Arts & Entertainments

How encounter with Burna Boy in Toronto shaped my new project –TRAPP XL

What was your earliest influence into music?

I’ve always loved music but ironically the music I consume doesn’t directly influence the music I created. I draw influence more from films, pictures and very weird children’s stories and songs. I feel like the only songs that directly influenced my music are the ones from childhood such as; ‘’There is fire on the mountain, run, run, run…” Songs with heavy rhymes and repetitive lines. There’s a reason people love and remember those songs forever. For the most part I’m a very visual person and I translate that into my music.

When did it dawn on you that you can find expression for your visual works in music?

I feel like I’ve been translating visuals to lyrics from the first time I started rapping about 11 or 12 years old and I’m now 23. But as time went by, I started producing, it’s been engrained in my philosophy of creation. I enjoy it. Most of the time I don’t even think about a topic to write on. I just produce and once I get the instrumental to a decent stage, I open my notes app, start writing and it just flows. I don’t have to think, it feels like an out-of-body experience. On the intro track of my EP, I go; “King of the underground born from fire and mud, fashion me golden horns but I do not chew the cud…” It only just recently dawned on me that I was talking about the ‘Golden Calf’ story from the bible. That’s how things work with me.

Over time young people claim to have studied certain courses in school just to please their parents. Did you choose your course in school by personal conviction or to please your parents?

At first it was definitely to please my parents, but then I made the conscious decision to always put myself in a position in which whatever I’m doing, I actually benefit from. I could grumble and mumble about just wanting to be an artist but there’s experience from the counsel my parents give and I gain immensely from it. It’s a marriage of both worlds at the end of the day

As a burgeoning rapper, potential music producer and filmmaker, where does your strength lie the most?

I ’ v e been telling people since the inception of my p r o j – ect. I’ve dropped a lot of songs (mostly on ‘Soundcloud”) and now I finally feel like I’ve cracked the code. I know what my real strength is. It isn’t producing, rapping, writing or my voice. My real strength is being a facilitator/curator. I understand sounds and I know how to bring sounds to life. I know who I need to get on a song to make it amazing. I know how people are going to feel when they hear my songs. I know how to bring f o r t h good music and high-level art.

Who are the three Nigerian artists you’d like to have some collaboration with and why?

Burna Boy is my big bro. I’m not going to add him to this list because a collaboration with him will definitely happen. I going to pick people that I don’t know personally and have no connection to- people who I would like to meet. The first person has to be Don Jazzy without a doubt. He’s one of the greatest music producers of all time. No one can chat to me about that. I’ve been saying that since I was about 10 years old. Funny enough, yesterday I played a song for my dad off Jay Z and Kanye Wests album and I told him Don Jazzy produced it. He marveled. It’s just too natural for him. As long as I have his ears, I’m sure we’d come up with something great. Second place is very difficult to say but I’d have to give it to both Naira Marley and Zlatan. I’d like to have both of them on the same track. The energy would be crazy. The third person is be Zinoleesky. I have such high regard for his music. I feel it would translate thoroughly to the songs we would make. I’ve literally been playing his songs for my Canadian friends before many peo-ple knew who he was.

How do you manage unsolicited attention from girls who may want to flock around you because you’re both handsome and talented?

My mum and other people have always told me I’m good looking, so, it doesn’t really faze me. My mum would pass a message along with the compliment; she’d always say, “you can’t get by with good looks alone, you must always have more to offer.” I know what I have to do and I’m less concerned about having every single girl around me. I’m more concerned about my work and results. And if there’s a particular girl who can support me in getting where I know I’m headed, dope, that’s all I need.

How long did it take you to come up with the EP?

I started in April 2019. It was actually going to be a 3-track project, but somewhere along the line Burna Boy came to Toronto and we hung out. A lot happened in less than 24 hours. That was my first real exposure to the life. My eyes opened and I immediately created another 3-track project. At the time I was really excited about the newer project, so I put it out. When I got back to Nigeria sometime in March last year, I knew I needed to drop something and realized I could revisit my old work. I listened to the initial project I made, fell in love with it again, added a few songs and features from my friends domiciled around the globe and was confident that people would love it.


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