TIMILEHIN Obanla, also known as T-Me, is one of the promising music acts right now. Since he started music professionally about three years ago, his career has been flourishing. He just dropped the video of his hit song, Tsunami, which has been enjoying wide airplay.
In this interview with ENCOMIUM Weekly on Saturday, October 17, 2015, in Agege, Lagos, the Ogun born Afro-pop artiste spoke on many issues revolving around his life and career, including why he featured beautiful woman in the video.
You started out as an Afro-pop artiste three years ago, how would you describe the journey so far?
It’s been fun, stressful and a lot of work has been put into it. The work part is that it’s stressful while the kind of audience I have commanded so far happens to be the fun aspect of my career. Not that we have actually got what we wanted, we’re gradually forging ahead. And step by step, we will get to the top one day. It’s not something expected to be accomplished overnight.
How many singles and videos have you dropped so far?
I have dropped four singles and three videos. My first single, She wanna wife me, was produced by ID Cabasa. No sooner than I released that, the video was shot as well and that’s in South Africa. It was directed by Godfather. Then, I dropped Omode Olowo and Over there. And then, I shot a video of Omode Olowo, directed by Definition Films. After that, I dropped Tsunami, which is my latest video.
What have been the commendations by the public for all these efforts so far?
It has been cool and encouraging. People used to ignore my songs, but now, I have been getting good response from them. I am enjoying good public assessment and that encourages me to move forward. I always want to do more and more.
How would you rate your latest song, Tsunami? Would you say it surpassed the past ones?
Definitely, Tsunami has surpassed the record of all my previous jobs. For instance, Tsunami is ruling the air waves at the moment. I personally have heard it played on radio stations many times and that’s very encouraging. My first single, She wanna wife me, was aired on radio stations for like 15 times and Omode Olowo was also played more than 20 times on radio. So far, Tsunami has really impressed me a lot. People have started calling me since they saw the video. It’s just being played all over the place now. I am very happy about the development. People are still commending me for the job.
Why do you have a lot of women in Tsunami video? Is it the in-thing now in the hip-hop circle?
No controversy about it, everything about life is love. We’re just trying to explain what’s really happening in the world through a danceable love song. For instance, if you don’t love money you can’t have it. I believe all about life is love and can be expressed with my song. So, nothing strange.
But a lot of your fans would think the essence of featuring those beautiful ladies is for them to be warming your bed on request being a young and handsome guy…
(Cuts in) No, it’s strictly business. They’re paid to dance in the video. After that, nothing else. They go to their respective places. That’s just it. It’s just like we artistes, if we go for a show, we collect money and after that we leave. Parading beautiful girls in my video has nothing to do with romance. I don’t even have time for that. My career first.
Being a handsome and young guy, you must be having some female admirers around you, how do you cope with them?
I have said it in one of my previous interviews that God is my manager. He is the one managing my life for me. So, I can’t do it myself. I am only trying not to look at them. Not that I hate them. I see them not only as admirers but also fans.
Which school do you attend and how do you juggle career and education?
I am in a music school. So, that makes it easy for me to combine the two. I will be graduating in November this year. I used to be in a regular school, I was in Canadian University of Dubai, United Arab Emirates but I left that for music school to enable me face music professionally and do it the way it should be really done.
What informed music and why did you decide to face it squarely at a young age like this?
Music is something I have been doing for a very long time, but I took it as a career about three years ago. Music is something I discovered when I was like 12. I discovered I had the talent, passion and everything that go with music. I believe it’s God given. I also believe it’s what I was born to do. And there is no going back about that.
In the industry, especially among your colleagues in the hip-hop circle, parading baby mamas is not a big deal, what’s your comment on that?
Everyone has his or her own way of life. Some maybe comfortable having baby mamas while some are not. Some are ready to have children now irrespective of their ages while ready for either parading a baby mama now or having a kid. But let me correct the impression, having a love child or baby mama is not peculiar to the music industry. A lot of people from different professions also have baby mamas. Even, a vulcanizer can have a baby mama, there is no big deal about it.
What’s your assessment of Afro-pop right now?
Afro-pop has blown. It’s like Boko Harm bomb. It has really detonated. We’re getting there. At one time, fuji was wider then Afro-pop, juju was also wider but now we’re on top in the music industry. Even, in Africa as a whole, not only in Nigeria. Our target is to take over the whole world.
Where do we see T-Me in five years?
At the top by the special grace of God. That’s what myself and my team are aiming at. And I believe it will work and the sky will be the starting point.
How many major shows or concerts have you performed since you started out?
That’s a lot. I can’t even count. I performed in City People’s event alongside MI and others. I performed alongside Oritsefemi, Konga and others in many shows. I thank God for that.
Do you enjoy parental support?
How do they feel now seeing you as a musician?
They’re okay with it. Not every child can be a medical doctor, banker or lawyer. We’re many in this world. There are about two billion youths in this world, do you now expect all of us to be in the same field? No, that can’t happen. And from the beginning of this world, music has always been there. Without music, there is no life. So, my parents are in full support of my career and I appreciate them for that.
Under what record label are you operating?
Who owns it?
It’s my own record label. I run it myself.
Do you have any other artiste on it apart from yourself?
Not yet. That can be done after I blow.
– TADE ASIFAT