Thatboytenor is a singer-songwriter who grew up in Bariga in the heart of Lagos city. He had his nursery and primary education at Makinde International School, his junior secondary education at Stockbridge College, and his senior secondary education at the CMS Grammar School. He had a university education at Novena University, where he earned a degree in Mass Communication.
He always loved music growing up; he vividly recalls how well his uncles used to “jam up to different sounds” and how he would save up to buy “lyric books” at the time. As much as he enjoyed music, he didn’t think he would become a singer until 2014, right after secondary school. “I never thought I was ever going to make music,” he admits.
Thatboytenor began exploring music when he joined the choir while waiting for admission into the university. “I joined the choir, and that’s where it all changed for me,” he tells us.
So far in his 7-year music career, which he began officially in 2016, he has released two Extended Plays, “Dutty” and “Human”, and a single titled “Solo”. Thatboytenor’s most recent project is the “Human” EP, a seven-track project that dives into his varying perspectives and life experiences. He tells us that with the “Human” tape, his aim was to create a sense of emotional calm and advocate for people to express how they truly feel. With this project, he cuts through different genres in his musical journey, and R&B/Soul is where he is right now. He explains, “This is an experimental sound from me, and the sole aim of this project is to touch your soul. This project was made on a very personal level.”
For this issue’s MC Industry’s Next, we chat with Daniel “Thatboytenor” Ojoarome Joseph about his budding musical journey.
Modaculture: When did you discover your love for music?
Thatboytenor: “I always loved music growing up. I vividly remember how well my uncles used to jam up to different sounds. I remember how I used to save up to buy those lyric books at the time. It wasn’t until after secondary school that I discovered my passion for it. I never thought I was ever going to make music. Just before I gained admission into the university, I joined the choir and that’s where it all changed for me.”
Modaculture: Where do you draw inspiration for your songs?
“Music for me is escaping. I wasn’t the type to express myself growing up. So, I figured instead of saying it, why don’t I just make melodies with it.”
Modaculture: Tell us about the tracks on your latest project, “Human”.
“So, “Misunderstood” was just me crying for help, with the acoustic vibe and river-type settings. “Sapa Riddim”, I looked at the common life of a Naija youth and I wrote this one. I think it’s my favourite on the tape. “ello”––I didn’t want to make the tape all sad so, I added this to lighten the mood. Girls love it lol. “Hypocrites”––I had to link with another dangerous underground afrobeat friend of mine Kingchess and we made this record. The message of this song was clear. Brother––I think this is one of the stand-out songs on the tape. I let my soul out on this record. “Human Being”–– this one is about solitude. I had to link up Pee. Y from Port-Harcourt and Maverick on this joint. It’s a proper vibe.
“Alone”––This is one of my most creative works yet because the intro had a voice note of my friend trying to big me up when I almost lost myself, adding the choir to the outro. Proper music, this one.”
Modaculture: When you say you “lost yourself”, how did you feel at the time?
“Depressed. I lost touch with reality for a while. Dark times that time for real.”
Modaculture: Biggest Challenge as an Emerging Recording Artist?
“The biggest challenge, for me, is my personality mixed with lack of funds. I don’t like attention and being so introverted has not helped but I’m constantly working on it.”
Modaculture: What do you think young artists like yourself can do to accelerate their careers?
“Just stay real and speak your truth. ”
Modaculture: In what ways do you think industry players can help pave the way for younger artists?
“Unity and love. The sky is big enough for everyone to fly.”
Modaculture: We are curious, have you got other passions aside from the obvious one, music?
“Music is life. Music is the only thing that keeps me going.”
Modaculture: So, what drives you in life?
“Rastafarianism and minimalism. Choosing to be rasta was the best decision I ever made as it made me see life differently and that is how I want to continue to live. Simplicity has always been my lifestyle and I even found a way to infuse it in my art. Less will always move me. There’s beauty in that and that’s just how I live.”
Modaculture: And what is that one mantra you swear by?
“It just sounds better in Nigerian pidgin, I say it almost every day. ‘Nothing dey dis life’. It means that as humans, there’s no point in some of the things we hold dearly as we are going to leave the earth with nothing.”
This interview was originally published in Modaculture Digital March | April 2023 issue. Go HERE to get a copy and read the digital version.
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