My Goal Was to Become an FBI Agent But…

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Iceberg Slim:

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

About myself

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 can’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 can’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. That’s what gave me reason to move to Nigeria, as everyone was waiting for what’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 I’m saying, and get the best of both worlds. That was the biggest challenge, as I wasn’t fluent in Yoruba and pidgin, so it took time for me to sync.

I just released a new single, Oluwa

I’m still working. Oluwa was well received and it’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, it’s always an honour to work with whoever I’m working with, because they give you their time and attention. So, I feel I haven’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 that’s just who I am. I can’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 it’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, that’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 I’m done with that.

My ideal woman is the woman that I have

I have a beautiful woman and her name is Juliet. And that’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 everyone’s and that’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, I’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 that’s me, a musician.

That’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.

I’m not competing with anyone

I’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. I’m not too concerned about who is doing this or what, but about who God says something about.

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