Fans all over me at Havana Carnival - Bolade

—Drops new video, You
 By TOSIN AJIRIRE 08056180045 SMS
Fast rising R&B singer/song writer, Akinbolade Akinfenwa is blessed with smooth and soothing vocals. As a youngster, the artiste, who is simply known as Bolade, was the lead singer in their church youth choir in Ibadan, Oyo State. In fact, Bolade took after his mother, who also sang in the choir. Bolade, who grew up in Ibadan and Lagos, had his first public music performance at the age of eight at a zonal church anniversary where he sang and the congregation was amazed by his solo rendition.

 For Bolade, who hails from Erin Ijesha in Osun State, music has been a major part of his life but he never really sought entry into the music industry because his parents believed education should come first. At 13, while in Bodija International College, Ibadan, Oyo State, the fair complexioned young man wrote his first ever song and shared it with cousins and classmates, who were happy at his creativity.

 The ability of Bolade to come up with melodic and rhythmic patterns kept improving with time. Hear him: “The love of music stands as an inspiration to my development in terms of singing and songwriting.”
 Since moving to the United States as a teenager, Bolade has worked with numerous songwriters and producers. His anticipated debut album entitled, T.I.M.E features productions and sound engineering from DSharp Wilson (Code 5, Elektra), Mark Goncalves (Kaysha, Lights Out), Dare “Dre-Sticks” Odunlami, Duncan Daniels, Jay Franco (Fabulous, Usher, Beyonce, Rick Ross), and Clef-Nite.
 “The album is bound to make a positive impact in the music industry because it is not limited to a single genre,” Bolade insists.
 Bolade, who is currently in Nigeria to promote his maiden video, “You”, was one of the top acts that performed at the popular Havana Carnival in Ibadan last December. Here, he opens up to Blockbuster. Excerpts:

Studying and singing
 “I am currently a graduate student, singer and songwriter. As an African out there in the United States, I also work full time. My music can’t be categorised into a lone genre. I do a bit of everything but I’m more into the singing part.

 Inspiration comes from God, the giver of life. Music itself is a source of inspiration. What I go through everyday inspires me, what I see around also makes me want to put something into paper. Sometimes, imagination works too, not much of a critical thinking flow.

Breaking into Nigerian music
 Nigeria is definitely filled with talents and it is true that the competition in the music industry is really stiff but I believe that I have something to offer. To me, everything is in God’s hands. I’m not gunning for fame. I do music because I love it. I will keep working hard until my music is well accepted.

On my new video
 I am currently on holiday in Nigeria and using the opportunity to promote my new single and video entitled You. The song was inspired by love. The video was shot in New York City and Dominican Republic (The Caribbean). We used a Canon and a bit of Red 1 cameras. My guy, Javier Goin, directed the video. The beautiful lady in the video is a friend I met through Javier in New York. She’s also into music, a very good pianist and songwriter. She’s half Puerto Rican and black. In music, there should be no discrimination. I do not discriminate; I work with anybody as long as they complement my product.

Performing at Havana
 Performing at Havana Carnival was a very good experience for me. I’m glad I got the opportunity. People’s response to my performance and song was really inspiring and I felt welcomed. Fans were all over me. I give kudos to the organizers for making it happen. In fact, the Havana musical concert was my first Nigerian appearance. In the United States, I have performed in numerous concerts. Most of my appearances have been college and organized events. In 2008, I was an opening act for 9ice during his first visit to the United States.

On my album
 I’ve been quite busy since my arrival in Nigeria. I have dropped my new video at some TV stations for airing. Hopefully, they should start airing it soon. I’m working hard on the album and it should drop sometime this year.
 Between American and Nigerian music
 American music is different from Nigerian music. There are artistes from out here trying to emulate the American style but music now is without borders. Recently, we have seen collaborations between artistes from both countries. There is some form of fusion between the styles and it is really working.

Advice for upcoming artistes
 Well, my fellow Nigerian artistes can learn to be unique and outstanding. You have to be known for something different. Here in Nigeria, there is too much familiarity in sound and style. This artiste wants to sound like that other artiste because what he or she did worked and people like his or her style. It’s not like that in America. Upcoming artistes like me should be humble and never be discouraged. Give space to criticism, it will only make you better. Always try to beat your best effort.
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