Saturday 8 December 2012

I Was Ashamed Being A Carpenter’s Son — BRYMO

Olawale Ashimi, who is popularly known as Brymo has had an interesting journey to fame and success. He recently released his sophomore album titled, Son Of A Carpenter that tells the story of his humble beginning. Being the only child of a carpenter father and a petty trader mother, he grew up in a suburb of Lagos known as Okokomaiko, where he nurtured his dream of becoming a music star. He spoke with TONY NWANNE on his musical career and his life as a  carpenter’s son.

‘THE Son Of A Carpenter,’ the proposed title of your second album tells a bit about your upbringing, can you tgive more detail about your background?
I was born and raised in Okokomaiko, I’ve been there since the late 80s. I grew up in quite a mixture of backgrounds. I can’t tell you that I came from the ghetto, even though it’s a ghetto.
I had friends who lived opposite my house who I didn’t see more than thrice a year because they were in boarding schools; friends who I always see the latest phones with. And there I was living directly opposite these guys and my house was a ‘face-me-I-face-you’ type.
How did your upbringing influence the kind of person you are now?
I think that the good thing with that is that it gave me the opportunity to actually decide who I wanted to be. If I decided that I wanted to end up at the bus stop and just take money from drivers, I could have become that.
If I had decided that I wanted to be a mechanic or a carpenter like my father, I could have been that. If I decided that I just wanted to go to school, I could have done that. Everything was available for me.
Why did you choose music then?
Actually, it was first football. I play with my left leg which is not quite common so I was automatically special. But my dad didn’t really get down with it. And to be a successful footballer, the factors are more varied than for a musician.
Music is more emotional and more sentimental than football. You can just raise some money to record a demo, put it on radio and just blow up. But with football, you have to look for a big team to play for that will pay you big money. So I don’t know how it really happened but I just woke up one morning and realized it was music and not football anymore and I started to sing. I just sang and sang and sang.
When you look back at where you are coming from and where you are now, how does that make you feel?
I really don’t feel differently. As much as everything that is happening right now probably couldn’t have happened, or might have happened either earlier or later, as much as I can’t decide really, where I am right now is where I’ve always wanted to be.
When I was in Secondary School, I read a book where somebody said that if you can just be calm and really look at your life, you will realize that where you are is actually where you want to be. You made that decision. There is nothing that is happening to you that you did not decide. You decided it. So I think I am where I always wanted to be.
Where are your parents now, are they still in Okokomaiko?
Yes. (Brymo lives in Lekki now). The thing is, they can be whatever they want to be. All their friends are in Okokomaiko, all my friends are in Okokomaiko. Even myself, I still call my friends there often and I go over to have a drink with them then I come back to town to work. Because I’ve lived there for a long time, I would always have ties there.
Did your father ever try to teach you a bit about his profession?
For a few years he taught me how to use the saw, how to mend chairs, but sincerely speaking I didn’t learn anything. My mind was elsewhere. But at some point, I was ashamed of my father’s profession. I don’t always like it when people talk about my father’s profession, so most times, I dodge questions about it.
In what other ways then did your father influenced you?
My Dad once told me that I should be careful with what I do because anything I do today would not go away. The day in itself would pass but your actions would be remembered. He also told me that I should always be who I wants to be no matter what.
Did you write Ara in your Ar track?
Yes, I write all my songs.
What was the inspiration behind Ara?
I was under pressure at that time and I needed to submit a single to Chocolate City. There was a song that everybody had already agreed would be my first single which is Good Morning but that later became the second. Good Morning was already recorded six months before Ara was written.  At the end of the day, I got a beat from Legendary Beats and I listened and listened and I didn’t know what to do with it. I started to listen to it every day looking for what to write because I didn’t want to put Good Morning out as my first single so of all the other options that I created, Ara was actually the last.
Some weeks later, after a very nice meal in the afternoon, I think it was Oha soup or Banga soup, it just came to me. The chorus of Ara is actually an old folk song so I just reconstructed it into the techno beat that I had and it sounded good and I was like okay, it works.
Would you say you are very comfortable with Yoruba songs and the infusion of the juju style?
Once in a while if I can find a way to infuse some of those old melodies that no one has really done commercially, I would.
Music has no boundaries. I believe that people would rather listen to a sweet Yoruba song that they don’t understand what the person is saying than listen to a horrible English song that they understand what the person is saying.
How did you got signed on to Chocolate City?
It was actually Denrele that called me one day to tell me that MI had seen me perform somewhere and was interested in meeting me. He made it happen. This was around 2010. Later on I met with MI and the rest is history. I had this Nokia phone I was using then and I remembered I actually just finished charging the phone and an hour after, the phone call just came in.
I was like ‘wow, thank God my phone was charged.’ Shout out to MI Abaga, Jesse Jagz, Ice Prince, and of course a big kudos to Chocolate City, Audu Makori and my manager, Sam. They are amazing people. They are the ones that really really did so much for Brymo to get this far.
What is the notion behind the sagging things you do often?
I’m just 26 by the way so why can’t I sag my jeans? Because people think my music is mature, I can’t start behaving like I’m 40. Really, what do people want me to wear? A suit and a tie? I never wear anything apart from a jeans and a T-shirt on stage because it makes me comfortable.
I can perform better. I wore a suit when we were shooting the Good Morning video and I must confess I suffered. I had a bow tie strangling me and my voice box kept trying to take space inside the shirt and it kept messing me up.
What has been your biggest achievement so far?
My biggest achievement so far has been Ara. As at the time when everybody was saying Brymo can do great hooks, that if you put Brymo on your track, it’s going to be a big song, I had to find out what I really represented.
At that point in time, the biggest work was how do I now become a complete artiste? Somebody that can be on a track and sing the whole thing and not just choruses. For a full track, there must be low points and high points, but I was used to doing only the high points. The challenge was how do I now build up a verse that moves into the chorus but I pulled that off with Ara.

Source: 24/7 NigerianNewsUpdate

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