In a little over a year Rotimi has become the next big internet sensation storming the U-tube pages with hit songs and vocals that have not failed to grab the attention of some ofthe biggest artists. He has the double whamo effect of also being an actor. Currently he is starring with one Kelsey Grammer in the hit TV US drama Boss.
In this instance however, Flavour wanted to talk to the young star about his music predominantly. After his mother recognised his talent when she heard him singing in is bathroom, she realised that she had to let others hearthis precocious talent
“It started when I was six year old and my mum heard me singing in the shower. Two weeks later my mum had me performing at my aunt’s wedding and so I have been performing since six years old. When I performed at my aunt’s wedding my mum saw people crying and stuff and she thought that she needed to really take care of her son and from that point on my parents really helped to nurture my talent.”
“It started when I was six year old and my mum heard me singing in the shower. Two weeks later my mum had me performing at my aunt’s wedding and so I have been performing since six years old”.
As every child worth their salt knows, a parent will always be big on education but clearly his parents were able to find a balancethat Rotimi gladly followed, “My parents were very big in terms of education but they always said that once I get my education and do well in school then there is no limit to what I could do. They were always behind my music but they insisted I must get my degree but as soon as I got that degree they were a hundred percent behind my music passion and my acting passion.”
A subsequent appearance at the legendary Apollo sealed the deal for a young Rotimi and family, “It kind of started when I performed on the Apollo Theatre when I was fifteen and being on the same stage that all the greats have started at really had resonance for me. What took me out of this world was when I had a conversation with Jay Z when I performed for him and then talking to him and he said that if you work hard at your craft because you have a powerful voice then you can be successful. Who he is and what he has done in his career and then Jay Z giving me advice, it just made me realise this is what want to do with my life.”
His parents have indeed stuck by their word. After attaining the grades he needed, Rotimi‘s focus in music has been un-bending. Having recently bought his own apartment in a “beautiful complex it has a pool, a basketball court and a cinema and so I do not really need to leave.” This young guy is slowly but surely getting close it seems to that “star” lifestyle. Thankfully he is not becoming lost and it is nice to hear that he treasures his Nigerian roots and has big plans for taking Rotimi to his native country. “Sometimes I cook things like sandwiches but I also cook up things like eba, okra soup so I do a lot of things. From a musical perspective as a Nigerian I try and write music that also brings in my culture whether it is in my accent or stories or certain melodies and you will hear that in my new project called While You Wait it is just growth and helps me to step away from that clichéd RnB.”
Like so many artists today, the name of Michael Jackson crops up again but Rotimi also pays a lot of love to Boyz II Men (featured in the last edition of Flavour), “Michael Jackson is an inspiration and every time I watch Michael Jackson I remember my cousin and I would go into the living room and make our family sit down and we would make our family watch us perform all day. He was a big influence on my life but also people like Bob Marley, Lauryn Hill and Boyz II Men. Boyz II Men basically introduced to me to harmonies man. Not a lot of people can do that thing where you sound like one voice and they mastered that. Also their vocal arrangement they are legendary and their music is just amazing.”
Rotimi has evidently pursued this dream with vigour and confidence that he can and will achieve this dream now a reality, “Surprised no not surprised because I am confident in what I do but blessed that people love what I do. It does humble me and it makes me realise that I need to work harder and it also makes me realise I have a responsibility to give people good music… I am not surprised I am just ready for the journey.”
In truth Rotimi’s rise has been quite remarkable and he evidently has been one of the very small chosen ones that actually get their dream in that whirlwind manner that many young rising stars must dream of, “It has seriously taken off since 2010 when I dropped this song called Beautiful Music and that is what kind of opened up the flood gates and then I dropped the video and it got onto MTV Base and over here in the states it was pandemonium. Then I dropped my mix-tape Resume in March it gave people my first body of work and it has helped me to build my fan base.”
His popularity soars day by day as people lap up his crisp on point vocal displays. His next project out now is the aptly named mix-tape While You Wait in response to fans eager for some more material. It is full to the brim with music that rightly taps into that genre of music that talks about love in all its different faces.“This mix-tape is nothing like Resume and it shows my voice and its growth and it is just the next level in terms of where I want to be.”
Rotimi definitely has the ball rolling vigorously and Rotimi’s pleasant yet confident manner will surely see him be the next big thingcome next year. His EP should be a further great addition to the foundations he is building to success.