By Adeoluwa Atayero
Real stars are hard to find, especially in this jet age where anyone can create an profile online and claim to be one. As hard as they are to find, when a real star shines, it’s a most authentic and head turning experience. Anyone that has ever heard him sing or perform will agree that Mayowa Okunsanya is one of these rare specie of human beings. Check out our exclusive interview with the powerhouse of talent that is a mall of music.
Let’s begin from the beginning, shall we? For those who don’t know him, who is Mallz?
Mallz is Mayowa Elijah Okunsanya, a 19 year old guy in 300 level Studying History And International Studies at Bowen University, Iwo.
I’m sure so many people are racking their brain trying to figure out how you got “Mallz” from “Mayowa“. Help us out, how did you get your stage name?
When you hear my name, the first thing you might think of is a mall, and that is exactly what I am. I am a Music Mall. You go to a mall to get quality stuff and thats my music, quality music. You find many shops at the Mall, which is also me. I don’t just stick to making one kind of music because I try to be versatile.
The youth of today love to go back to the mall; I make music that makes people come back and ask for more. And yes, I was in the mall when I got the divine inspiration to call myself Mallz (laughs).
At what point in your life did you know that you decide that you were go into music seriously?
The truth is I have been doing music for as long as i can remember, but it was when I was in SS3 that i decided that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.
How would you describe your genre of music?
My genre of music could be described as AfroPop because I fuse the Afrobeat sound with the Pop flavor.
Who are your influences?
The people that influence my music are Drake, Wande Coal and myself.
How many songs have you released so far and what are your plans for this 2017?
I have released 10 songs so far and I have quite a list of plans for this year. I pray for a record deal this year because the Lord knows its not easy pushing yourself in this industry. My people have been asking to for a video so God willing, I plan to release one this year.
That would be getting airplay on radio. I was so excited because I didn’t even send the station my song. It felt really great because it meant that there are people that actually listen to upcoming artistes and direct traffic to them.
Your dream collaboration would be with…
Wande Coal O! l pray for this day and night. I can just imagine how crazy that tune would be.
Who can’t you stop listening to right now?
I find myself listening to Hozier. I really like his sound.
What can you tell us about your next project?
My Next project is looking like a mixtape and an EP. I think its about time I dropped a mix tape, so watch out for that.
You mentioned earlier that you are currently a student of Bowen University. How has it been like breaking into the Bowen University space?
I think performing at shows organised in school did it for me because they gave me an avenue to show people what I could do. The first show I got to perform at was The Penultimate Show; shoutout to Mr. Walter.
What challenges have you faced balancing your career with being a student?
Man, challenges just dey flow left right and center. (Laughs) I mean you are expected to keep up with recording, perform at various shows on and off campus and engage fans on social media, all while trying to chase a first or second class degree.
I’ve not even talked about financing the music because my parents didn’t send me work na. Through it all, I love what I do so I enjoy these challenges.
What has been your craziest performance experience?
That would definitely be the first time I performed a choreographed routine. We practiced for days and when we finally performed people, were screaming and for a moment I felt like one kin Chris Brown. (laughs) The other time would be when I won my first award, the award for the best artiste in my level.
Before we go, let’s play a game. Choose which you prefer.
Adekunle Gold or Falz
Meek Mill or Drake
Falz man! What’s a boss to God? What’s a Meek Mill to a Drake? (Laughs) Drake all day man!
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