Interview: Santi, Odunsi & GMK on More Life, OVO Radio and getting the Drake co sign

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Santi and Odunsi on hearing their music played on OVO Sound Radio

Four Nigerian songs featured on OVO Sound Radio’s Episode 40 which aired on April 1st. Wizkid’s Come Closer and Sweet Love followed each other while Santi, Odunsi and GMK’s Jungle Fever and Gangsta Fear were also run simultaneously. The Wizkid-Drake relationship has played an important role in shining a light on the Nigerian industry. It was a big win for  artists like Santi, Odunsi, Genio Bambino and GMK who are still on the fringes of the mainstream as it gave them the type of world acclaim they’re beginning to get used to as seen with Odunsi’s Spotify Viral 50 feature with Situationship back in November 2016.

We decided to speak to Santi, Odunsi and GMK on what hearing their music on OVO Sound Radio meant to them, the Drake stimulus package and favorites off More Life.

Did you know before it happened that you were going to be on OVO Radio? Where were you, what were you doing when you found out it was happening? What was your reaction?

Santi: I had no idea it was going to happen. I was up finishing a school project and someone texts me saying “Yo Santi you’re on OVO radio”. I was buzzing for a few minutes then got down to pray. It was a good feeling and seeing two songs of mine played made me really happy for me and the Monster Boys. It as a win for them also as GMK produced both songs and I was really happy for Odunsi as well because he was on both songs and it was a great feeling for the team in general.

Odunsi: I didn’t know that we’d be on the radio but I had gotten a heads up from Santi that people from the OVO camp had listened and liked our stuff online. I was in bed when it happened, I’d been having a rather tough week so that came as a necessary lift and just made everything feel better.

GMK: I had no idea anything like it was gonna happen. Craziest part of it all, that night I went to Ikeja City Mall with my sister to see a movie and my laptop got stolen from the parking lot so the feeling was bittersweet in all honesty.

Drake is an artist who’s quite generous in his role as a music curator. The Drake stimulus package has changed the trajectory of so many lives and careers. Do you see it changing yours? What plans do you have to capitalize on this boost?

Santi: It’s always a good thing when you know you’re on the right track. Since I got played on OVO radio different people from different countries have been listening to my music and messaging me. It gives me a lot of confidence and opens a lot of doors for me as I’m currently working on my new project. It’s another step forward on this side and I really can’t wait to show more on this new project. The Monster Boys have produced some amazing tracks on there and I really can’t wait for people to hear it.

Odunsi: I don’t know about him changing my life or career directly and I don’t think we need to capitalize on anything to be honest because I believe Santi, I and so many other new artistes from here have the sauce and we are great enough for the world to celebrate us. We just need to keep up what we’re doing right now as far as I’m concerned.

GMK: The greatest thing for me is that its an avenue for more people to take in and enjoy the music we’ve created and I’m just glad they thought the tracks were dope enough for that stage.

Drake’s sense of artistry can be seen in strains of your music. In Santi’s case particularly, we know he’s one of your big inspirations. How does it feel to know one of your inspirations likes your work?

Santi: Drake is someone who gave me the confidence to really experiment with different genres and give it my alternate twist. No one else was bold enough to cross genres and keep evolving in it. So getting a co sign from his camp was a good thing. Something I’m really thankful to God for and hopefully a lot more comes out of it.

Odunsi: Drake’s music has helped me be more in tune with myself and so the recognition made me feel good, especially coming when it did.

GMK: For Drake or 40 to listen to two of my beats and think it was dope was simply mad humbling for me. It really just gives me more incentive to continue to do what I do best.

Finally, what are your thoughts on More Life? Favorites?

Santi: More Life is probably my best Drake project after Nothing Was The Same. Blem is ultra groovy. Madiba Riddim is beautiful and Sacrifices knocks as well. Those are my favorites. All round it’s a solid piece of work.

Odunsi: I enjoyed More Life and I’d describe it as a ‘world’ project because it infused sounds from almost every major corner. My personal favorite is KMT though.

GMK: Sacrifices and Madiba Riddim are top.