2020 has been an interesting year. As the world searches for normalcy post-COVID and #EndSARS, it falls in part on the music artists of the day to document the times and also serve as an escape. 77lamarr is one of a new breed of artists offering a fusion of Afrobeat, RnB, Trap, and Grime.
I want to get an idea of who you are. Tell me about yourself and the things that make you tick.
I’m 77lamarr, your favorite new artist on the block. My name is Oladimeji Henry Mustapha and I’m 21. I like music, movies, sports, and I play video games a lot. I get inspired by everything around me which is something I always try to indulge. I try to tell true stories and retable stories. That is what my craft is anchored on.
You have quite an eclectic background- Milan, Madrid, Berlin, and Paris- what took you to those places, and what effect would you say such a background has had on you?
I visited those places when I was 18 and I was going to study abroad. That’s why I visited Milan first and I just did a grand tour around Berlin, Paris, and Milan. I had a visa to visit 25 countries, it was scary being 19 and traveling on your own. Traveling to those countries inspired my music because I tell stories and not everyone can tell unique stories. Most things I say are art and real-life experience, I write based on things you have seen. Things you can relate to traveling gave me such privilege. I wrote about them in my songs, some are on my upcoming EP while some are in some archives somewhere.
How did you get into music? What was the first record you worked on and how have you evolved from there?
it is difficult to answer this question because I have been in music since I was little and I believed I could do it which I did and I will say I got serious with it by chance. You see I grew up listening to mostly RnB and soul music. My cousin who was a sailor came back with Eminem and some other gangster CDs, when I was little and they had lyrics printed on them, I’d listen to them and memorize the lyrics. From there I got my drive to write my music. The fact you can tell a story is a huge motivation for me. The Weeknd was a huge influence on my music.
My first record was with a friend who was looking for a fuji vibe on his music and he called me to join him called Collect. I have evolved from then to this and you will see my growth.
What would you say are the inspirations behind your music? What are you seeking every time you put music out?
A lot inspires me from the experience to the art that I’m picturing while writing or listening to the beat. I could see someone going through something and feel it is a story worth telling and write about it. I am hooked up to melodies and rhymes. I’m inspired by things around me. Every time I put out music, I want it to be relatable regardless of who you are.
Your music qualifies as Trap Music- how did you fall in love with such a genre and decide you wanted to use it as the vehicle to express yourself
My music not only qualifies as trap music. I aim for complete versatility. I have a grime song and I am open to doing everything. I don’t want to be that kind of artist that is restricted to one genre to tell my story.
There’s a lot of conversation about Rap and its viability in the Nigerian market. How do you feel about it and how does this impact you and the music you seek to make?
I think people will, I mean they already do, if you go through 5 people’s phones you will see different rap albums, and regardless of what country I believe rap is viable. The Nigerian market has accepted it. I don’t think I will be affected. They will accept mine because I will give them an original vibe.
Let’s talk about your upcoming album. What has the process behind it been like?
My album has been ready since last year, I haven’t recorded anything this year and it has been beautiful, challenging. I have 10 songs on the album right now and I just might make it 14. The album is all about me expressing myself and me putting myself out on a large scale. On this album, I’m giving everything you can expect from a young budding artist. The production is modern. A track off the album just dropped- it’s called Lost Night. You see me give melodies, rap and my versatility comes to play. This new EP is a breath of fresh air.
What are you looking to achieve with the project?
Exposure and of course money to make more good music.