He goes by a peculiar stage name, Tankolowiska, but was born Ishola Olayink. He is a talented artiste from the ancient city of Ibadan, Oyo State. He entered the music scene in 2011. Undeterred by the hard-hitting competition in the music industry, Tankolowiska continued to pursue his passion even while he pursued his studies abroad. He spoke with Mary Ekah about his latest single ‘Bolaji’ and plans to conquer the music scene in Nigeria and the world
Tankolowiska sounds out of this world. How did you come about that name?
Tankolowiska, is name I got from my friends and love ones who believe that I am a strong guy. These were friends who were always around me and went about with me. So I grew to like it and stick to the name.
Now tell us about your journey into the music scene?
I discovered music in 2011, then I just liked going to the recording studio and mingled with friends and from there I got encouraged by a friend that I could do music and from there I started developing interest in music even though I had this passion for music from my childhood. And before then, I used to drum for a church while my late father was a Muslim but that didn’t stop me from what I liked and that was how I continued pursuing my passion till I dropped my first single, ‘Ibadie Nsoro’.
What kind of music do you play and how many tracks have you done so far?
I play Afro-pop and I also rap but I have not got an album yet because I have been struggling all alone to push myself all this while. So it has been tough coming out with a full album just like that. So I have been doing it bit by bit, releasing one track after the other. But now I am back to Nigeria right now with a determination to conquer the music scene, hoping to produce my first album soon.
Where were you before now?
I have stayed in Malaysia for a while studying at the Nilai University College, Malaysia. I studied Business Administration. After graduation, I continued with my music. Right now, I have a studio in Malaysia where I always produce my music and I also have my record label too. There have been great challenges all along but I am not daunted because I believe I have so much to do in this industry. I have done my single, ‘Titilailai’ and then collaborated with Olamide for my hit track ‘Bass line’ and then ‘Ibadie Nsoro’ and now the latest, ‘Bolaji’ which I just dropped.
As the name suggests, Bolaji is my way of preaching humility. ‘Bolaji’ in Yoruba means to ‘wake with wealth’ and trust me, everybody wants to wake up with wealth. The song basically passes a message about treating people with respect without knowing their status. Gospel on De Beatz produced it. And very soon, I hope to drop an album for my numerous fans but first; I will wait for the response for the video on Bolaji that I just released. The title I propose for the album should be ‘Believe’ because it has been a very long journey and if I didn’t believe in myself, I couldn’t have gotten to this stage. Right now, I have done like over 10 tracks of songs because I believed I could make it big.
What inspires your songs?
My personal experiences, happenings around, life challenges and love have inspired my music.
How was growing up?
I was born Ishola Olayinka, at the University College Hospital, Ibadan in 1985. I attended my primary and secondary school in Ibadan, Oyo State and later attended Lead City University before I finally moved abroad to study Business Administration at Nilai University College, Malaysia.
Now that you are back and fully into music, what has been your parents’ reaction?
I think I got their full support. I got support from a lot of people who believe in my dreams and who are ready to support me. My mother especially is always there for me because I lost my father when I was still a child. And then my friends gave me so much support too. In fact, a lot of people supported me because they see the passion in me and they believe that I can do it. Music is my passion and they all know that.
If you were not doing music what else would you have done?
I have a lot of talents because I take out time to learn a lot of things and right now, I am a graphic designer. I am always trying to do different things, so I believe that if I didn’t do music nor get into any business, I will do so many other things like being an inspirational speaker and all that. It wasn’t actually on my mind to do music, even though I had a passion for it right from childhood but while going around and around, I got so inspired and so I learned the skills. But being in music, I would say is not a mistake anyway.
Are you single?
I am single and ready to mingle but not in a rush. I am being careful now because I have learnt my lessons. It’s not easy when you talk about love. Love is a very strong word for me and so I am being very careful with whom I chose to share my love with.
You are a new comer in the music industry and you know quite well that there are lots of good talents out there. How do you hope to survive?
No one intimidates me because I will always be me and I believe the future is bright for me and as long as I don’t stop but keep looking forward, I will make it. I put everything in God’s hand while I do my best and leave the rest to God.