…Set to release three singles in Nigeria
By ROTIMI AGBANA & OLUWASEUN KEHINDE
Suleiman Damola, better known as Kosere, a South African-based Nigerian pop artiste, was born and bred in Lagos, Nigeria. In this exclusive interview with Potpourri he talks on his music sojourn, strategy to break into the industry and more.
What’s your fascination with music and why did you delve into it?
I’m a pop artiste and a final year student currently studying Graphics and Web Design at Boot City College, South Africa. Music is part of me. I discovered music when I was in south Africa. I knew music was my talent and I have got what it takes; that is why I decided to go into music. Most of my friends are also into music.
What informed your decision to go into Pop music?
I have been listening to pop music since childhood. I was brought up in an Arabic school, so from then I learnt to face the crowd. I needed to build up my talent for the world to listen to, which is why I decided to do pop music.
Which pop artistes influenced your style of music?
2face Idibia, but I know 2face is not fully into Pop music but he is the best Nigerian artist I still look up to and Ycee; their kind of music inspires my pop music.
How do you intend to break into the Nigerian industry since you’re based in South Africa?
Well, there are Nigerian musicians in South Africa that are also into pop music and I mingle with them. Basically, I think it is very difficult to rub minds with producers in South Africa but I’m trying my best, but whenever I want to drop singles I travel back to Nigeria and I also perform at some shows so that people in Nigeria can know me better. Whenever I come back to Nigeria, I try my best to be as visible as possible. Currently, I want to release three singles in Nigeria before I travel back to South Africa.
Do you intend relocating to Nigeria in pursuit of your music career?
No, I’m still going to stay in South Africa because I have been in South Africa for a while and I don’t think I can relocate back to Nigeria; that is not my intention right now, but I don’t know what tomorrow may bring. I don’t mind coming to Nigeria, if I’m needed to perform or do anything about music.
Are you prepared for attacks from critics for your decision to remain in South Africa?
They say “When you get to the bridge you will cross it”. I believe and know that in everything we do, God knows best. I’m trying my best to make it up to my fans in Nigeria and I have also got a lot of fans in South Africa. What I’m trying to do now is to win the hearts of my fans in Nigeria.
What gives you such confidence that even if you stay in South Africa your music will be accepted here in Nigeria?
Well, there is no godfather anywhere, I believe anything we do in life we must put God first. My confidence is in God and my fans as well; though I’ve got more fans in South Africa than in Nigeria. I think the best thing is to win the hearts of the fans here in Nigeria, to be around them and to give them good music. If I can give them good music, make myself available whenever they need me, then I think I’m okay with that, I will be able to win their hearts.
What is your perception about good music?
Well, talking about good music, I think that a lot of artistes in Nigeria sing about money and girls; good music is when your fans listen to your music and achieve something from it, which is what I’m about.
Who are you looking to feature in your songs?
I want to feature Small Doctor in my song to forcefully penetrate into the market because I’m not yet Davido or Wizkid and I believe that even if I want to win the heart of my fans, I can’t just do it on my own. As long as the songs can give me little popularity I don’t mind. I believe Small Doctor’s lyrical content are mostly based on the street. In my first single titled Kosere, there are lyrics about girls and money, not about what is happening in the society. If Small Doctor is not available to be featured in my song, then it will be Lil Kesh. When I get the heart of my fans, then I can do good music.
You mean you don’t mind doing what will have negative impact on the younger ones for fame and popularity?
I believe you should do anything you have to achieve your aim in music. You don’t have to wait for people to criticize you before you do what you have to do to achieve what you want. When you have gotten what you desire then you can do the right thing the way it is supposed to be done.
How nasty can you be for your career?
I can go to any length, but not by taking someone else’s life; that is something I can’t do. It is all about determination and I have to be focused on what I’m doing.
What are the challenges you have faced so far in your music career?
A lot of challenges; you know I’m based in South Africa, so anytime I want to release a single I have to travel back to Nigeria to release them and it is very challenging. Also, schooling, studying for my exams and handling other business coupled with my music has been very challenging.
In your opinion, who is a better artiste between Wizkid and Davido?
Wizkid is better because he’s got the voice, he’s got the talent, strength and energy to push his music. Davido also has the voice but he uses money to push his music. I can remember when Davido started his music career; anytime he released a single he must shoot an obscene video just to push the song.
You’re a handsome young man; what has your experience been like with the girl?
I cannot say much about that, girls are everywhere. Even where I am based right now in South Africa is full of girls. What girls do in South Africa is more than what they do in Nigeria.
So, you just keep enjoying them?
Well, not really but as a man you have to be on the flow. Anyone that falls into my trap is a goner.