by Ore Fakorede
Omolara Ayodele is known in musical circles for her songwriting talent, having penned hits for critically-acclaimed songstress Asa. After waiting for what seemed like an eternity, the superb vocalist finally stepped into the spotlight with the release of the Cobhams Asuquo-written single, ‘Transformation’ on January 28 this year. Propped up by the song’s inspiring lyrics and grand instrumentals, she shone brightly, wowing with her sweet, lilting voice. A few days later, ‘Lover’, the official first single from her untitled debut album (which is in the works), was released online and on the radio, where it has received considerable airplay. I sat with Miss Ayodele recently to talk about her relationship with producer Cobhams, breaking out, politics and her worst-kept secret.
What did it feel like writing songs for an artiste of Asa’s stature?
It was easy and natural. Asa had so much clarity about what she wanted the songs to sound like. She wasn’t hard to work with because she’s pretty down-to-earth.
Do you wish you had started your music career earlier?
We all have wishes, and if I could look back, I’d have done things differently. I actually started singing at age 20 but breaking out is hard.
Sounds like you’ve been trying to get yourself out there for a while. Is music a must-do for you or is it just another pit-stop in the pursuit of happiness?
I’ve been a songwriter for over a decade. The first song I got paid to write was a school anthem which I co-wrote at age 14. For a long time now, music has been what I know how to do best, but with self-discovery, it is no longer a must-do for me. I’m discovering new passions that are unrelated to music and focusing on that bigger picture.
What are your plans for a full-length debut album? Are you looking to experiment?
I haven’t come up with a title yet but the album will be about a journey, my journey through life. It’ll be based on my experiences and I’ll explore love, other emotions (laughs) and my perspectives. I have imagined my debut to be a rollercoaster ride of genres varying from funk to R&B. It’ll also have a lot of live instrumentals.
With so much going on in your head, is it possible for you to define your music in one genre?
Would you say that famed producer Cobhams Asuquo is a dominant figure in your life?
I met Cobhams in 2003 and he has consistently shown so much faith in me. He saw the potentials in me when no one else did, and has become a good friend over the years.
What notable people have you met this year and how have they inspired you?
Honestly, I actually haven’t met anyone of note this year.
Apparently, you’ve been spending more time in the studio than anywhere else. You don’t even tweet often. Does this imply that you are an introvert?
I am (laughs).
The use of social media as a veritable platform for creating relationships is fast gaining ground in Nigeria, haven’t you caught the fever?
Hmmmm…. It does feel good to have a voice. I think one has to be careful with the kind of stuff that one puts out there for the world to see though.
Are you working on transforming that image of yourself?
I could say that I’m still in the process of creating my public image, but I just want to be me, really.
With the April general elections right around the corner, politics has taken centre-stage in Nigeria. What’s your opinion of the Nigerian political scene? Are you voting this year?
Well, one thing that excites me about Nigerian politics is the fact that young people are finally getting in the mix. Although I’m registered to vote, selecting a candidate takes time.
What’s your worst kept secret?
I’m stupid for food (laughs).”
Omolara Ayodele’s single “Lover” is now on air.
Follow Omolara on Twitter: @omolaraayodele