2017 has been a great year for the Nigerian music industry. It is a year that has witnessed more Nigerian artists breakout to the International scene, quality albums have been released and the internet has delivered the birth of a new generation of talented and exiting artists, perhaps more than ever before.
One of such names that burst onto the scene at the start of the year is Miami based Nigerian artist Daramola, following the release of his debut album The Last Time I Tried in February. Also known as D-flow, Daramola is a producer, songwriter and performing artist.
Born in Nigeria to Gbemi Olaleye, one of the foremost gospel musicians credited with songs like “Leta Ayo”, “Oore Ofe”, “Jesu Npada bo” amongst others, Daramola discovered his love for music at an early age and has been making music for over 15 years. He released his first project Nothing Really Matters 1 of 2 in 2016 but it wasn’t until the debut album that his name came to the notice of many back home in Nigeria.
The talented act who is known for his unique voice range has won several awards and worked alongside the likes of Flo Rida, Natalie La Rose and Andy Mineo. He is currently in the lab working on his second album which he promises to be special, filled with creativity and interesting story lines.
Daramola released his latest single “Liberian Girl”, which is a brilliant merger of MJ’s classic tune and the Remedies “Shakomo” that best typifies how the singer merges ancient and modern, local and foreign so smoothly.
Filterfree recently caught up with Daramola and had a chat on his music, plans and the industry.
How would you describe your sound?
My sound is pure vibes. I don’t have a go to genre when making music. I am currently working on my new album and it is literally a mix between 80’s New Wave Music, Synth Pop, Trap music, Highlife and Moody vibes. I know it sounds like a lot but I am a producer first so I have to think like this.
Two years, two projects already, what is the plan?
The plan really is to keep making sounds that people can’t resist. I am not too keen on having a name just for the sake of having one. I want to transcend the average perception people have about artists. Hence why my music is the way it is. There is a bigger plan though and it will definitely come to light sooner or later.
Your debut album, The Last Time I Tried was quite impressive, did it meet your set objectives in terms of fans appreciation and numbers?
It did way more than I expected. I made it at a time when I was going through a tough time. I made it with the mind that I was never going to do music again. The plan was for it to have at least a thousand people streaming the album and the numbers did turn out quite impressive. Upon its release, it debuted at number 7 on the iTunes Top ten world charts, it also landed on a few prominent Spotify playlists, so yeah I think I can say it did very well.
The album had some songs that really caught the attention of a lot of music lovers, I know songs like ‘Lotto’ made it unto some Nigerian radio stations and ‘Palmgrove Estate’ was like everyone’s favourite song but talk us through the song ‘Tuwaraya Mama’, it’s obviously an Igbo song, so what was the inspiration behind that?
I wanted to take direct approach to an African sound, hence the production. Together with my cousin Ezekiel who played the Guitar on the track, we tried to create something unique so we took bits of the Nigeria 70 Lagos Jump hit Eddie Quansa by the Peacocks Guitar Band and that’s how the song came to be.
You cut across as a Mummy’s boy, how much of a support has she been to your career?
I am not much of a Mummy’s boy to be honest (laughs), we do have a great relationship though, she is a musician so she obviously has influenced a lot of my sound and I can say she is majorly my reason for doing music.
Who are your music influences?
I am a producer as well as an artist, so it is a mix between producers and artists. Right now, I have been listening to a lot of stuff from the 80s, artists like Peter Schilling and Nena, Angelique Kidjo, The Weeknd, 40, Majid Jordan, DVSN, Sarz, Niniola (She has been a major vibe lately), Electric Guest and the likes. But my all-time inspirations have to be Michael Jackson, Gbemi Olaleye (My Mum) and London Grammer.
What sort of deal do you have with BMI Records?
I am signed to BMI as a producer/songwriter. That is primarily it; they are my performing rights organization.
You seem to have a lot of things going on outside the music, what’s that all about?
Yeah, I have a gang of things but its crunch time so I have been honing it down to the music. Music is the focal point for me, I have been doing more production stuff for other people so I have had to travel and work and I am just about getting into my album too, so it’s majorly about the music.
Are you ever bothered with the ‘new wave’ or ‘Soundcloud artist’ tag that people refer to acts like you?
The tag new wave is quite complementary. As far as being a Soundcloud artist, it’s a matter of perspective to me. Sound cloud is an awesome platform, so I guess it is what it is. I am not caught on titles and won’t let that bother me; the music transcends whatever platform it’s on.
Quick thoughts on the music industry
Honestly, it’s lit. The sounds coming out are phenomenal, I have connected with a few industry OG’s and even the new ones and it has been amazing.
Your sound is not the typical commercial sound that we are used to, do you think fans will ever get to that point of buying your music and not just download for free?
Yeah, that won’t be a bad thing, if it happens it happens. I am making music with an international focus so I guess it comes with the territory. There will always be something for everyone on my project. A few of my records are being played already, that has been a blessing because I genuinely didn’t plan any of that. Good music transcend, so it is what it is.
The “Swim Float Drown” singer continues to feed his growing fans with non- stop singles as he is committed to carving his own niche on the path to hitting the lotto.