Oxlade Explains How Drake Helped Him Get 3 Million Extra Streams
AllHipHop caught up with Oxlade in person in downtown Los Angeles to discuss what Afrobeats means to him, roots in Lagos, biggest influences, what he hopes to achieve in America, Drake posting “Away,” new video “Ojuju,” working with Fireboy DML, and more!
Nowadays more than ever, it seems the world has finally caught up to the height of what Afrobeats is and stands for.
Oxlade, who hails from Lagos and is here to spread that feel-good energy and positive vibrations from Africa to the rest of the world.
Serving as one of the new fresh faces in the pool of talented Nigerian recording artists, the singer, songwriter, and rapper has an unwavering love for music, and it bleeds through in each release.
In describing himself, Oxlades states, “I’m a Nigerian boy from Lagos. I’m an Afrobeats artist and I’ve been doing this music thing for 3 years professionally, but all my life because I started from the church. I didn’t know I could do music for the money, I was doing it for the love of it. When the time and opportunity came, I became Oxlade and the rest is history.”
Last year, Oxalde unleashed his global smash hit titled “Away,” which hails over 3.4 million views on Youtube alone.
The song will undoubtedly make you move and dance, even catching the attention of Drake who posted the record to his story. To keep on with the momentum, Oxlade most recently unleashed his newest single and visual for “Ojuju.”
AllHipHop: What does Afrobeats mean to you?
Oxlade: Afrobeats is beyond a genre for me, it’s a movement. It’s an identity, it’s part of being an African now. Everywhere you go to as an African, you put people on to new sounds. Our sounds are now crossing over, our songs are charting. More people need to know about it. It’s an identity and we’re trying to work more ethnic groups into it, to dig the Afrobeats sound.
AllHipHop: What was a young Oxlade like growing up in Lagos?
Oxlade: I grew up in the streets, so it was tougher than the normal, standard childhood. I lost my mom when I was 3, so I moved to my grandma’s. My grandma stays in the ghetto side of Lagos, it’s called Mushin. Anytime you come to Lagos and they take you to that side of Lagos, you gotta be careful because it’s the ghetto. Literally it was tough. I used to sell stuff for my grandma: water, soft drinks, and other stuff to survive. She raised me through primary and secondary school. When I was done with my secondary school, she sent me to my pops. It was survival, literally. Moving in with my pops, I started my university. I dropped out of my finals due to some reasons that got really complicated, then I decided to face music. Even since then, I’ve been doing music and the rest is history.
AllHipHop: Who were you listening to?
Oxlade: A lot of Afrobeats legends. A lot of Lauryn Hill, Michael Jackson, Bob Marley, Chronixx, then we have the Wizkid, Burna Boy, Davido. My biggest influence and the person that inspired me to go to the studio is named Wande Coal He’s a Nigerian artist I want you guys to check out. He’s a veteran, he’s been doing it for years. He inspired me and a lot of Nigerian kids to go through this type of music I be doing. I sing and my kind of music is from the soul, he’s one of the legends that paved the way for us with the R&B singing/Afrobeats artist.
AllHipHop: What do you hope to achieve in the United States?
Oxlade: Greatness man, there’s nothing stopping my music from crossing over. There’s nothing too big as a megahit song or a #1 hit record on the Billboard charts that’s an Afrobeat song. It’s not impossible anymore. You see some Afrobeat songs crossing over and doing the most. Anytime I go to any restaurant, studio, or anywhere I go, I hear Afrobeat songs and I feel proud to be Nigerian. I feel proud to come from where that sound comes from. That’s what I wish for, that’s what I’m working towards. I’m trying to collaborate and connect with people, connect with creatives. Make more music, bring different genres together with mine to create new world sounds.
AllHipHop: How did it feel to have Drake post “Away”?
Oxlade: It felt special. [laughs] He screenshotted the song on Apple Music and he posted it on his story. Ever since then, it’s been really crazy for me.
AllHipHop: How many followers did you get from that?
Oxlade: I had 3 million streams the next day. [laughs] Extra, that’s the Drake effect man. Everybody needs the Drake effect.
AllHipHop: Have you talked to him?
Oxlade: I obviously hit him up, I thanked him and everything. Hopefully, we got something. Hopefully, I’m optimistic.
AllHipHop: Did you make a record specifically for him?
Oxlade: Obviously, it’s a couple of songs that he’s got.
AllHipHop: How does it feel to get a million views in one week on “Ojuju”?
Oxlade: If the song’s good, you’re going to get those types of numbers. It felt great and now it’s at 1.5 million so you understand how organic it is. It keeps going crazy. I just dropped the “Pay Me” visualizer. “Pay Me” is one of the songs on the project where “Ojuju” is. The name of the project is Eclipse, it’s doing amazingly well. You can check it out, it’s a 4 track project. It’s Troniq featuring myself, Troniq is my management. We’re joining together to create a project. It has “Ojuju,” “More,” “Pay Me” and “Incomplete.” You can check it out on all platforms too.
AllHipHop: How was it collaborating with Fireboy DML on “Sing”?
Oxlade: Fireboy is my homie, we started making music together. “Sing” was one of those songs we had to put out. I’ve known him for 5 years now and we found ourselves around the same circle. You see Fireboy, Joeboy, lots of Afrobeat artists we started together. It’s a circle, a movement.
AllHipHop: Anything else you want to let the people know?
Oxlade: Stream Eclipse, and I got more music coming out. They can follow me on all platforms: @oxladeofficial.