ODUMODU BLACK in Los Angeles

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Afrobeats is taking over the music scene and we’re here for it! “Nigeria’s Most Wanted Tour’ opened up withJeleel’s real raw energy and continued with Deto Black’s sultry vibes to the stage. We caught up with theartists and had an exclusive sit down with the headliner, the “Most Wanted”man himself, Odumodu Black! Here is what they had to say about their music, purpose and much more

Jeleel on his identity and development as an artist

Afrobeats has always been my thing, I make a lot of different music. One of the songs that blew up was “Dive In” whichwas more like rage music. I am an African Rockstar — that’s the music I’ve been making, that’s music that is true to me. I am African, I am justputting my own twist on it.

Jeleel on performing

Performing is like drinking water to me. I was born to do this.

Deto Black on self-expression in her music

I love having a voice and being able to use it for women like me I think it’s really important and music is a way to saythe things you don’t really get a chance to say in a regular conversation

Deto Black on what’s next for her

Just dropped my single ‘Naija Babes’ and I’m excited for the video to come out also working towards my second EP sowatch out for that!


ODUMODU on his preshow routine

I like to sleep.

Odumodu on being signed to a label and why he makes music

Basically, signing to a record label just helps amplify your talent, and get your music to where you might not have been able to get it to, maybe it can happen in a quicker time that helps you build confidence and you need to understand why you are doing what you’re doing. Cause people make music for the wrong reasons; some people make it for fame or just for money, not saying those are the wrong reasons but in general people make it for the wrong reasons. These two years have made me understand why I am doing it.

I do it to spread the truth, for people to know what is happening in society, even with some of my lyrics they may sound funny but when you look at it, it’s real. I am always trying to paint a picture and also on an inspiring note, I am fromAbuja, the fact that I can do this thing and it can work— that means people from Abuja can do it, people from Calabar can do it, etc. People don’t have to go to Lagos or don’t need to stay there for it to work for them. I am like an instrument of light for the other people to see that it’s possible, it can be done, regardless of where you’re from.


Odumodu on working with the Native Records team

That’s my family, our visions are aligned. No long talk! I have known them for some time and I knew that if I was goingto do this music thing, I would work with them. We speak the same language.

Odumodu on being authentic in your cultural identity and truth

It’s like saying white and trying to tell people it’s black. That’s like my music. Even down to the way I talk to uberdrivers (in America), I try to make them know I am from Nigeria. Immediately I talk they know seh I be Nigerian person.That’s why a lot of people like me because when I come into the game, I was living the life that a lot people are already living and wanted to live but you’re not really comfortable with it. For example, in Nigeria, people will say the way I talk is “razz” but I am really educated — see the way I am talking now. I can talk like this and say “hey what’s up how are you” what is your thought process...and I can still say “guy how far? wetin dey sup? Wetin dey reason” (Nigerian Pidjin/ vernacular). You see in every city, I try make sure they know it is me, that it’s okay to be like this cause that’s the only way to be yourself. if you try to do something else it’s just going to fail, you will not be able to keep up with it again. But me, the way I am, the way I came out, when they hear I did something they say “ah don’t worry, it’s Odumodu, it’s normal” I took early blows to be able to live comfortably now. I have already given myself the excuse to be who I am. My twitter for instance, some artist can’t Tweet the way I Tweet because they didn’t start off like that, for me that’s how I have always been.


Odumodu on purpose

You gotta use every resource you have to get to that place of purpose. I know what I want to do for myself, I know howI want to change the world.

Odumodu on education and bridging the gap in his lyrics

I’m a student of Fela, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, I have read their books. Education has always been important, learning has always been important and even in my lyrics I try to bridge the gap with people who are the upper echelon and the people who are “down below”. In “Blood on the Dance Floor” I say something like “Odumodu fela fulu decipher konji” the word konji is like a slang in the streets in Nigeria. The CEO of a bank will probably not understand the meaning and someone in the streets doesn’t understand the meaning of decipher. When I say decipher konji, the guy on the street wants to know what decipher is because he already knows what konji is and when I say konji, the guy in the upper echelon knows what decipher is, he wants to know what konji is. So I use my education to try to bridge that gap!

Odumodu on his legacy

My own legacy is about togetherness and helping people. Helping out the gangsters that I was coming up with that we’re still coming up, cause at the end of the day people are really hungry in the streets so that’s part of why I make music, to help people.