Neo Phlames is a young upcoming artiste who is passionate about the music industry. In this chat with SAMUEL ABULUDE, he speaks about his dreams and challenges as a young artiste as well as his encounter with Don Jazzy.
Can you tell me briefly about yourself?
My name is Adewoyin Adeniyi, an indigene of Oyo state, a music artiste who by the grace of God will bring fresh tunes to the music industry and my stage name is Neo Phlames.
How did you come about your stage name?
Actually I have tried different names in the past while coming up as an artiste but I wasn’t just satisfied with those names. On a very bright day, I was in the studio with my producer, Mdhazz, and I told him I wanted to change my name from Sneazy which I was known as back then so he asked what name did I have in mind and I told him Phlames, he said cool but why not add Neo since it is an initial from your birth name which I agreed.
So that’s how we registered the name Neo Phlames.
When did you start music?
I started singing when I was in secondary school but it wasn’t that loud because I wasn’t very sure about the journey, I started with a very good friend called K4. Although we were not doing it as a duo but we had a song together which we didn’t collect from the studio until now because we were not happy with the result. Fast forward to 2010 when I was in the higher institution and Wizkid was everywhere, I said to myself if Wizkid can do these then I can do better.
While coming home from school one day, I went straight to the studio and I did a song which really was different and cool from my . efforts. That song gingered me and I discovered that I can get better with time if I don’t give up and It has been getting better since then so that’s the journey so far.
How many songs have you recorded since then?
I have lost count. I can’t even remember some songs again but I have tried, presently I can be very sure of at least fifteen songs that are really nice.
Are you promoting anyone presently?
Yes I am always promoting a song or two, I dropped a song last February titled Soke and I am still promoting it with all I can. Although i couldn’t push Soke the way i would have loved to but due to one thing or the other the promo wasn’t very strong. I will be dropping another good music titled Good Lover this month by the grace of God which I believe will be the bomb.
What’s the major challenge of not promoting the song?
The major challenge is fund because I do everything on my own, I mean its so glaring how people can’t help you when you are yet to be known although I have never and will never expect much from human as people are all the same. I put my trust in God alone. And i have come to learn few things by failing to promote the song that is why I will be putting in all efforts on my next work.
Are you saying that Wizkid’s success intimidated you to go back to the music drawing board?
It would be wrong to use the word intimidate but rather, I will say Wizkid’s success inspired me.
What are the pains and gains since you started music?
I will like to talk about the pains first because the gains are yet to come but I believe they will come as time goes on. One of the pains is that it takes a lot for someone to believe in your craft like we all know that no man is an island, you need God and man to get to where you want to be. Until you find that person who is God sent you will still be roaming about as an upcoming artiste for years. And again the industry isn’t helping rising acts as you have to know that person who knows another person.
But upcoming artistes don’t need record labels to get there; you need to push yourself to the world first before they can call on you…?
Yes that’s true you have to keep pushing, even sometimes it’s not like you need such huge amount of money, it might just be a little money but doing the right thing with it is what helps.
It was once reported that you rejected an offer to join Mavin records; how true is that because now you are complaining of not having a record label when you had once rejected arguably the best music label in Nigeria?
Yes it is true I met Don Jazzy on the island sometime ago and after listening to my songs and we had discussions, he asked if I will like to work with Mavins but I refused because I was in my final year in school and I wanted to stay focused. And aside that, there were other things that were attached to it.
Now that you are ready are you still looking forward to work with him?
If Don Jazzy comes to me in my dream
now, I will sign.
Do you think you have what it takes to compete in the music industry of today?
Going back to the songs I have done even years back and how I have grown over the years I am very surei am good to go. My mission is to be heard and be one of the greatest artistes to come out of Africa. All I need is the platform to express myself and show what I am capable of doing.
Who are your role models in the music industry and who will you like to work with?
I can’t just deny that 2baba is one person I admire so much, his songs inspire me a lot and I will love to work with him someday. You know some people inspire you through their stories and not their music so Olamide’s story inspires me a lot although I love his music too but his life story is a great inspiration for me. But people who inspire my music are mostly Jamaicans, the likes of Busy Signal, Christopher Martin, Chronixx to name a few and also everyone who does good music. And not forgetting our very own Beautiful Nubia.
Where do you see yourself in the next three years?
In three years I want to be everywhere from Lagos to New York and I must be on the Forbes list by then. I’m sure you know what that means because I don’t want to be a broke celebrity. There is no harm in dreaming .
You earlier said you were in school when you rejected Don Jazzy’s offer, what school were you then?
Yea I was in the higher institution then Lagos State polytechnic in Ikorodu to be precise where I studied Mass Communication.
As a mass communication student are you practising or you just did it for the sake of it?
I am a journalist presently with one of Nigeria’s leading print media.
How you do find time to combine both?
The timing is somehow difficult because as a journalist you can’t be sure of where you will be at a given point in time but so far so good I have been coping.
When you decided to go into music what was your parents’ .?
Actually my dad used to be a bass guitarist for the late juju musician, Jacob Oluwole in the 70s and you won’t believe that I didn’t even tell my parents I was going to start music, I just started and it went well. My parents are always supporting me in any field I choose to go as far as it is positive. Even when I said I wanted to . football my dad bought me my kits. But my mom is always about my education, even though she’s not against my choice of career but she wants me to be educated. I also remember a time before I got admission my parents called me and sat me down to discuss with me. They said since I am yet to go to school I should think of something like a skill to acquire which would later help me sort some bills when I get to school so I told them I wanted to learn music production and my dad said I should find out about how much it will cost which he eventually paid for.