By Eric Elezuo
He is handsome, classic, intelligent and dream brother or spouse of any girl. He is Ope Damayo, popularly known as Demayo, a singer, producer, Song writer, DJ, Sound engineer, and a proud product of the Redeemers University with a degree in Marketing to show for it.
In this interview with TheBoss Newspapers (TBN), the promising artiste, who visited with comprising co-artist, Sabi, Emmanuel Ruben, the photographer and Tunde Dynasty, the manager, is signed to Domination Nation revealed the very fabric of his sojourn in the entertainment business as well as those things that stand him out as the musician to watch.
You can introduce yourself
My name is Opedamayo Ogala, but I am popularly known as Damayo. I’m an artist, DJ, producer, sound engineer among other things.
How did you get into music
I have been doing music since my school days. I mean from primary school days. This is because the schools I attended made provision for music, and it was also a prerequisite for graduation.
Where were those schools located?
They include Emerald High School in Ogun State, and at Gbagada. I practically learnt playing diverse musical instruments from school. I was also a very active member of the church choir. Ever since then, I knew music was a direct thing for me.
Let’s hear what your background is like?
I was born in Lagos and brought up in Lagos. I went to Emerald High School, from kindergarten to college, and I studied Marketing at Redeemers University, Osun State, and graduated in 2016.
Most people say they started music from their mother’s womb. Is your case the same
No, but as I heard from my mum, I have loved music even as a baby. She told me that back then, there was this song on NTA which whenever it is played, I will react even if I was sleeping. Nobody knew I was going to go into full time music career. My joining the choir boosted my call, and made me desire to study Sound Engineering, but there is no institution in Nigeria that offers that course so I ended up with Marketing as a choice over Mass Communication. And of course my father is an advertising practitioner.
What has it been like since you started music
It has been ‘dope’. Everybody has bad moments but I can’t really remember any bad moment in my short career life so far because I have been received very well wherever I go. They are always like that guy is talented and all that. At first, I wanted to do music on my own but you know things have changed. Back then it wasn’t as capital intensive as it is now. Right now music is very expensive. If you’re making music, you have to be sure your making money back even if you’re doing it for the passion.
Are you self-sponsored or you’re been sponsored?
No, I am not self-sponsored. I am signed with a record label called Domination Nation.
In reality, given an opportunity to choose between practising marketing and music, which will it be?
Music, music, music! To be honest, when I was in the secondary school I was very good in Accounting and I thought I was going to be an Accountant. But I realised that I was not cut out with the life of waking in the morning, wear suit and tie, and rush to an air-conditioned office, and answer to someone’s whims and caprice. So I was like this is not for me because you don’t just become the boss. It takes time, so I was like no, I can’t do this.
I therefore decided on my passion even if I was not making money from it. I even left my production job to pursue my dream. This was my source of income at the time.
Now that white collar job is not your take, if you had not been talented in music what would you have been doing?
I would probably be working with my dad. I would just find a way through advertising because he owns an advertising firm.
Someone must have inspired you. Who was it or were your they
I would say Fela, Ebenezer Obey, 2face, and Wizkid, who happens to be my blue print. I remembered when Wiz kid came out, everyone wanted to be like him. I am also inspired by Chris Brown and all the R ‘n’ B performers including Tiwa Savage. There are so many that I enjoy their music.
What will you call your own kind of music?
It’s a fusion of some sort. The song could start with afro but ends like hip pop because I produce most of my songs. So even if am doing American style hip pop there is still going to be a fusion of Nigerian style. Generally, Afro beat is more predominant in my music.
Which of your songs can say is a hit?
There was a particular song I did last year. It centred on a controversy that was happening online and it went viral that night, and garnered thousands of views.
Let’s come home a little, as person how do you relax?
I love football. It’s either I am watching or playing. I am a Barcelona fan. I also like parties, I like going out a lot.
Okay you’re a very young man, good looking, tall and attractive. How do you manage girls’ attention with your career?
As I heard the question, what was going on in mind was how am I going to answer this one (laughs). But then I won’t tell you a lie, I am so focused because this is the reality. If I am successful, all the babes I want will come. In a way, I feel I have seen it all because before I got signed on with Domination Nation, I’d been with Mavin Records. I was in their creative environment and used to go out with them a lot, so I have lived that kind of superstar life before and was not derailed. I want my music to do well for now. If it does well, everything also follows and when if it follows we will manage it.
Do you have a girlfriend?
So why don’t you have one, is it the focus you’re talking about or they are not coming?
Laughs… I’m not really saying they are a distraction but they can be a distraction. You know how it is. I’m trying to focus all my energy and resources into my music first. I don’t mind if someone understanding comes into the picture because you know how babes can be these days. They can be wild. I expect my girl to grow with me not the one that will be saying “hey boo come and take me out, come and buy me something”…. Though I know there are some things I will take care of in a relationship everything I have now is geared towards my music.
Till when then?
I don’t know… laugh
How was it like when you made your first million?
This is how I’m; when there is money I will be in my house. It’s when there is no money you will see me out because the little am doing is because of money. Once the money comes I will just be in my house and you know there is this peace of mind that comes when there is no money, nothing will stress you, you will be humble, sitting pretty laughs… when I crave something I go get it that’s how I am.
What was the feeling like when you made your first one million?
Ehen! I felt it was not enough. There was this initial feeling like finally I can relax a bit but the thing is that if you take 100k out of that money, it remains 900k. It no longer has the six zeros so it’s not enough. Then I looked forward to making something that will sustain the zeros no matter what is removed.
What inspired the song Real OG?
The story is very funny. I was in the hotel chilling with my guys when I started making the beat. I felt like what am I going to sing because I had already done songs about girls and money. Just then, an idea came to me about how everybody that was there at one time held me up anytime I needed something. Real OG means my real guys. The first part of the song that came to my head was that “I got my real OGs” so I beat around that and my friends and I came out with the song. However, it took us about one month to sort out everything about the song.
Before your record label came into the picture how did you finance yourself?
Production! It was still basically music. As an artist, I was using one part to finance the other.
So where do you see yourself in the next five years?
Honestly, the plan to go worldwide.
There is always one issue involving artistes for which they quarrel. What actually is the reason for these quarrels or ‘beef’ as it is referred
The entertainment industry, especially music, is a fake one. We are in a very fake industry. There are no real persons, except ‘the as e dey hot’. Every quarrel or beef is for a reason, ans so is every appraisal. There is genuine beef and at the same time there is foolery. Did you notice Wiz kid tweet before the dropped Sound From The Other Side? He was throwing ‘shades’ and people were giving him mad attention and wanted to know why he was tweeting like that, and hear his song. Even if you end up saying the song is not good, you’ve added to his profit without knowing it.
Apart from music today what else will you like to go into maybe when you’re popular?
I was still talking about this recently. I’m looking for things to invest in because in music you cannot be number one for ever there will always be someone better than you.
Tell us about your new video, when is it dropping when is it going to be available?
Its dropping on my vivo account on YouTube Damayo vivo. The video was directed by EAD, and shot at TBS in Lagos. It’s a really dope video any one that sees to it will be like Damayo “wow”.
What advice will you give to someone who is about going into music?
Work smart, have money and connection because talent does not get it anymore.
What differentiates your song from other artistes and songs?
If you hear my song you will know. I am a very creative person. I criticize other peoples music, but I don’t judge. You know there is this mentality every Nigerian have about Nigerian music that if you’re not singing Komole, Gbesoke and all you can’t blow. The lingo I used in REAL OG is very normal, and passes a message. I am telling you guys about my guys, and am not trying to say shake your waist or shake for me.
What was your parents reaction when you delved into music?
They have been supporting since the beginning. Their own was ‘just finish school, get the degree then do what you want’.
Share with us the profile of your ideal woman?
Laugh…. You people shah want me to fall for this thing but I won’t…laughs Ehen… basically I like intellectuals; I just want my woman to be understanding. People don’t know the value of an understanding woman until things go sour. You know when they say for better for worst people don’t mean that they just say it these days for saying sake. I want a woman that would grow with me, a woman that is just dope and look nice.
I love girls with hips and ass and sumptuous breast.
Any preference for tribe
If you’re to eat like one thing every day of your life what would it be?
Ehen… I think fries and chips.
Edo, Yoruba, Igbo girls. Which do you prefer?
I don’t know ooo, but so long as a woman is pretty and sensible. However, for the purpose of choice, I’ll say Yoruba or Edo girl.
What inspired your hairstyle?
I had it ever before people started doing it. I love it, and it kind of make me look unique and distinct.