Artist Aux Interview: OXLADE
I first met Oxlade last October in London during Starboy Fest backstage at the o2 Arena. I vividly remember the craziness that day! It literally felt like December in Lagos with the whole industry present - artists, influencers, execs, fans etc. Bizzle Osikoya, a mentor of mine & Oxlade’s A&R pulled me aside & introduced me to this new school kid. We spoke briefly and exchanged socials. Since then, we’ve kept in contact via IG.
Keeping up with Oxlade musically is exciting and I’m glad his debut tape is here! “Oxygene” is a smooth body of work that stands out in our scene! As a big fan, I’ve been super excited to speak with Oxlade about his tape. My assistant Eno & I had a cool time chopping it up with him via Facetime.
Boy Ox was in a great mood once we got on the phone. Despite the COVID-19 lockdown, he’s super grateful to be able to continue making music at home in Lagos with his producer. Since he brought up music right away, we delved right into the interview. We discussed his early musical inspirations. He was quick to reference Wande Coal’s “Mushin to Mo’Hits” as to what “really got me interested in being a musician.” For Oxlade, singing has always come somewhat natural as he’s been doing it for as long as he can remember. However, he was not so confident in his abilities early on. When he initially started the recording process, he would actually rap since he saw many of his peers' success. “I didn’t think anyone would want to hear me sing.” However, his feature on Blaqbonez’s 2018 track “Mamiwota” changed his mind. Oxlade, who wasn’t even on social media at the time, received such positive reactions from fans on Twitter. He officially gained confidence as a singer.
Fast forward to 2019, Oxlade released one of his biggest songs - “Causing Trouble” with DJ Tunez. Prior to recording the song, he hadn’t met the Starboy DJ. “I wasn’t very well known, & I had only run into him once before, but he still took a chance on making music with me. I’m forever grateful to DJ Tunez for that.” The song was a big vibe throughout the summer of 2019. Oxlade’s falsetto vocals over the upbeat tempo is what makes the song so infectious & unique. They shot a cool video in Nigeria, and then went on to perform the record together twice in London - once at DJ Tunez’s Blackout and another time at Wizkid’s Starboy Fest. That October, the young artist’s career was taking off, and at the same time he was pouring his real life love story into what would become his debut EP “Oxygene”.
“Instead of going to social media to vent, I put it in my music.” “Oxygene” is a play on the words ‘oxygen’ & ‘gene’ (& also a play on his stage name too). Ox explained to us that music is the “air that I breathe” & just like a gene, it’s in his DNA. It’s an essential part of who he is, it lives inside him. Hence, the ‘E’ after ‘O-X-Y-G-E-N’ is hidden on the EP cover art. Oxlade is an emerging new artist that is proving himself within the music industry. Oxlade makes music that expresses what’s really going on in his life. Oxlade advised us to relisten to “Weakness'' and “Away” to get a true sense of what his past relationship was all about.
The “Away” video dropped last week & it’s dope! Oxlade’s personality & the track’s Afrocentricity are both portrayed well with amazing shots of Cape Coast, Ghana. One of my favorite scenes is around the 40 second mark where Oxlade sits in his lover’s lap. “That shot represents the strength of women.” Another notable scene from the video is around the 1-minute mark. Oxlade’s jumping and dancing captures a certain playfulness that you also hear when listening to track 4 - “Kokose.”
Oxlade is a talented, unique, and creative artist. He’s here to stay! I’ve been listening to “Oxygene” for weeks now! Be sure to check out this tape if you haven’t already. Follow Oxlade on Instagram & Twitter, too.
FUN FACT: Oxlade’s dream is to one day perform at the Maracanã Stadium in Brazil.
Written by WizkidNews Manager & Eno Okon