Keshinro Ololade, known in the music industry as Lil Kesh, does music not just as a hobby but as serious business. Kesh shot himself into limelight with his chart-topping song, ‘Shoki’ which got him acclaim from music critics. Affiliated to YBNL as a recording artiste, Lil Kesh is currently signed under his record label YAGI Records, an acronym for ‘Young and Getting It’. In this interview with Tosin Clegg, Kesh talks about YBNL, his new label and next project
I had a two-year contract which ended some few weeks back and, the thoughts of Olamide from time, was that his prayer stands firm with all artistes on his label; which is that after two years, all artistes he signed should not consider signing into another record label, rather they should be able to stand on their own and try and help other people, just as he believed in me. Olamide was aware, because we had discussed it before my contract ended, that I was going to float my own label which he is in total support of, as I know I have his backing always.
It means Young and Getting It and YAGI is like me, because everybody knows my new logo now; I am 22 and I am doing well for myself, even with the name of the album. As I said earlier, it talks basically about me; I am just starting off, I am learning and, at the same time, I am getting it. I stand for YAGI and YAGI stands for me. Good stuff is still going to come out of my stable and YBNL. The fact that I am floating my own label does not matter and does equally mean I am no longer under YBNL, because that is where a lot of people are getting it wrong. Olamide and YBNL movement is still managing me as an artiste and the fact that I have my own label simply means that YAGI Records is being managed by YBNL. We are still together; Olamide and I still record in the same studio and work with the same set of producers. As you all know, YBNL is a family thing and we all support each other.
Most people got it wrong because he designed the label logo and my album artwork. Gold has always supported me from day one, as well as other people on the YBNL label. I am the only artiste on YAGI records; come to think of it, where do people expect me to get money from to sign Adekunle Gold?; my bro it’s expensive. My life has moved from not being famous to being famous It’s actually something; stages and experience that come with it. Trying to adjust from a life of walking peacefully on the street and people not disturbing you to one where you are restricted to what you can do and what you can say online.
For me, that change was quite difficult. Many don’t know how freely I do my things back then before the fame came in. Basically, my album is a reflection of my past, present and probably the future, as the case maybe.
Life of a star came as a reflection of all I have been through. I was actually mediating when the song vibe came in. So, I called Pheelz the producer that I was ready and that Adekunle Gold will be dropping few lines too. The funniest part was that Adekunle and I went for a show in Abeokuta and we travelled down to Lagos the following morning. We lodged in a hotel due to fuel scarcity then and we had all the recording tools available and Adekunle did his verse, went back to sleep, woke and continued and at the end of the day, the song came out nice.
Each time I want to record a song, I go down memory lane to where I was coming from; the street, my environment and every situation I find myself in. I’m also an online person and I play a lot. So, at times, I put my hobby and character into my music. I am trying to make the best of the situation I have found myself. My story is quite different from everyone else’s, because things started happening for me at a very young age and the number of things I was able to achieve within two years has been great, as so many people ordinary did not believe that I will go this far. So, the only thing that is still making be relevant is the music; outside the music, Lil Kesh is just a boy.
My case is different, because my father is a Christian and I grew up in a very gospel family. My father has his own church, and there I had music to enjoy from my parents; because music was all around me and that also informs the creative side of me. Despite the fact that my parents are good Christians, they are always in support of what their children are willing to do and, more importantly, they preach the education gospel too. My parents will give their blessings as long as you are on the right cause; they are my number one fans and have always supported my music from the onset.
Childhood and Education
Bariga was most memorable; I represent my hood 100%, and that’s why I speak about them in my music and all around. I am proud of my hood, I learnt a lot growing up there. The environment was the best fun-spot for me that made me realise I had a great potential in music. I can brag anywhere that there are lots of hidden talents in Bariga. I represent my hood at every corner, on social media.
Believe me sincerely, it’s crazy, I must say, but it’s more like an online thing (NOUN University) for me now, because that works for me more than going to class as I need utmost concentration to face my academics. Education is key and very important; if you are young and out there and making money at a very tender age; you still need to be educated as it is mandatory; that makes one to compete with others. You are enjoying the money now but when you are old, you’ll wish you had the certificate.
My Music Career
Next for me now is shooting videos of the YAGI album; more singles and better work ahead; planning tours across the continent and focusing on how to make my own label stand too.
Most songs come in quick succession. For instance, I might be sleeping and when I wake up, an idea or lyrics come to my mouth, I quickly dash into the studio to do my lines and much later I sit down and outline my lyrics and lines accordingly.
I say that because I had a nice year from two years back and this is another year. I can only hope for God’s favour and showers of blessing over me. I am positive that this year and the coming years will be better. I am just at the starting point of the career, as I still have a long way to go. I am still hustling.
The Olamide Factor
If there is another percentage after 100, I think Olamide deserves that and more. He did not make us regard being an artiste, celebrity and famous the way every other people see it. He made us believe so much in our potentials and always advises emphatically that when fame comes, we should tread softly and always remember where we were coming from. Before I was officially signed on YBNL record, I had moved and studied Olamide as a person because I was curious to know what made him successful in the industry and, within a short time, I learnt a lot from him. One fact people don’t know is that Olamide does not see himself as big in the industry yet, he hustles like he is an upcoming artiste.
Best vacation spot
That will surely be South Africa, because the very first time I travelled there; I loved the place and wanted to go back.
First experiences out of the Nigeria
I was just eager to get on the plane; my first time outside the country was to London and then I was supposed to travel a day before but my manger had issues with his paper; so we had to go the next day and because I had my eyes on the plane, and had pictured how I was sitting in the plane; I asked my manager if I could go before him so he could join me later.
From the Church
I don’t joke with my creator; despite all the celebrity thing; this life doesn’t freak me, I always remember where I came from and how far God has position me because my story is a testimony; what excuse do I have not to praise my creator.
Social Media Beefs
I don’t understand oo. This year has been so funny, the level of beef is so high, it’s like they are just importing more cows into the country. For me, I don’t think beefing or hating your fellow is necessary but I think the social media is doing the most part of it because a lot of people get to talk nonsense and contribute to other people’s business; because social media is allowing it. But at some point, come to think of it, Nigerians are bored and suffering, no water, no light, no fuel; if what is good or bad about celebrities is what is making them happy, they should keep it up then.
Mr. Ibu Storms Gambia, Gets 5-Star Reception
Popular Nollywood comic actor, John Okafor, aka Mr. Ibu, was in The Gambia, where he received a five-star reception from people of the country, who were happy to see the Nigerian movie star for the very first time.
On the trip was Mr. Ibu’s international manager, Mr. Okechukwu Nwuzor. The movie star visited Gambia’s radio and television stations where he was interviewed.
An official, Don Singles, said Gambians were delighted to see Mr. Ibu in their country, adding that the artiste is a big hit in the country.
According to him, Gambians love the actor.
He said, the hospitality accorded to Mr. Ibu in Gambia was massive all through the period he was in that country. Don Singles further disclosed that Mr. Ibu also visited the Nigeria Embassy in The Gambia where he exchanged pleasantries with officials at the embassy.
Also reacting to his recent visit to the Gambia, Mr. Ibu said he appreciated the hospitality he received from the Gambians during the period, and particularly, thanked President Yahya Jammeh, whom he described as one of the best leaders in Africa, noting that he would continue to support the good governance rendered by the President to his people in Gambia.
Dawn , Voice Nigeria Contender to Release a New Song
Dawn has been singing for some years, but it was mostly plain, background stuff. She was involved in a recent popular singing competition, The Voice Nigeria which further launched her music career.
The Airtel-sponsored show was a major avenue for her to grow and wax stronger in her craft as a musician. Waje was her mentor on the show and that aided her growth.
What to expect from Dawn is her debut single, which she will put out in a few weeks. She is excited about it because it is her first song ever.
Ineh The Musical Starts Showing in September
Ineh The Musical is a music drama about mothers and the sacrifices they make for their children as they grow up. It’s captivating, inspiring, and for the family, exciting and entertaining. It’s directed by Makinde Adeniran and produced by Ijewere Production. The musical drama is set to start showing from September and will run till December, this year. The cast is of a vibrant league of talent and an energetic band to fire up the quality of theatre performances expected on the set of Ineh. It will be playing at the National Theatre to the delight of esteemed guests.
My Music Soothes the Soul
Uche Iroha, aka Airo, started his career about a decade ago and grew largely from onset as a studio engineer. He has worked with 2face. In this chat with Tosin Clegg, he talks about music
Tell us more about you?
I’m Uche Iroha, aka, ‘Airo’ from Abia State and an Engineer. I am a song writer and have been into entertainment for a while now. My kind of music is soothing to the soul and sweet to the ears. It’s informative and educative.
How long have you been in the music industry?
I have always been in entertainment; from films, scriptwriting, making music videos, productions and a lot more. I’m also writing and there is a book in view.
What is your new music about?
My new music, Samba Rumba is a good feeling and it’s Brazilian. It has something to do with sport and it passes a message on bringing back humanity. Generally, it is about life in a sportive form.
What’s your relationship with 2face?
2face is my boss. I majored in sound engineering and we met in Festac. I met 2face casually and that’s where we started from. Working with a big act like 2face was a big experience for me, and every sound engineer wants to work with a big act.
How do you feel about your progress so far?
It makes me feel great. And I never envisioned what the buzz will be like, and someone advised me to start the push for my music. It’s been overwhelming and it’s been playing over the radio, especially this new track.