Fast rising Afro-Pop and Soul/RnB artiste, Kikiope Oluwarore, popularly known as Rore , is an up-and-coming musician poised to make a landmark in the entertainment industry through her style of music. The graduate of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Ibadan, in this interview with SEYI SOKOYA, speaks on her passion for music and her vision. Excerpts:
How did you discover passion for music?
My passion for music is something I developed from the time I was a child. I grew up in a family that has always appreciated music of different genres and in an environment that has been conducive to the expression of music. I fondly remember that in the area I grew up as a child in Ibadan, there was a ‘video club’ situated beside where I lived – back then, when VCRs were the in thing. Every night, this video club would play music ranging from Hip-Hop to Fuji, Juju, Afrobeat, Apala, RnB, Country, Rock, Gospel and a lot of classic oldies too. So, I can say that it was really interesting getting exposed to so much musical varieties as a child; and this was definitely how I discovered that I had a passion for music.
At what point did you realise you could sing and when did you start singing professionally?
Like I mentioned earlier, I grew up in a family and environment that encouraged musical expression. So it was natural that I sang as a hobby and then in church as a member of the children’s choir. If I was not reading, you would naturally see me disturbing the neighborhood trying to practice some song I heard on radio or in church. However, it was until my 100 level as an undergraduate in the University of Ibadan that it really dawned on me that I could sing and I should take it serious. After hearing me sing ‘Great is your mercy’ by Donnie McClurkin, a friend encouraged me to join the fellowship choir and I can say that it really started from there.
What genre of music are you comfortable with?
I love Afro-Pop, Hip-Hop and Soul/RnB so naturally, I am most comfortable in those genres. However, based on my love for a variety of good music, I appreciate almost any genre of music including our indigenous Afro-beats, Fuji, Juju and foreign music genres like Hip-hop, soft Rock and Country. In fact, I believe that as a musical artiste, even if your musical style is restricted to a particular genre, you should endeavor to listen and be open-minded to other sounds as part of improving your creative process.
How do you intend to carve a niche for yourself in the industry?
Carving my own niche should come easy because I have my own uniqueness, my voice and my style. I intend to stay genuine to my craft, musical identity and generally be myself.
The industry comes with a lot of competition; do you think you can stand the test of time?
First of all, I don’t see competition. I see successful artistes who have broken grounds to achieve their potential and have been able to carve niches for themselves in the music industry. And this is really inspiring to me as I launch out as an artiste. I believe that I can stand the test of time because music is my passion and I don’t intend to be just a one-hit wonder. I want to make timeless music and I’m aiming for consistency and quality with as much impact on the people who will listen to my music. A big shout out to all current Nigerian artistes breaking grounds on the global scene by making our indigenous music international.
How many songs do you have to your credit?
I have one officially released a song entitled ‘Can’t Just Stop’. The song is a romantic ballad that describes longing for a loved one when time and distance becomes a barrier. It’s a song that everybody will definitely relate to and the chorus is a credited adaptation from one of popular Fuji musician, K1’s songs. The song is online and currently enjoys airplay all over the country. As a singer and songwriter, I have many other written and recorded songs to my credit that would be released in due time. I am experiencing growth in my music journey; hence I am being strategic and just enjoying the process of unveiling myself to the world as an artiste.
Do you have your parents’ support?
Yes. I have always had their 100 per cent support. In fact, I attribute a lot of my interest, talents and passion for music to my parents. My two brothers are also into music and they have been major contributors to the production of my songs as music producers. Also, we have a studio in our family home – actually the study was eventually converted into the music studio. This would not have been possible without the support of my parents. So, I am delighted to have their back.
What has music given you?
From the time I’ve been professionally doing music on part-time basis up till today, music has been a blessing to me. Music has given me the opportunity to meet people, establish relationships and go to places of like interest. I look forward to a life of adventure with music where it would further propel me to other interesting places in Nigeria and around the world.
You are still very young; don’t you feel threatened with the popular female folks in the industry?
No, I do not feel threatened because I believe that everyone has their path and unique in their creative style. Your talent and personality would always stand for you. In fact, I look forward to collaborations with music entertainers (both female and male). There is really nothing to be threatened about.
What are the qualities you have that you think others don’t have?
My quality is my voice, creative music style and identity. All these will definitely be evident with time as my music unfolds and grows.
What is your greatest challenge so far?
My greatest challenge so far has been promoting my music through the relevant media channels (radio, online and traditional media) due to the heavy financial investment involved. As an upcoming artiste without a record label to support and fund your music promotion, it can be quite frustrating. But then, challenges are meant to build you and make you better in terms of building productive professional relationships and ensuring that you create the best quality in your music. For example, despite the fact that promoting your music can be expensive, I have actually met wonderful people in the media who have made supportive because they love the quality of my new song and they truly believe in my music. For me, getting that kind of feedback, support and appreciation for my music is golden.
What would you love to become in the next five years, especially with your music career?
I would love to be a globally relevant artiste making real impact in the music industry. I would love to see my music and Rore brand become a major representation of Africa and Nigerian music.
Do you have any project you are working on?
Yes. I’m currently working on my debut album, while further promoting myself as an artiste through my singles, performances, appearances etc.
In fact, I am planning towards a live performance concert which has been slated for this month. Details would soon be out soon after everything has been finalised.