Jinmi Abduls is an 18 year old, second year International Law student at Babcock University. Most times in the year, he’s a student, when he’s not a school boy, he is a songwriter and musician. For the past couple of years, Jinmi has been doing his thing. If I remember well, the first time he came under my radar was with a song titled Superman in 2012. One of my friends really loved it and I gave it a listen but it never really blew my mind. Fast forward 3 years to 2015 and Jinmi Abduls begins to send important messages. I constantly see on my Twitter timeline that he shall be performing at different schools across the country and I cannot help but remember Ajebutter 22’s Waffles n Cream Tour in December 2013 that I argue helped Ajebutter build his following to what it is today. Jinmi puts the icing on the cake when he performs at the DRB Concert 2015. His song, Pose was well delivered and accepted and I began to think to myself, this kid is good! To finish it off he announced that he had a remix to Pose with Boj coming soon. That remix came a couple of days ago and has been well received. Over the past 3 years, Jinmi Abduls has grown an impressive youth following that can only be of benefit to him and as such, I decided it was important to interview him and get a hold of his story.
When did you start making music?
I have always been involved with music all my life . Whether playing with musical toys or musical instruments. Funny enough, in primary school, I was that kid that would run and hide when it was time for compulsory music club on Wednesdays. The irony. The summer I was to start secondary school, I won a phone on a talent show held on popular TV show, Moments With Mo. I came in 2nd position for playing my mouth organ. The phone had a radio I grew so fond of. I would listen to different types of songs and be amazed and just wanted to make mine. A few months later I started making my own songs. Samad, my older brother and I soon grew fond of one another and he decided to start making beats. For an 11 year old, he was quite gifted. He also learnt how to record songs on laptops with in-built microphones and that was when my career started. The first song I ever recorded was titled “With You” in 2008 and the first released song was titled “HeartbreakKid” in 2009. We improved together for the four and a half years we worked together and it was awesome. He eventually decided to explore other aspects of the music business such as management and A&R and I went on with my singing and writing, so I guess I’ve been on this journey about 9 years now.
Who and what inspired your decision to start music?
Those little voices in my head, to be honest, they pushed me on this path that God had pre-planned in my destiny.
Who influences your music and what type of music do you think you’re doing at the moment?
I like to believe my music is self influenced. I am constantly challenging myself to find an even deeper, even more gifted Jinmi. I’m trying to reach the bottom of the jar. I would say I’m into Afro-Pop, Modernised Yoruba Highlife. I specialise in singing and writing love songs. I love and do wedding music .
You’re currently studying International Law. Where are you? How supportive is your mum of you doing music?
My mother has been wonderful. In the years coming up, I remember this one time, my brother and I were selling sweets to buy a church microphone and use it to upgrade from recording with the laptop’s microphone. She gave us the money to buy that microphone you know. That was her first contribution, it was such a big deal to us. She encouraged my horrible voice over the years, without that I might have quit. Patting my back after the millions of disappointments I’ve faced in my career. Our agreement. however, is that I find a balance and school doesn’t suffer for it. I’m studying International Law at Babcock University and I am about to finish my 2nd year. I am halfway through.
You performed at DRB last year. The young guys ride for you, it was obvious. Do you fear that with time, the young ones who vibe to your music might outgrow it?
It was an awesome event, shout out to the whole DRB crew for that! My music is very popular amongst young generations and older generations for the fact that its relatable and has no vulgarities. I love my young fans so much, that is why I so frequently perform at schools around Nigeria and proms, but they aren’t my only fans. Everyone, regardless of age enjoys good music. I believe good music is evergreen. I believe I’m making positive music and I doubt and pray it never fades, even for decades and centuries.
You get a number of bookings, You’ve performed at a good number of schools if I’m not mistaken. Has that been enough to fund you? Who else has played an important role in funding you?
Yes, I do. Until recently, I was self managed throughout the evolution of my career and had to learn the business and marketing aspect of music quick. I make music to target particular event types and that works for me. The money rolls in , just as the expenses also roll in. Very often, the expenses over weigh the income. Very often, so I work extra hard. Some days I run through 2 or 3 event locations across Lagos. I don’t miss any booking, so that I can be able to push myself. I have some of my close friends, they pitch in when they can because they believe in me. They aren’t asking for anything back, they just want to see my success. Shout out to Mustee, Azeez OG, Haroun Jose and Hamiid Wonda. Thats my team. Mom helps out sometimes too.
Most musicians have a wide range of music they’re sitting on and haven’t released. I know you’ve worked with Adey. Who else has Jinmi Abduls recorded with and who are you looking forward to or hoping to work with in future?
It is the same for me. I have 100s of recorded but unreleased songs literally. Big shout out to Adey and H.O.D, awesome producers that believed in my sound and helped out. I work with a team of talented producers round the clock, ODH, Remy Baggins, Misan, Odunsi, D.O.Z, Magic Jacob, Bernie, Higo, Kana. I record myself now and they hook me up with beats and mixes. I also produce for myself and some others sometimes. I have always had dreams of working with and most importantly, Cobhams Asuquo. Luckily, my music is spreading fast and I hope I am getting the attention of such people. I idolize their works.
You’ve recently released the Pose Remix with Boj? Why Boj? Just cos he’s Boj or was there a conscious though process as to why he should be on the remix?
Ever since early high school when we all first heard DRB works I always admired the crew. Boj’s unique raw vocals, Bohemian personality and style are things I’ve admired for years. Pose was recorded at Adey’s studio. Boj records music there often and sometime during the summer of 2015, he and I met in the studio and became friends. He looks out for me and helps out a lot. About him being on the remix, since the original song was released I could always imagine him on it. When the song was released he loved it and he killed the remix and everyone loves it.
What do you hope to do in 2016 and where do you hope to be 5 years from now?
In 2016, I am gradually being accepted into the big industry, and I am grateful to friends and fans . I hope to do more and be recognized nationwide. My main goal for 2016 is to pick up my first awards. I want a Headie this year. I want to release videos. I want to write music for top artists. I want to prove that I am here to stay. In 5 years, I hope to have become international. I hope to build opportunities for other artistes, I hope to be happy and I hope to be a global music icon and by the grace of God, a BET, MTV and Grammy award winner.