot on iTunes, 24 hours after release. Tell us what this moment was like for you.
It was mad, it was ridiculous. It’s just one of these things you just think that maybe, maybe some people will hear it. Then it gets to number 1. Okay, maybe it’s…then it’s now going over people like Beyonce and you are like, yo, you’ve done something good and people are actually listening to the music you used to make when you are chilling in your room. When it happened, someone called me and told me, then I went to check and was like that’s crazy. I was thankful to God and made me feel like this isn’t bullshit that I’m doing.
You collaborated with Studio Magic on the album. Why did you choose to work with him and did you know you guys were going to click from the get go?
Oh my goodness, that is such an unbelievably good question. When I was in London, I met Studio Magic. He hollered me for us to work together and stuff and I agreed. We were going back and forth on some jams but the moment we actually met and started working together – we just made like one jam first – it just changed my whole musical perspective, like I had to change the way I make music. We knew we were going to work on a project together. At that point, we were making “Anytime Soon” a mixtape, but we just knew we had to do this. We are still guys up till today. We are friends, we hangout and stuff. I’m thankful to God for that opportunity.
Out of all the tracks on the “Anytime Soon” album, which one is the most personal to you and why?
I’d say Church Mind, Humble Guy and What Are We because I was just saying how I feel in general. Not just how I feel but how others may be feeling too but are unable to vocally express. Also Okafor’s Law, this one was kind of therapeutic to me.
You were recently featured on Naeto C’s track, “What You Want”. How was the experience like, working with him?
Ah, it was a funny thing. I had malaria that day. We were recording in the middle of the night at some hotel but it was such a chilled vibe and there was no pressure. We were just eating, joking, recording. I’d met Naeto C a while ago and he suggested we work together. We jammed a couple of times, he played me music from his album – which is going to be mad – I played him some jams from my album, which wasn’t yet out at that time.
Who do you look up to in the Nigerian Music industry? Who inspires you?
Naeto C; Mode9 – he was the first person I listened to musically that made me start rapping and understand how to be witty with lyrics; MI, definitely – he is a complete artist, when he raps, you can hear what he’s saying and he’s saying intelligent stuff and that’s what I try to put in my music. Sometimes, you can just make a sweet jam without making sense. You have to push yourself to do both – make a nice jam that’s making sense – and that’s what I got from MI.
What’s the biggest stage you’ve performed on so far?
Koko Concert was pretty crazy and I performed in a stadium in Ilorin, in the school there. I can’t really say but those are the two I remember that I looked at the crowd and was like whoa.
What would you say has been your proudest moment so far?
Releasing the album, going number 1…putting the album out, to be fair, made me very proud. It was like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. All the times I’ve gone number 1 with singles, with the album, being acknowledged, made me very proud.
What project are you working on in the immediate future?
Releasing videos, there are lot of people I’m collaborating with, and recording a new album.
Tell us one thing people don’t know about you.
I’m such an anticlimactic person. I don’t have all these crazy things that make people excited. Okay, let me say I have a lot of elephants, like wooden ones. People think it’s weird. I also don’t like butter.comments powered by Disqus