Nigerian indigenous artist Fakoya Oluwadamilare popularly known as Qdot, with his unique style of singing has made his presence felt in the Nigerian music scene, making him one of the most sought after music artist. In this interview with Journalist Emeka Ogwu, he speaks on how his journey to limelight has been so far.
You have suddenly become the toast of many. Though it has been a long time coming, what have you been doing right?
First of all, I would like to thank God. He has been the one seeing me through all these years. The game actually started in 2004 and this is 2019, many fell and didn’t rise again. The game hasn’t been easy but I thank God for that. It is hard work and grace. Being consistent is key and following the trends. Before now, many people didn’t believe in me but now that money is coming in, I have become important to them. Now, I get invited for shows from different parts of the world.
At a time when many people thought they had seen the best of Qdot, you emerged and gave the industry something to start talking about. What was the magic?
There is no magic in the game. It is just that in Nigeria, people want something different because of our diverse cultures. You can’t be serving them only rice, you have to spice it up next time you are taking the meal to them with beans or plantain. So, that is why you see me serving them with different things so they don’t get tired. I could decide to sing Fuji today, do celestial pattern or do normal hip hop song tomorrow. I just love to work across different genres
You have a unique way of singing that can be traced to your background with the white garment church. Was that where it all started from?
My dad is a Muslim while my mum is a Christian. When I lost my grandmother 20 years ago, I had to go back to my mum. So, I started going to church with my mum, then I got used to Christian doctrines. One thing I love about the white garment church is the nature of their service and I fell in love with the way they sing. Although my mum doesn’t attend white garment anymore, I do attend Cherubim and Seraphim. It wasn’t that I started from there, I just love their doctrine.
You have remained in the game for years. How hard has it been keeping up?
To keep dropping hits back to back has not been easy. To survive in this part of the world, you have to keep releasing hit songs or else, you are out of the game. Unfortunately, nobody is ready to help you when you fall, once you fall, that’s all. So, one has to keep working very hard. You have to be able to think outside the box to put together good lyrics. Production is another essential part of music, you have to be audible, the beat must be well arranged, well mixed and mastered. That’s how I have been doing it over the years and God has been faithful. From 2014 till now, I have been dropping hits upon hits and that has made me remain relevant. Even though many of us on the same genre hardly support one another, I have been doing my thing and God has been helping me. It is the blessing of God that has made my songs accepted.
You have recorded other songs before then that were below expectation, was there something you didn’t do well then?
In fact, I have recorded many such as Orin Emi and more before my breakthrough. Gradually, I learnt that to make it in this industry, one must have a unique sound, great audibility and a simple hook that people can easily catch. Maybe those were the things I didn’t do right then but ever since then, I’ve been paying attention to details, even comments from fans. My manager, Afolabi Hammed, always ensures that we make perfect music at a perfect time. We have disagreements but at the end of the day, we smile.
Some people are of the opinion that Gbese was not an ordinary song. They believe it had some spiritual backing. What do you think about this insinuation?
There is no lie about that. It had spiritual backings because my God is so powerful to the extent that He made my music spiritual. Some people think that I may have gone fetish. There is no charm, it’s just God. My mum is a prayer warrior and that does a lot in my life. It’s the Lord’s doing. Mind you, that is the title of a track on my album – The Lord’s doing. When it comes out, you will understand me better. Actually, ‘Gbese’ was just one of the many songs on my hard drive that I didn’t even think could be a hit, though I try as much as possible to work hard on all my songs. I love quality things and I pay attention to details. I make sure I record at least a song and sometimes two a day in my private studio. Back to how the song came alive, TM9ja wanted to make a song with me and after we recorded a song together, I played him ‘Gbese’ to get his opinion. When he heard the song, he said ‘Qdot you have to drop this song; this is the song, it’s a hit.’ So, I opened the file and retouched it.
People say you are a local artiste. Isn’t that affecting your brand to break into the international market where bigger endorsements lie?
I don’t allow that to affect my focus. My style is mine and nobody can take that away from me. I do Afro-centric music which is based on my local dialect and I thank God millions of people appreciate it. They say I am local but I keep making more money than those who claim to do ‘porsche’ songs. Don’t be deceived by what you see on the internet. What I do for my family, many of them cannot afford to do such. I have taken my parents to Dubai and I am planning to take them to Canada on their next trip. Without doubt, I have made positive impact on a lot of people in and around my family from what I make from music. My career has afforded me the opportunity to visit and perform in many countries around the world, including Germany, Ireland, United Kingdom, Egypt, Qatar, and Dubai. I will like to remain local and make money if that’s the game.
Tell us a few things that your fans don’t know about you
They might possibly not know my religion, they keep asking whether I am a Muslim or a Christian. For the record, I am a Christian whenever I find myself in a church and if it is in a mosque, I worship, because I believe we serve one God