It is no longer news that seasoned actor Gabriel Afolayan, son of late film maker Adeyemi Afolayan and brother to accomplished actors, Kunle and Aremu Afolayan is dipping his hand into another pie, which is music.
In this interview, the debutante who is chanelling every faction of his talents into becoming a well-rounded artiste and who isn’t cowed by the presence of other established or upcoming artistes spoke at length about his sojourn into music amongst other issues.
1) Gabriel Afolayan is very successful in the acting terrain, what’s driving you into music?
Its strictly passion and music appreciation that is driving me on into the arena.
2) What kind of music do you do?
I do African soul
3) Your sizzling hot single, ‘Kokoro Ife’ is generating a lot of buzz everywhere, how do you feel about this?
I feel so happy and its surprising.
Never thought it would be this accepted, there’s this negative buzz about actors diversifying into music because they don’t get much roles again and thus have to supplement their earnings with music. No! The case is different, I’m just passionate about music and seeing this level of appreciation makes want to put in more efforts on my material.
3) Kokoro Ife is purely a love song. Is there any story behind the song or was it something you just stumbled on?
Kokoro ife is inspired by love and its complications. The continuous search for love and how we all rendezvous at the same spot. If you pay attention to the song you’ll find out the mode at which the guy searched and still couldn’t find, meaning you don’t set out searching for love, it comes to you natural. And the typical lesson is “if you are opportuned to secure love, hold on to it and cherish it”. This was said in the first 4 lines of the first verse. Basically Love is what the world seeks.
4) How long have you been into music?
Many people are not aware of the fact that I didn’t just make the decision to do music, I’ve been on the journey for long.
I started music professionally in 1997.
I was signed as a back up singer to a studio called phynix in Ibadan, Oyo State.
And also I used to back up for one- man band then as well. I was born a Baptist, I’ve been a chorister way back. I also had a musical group while in the Univeristy (University of Ibadan).
5) Are you quitting the stage for music or is there going to be a balance?
No way! I won’t. There is a balance already. I am under a management called studio 6 multimedia ltd; they have Studio 6 films and Studio 6 music. I’m like a complete brand to them and we have proper scheduling.
6) The music industry is highly competitive, how prepared are you for this?
I am prepared for the game cos I have something to offer in terms of my style. I listen to all kind of songs. But I appreciate soul music the most and it has inspired my style. That does not stop me from doing fast songs. It’s just that I would want to be known for a particular movement in music. I know about the competitive nature of the music industry and I must say it’s really making the game grow.
7) How far do you see yourself going in music?
The field is large enough. I am not coming in to drag or brag about anything. I am in music to bless the game with my uniqueness. And I know I will surely pull my own crowd/fans. I would surely contribute my quota. I’m going very far.
8) Any plans to release an album yet or feature other accomplished acts?
My album project is still in view but I’m just dropping singles for now. So I have just been recording songs at random. Although we’ve pencilled down some notable collaborations which I want to keep under wraps now.
9) Who is or are your influence(s) in the music industry.
A lot of them. I’m influenced by so many veteran musicians, talk of King Sunny Ade, Haruna Ishola, Ebenezer Obey, KWAM 1, Obesere, Victor Uwaifo, Segun Adewale, Admiral Adekunle, Sir Shina Peters, Kolawole Ayinla, Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, Pasuma, Kenny Kore, Samsong, Ty Bello, Tiwa Savage, W4, Wizkid, 2face, BankyW, Sound Sultan, Gt guitar man, Asa, Yinka Davies, Ego, Wande Coal, Lara George,Terry G and lots more. On the foreign scene I have Anthony Hamilton, Sisqo, Tyrese, Mario, Lauren Hill, Brandy, Smoky Robinson, Nat King Cole, Louis amstrong; the list is endless.
10) Considering the nature of your jobs now, how do you unwind?
The only time I unwind is when I want to sleep at night. The job itself is a whole lot of fun.
11) Has being the son of a film legend influenced you or opened doors for you in both careers?
It calls for more. Being from that source brings a lot of challenges. People pay attention to every detail, there are certain things they accept from others that they won’t take from you, it goes beyond being basking in the infleunce of my late father, it is really challenging.
Download Gabriel’s single, ‘Kokoro Ife’ (Love bug).