Foremost record label, Aeroplay signee, Oduen Ikon, popularly known as OD Woods has churned out many hit songs including, Go Below, but very few people know the artiste. After dropping off for a few years, he is back with another song, I’m ready. The video is already making waves on television at the moment. In a chat with ENCOMIUM Weekly, he spoke about how he rose to fame and his struggle to survive in the saturated industry…
How did you come by the name OD Woods?
OD is from my tribal name Oduen. Because my friends could not call Oduen properly they started calling me OD for short. Woods is the meaning of my surname in English. My surname is Ikon and it means Woods in English.
I am from Benue State and I studied at the National Film Institute, Jos. I came to Lagos after school to pursue a career in movies and music. In fact, I have done a couple of movies and short films. I also worked as a Tv presenter at Soundcity.
It took a while before you decided to pursue music. Why?
Yes. I got attention when I released Go Below a few years back. It was a song I did for Sheezy that also produced Davido. It took me some time as a film-maker to understand how things work in Lagos, especially the music scene.
He encouraged me to show him some of the songs I have. I played a couple of songs I had written and he was very excited at Go Below song. We did not even have a studio then, we did most of the work on a laptop, then we went to the studio without money.
Your first try and you had a hit song, it must have come as a surprise for you as well. I believe that it is better for an artiste to pray to God to give him the right song than to churn out any how songs. When I was working on the song, I did not have any money, so I relied on God to help me. I called my mother to also pray and fast so that the song will be a hit. Even when the song came out, I did not have money for promotion. I had to do all the leg work myself. Many people knew me as a presenter and a producer. So, when I went out to promote my song, they said ‘aha, you sef dey sing?’ they did not take me serious. Even when they heard the song, they still don’t believe I was the one that did it.
But I thank God that I have some people at my back. People like Dj Jimmy Jatt will not only play my song, but also send it to other Djs. Radio stations that I was scared of, I found out they were already playing the song. I mean, I did not even give them my CD, I don’t know how they got it. I believe God really had a hand in it.
After Go Below, there was a pause in your career, what really happened?
After Go Below, I started adjusting to a lot of things. I had a lot of problems that held me back. There was also some family issues I had to attend to, so I was practically out of Lagos for a long time. When I came back, I found out that the song went far but the artiste behind it did not go far with it.
What I mean is that people knew the song but did not know the artiste. People in the industry knew it was me, but the average fan out there just played the music but did not know who sang it. It was when I saw this gap that I decided to do something about it.
I opted for a remix of the song. Sheezy was back on the song with me, and I worked with Davido and Vector who are my good friends as well. I dropped it last year and it brought me back to limelight.
You deviated a bit from your style of music with your new release, I am ready. It sounds more like a wedding song. Why?
The thing is that I love showing versatility and can do different stuff. I don’t like being seen as an artiste that is stereotyped. I feel like if I keep doing one style people might get bored of it. Pheelz, the producer, brought up the idea and said we should do something different.
Tell us about your deal with Aeroplay?
The label has been doing very great for my brand. I can’t tell you in details what my deal with them is but I am happy with the relationship at the moment. They understand the music business, and how to promote me.
– OYINKANSOLA EKERIN