Obasanjo’s Internet – Aramide

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Did you know that there are approximately 4.66 billion active internet users worldwide? Can you imagine all the different ways in which we all use the internet? Obasanjo’s Internet is our interview series where we speak to some of our internet favourites on how they relate to the internet and what it means to them and their work. This week, Nigerian Musician, Aramide talks to us about how she uses Obasanjo’s Internet

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?

Like every typical Nigerian, I pray, and then I check on my child and make sure everything is fine. I make sure everyone who is supposed to be awake is awake and everything is up and running, before I even look at my phone. 

How do you use the internet for work or pleasure?

Both. If I want to promote music, that’s when I spend most time trying to figure out when I’m going to post stuff online. And then for leisure, I just want to know what’s going on, you know, what’s funny, what’s serious? Most times it’s more of me trying to catch up on things happening. 

What moment or episode in your life would you say captured the essence of the internet?

I think during the lockdown, everybody was home. People who used to go to work regularly had to work from home and everybody was transacting through the internet. Everybody was getting entertainment and news through the internet. It became very necessary to be on the internet.

Your favourite social media platform and why?
I’m a typical millennial. I started life on Twitter and I like it because you can express yourself. There are different types of people on Twitter but for me, I like to write and I like to talk so Twitter is fun sometimes. I also like Snapchat because it is not as invasive as other platforms. Instagram is OK. I’m on Instagram because I don’t really have a choice. I feel like with Twitter, you can get a summary of what happened throughout the whole day, you can just go and check what’s trending. For me it’s Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram  in that order. 

What was the last meme you saved?

I actually don’t have one.

Do you remember the first time something you posted went viral? What was it? How did it make you feel?

Well, for me it’s my music. There’s this song that was everywhere at the time. A song called Today Today by eLDee, and at the time, people were not really doing covers of other people’s songs. And for me who didn’t really know anybody, I did a cover of the song and it went viral. There were times that I would be at weddings and I’d hear people playing the cover of the song and I’d be like, “ahan are you serious? These people actually like it.”  it’s not like they preferred it to the original, It was just a different perspective and it was nice, you know. It was a good feeling that ok, people gravitated towards it. That was like a really pivotal moment for me in my life.

What’s the most outrage you have ever generated over something you posted? How did you react to it?

So I don’t think I have generated any major outrage over something that I posted, but I have generated outrage over something someone posted about me. I’ve never really talked about this publicly before. It was during the Headies Awards – I won an award and a comedian, one of these skitmakers went and said, “oh, she probably slept with a couple of people to get this award,” and then somebody screenshots it and sent it to Insta blog and it blew up. Like it blew up so much. I woke up the next morning, I saw missed calls on my phone. A lot of my industry friends who are lawyers and PR people called me and were like, “please don’t respond to this.” It was just a very insensitive thing to do. It was bullying. Some people agreed with him, some people disagreed. Some people were like “ahan this girl just minds her business. Why would you say that kind of thing?”

It was one moment that I struggled with responding or not responding. At the end of the day, I didn’t respond because I didn’t want anybody to quote me and say, “ok, this or that.“ Unlike now that any publicity is publicity, back then people were avoiding negative publicity and it wasn’t long after I got married that it happened, so I was just like ah I don’t want this around my person.

What rules do you live by on the internet?

So one thing I make sure I do is when I see anything that can affect me mentally, I skip it, I make sure it’s on mute, find a way to hide it or I make sure that I mute some words that will remind me of anything connected to whatever triggers me.

And then I make sure that whenever I see any news, I’m not one of those people that jumps into the comment section and then just for highlights, I start commenting nonsense, you know. I always verify my information before I comment on anything because I don’t like plenty nonsense around me. I’m someone who really gets irritated by most of the blog comments and all. There are sometimes when you see a bunch of reasonable people and then most of the time you see a lot of unreasonable people that just consume headlines. So for me, I make sure that I verify my information before I put myself out there.

What is your guiltiest online pleasure?

I’m always window shopping online. Looking at clothes, shoes, accessories, jewelry.

And because of what I do, I’m always looking for ways I can look better. “What am I going to wear for the next event? What am I going to wear for the next appearance? What’s trending? What do I like? How do I blend it into my personal style without trying too hard to look like a particular generation and still trying to be trendy and look like myself.” So I find myself always looking at clothes, shoes, bags and stuff like that, something that I really like.

I’m also always looking for a story/threads to read on Twitter. I like interesting threads and I’m always looking for something exciting to read.

Then I get excited when I see someone trying to do a cover of a popular song in a different way. So, yeah, things like that.

Would you say you have an online persona?

Not really. I think I deliberately don’t do too much online because I don’t think I have the energy to back up whatever I try to put out. I don’t have energy for plenty talk. There was a time I had the energy but right now i’m just very chilled. So, no. Any time you see me online it’s either I am trying to put out a project, I’m trying to promote something or I’m working on something. Maybe I’m collaborating with somebody or a brand or something. It’s not anything more than that. But I’m trying to see if I can become a little – just a little – controversial. Say more of my opinions because I actually have very strong opinions and I think I’m afraid of the comment section.

What’s your favourite emoji and why?

The prayer hand is my favourite because it can be used to express different things from prayer, to request to gratitude, to being polite, and expressing hope and kindness.

Are you particular about your feed?

I am actually. That’s why when I see anything that I do not align with, I either mute or hide it or just find a way to remove it. My feed has to be clean for my own personal consumption.

And you know, the way it works now, you search for something, maybe you’re trying to find out something and then Instagram thinks you’re interested in that particular content they start bringing it up more. Imagine if you are just searching on how much a kilo of chicken is and then next thing you just start seeing chicken, chicken, chicken all over. It’s annoying. I’m very particular about things like that.

YouTube or TikTok? Which do you prefer and why?

I think TikTok because the videos are shorter and you get to see multiple. Although YoutTube also has YouTube Shorts, TikTok is just straight to the point. 

Which Nigerian creator do you think the world needs to see and hear more of?

I like Maraji. She has very unconventional thoughts and I think she’s very fearless. She doesn’t really conform to the general opinion. Everybody is entitled to think how they want to think. 

Another person is Layi Wasabi. I think he’s hilarious; from his height to his looks, and I think he’s very creative. His content is very different from the regular things we see. He’s really cool and he transcends almost every generation. I feel everybody – most people I know – find him and his content is relatable.

Who is the coolest person you follow and the coolest person who follows you?

I would say India Arie. That’s one person whose music helped my music and my life. I follow her and she follows me and it’s like the coolest thing ever for me.

What is your favourite Nigerian podcast?

The Honest Bunch and Tea With Tay. 

Have you ever hooked up with someone you met online?

No, never, ever! 

5 people you’d love to see answer these questions 

Niniola, Simi, Chike and  Layi Wasabi. 

Read previous Obasanjo’s Internet entries here.