Olusegun Olowookere, aka Iceberg Slim, is a rapper. He has made music with Ja Rule, 2Face Idibia, Tiwa Savage, MI, Ice Prince, Sauce Kid, DaGrin, Banky W, eLDee, Vector and others. In this interview with Tosin Clegg, he talks about his career since his return to Nigeria, and his relationship with Juliet Ibrahim
My name is Olusegun Olowookere. I went to John Jay College of Criminal Justice to study, back then when my actual plan in life was to be an FBI agent. Unfortunately, I felt music was much of a higher calling for me. Growing up, I attended a CAC church in New York and I thought myself how to play the keyboard. So, I always felt music was a part of me so I went to the Institute of Audio Research where I learnt a lot about music production, video production and editing. Basically, I learned everything from audio to video. I just wanted to have the technical know-how of how to operate.
Iceberg Slim was given to me by my cousin
I canâ€™t remember what year that was, but I was about 14 or 15, when I was given the name Iceberg Slim by my cousin and I had a lot of girlfriends then. The original Iceberg Slim was a pimp hence he gave me the name, because I had a lot of girls around me.
I was born and raised in New York
I was born and raised in New York and visited Nigeria twice when I was 3 and 6 years for about two weeks each. So, I really canâ€™t remember much of Nigeria from my childhood. When I wanted to focus on my music career and wanted to make Nigerian music, I decided to move to Nigeria in 2012, to be here full-time.
It took a lot to blend into Nigerian music scene
The first thing that got a lot of people talking and got me some fan base in Nigeria was the controversial song, Better Than MI which a lot of people were talking about before I moved to Nigeria. So, at that time, that was the leverage I had as a lot of people knew my name. Thatâ€™s what gave me reason to move to Nigeria, as everyone was waiting for whatâ€™s next from me. So, on coming, it was about finding my ground and creating a niche for myself, where I can fit in in the industry.
My earliest challenges
I was basically trying to find my ground. Coming from New York, I was used to making Yankee music. So, coming to Nigeria, I had to fine tune it to make it relatable to the average Nigerian, particularly from the beats to the references in my lyrics and things that I say. It sounded too foreign but I had to find a common ground where a typical Nigerian can understand what Iâ€™m saying, and get the best of both worlds. That was the biggest challenge, as I wasnâ€™t fluent in Yoruba and pidgin, so it took time for me to sync.
I just released a new single, Oluwa
Iâ€™m still working. Oluwa was well received and itâ€™s a different sound from Iceberg Slim; it was me going in a different direction from what people know of me, as they see me as a rapper. So, I have shown them a different side of me now.
I have worked with different people in the industry
They range from different producers to artistes, and the list goes on. So, itâ€™s always an honour to work with whoever Iâ€™m working with, because they give you their time and attention. So, I feel I havenâ€™t accomplished so much and I thank everyone who has given me their time.
My style of music is a fusion of where I grew up
American style mixed with Nigerian style and thatâ€™s just who I am. I canâ€™t change my accent, so my style is simply a fusion of the two. Also, in the next couple of months, we should be expecting an EP, and itâ€™s about time I dropped a body of work. I have been working on some songs and I have more in my archive. So, you should be expecting a mixtape or an EP.
The context of the name Iceberg Slim
Back then, I was young and I was finding myself. I was going through puberty and I had swag, so a lot of girls wanted to be around me but I have matured and I have found myself. So, thatâ€™s not me anymore but the name just stuck with me. Sounded cool when I was young when you have someone hailing you but now Iâ€™m done with that.
My ideal woman is the woman that I have
I have a beautiful woman and her name is Juliet. And thatâ€™s my ideal woman, as she completes me.
How I keep fit and healthy
I try to eat healthy as much as I can and go to the gym at least four to five times a week. My hair is very unique and different from everyoneâ€™s and thatâ€™s the number one thing in my branding that makes me unique and different from other artistes.
For me as an artiste, I love great music
So, I listen to a lot of music and when I hear something great it inspires me. I listen to both local and international music but anytime I hear music that touches me in a particular way, as music is very spiritual, Iâ€™m inspired and that makes me want to make music.
To be an FBI agent was actually a goal
It was bigger than I thought and a real goal at one point but now I have found my calling; my true calling and thatâ€™s me, a musician.
Thatâ€™s something that has gone with the wind but I still read about it, own books about it and watch things about it learning every day.
Iâ€™m not competing with anyone
Iâ€™m just trying to utilise the gift that God gave me. And wherever that takes me I just want to touch lives and inspire people across the world with my music and sound. Iâ€™m not too concerned about who is doing this or what, but about who God says something about.
Desmond Elliott Leads
Kwavithon 5K Race in Lagos
Determined to extend love and support to survivors of sexual assault and rape, International lifestyle coach, kwavi Agbeyegbe, has created a campaign, #MiraclesForMirabel. To achieve this at the Mirabel Centre in Lagos, the Atlanta Georgia-based mother of two is set to hold the second edition of her â€œKwavithon 5K raceâ€ event in Lagos today.
The race, which will be led by Honorable Desmond Elliott, a lawmaker and filmmaker, is aimed at providing a platform for awareness on the frequency of rape in the community and open up conversation on what could be done to reduce rape and sexual assault in the society. Shedding more light on the race, Ms. Kwavi emphasised on the urgent need to create more awareness for the sake of the children.
She said: â€œThe race, which will start at Seven8, Playground, 13B Adebayo Doherty, Lekki Phase I, is targeted at creating awareness, as awareness creates change. Once you tell one person, they will tell another, using social media, word of mouth and other methods. And before you know it, a movement has started! I believe every individual has interest in the dialogue of cases relating to sexual assault and rape. We all have our mothers, grandmothers, daughters, sisters, wives, aunts or female friends.â€
Socialite, Abiola Adesanya Launches Fashion Line
Abby Adesanya is a prÃªt-Ã -porter (Ready to Wear) fashion shop based in the heart of Lagos. Launched recently by the beautiful Lagos-born socialite, Abiola Adesanya, it caters for the ready-to-wear market delivering top quality pieces, neatly sown, attractively branded and ready for the everyday woman.
With appreciation of the works of Deola Sagoe and April by Kunbi, Adesanya is also set to be a fashion house worthy of patronage and admiration. She is undoubtedly here to stay and serve the public.
Her label piece is fit for the modern day woman. It encompasses corporate wears, casuals and traditionals, which are quite attractive.
The Zoology graduate, who after a stint in the telecommunications industry, as well as running other businesses, is not going back in following a nude she has always had as since she was a little girl growing up in Surulere.
Legacy Music Empire berths in Lagos
It was a beehive of activities at the official unveiling of Legacy Empire Music label, with its artistes and management on parade on November 3, 2017. The event which took place at White House Hotel, Ikeja was graced by celebrities like Denrele Edun, African China, Comedian De-Don, Shine Begho (OAP) and the Empire team.
Undoubtedly, Legacy Empire Management has made a name for itself as one of the leading management companies that offers invaluable positioning for creativity, brands and products globally, deploying dexterity in every business commitment to achieve set and strategic objectives that proffers excellent service(s) and return on investment for entities, brands, products and creative proclivity.
The music and visual artistes currently signed on to LEM include FirewoodZ, Tosing, Cocoa, and young and talented music producer, MadskillZ .
Iâ€™ Have Different Vibe and Sound
Kenneth Jack, aka Shaykay, is an afro pop sensation. In this chat with Tosin Clegg, he talks about his music career
What kind of music do you do and how long have you been in the industry?
I do only Afro pop and Iâ€™ve been in music now for over four years, but I started off professionally when I finished high school. I got a wider range of audience and I was getting booked for several shows- up till date.
Who are your role models?
If you are talking about those in the country, Iâ€™ll say Wizkid, Davido, Burna Boy and 2face. While on the foreign scene, they are Chris Brown, Bryson Tiller and Usher.
Whatâ€™s the flavour you are bringing into the music industry and what should your fans expect?
Well, Iâ€™m coming with a different vibe and sound entirely. The main purpose is for my fans to dance and then vibe to the new song wherever they are, and they should expect new music in a few weeks from now and a video.
Where do you see yourself in a few years?
In the next few years, I see myself being the new boy on deck in the music industry, winning next rated, and for me to be known everywhere and my music played everywhere across the world.