Brymo is the stage name of an artist we should all be familiar with by now. His hit single Ara created a lot of waves around the world, taking his solo career to another level.
Born Ashimi Olawale, Brymo answered the call to pursue an entertainment career since a young age. Despite a slow start as many aspiring musicians go through, the artist managed to rise above all odds and is considerably the next hot thing since slice bread.
Check out the hit song that started the movement, and continue reading to learn more:
EY: Tell us a little about Ashimi Olawale and your life growing up in Nigeria.
I am from southwestern Nigeria, grew up in Lagos, in fact I’ve lived here all my life. My dad is a carpenter, n my mum is a trader. Growing up was quite fun, it got rough Many times but we survived it anyway. But am here now, happy things turned out the way they did.
EY: What’s the story behind the name Brymo?
I was 17 or thereabout, and I needed a stage name. I knew I had to come up with something very unique so I don’t risk bearing same name as another artiste. I decided to chop down my names n create something. Brym was coined from Ibrahim and the O is for Olawale. So originally it was brymO, but ppl pronounce them as 1 unit, so Brymo stuck.
EY: How did you get your start in entertainment?
After visiting the studio in 2004 for the first time, alongside my group members and friends, I liked the feel I got recording n all. So when eventually a short while later my group split, I went on to record my first song ever in 2005.. I called the song ” I like’m gals” and it got me my first sponsorship with a company called bujoc records. I released my first album with them and shot the video for my song ” shawdy”. I got quite popular off it tho and it happened to be the video my ppl at chocolate city saw that got them interested in me.
EY: Describe your musical style and what you’d like for listeners to take from your songs.
My music is simply a blend of what I grew up listening to and what I came across as a teenager. There’s a lot official Yoruba fuji music in my sound cos my parents played a lot of that while I was very young I think.. Of course the soul came from western influence. I think it’s more important for ppl to simply enjoy the music. So my song could be about anything.
EY: How different is your sound as a solo artist as oppose to the music of your former group Aliens?
With aliens, our dream was to get signed abroad so d sound was totally western, in fact it was European. So I simply put that with my local music, which is what I have now.
EY: What was the concept behind your debut album Brymstone?
The Brymstone album came from the need to prove that talent belongs to the ghetto. So I did most if the songs in English and they were Mostly r&b. The problem I had with that however is that as much as communicating in English is important, most ppl speak either pidgin English or their tribal language better, so in order for me to get to a large audience in Nigeria, I must make use of that. So when the opportunity came to join chocolate city, I knew I had to start making more songs using pidgin or my own language. But the brymstone album is a classic, I live it too much!!
EY: Explain your feelings on having your debut single “Shawdy” top local charts and the music video getting nominated at the Soundcity Music Video Awards?
It was amazing, even though there was a 2yrs wait after that video before chocolate city happened, I knew right after its release it would bring great things my way, I jut didn’t know when. So when the nomination n everything else started to happen, I was more than happy that everything fell into place, am grateful!!
EY: You’ve made several appearances on singles by fellow Chocolate City artists, most notably the successful “Oleku” by Ice Prince. How has the experience of working with others impacted you as a solo artist?
Maybe cos I was in a group earlier in my career, I had a little experience with working with other ppl who also have their individual dreams n all. But so far it’s been an amazing experience, am a better artist by far compared to when I started.
EY: Your single ARA is so addicting. Were you expecting such positive global feedback?
I expected a huge feedback, but not global. Not even continental. Lol. By the time I was getting on a plane to Malaysia or getting calls from the UK then I realised how big it’s gone.
EY: What inspired the song?
The chorus is a slight reconstruction of an old folk song. Yoruba ppl have a lot of those songs. When I got the beat from legendurybsats, I didn’t know what to do with it. About 2 weeks after I’ve been wondering what to write, I got the idea to fuse an old folk song with an almost techno music, and gbam!!! Ara was born.
EY: Tell us about your sophomore album TheSonOfaKapena, in terms of concept and musical direction.
The idea behind the album came from after I waited and nothing happened after the release of my debut, I started to take guitar classes n all hoping if I got better, I’d get a better chance at blowing up. And my dad was always talking about how he’s only a carpenter and that I needed to work hard cos he didn’t have much. I decided this is going to be a very successful project, even though I didn’t know how. I was making all that plan when I got that phone call from denrele to call M.I., and the story goes!!… Musically am trying to make an album with a universal appeal but that has local content. Am simply bringing quality music to every Nigerian for cheap.!!
EY: Your second single Good Morning takes a different turn from that of ARA. Did you intend on changing things up to demonstrate how versatile you are as an entertainer?
I particularly cannot dwell on any ideas for too long. That, sometimes is a blessing as in the case of how I write my songs. As soon as I start to think that 2 songs sound alike, I start to dislike one of them, so I always force myself to come up with new ideas. But yea, it shows versatility.
EY: The music scene in Nigeria has gained significant recognition over the years for its raw talent, what does that mean for you?
For me it means that am a part of a movement which has brought great news to Nigerians. We finally have something to export that’s not bad press, am Very glad.
EY: What’s next for you, any projects in the works?
For now am putting finishing touches toy sophomore album ” the son of a carpenter”.. Everything else has to wait for it.
EY: Thank you for taking the time. Please leave a message for your fans.
Loving each other is more important than anything else, if we can try that, the world will be a better place… Eat, drink , sleep.. Live, love and respect every1 u meet.
Find out more by visiting the following links:
Image credit: 360nobs + Brymo’s facebook