Music

UK returnee, DIL on why he relocated to Nigeria

-I have over 300 songs yet to be released!

After spending many years behind the scene, churning out great beats for international super-stars like R.Kelly, Trey Songz, among others in the UK, West London born singer, Chike Dil Ajufo has finally proven that he’s also a gifted singer, and those who have heard his recent work, Acapella, featuring Lynxxx and Praiz, have began to appreciate the uniqueness of his songs, from others. DIL, who finally relocated to Nigeria in 2011, told ENCOMIUM Weekly that he has over 300 hit songs yet to be unleashed, adding that it’s high time he gave Nigerians and fans across the world good music like never before.

Why did you return to Nigeria?

I’m back fully and the reason is to pursue my music career from where I stopped years back. Although, I didn’t stop doing music in the UK. In fact, I achieved a lot as a producer in the States before returning home. Home is home, I’m back for good.

You said you did couple of works in the UK. To what extent did those works really pay you?

Basically, I started out as a producer and I was lucky enough to be affiliated with a lot of record labels, and I got a lot of contacts, worked with the likes of R.Kelly, Trey Songz, among others. I also teamed up with artistes like Big Brovaz, Paragon and Red Rhythm. So, I was doing a lot of production before I went into my own kind of music. I worked with JJC.  In Nigeria, I worked with a lot of artistes too, the likes of Kel (when she was hot), Wizkid, Iyanya, Skales and Mode 9.

When exactly did you arrive Nigeria?

Two years ago, around 2011.

What have you been doing since then?

I have been working, recording. At the moment, I have recorded a lot of songs with prominent Nigerian musicians, and it’s high time I started releasing them for my fans. Right now, I am promoting the audio and visual of my song, Acapella featuring Lynxxx and Praiz. I have another song with Iyanya to be released at the end of the month. I have been working with other. I featured in Durella and Tunde Ednut’s songs, among others.

Was Acapella your first official single?

I will actually say Acapella was my first official single but before that I had a song titled I don land, which I did in the UK, but I had to send it over to Nigeria. This was in 2010, but when I moved back, Acapella was actually my first single.

What informed the choice of Praiz and Lynxxx?

First, they are my friends and we are like a family. Second, I did three versions of Acapella. The first was the pop version, which featured Lynxxx because he raps, so he rapped on it. So, after that, I did a softer version which was an acoustic version and I decided to put Praiz. Praiz was in the studio with me, while we were freestyling and I was like, you know what, you should just jump on it and he sang on it and we did it like 5-10 minute and it came out beautiful, everybody loved it. When I did the video, people were leaning toward the acoustic version, so I decided to do a third version which had a bit of pop and a bit of the acoustic version. I put Lynxxx back and Praiz on it and we did the third version and that’s the video I released.

Would it be right to address you as a musician or a producer?

I don’t produce anymore. I have left that. I would say I’m an artiste now. I’m a musician.

Have you finally quit producing?

I won’t say I quit. I’ve just focused more on being an artiste than being a producer. Whereas, in the past, I was focusing more on producing than being an artiste. So, now my production prowess has gone to the background and now my singing and rapping has come to the fore.

What really informed the name Dil?

It’s my middle name. It was given to me by my parents. Dil means heart in Indian language and I guess I was conceived in India. So, it’s like a reminder to my parents where I was conceived. So, my middle name is Dil and my first name is Chike.

Did you get your parent support when you told them you wanted to do music?

No parents wouldn’t support that. It is the African culture, most parents don’t believe in entertainment. They believe in other professions for their children, and I don’t blame them, it is life. But obviously, as time goes on, because when I was in the UK, I did a Beyonce project and I remember I got an award and they (my parents) were surprised, and that was when they believed music pays. Then, Nigerian music hadn’t picked up. They started believing that there is obviously an avenue for business in music and they started supporting a little more. They even supported my relocating here because they were that people here are doing very well, maybe I should come and see how things will go. I guess, they are supporting me now unlike before.

Education background?

I attended West London University. I studied Music Business and Technology. Before that, I was in FGCL Ijanikin, Nigeria, that was where I did my high school.

Who else will you like to work with?

There are lots of people I’ll like to work with. Currently working with Iyanya on my next single. Other people I’d like to work with are Wande coal, Yemi Alade and Tiwa Savage. Definitely, I’d like to look around the industry because everybody is unique, whoever you work with you tend to come out with a unique sound. I’d like to work with a lot of people.

What distinguishes you from other artistes in Nigeria?

I’d say my sound is different and unique. Obviously, I’ve grown over the years with the type of music I do. First, I believe I’m sometimes blunt, my songs comes from personal experience, most of the time or other people’s personal experience and I just believe my sound is a little bit different from the norm. I try to incorporate a little bit of the norm. When I say the norm, I mean like lamba music they call it. I try to incorporate that into my sound because my sound is more international, which a lot of people percieve as a problem. What I do is, I fuse that international sound to the normal sound of Africa, which is naija and the whole lamba stuff, so you get that blend between afrobeat, afropop and international sound. That is what I’m trying to bring to the table. If you hear Acapella, the sound is very international but the way we delivered on the song was very traditional. The music in general is very international. I try to fuse a bit. So, I guess it’s unique. It depends on what the audience think.

Where will you like to see yourself in the two to three years?

A lot of people have vision of where they want to see themselves, and obviously, I want to be an established artiste, which is what I am working on right now. I have my own record label that I’m also promoting. I guess within the two to three, I would be an established artiste in the industry. I would be able to create a change in terms of the kind of sounds and the direction African music is going.

Tell us your relationship with women?

The industry brings popularity and popularity brings attraction or “famzing” like they say. So, sometimes you don’t have to be in the industry before women flock around you. It is tricky. You just have to deal with it.

 – RASHEED ABUBAKAR

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