Entertainment, Interviews

‘Up and coming actors are not paid much, no matter how good you are’

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With the uncanny gift to sing and interpret roles, Oyita is not the everyday artiste – she’s an entertainer! Born Ayobami Tosin Oyinojo, the Ilesa, Osun indigene is determined to excel both as an actress and a singer.

She spoke with ENCOMIUM Weekly on how her sojourn in entertainment has been; why she likes singer, Flavour and how up and coming movie acts are not well remunerated…

 

How did music start for you?

Music started for me quite a long time in church. I was a chorister. Even before then, I had always been singing.

So, what would you say made you decide ‘it’s music for me and nothing else’?

I love music. I love entertaining, not only through music. I’m an entertainer, I act as well. I just love making people happy. Even before I went professional, people always said ‘you should become an actress’.

So, between singing and acting which would you say you love more?

I really love both of them, and I have been into both since childhood. I started acting while in primary three, I have always been a star.

How long have you been in entertainment professionally?

Professionally, for about six or seven years. At a point, I thought I had to take a break as I wasn’t finding it easy. I travelled and got back about two years to resume fully.

How has the journey been?

Rough, I will say. But I give God the glory. It’s been putting food on my table.

Which pays more between music and movies?

It’s music.

….you devote more time to music?

No. In fact, I devote more time to acting. The thing is acting only pays when you are well known. Even if you can act very well, as an up and coming actor, you won’t be paid that much. We have some stars today that cannot act that well, but they are well paid just because of the face. Their brand is what is selling. But as a musician, if you are good and you have a good management, you would get money. Though not much, but compared to acting, it pays better.

What are some of the movies you’ve featured in?

I featured in Omo Senator, Teminire and so many others.

Who are some of the stars you’ve featured alongside in movies?

Odunlade Adekola, Femi Adebayo, Ibrahim Itele, Saidi Balogun, Mercy Aigbe and a lot of others.

Most times we hear people say contrasting things about working with these stars. What was your experience on set with them?

With some, it was easy, others not so much. But the fact is, if you know how to play your cards, you won’t have any problem with them. The problem is when some upcoming actors arrive location, they try to make everyone notice their presence. They do what is called attache. But for me, if I arrive on set I respectfully greet everyone and be on my own. Not because I am pompous, but I know who my seniors are in the industry. I believe if you respect yourself and respect others, you won’t have any issue with anybody. Personally, I’ve not had any problem with anybody because I don’t bite more than I can chew.

Now, back to music. What kind of music do you do?

Afro pop, with a blend of English and Yoruba. I respect the Yoruba tradition a lot so, everything I do, it shows.

Who are your music influences, home and abroad?

Abroad, Beyonce and Rihanna. At home, Tiwa Savage. I like her.

You mentioned only female acts, is it that you don’t fancy the male acts?

I love them too. The likes of 2 Baba; the boss himself, Don Jazzy; P Square as well as Olamide.

Considering there are a quite of number of female acts who are well known, what makes you stand out from the others?

My originality. I don’t do what other people do. I don’t sing because other people are or dress this or that way like other people. No! I am very original. I do things my own way. With time, I believe it will work out fine.

Interestingly, you are a singer and an actress. If you take a good look, you’d notice that most stars, home and abroad who tend to excel at one more than the other. How would you make sure that one doesn’t overshadow the other?

I will try my best. It’s just about knowing how to balance what you do. Besides, I also run a beauty home called Aftermath Beauty Home, which we would be rebranded soon to Oyita Beauty Home. Having said that, there is no way one will overshadow the other because I love both of them. I love to sing, I love to act. I do sound tracks for movies, so there’s no way I won’t do both. One won’t affect the other.

For music, what is needed is I go to the studio, do my part and the producer with the engineer do the rest. I can be writing lyrics during my leisure on set. Then I go to the studio, deliver my verses and everything. If I have another film, I go to location. There’s no way one would affect the other.

What’s the idea behind your name, Oyita?

It’s a combination of my names. Also, I like the way the name sounds. I picked letters from my names – Oyin, Tosin and Ayo – to create it.

Tell us about yourself.

My name is Ayobami Oyinojo. I’m from Ilesa, Osun state. Growing up was tough, especially in a country like this where you don’t have right to anything. I went to Adeolu Nursery and Primary School in Ilesa. I didn’t attend just one secondary school as my dad was always travelling – from Port Harcourt to Kaduna and the likes. I ended up attending three secondary schools.

Then I went Lagos State Polytechnic (Laspotech), Egbeda annex, where I did my National Diploma (ND) in Banking and Finance. I actually want to continue, but this time I’ll study Theatre Art.

– MICHAEL NWOKIKE

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