Oluwagbemiga Falope, a musician and leader of the Cool Breezers Band, speaks FAITH AJAYI about his musical journey
you trained as an engineer. How did you get into music?
I started making music as a student of the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), Ile Ife, Osun State. After leaving college, I decided to turn my hobby into a career instead of looking for a job.
You were sometime president of the Performing Music Association of Nigeria. How long were you in that office?
I was in that office for eight months – from January to August 2018. Before that, I was the first vice president of the association from January 2017 to January 2018.
What were they during your time as president of the association?
We worked to stabilize state chapters, making sure they held elections. We have also updated the statute of the association.
What inspired you to create your group?
I wanted to let people know that I could do well. I was once told that I shouldn’t try to sing, that I didn’t have the voice for it. But nothing is impossible with God.
What are the challenges you have faced over the years?
Along the way, I realized that, as in other professions, quality music production equipment is needed, and these don’t come cheap.
I had that initial challenge with the equipment, but God used my mother, Olapeju, to solve that problem. He gave me N2,000 to start with.
With that money, I bought a Casio keyboard and speakers.
Another challenge was having colleagues who said the wrong thing; saying that it must be more of a show than they are.
Another problem was getting people to accept our brand, although this was solved with regular weekly shows in hotels and other venues.
I was able to overcome them through perseverance and God’s grace; and for those (challenges) that still remain, I believe they will overcome them all with God’s grace and mercy.
What do you like most about being a musician?
One of the great things about being a musician is that I get to meet and perform with people I wouldn’t normally meet.
You also travel to other countries. What do you like more between working in Nigeria and abroad?
I get a good reception everywhere I perform, but it’s usually in the United States of America.
Who are the people in the industry that inspire you?
Those who inspire me include my mother, King Sunny Ade, with whom I share the same date of birth, Tunji Oyelana, Jimi Solanke and General Bukar Atofarati (regime). My team members as well as my fan club inspire me.
What other countries would you like to play in?
I have only performed in the US and the UK. However, I would love to play all over the world, so far the music is being heard and enjoyed there.
If you were to describe yourself, what five words would you use?
I would say that I am “simple”, “reasonable”, “considered” and “understanding”.
How do you balance your career and personal life?
I do it with the help of my beautiful wife, Abimbola, and my children.
Have you ever considered relocating from Nigeria?
I live in Nigeria and I love it here. I’ve never thought about moving and I don’t plan to. I have been to the US more than 10 times since 2015; but I have never thought of living there. Nigeria is “sweet”.
What is your favorite food?
My favorite food is beans.
How do you like to unplug?
I relax with some beer or spirits; depending on my mood mood.