I don’t feel popular; I just know I am appreciated —Wonder kid, Temilayo Abodunrin

Temilayo Princess Abodunrin is a 10-year old saxophonist from Offa, Kwara State. She was born and brought up in Lagos, and ever since her parents discovered her love for music, they have helped push her boarders and now she plays the instrument on big stages. She has played alongside Tope Alabi, NK Maduforo, Ariana Stanbury and a host of others. Young Temi who is in her final year in primary school and the first of three children had a lot to tell FAVOUR BOLUWADE in this interview. Excerpts:


When did you discover your love for music?

My parents noticed my love for musical instruments when I was 4 years old and since then had supported me till date.


What influenced your love for music?

I will say my parents are my greatest influence. They provide an enabling environment for me to learn music or even anything that I desire to learn. My parents love music so it makes it very easy for me mostly when I am practicing at home, they never complain about the loud sound the saxophone makes, instead they often remind me to practice and always encourage me when I am facing challenges learning difficult skills.


What prompted you to start learning to play the saxophone?

I attended a concert where I was invited to play the keyboard and I met other kids my age playing the saxophone. Hearing the beautiful sound it produced and its beauty, golden and shinny, I knew this was for me. I told my parents I wanted to learn the saxophone and I didn’t let them rest till they got me one.


Were your parents supportive when you chose this path?

Yes! My parents were very supportive, they are still very supportive and they have promised to keep being supportive.


You make references to your sister and a music coach abroad that helps you with music lessons, how effective has it been learning from there?

Ariana. Yes I often referred to her as my big sister. We met on Instagram and she is a great saxophonist in the United States. She saw my videos online and knew I could do better with proper coaching and she offered to train me to get better. We have our classes once a week using the Skype or Zoom applications which have been very effective, productive, fun and interesting.


When playing the saxophone, can you explain how you feel?

I feel very good mostly when I am performing, but I feel great when I get responses from the audience. It is a feeling I cannot explain and I often tend to play even beyond what I intended to play. But when practicing, it doesn’t feel the same way


How do you attend to academic activities and chores at home including your music lessons?

My parents helped me structure my daily/weekly activities so that I don’t get overwhelmed or even confused. I often focus more on my academics during the week, while I do both my music and academics at the weekend. I spend more time on my music over the weekend. However, during the week days, when I am done with all my school work, I could practice with my saxophone for 30 minutes to an hour.


Would you love to play any other instrument? Which one(s)?

Yes. I started playing the keyboard first and I will like to go back to it. I also started learning the acoustic guitar but my parents advised me to master one instrument first and then I can pick another one later. So now I am focused on the saxophone but I hope to learn the guitar and the keyboard too.


Which musicians, brands and saxophonists have you worked with so far?

I have had opportunity of working with some great musicians. The likes of Bankulli (Grammy Award Nominated), Tope Alabi, Johnny Drille, Rotimikeys, Spellz, Latoria Bassy, Eli-J, Sound Sultan, Wole Oni, Ernestor Dolvi (an Italian Professional Saxophonist). I am yet to work with any brand but I hope the opportunity will show up soon.


Do you find purpose doing music?

I am still very young, I am 10 years old. I believe that I am still going to discover more of myself so I will say I am still exploring music, however if I end up with music as a carrier I want my music to make my audience happy, smile, inspired, believe in themselves and ultimately believe in God.


Are there challenges you have faced so far? Do tell us about some of them and how you overcame them per time

During training I do encounter challenges mostly when we get to some topics e.g. Altissimo. Altissimo is a technique used to play high notes; it is often not so convenient to place your fingers and also your embouchure to produce those types of high notes. The only secret to overcoming all challenges when learning the saxophone is practice consistently deliberately (PCD). So this is how I overcome any challenge and it helps me a lot in my academics too.


How do you feel being popular?

I do not feel I am popular but I feel I am appreciated mostly when I meet people during and after my performances. People really appreciate me and always encourage me a lot and I am thankful to God and my parents.


Is there a special way you are treated in school?

Not really, they appreciate what I do aside from the academics, but I think we all grew up together and they already are aware I do play the saxophone. So it is not new to my friends in school. Just sometimes when some of my friends or other students or teachers, when they see me on TV or in any event they are always excited and often come to tell me, ‘Hey Temi I saw you on TV’ and we just get excited and laugh it off.


What are you up to besides music and academics?

As I earlier stated, I am still discovering myself, but I love to act movies and I love to draw. I have already featured in a movie called The Weight by Evangelist Tope Alabi which is yet to be released.


What are your hobbies?

Swimming, drawing and travelling


What’s your favorite TV Channel?

I am not a TV fan, I don’t really watch TV. I spend my free times on YouTube. I watch cartoons and I do a lot of research learning on YouTube. So I prefer to be on YouTube than to watch TV. I do not have control on what the TV shows me but I do choose what is good for me on YouTube.


What advice do you have for young ones like you so they can pursue their dreams as you are doing?

I will advice every child to believe in themselves and express their talent without fear of failing. Many times we are scared to fail and so we never try to do anything. Also all parents should try to support and communicate with their children and help them discover their talents. A lot of parents often contact me on social media asking how they can help their kids who saw me and from there became interested in learning a skill.


Where do you see yourself in a couple years from now?

I hope to be a professional saxophonist and also an international actress. However I am still open to discovering myself.



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