Helping Artistes is more like a blessing and a curse…
He silently crept into our consciousness with his husky voice on the radio and in no time he had grown to be one of the biggest OAPs, and Compeers in Nigeria. DOTUN finds it so easy to blend the two worlds of been ‘Tush’ and been ‘Street’. Our contributing editor, Shola ‘Straw’ Adebakin caught up with this broadcasting genius and he let us into his world with this exclusive interview. Enjoy!
What has been happening to Dotun?
It has been a great time for me, working hard on my craft and also trying to improve on myself because it’s a crazy game, if you are not tight at what you are doing or stepping up your game as much as possible, doing something out of the ordinary otherwise, you might find it difficult to survive because it’s like a Den, we all going for the same thing, we running after the same money, same growth. For me, am taking my Radio shows more serious, got a new management company who handles the business part of my brand, am actually working on an NGO alongside Tosin Jegede, it’s a great movement with kids called “One Book”, an NGO where every child in Nigeria will have a book at least. Am also working on a whole lot of TV shows apart from the one you all know on Soundcity.
How did you get to be an OAP?
Mine was by accident oooo, I started out dancing in a couple of videos like Dbanj’S “Why Me” and DJ Zeez “Same Nii”, I was just a hungry hustler, my kudos goes to a great man May Nzeribe, chairman of APCON, he was the one that recommended me to Cool FM, he was a fantastic lecturer back then in my school who comes to the class once in a while, a Professor who was great at what he does, he comes to class and makes us all feel real good, he believed I was just one witty and spontaneous buddy and he said to me. “You need to do your internship in a radio station” and I replied “I will be glad o”. I listened to Cool Fm a lot as a young guy from the very first day it became operational, my dad gives me a transistor radio every birthday of mine, I love music, I listened to it everywhere, it was a big step starting as an intern here band here we are now.
How has the experience been like since you started?
It’s been good, beautiful, ugly, favourable sometimes and at times , you just feel tired of the hustle, it’s been great with the fame, money, growth, career change and at the same time, it comes with no privacy, so much hate, people poking their noses into your business, those are the stuffs I had to deal with.
You are quite famous now and obviously enjoying the perks and benefits of being an OAP, what were your fears and challenges?
Well, I never thought am good enough for anybody to write about me till I saw the first write-up about me and it dawned on me that, Óh! Am now on everybody’s lips. It’s been a journey that I cherish a lot, it’s has been God who put me away from all the troubles, he brought me the limelight, gave me my daily bread, the fame, have brought the biggest stars on Radio, did the greatest interviews, am just that unpredictable guy, you can’t have an idea of what is going to come out of my mouth on Radio, I like surprises, I do things differently, I dress differently and am very passionate about my job.
With the fame come loads of Chics and female fans, how have you been able to handle that?
Female fans ain’t problem like people think, have been through that part in my life and as you know am married now so it’s about being there and done that, I feel marriage is my primary assignment now and am facing that squarely, I always remind myself that I have that ring on my finger and there are people at home who are looking up to me and I wouldn’t want to mess that up,
Life as a busy OAP and Marriage?
I am a very homely person, I like to watch shows like Undercover Boss, lots of programmes on BBC, I stay much at home, you only see me when I come out though I like to go out and be active and add value to an event, you will always find me at home, most of the celebrities that do come around me knows that, Omo Akin is a good example, am not into movies but I watch music videos a lot to stay abreast of happenings in the industry, am also very active on social media like Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus.
Can you tell us one bizarre thing a female fan has ever done to you?
To be honest, I have never had a situation where a lady pulled off her shirt and go crazy for me though I have had lots of sexual calls and love advances but have always been able to manage the situation, am not like Michael Jackson whom people collapse at his sight but I have seen a chic cry when she had a chit chat with me, she thought I was going to be that arrogant guy like some people told her but I was just being me all through.
What are the rudiments of being a good OAP?
I always tell people that you need to go to school to study Mass Communication, you need not study the rudiments, it comes with how often you are close to the news, how often you play to the rules of broadcasting, even if you don’t study mass communication, you need to read books about it, there are ethics of a good OAP, it starts with proximity, wittiness and how spontaneous and knowledgeable that you are, you need to understand what your intra and inter-personal communication entails because you can’t make people listen to you if you don’t have that convincing tongue, you need to learn to be on the fence but still knowledgeable, do not be judgmental, learn to read, learn to talk, learn to step up your craft. Try go with the trend but try as much as possible not to drown with it, it’s a crazy world, be smart, be knowledgeable about your craft.
How was growing up like for you?
Growing up was wonderful, am a proper Yoruba boy and I speak the language fluently, my dad was a Building Engineer, my mum was a Nurse so I know a lot about drugs and injections, my parents are from Ondo State so they are all about education, my Dad never forced any career on me and he is my biggest fan at the moment, I went to Kemista Primary School, grew up in Aguda, Surulere. I travelled out of the country, I was just a normal guy like everybody else, played football on the streets and the black sheep of the family, I was just a young dude growing up in Surulere and loves to dance and it has always distinguished me from my contemporaries even as a hypeman. I still do that a lot and communicate with the crowd, went to Mayflower Secondary School then Tai Solarin University of Education, my classmates and seniors were one of the Wizkids in Education, people like Rotimi Awoleke who was actually one of the seniors I look up to. John Sobola, the Elegushi Family (they were brilliant lads) I learnt to be self-reliant while in that school and am proud about that before I proceeded to Lagos State School of Communications as one of the pioneering students.
Can you share your memorable days on campus with us.
I was very popular in school, got loads of nicknames like Nasty, Extreme which was the name of the dance group that I started and am still popular here at my workplace. I remember I always carry a backpack around which I stole from my cousin, people flock around me, I was a great dancer, me and Flex who is now P Square’s lead Choreographer.
Is Dotun an Ajepako or Ajebutter, you have been able to blend the two worlds.
Am an Ajepako in the sense that I can fit into any system, my parents were very grounded, we watch lots of good shows, we do not read garbage, I mingle a lot but my parents were very strict , I am an Ajepako and also an Ajebutter, it depends on how you see it.
Dotun has made lots of stars but your relationship with Olamide is one of a kind and you are also his hypeman.
Am not Olamide’s hypeman exactly, I found myself opening up for him at a number of shows like I once did for Ice Prince and Vector Tha Viper, my relationship with all of them has always been organic, I don’t go look for them but we just kind of connect. For you to be my friend, you have to come into my world. Olamide is a correct guy and the reason we are so connected is because he is down to earth, he is a different specie of his own, he is not a typical artist who wants to put you in the box and see you tomorrow and not talk to you. I built my own brand and I think it’s more about relationships, he needs me to push his brand likewise me pushing my brand, he is open to everybody and everybody around him are his day one guys, Ice Prince too, they call me and we talk when we have to, I am happy I took their brands to a point where I can thumb my chest with pride that I am part of their success story and nothing really was involved, it was just sheer belief and love for what they do.
It’s a general belief that Nigerian OAPs do not support young acts with airplay.
That is what people think, for example, you Shola have brought quite a number of youngsters to me that were never known before and we supported them, the thing is I don’t reject gifts, if u give me something, I gladly collect it but have never had a price tag to what I do for Artists. Let’s talk about the likes of JAJ the Mecadon, Femi Sowolu, Dan Foster, they all have stories to tell, they will talk long about artist that they have helped. You see the Nigerian music industry is different from what obtains in the United States, a radio station like Hot 97 FM play a whole lot of same songs for like three months, if you don’t have money, your song can’t get on the radio, the system is structured, in the United States, the On air Personalities are the ultimate. The problem is Nigerian Artist put out music everyday and we still have to support everyone, same thing in the States but if you are not on a label, your song hardly gets played and our listening pattern here is different, we get tired of songs easily like in a month and it’s not like that in the more developed world, OAPS deal with record labels not artists. Over here, we need a structure, can’t recollect the number of artist that I have helped, It’s more like a blessing and a curse. If Wizkid was not helped at the time he came, he wouldn’t be where he is now, same thing goes to Skales, how about Vector who was just a battle rapper in the university, he never had a dime and yet his songs got played on Radio. I think it’s a wrong perception though am not saying we don’t have a few bad eggs but I think people too have to sit down and ask what are the problems? OAPs too are suffering. What happened to people like Steve Kadiri with all the supports he showered on artists, we too have a life and we need to survive? Beyond that, we have done more than enough. Take Kiss Daniel for example, if nobody believed in him on Radio, that song of his wouldn’t have been massive as it is now. Nigerian listeners are the problem too, we have to give them what they want to listen to, we don’t even know our genre of music, you just have to satisfy the cravings of the listeners. How do we play all the forty to fifty CDs that come to the library every day? Yet we still try our best and when they blow up, they forget you.
If you are not an On-Air-personality, what job would you have taken up?
To be honest, I would have had my own dance studio or a fantastic public relations officer of a multi-national company because I know how to talk about a brand, that’s why I majored in Advertising and Public Relations.
Which artist are you really feeling now on your playlist?
Right now, I am loving Rex 32, a popular rapper in the United Kingdom, he has a beautiful song called “Six Worlds” and its growing on everybody. Kiss Daniel’s “Woju” I dance to that song in my dreams, I love “Pepenazi” too, he has been featured twice in Olamide’s album, I like Axwell Ingrosso and am loving Olamide as always. MI’s Chairman album, “Loke loke” by Sean Tizzle is my wake up song, and Drake’s “Zero to Hundred”.
Dotun’s fashion and style.
I don’t have any, I just go out there, pick the right clothes, I like to look different like what I did at the Future Awards, everybody expected a suit thingy and I graced the red carpet on Agbada and it trended and everybody loved it. Got a costumier though his name is Deko 29, he is a fantastic shoemaker; he makes my shoes and does for Dbanj and Reminisce. I have Konnibles and Mamushka,
How do you unwind?
I like to play games a lot. I have an X Box, a Playstation 4, I have all the reigning games like Creed Assassins, Call of Duty, Combat games like Injustice and I watch TV a lot too.
Your advice to youngsters
Go to school first, learn the trade, radio is not an easy world, you should be able to deal with lots of things like depression, bad comments, haters and you have to be ready for it and at the same time, you got to learn and work around being famous and still keeping your head straight. Do not let fame get into your head and always come with a difference, you can try be a better Dotun but be known for whom you are and come with a difference.