Interview

It’s A New Dawn for Young Jonn

Young Jonn tells us why he switched to singing, dishes on his relationship with Olamide and provides all the details about his debut project Love Is Not Enough.

For years, Young Jonn crafted several of the ear-gripping tracks that dominated music-consuming hubs across Nigeria. His potent beats, manufactured and readymade for Olamide, saw the Nigerian star rapper unleash neck craning flows over them, painting real life scenes. The two became an errorless combo, making tracks certain to transform into monster hits. Young Jonn’s production handiwork includes the snappy drums and twinkling synths of Lil Kesh’s “Gbese,” the booming percussion of Olamide’s “Science Student” and the blend of muffled drums and keyboard drones on Olamide’s behemoth hit, “Wo.”

But in the last two years, Young Jonn’s production credits slowed as he focused on honing a different part of his artistry: singing. The evolution was complete this year as the sonic polymath unveiled his debut project, Love Is Not Enough. At just five tracks and less than 15 minutes in length, the record is skinny, but it provides Young Jonn ample time to brood about his own delicate feelings. All five tracks share the same sonic fingerprint of chilly vocals, sticky hooks and melodic, gummy beats. “Dada” shines as a favorite, with Young Jonn lacing the track with calmly measured verses, and the chanting hook, the highlight of the song.

Love Is Not Enough in all its dimension is filled and padded with layers of expressions about how doubtful love can be, how much we want to relive those blissful memories and about how attached we can be to someone. Young Jonn seems to have gone round those stages and becomes vulnerable in his songs, his creations revolving around these relatable experiences.

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Interview
Photo courtesy of the artist.

BOJ Gets Personal with ‘Gbagada Express’

The singer reflects on lockdown, Alte culture, and his present state of mind in this new interview.

From Nigeria to the UK and back, BOJ’s run in the music industry has been nothing short of noteworthy. The trio of BOJ, Teezee, and Fresh L, popularly known as DRB, are revered as pioneers of Alte culture, a widely acclaimed phenomenon in Nigeria that has marked the ascent of artists like Tems, Amaarae, and Tay Iwar. “We were just being ourselves and then we noticed it was turning into something and people are catching it,” he says.

Born Bolaji Odojukan, BOJ spent his formative years immersed in different cultures between Africa and the Western world. This would culminate in a wide range of influences as he cites Lagbaja, Toni Braxton, and Kanye West to have shaped the musician he’s become. His debut album, BOTM (BOJ on the Microphone), and affiliations with Show Dem Camp, Ajebutter, and DRB would catapult the singer as a household name in Nigerian music. His 2018 collaboration with Skepta on “Like to Party” did well to introduce him to the UK but it wasn’t until “Lazarus” alongside Dave that BOJ hits a new height in his career. “It was humbling seeing that many people sing my song word for word,” he recounts performing the song to a crowd of 80,000 people at Park Life.

Upping the ante, BOJ has now shared his third solo album, Gbagada Express, which houses high-profile collaborations with Wizkid, Davido, Tiwa Savage, and more. “Now, I’m transcending to the next stage in my life and this feels like the Alte roots to the next level,” he says about the project.

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