Turn on the radio today, and you’ll probably hear his voice on many of the hottest tracks on the airwaves today. He broke out with Ice Prince’s Oleku, and since then it’s been hit feature after hit feature. Action Film with MI, Ma Wo Be with Sasha, Attention with 2shotz, 5 Blessing with 5 Mics, and if you look back, you’ll realize that he has been doing his thing for a while.
I was able to link up with Brymo for an interview, and this is one of those that goes pretty in depth. What do I like most about Brymo? His passion for music. Talking to him, I could just tell that this guy loves music. As he said, if he wasn’t into music, he would not want to do anything else. It’s that deep.
No long story. Join me and let’s find out more about Brymo. Drop a comment or two.
Also be sure to look out for his new single dropping in September.
Aribaba: So for those that don’t know you, (which by this time I’m not sure who wouldn’t) give us a little introduction of yourself.
Brymo: I am Olawale Ibrahim. I’m a Nigerian of course. I happen to be a Yoruba Nigerian. I like to call my genre of music, AfroBeatSoul because I realize that RnB, HipHop and Rock are not really ours, and the whole world actually wants to recognize an African sound. And the most original sound we get from Africa is AfroBeat, and since I have a lot of soul in my music, I decided to tag mine as AfroBeatSoul.
So yeah, my stage name is Byrmo. I did Oleku with IcePrince, the Action Film with MI, Love with Jesse Jagz, Attention with 2Shotz, Ma Wo Be with Sasha…*pausing* Ole boy my features don plenty o.
Aribaba: Also add 5 Blessing with 5 mics
Brymo: There are a whole lot of features that haven’t been released yet. But for now I stopped doing features cos my single is coming out soon so I’m working on that.
Aribaba: The name Brymo. Explain how you got that, or coined it?
Brymo: Brymo is simply a combination of my names. Ibrahim & Olawale. Brym-O
Aribaba: So how did you get into music? A lot of times Artists have been into music their whole lives. When did you discover that you could sing and decide to take it seriously?
Brymo: I can remember growing up in the house, and my mom knew all the fuji songs. She would take a fuji song, take out the lyrics and use hers instead. She would use the melody and substitute the words with lyrics. She also used it to communicate with my father.
I remember my mom knows the melody to every talking drum tune in songs. So when the talking drum goes *makes talking drum sounds*, my mom knew all of that. So I would like to think that I got some skills from her.
A lot of people say I have a great voice and all that, but I don’t really think I have much power over that. I think that’s a gift. I’m very grateful for that.
I started singing when I was in secondary school. I remember in SS1 I wrote my first song. I remember whenever I wrote a song I’d sing it to my friends and tell them it was by R. Kelly or Joe. So if they say “wow that’s a great song o. That R.Kelly is bad o” then I’ll tell them it’s my song, and they’d be like “Ehn. Are you serious?” …So that’s how I started.
Basically around the age of 15 or so.
Aribaba: So Tell Us About the group you were in, Aliens
Brymo: Wooooww! *laughs*. Well In 2002, Aliens was formed. Somewhere around November-December 2002. I remember telling my best friend, his name is Tunde. I told him “Omo let’s sing, let’s sing” and he was always like “You sure? I’m not ready for this kind of thing abeg”
I remember back then we were able to predict the hit song before it became a hit. We would listen to the radio and there was this World Chart Show… I think it was sponsored by Fanta or so. We would listen and then from there predict the songs that would be massive hits. I remember when “Let me love you” by Mario came out. My friend listened to it once on the Chart Show and told me “this song is going to blow” and like that the song blew.
So we started the group, myself, Tunde, another friend called Bright, David, Demola (Demola is actually producing music right now. He’s doing good for himself. In the 2shotz song I mention him. When I said “Ademola Say Cheese”), and also Reginald who came in after David left.
That’s how Aliens was formed, and gradually we were writing songs. I remember writing a lot of song in the span of maybe a day or 2. I wrote a lot of songs. I cant even remember some of them anymore sef. *laughs*
Aribaba: So any chance those songs will be recycled in the future?
Brymo: Yea. Actually they will be. I’m thinking about putting out one or two songs. Kinda like the ‘drifting’ song that was released. Very soulful songs like that. I’m hoping a lot of those songs will still come out. So I’m still gonna record them, and maybe put them out as tracks for people to just listen to and have fun.
Aribaba: Some folks don’t know this, but you’ve had an album out already, and your song shawty went all the way up to MTV Base. Tell us about your last album, and that period before Chocolate City
Brymo: In 2006 I met a lady named Felicia. She was my manager for a little while. Before I met her, I actually met a guy called Mikky Me. He was my producer… Makes mad beats. Mikky Me worked in a cyber café and the owner was Uncle Pat – His name is Patrick but I called him Uncle Pat. He came back from work one time (he was always traveling) and came to the office and was actually listening to one of my songs at the café. So Uncle Pat was like “wow… who’s this guy singing?” and once he was told, he said he wanted to see me. He wanted to sign me to his record label.
He called his company Bulldog Records. We started together and before I knew what was happening, we recorded a song, put together an album and did the ‘shawty’ video.
Of course we had problems with management and all that, cos my boss was always busy and traveling and I didn’t have that much experience, the manager didn’t either. So eventually I was forced to go quite for some time.
Then I was watching SoundCity TV and I saw MI saying “this is my boy brymo, and this is his song at #6.” I couldn’t believe my eyes cos I had never met MI before. Then one day I got a call from Derenle that MI wanted to see me, and bros the rest is history.
Aribaba: Probably the biggest song of the past year is obviously Oleku. Everywhere from Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia. Everyone knows the song. How did Oleku come about?
Brymo: We were in the house. Ice actually had a beat ready. He called me up and said “Come downstairs. I have a new beat from Sarz. Let’s do something together.” So I went downstairs, wrote part of the song. The “feeling the boi, feeling, feeling the boy yea” part was already on ground. Ice had that on ground already. So once the chorus was ready, he recorded, and I recorded. Next thing, Jesse walks into the studio, and he says “Man, this is a nice chorus o, but I don’t think the beat is a nice fit for it.” I said, “Men this is a great beat o. This is Sarz beat.” But he said “yea it’s great beat o, but somehow there might be something else that could actually work.” Next thing, Jesse jumped on the piano, and played a few cords, and about 30 mins later, Jesse had a beat ready for us, and the beat *making beat sounds* Oleku!! The song was made.
I recorded my vocals around the beat, and believe me about an hour later, the song was ready. And believe me I’ve never seen stuff like this in my life. I’ve heard about it, but hadn’t seen it.
Aribaba: Funny you would think a song like Oleku would’ve taken days or weeks to put together
Brymo: It took one night. Between when the original beat, and the song was written on the original beat, and when we did a new production entirely, Everything was done within a few hours. I’m talking maybe 2-3 hrs.
Aribaba: So what can we expect next from Brymo? New single coming up? Album?
Brymo: Drifting was actually recorded in 2009. It kinda leaked, so it wasn’t an official release. But right now I’m working on a brand new single. It’s almost ready. Actually I have a couple of options to choose from.
I’m think about putting out a song that everyone can listen to. Not only will they enjoy the theme of the song, but also the music. I want people to respect the fact that it’s real good good music. So hopefully pretty soon… a week or so. Latest by September.
I wake up every morning and MI is like “you should record, record, record.”
We’re trying to make sure that we put out stuff. What’s the point of having music if we don’t put it out. That’s why we’re here.
Aribaba: Where do you see the Nigerian entertainment Industry in 5-10 years?
Brymo: Ole Boy. First of all, we can’t forget Beanie Man & 2face that happened about 5 years ago. So these international collabos have been going on already. We probably didn’t notice as much until now. Maybe cos Beanie Man is Jamaican and so it’s easy to feel like they are almost African.
I actually listened to a remix of Scape Goat that has Kanye West on it. So we’ve gotten to a point where the whole world is looking at us.
In another 10 years… Ole Boy… something really really big is gonna happen. If you look at it, between when African Queen came out and this Dbanj/Good Music deal it’s been barely 5 years. So why shouldn’t we expect something bigger in the next 5 years.
We’re Nigerians. You and I know what we’re capable of. We’re probably the smartest set of people in the world. Believe me. I’ve come to realize that we’re probably the most talented and smartest people in the world.
So in 10 years, it’s gonna be crazy. Until we get there we’ll never stop.
Aribaba: Let’s switch it up a bit. What the most unattractive feature in a woman?
Brymo: Truth be told. When you finally find a girl that you really really like, her flaws don’t matter.
My turn-off though is… well I like a woman who knows who she is, and takes good care of herself.
Aribaba: If you weren’t into music, what else would you be doing?
Brymo: Nothing…. Nothing.
Aribaba: Give me your top 5 songs right now.
Frank Ocean – American wedding
Frank Ocean – Novocane
Chris Brown – Beg For It
Chris Brown – Say It To Me
WizKid – For Me ft. Wande Coal
Aribaba: So it’s Frank Ocean and Chris Brown. *laughs*… Both of them dey beef o.
Brymo: Yea that’s the funniest part of it all. I discovered Frank Ocean. Then suddenly I discovered there was beef between them and I laughed.
There are actually very few artists I have much in common with from every generation, and I remember it used to be R. Kelly, John Legend. Now it’s Chris Brown & Frank Ocean. I like to follow artists that I feel have my tone of voice.
Aribaba: So while we’re on here, what are your influences in music?
Brymo: In Nigeria, 2face. Outsde Nigeria, John Legend, R. Kelly.
Aribaba: What would you like to be remembered for?
Brymo: I’d like to be remembered as a man who made great music. Like you remember your top 10 old school songs. I realize that it’s easier to sell records, but more difficult to get people to listen to your song 15 years from now.
That’s not something you actually think you can do. It’s just something that happens. It will come if you’re great. So every morning I wake up and pray that I have as much talent to actually achieve that.
*** Last Words
Check out some of Brymo’s Finest Work
*** Oleku [IcePrince/Brymo]***
***Action Film [MI/Brymo]***