I Used To Be A Conductor In Lagos Before Music – Singer, Oxlade Speaks About Humble Beginnings
Sharing a somewhat similar fate with Nigerian songstress, Tems, co-star Oxlade has narrated his parvenu story and how he grew up in the ghetto parts of Lagos.
Before things began to fall in place for Oxlade, the singer noted that he once did odd jobs like being a conductor as well as an attendant at a Lagos internet cafe.
Speaking to OkayAfrica in a new chat, Ku Lo Sa crooner details his humble beginnings.
Have at it below:
I was born in Mushin, somewhere on the mainland, one of the most notorious places in Lagos. A lot of people like Konga and Wande Coal came up from there. Due to the fact that my area was really rough, my grandma decided to send me to live with my dad after secondary school. So, I moved to Surulere. During all this, I was already in the church choir, I have always been a church boy, being in the church choir, youth choir, teens choir, and all types of choir groups. I have always been doing music. People ask me how I got such a good voice and I just say it’s years of voice training and rehearsals that I didn’t even know I was going to need. So I feel like music choose me before I even choose music. That’s why it’s a love affair between me and music. That’s why it feels like it’s spiritual. That’s why it feels quite personal to me when I perform or when I make or release music.
I was raised in a poor family, and I lost my mom when I was three, so I moved in with my grandma. I was basically raised by my grandma. After my secondary school, and the fear of me joining gangs and all that she sent me to Surulere to go stay with my pops and I moved into the university, where I got into recording music. I had a company that I used to do work for so we wanted to record proper music and make money off streams. We ended up meeting producer Alpha Ojini. I had a song called “Sour,” it’s the first song Blaqbonez heard from me and he just hit me up like we need to connect.
As of then, I was in the streets, I was a bus conductor, selling tickets around and I was also working at the Cyber Cafe trying to make ends meet, at that point my dad was reluctant to pay my bills. I had to leave the house and everything because nobody really wanted me to do music. I was living with a guy called Naya, and a guy called Ojah Bee. Crazy, Naya has gone on to become of Nigeria’s biggest directors, and Ojah Bee is my manager right now and is also a producer.
It all just happened like a movie. I became a full artist after dropping “Mamiwota.” At that point, “Mamiwota” was ready Chocolate City didn’t want it to make the album and I didn’t really care cause I was still hustling. Then all of a sudden he just comes back again, and was like, oh “Mamiwota” is making the project. I didn’t even have a Twitter account… like I didn’t have a phone. They just buzzed me, yo, I was trending and I didn’t know how to use Twitter but my friends kept telling me I was hot on Twitter. When I got online and saw the love I got without anybody knowing what I looked like really just gave me the confidence that you know what, let’s give this music a try like fuck every other thing, let’s do this music thing properly, properly. That’s how I got into music.