Europe-based Nigerian Afro-beat singer, Ifeoluwa Daniel Ayeni, known in the music industry as Moriento, hails from Akure, Ondo State. He bagged a degree in Philosophy at Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko. The lyric extraordinaire in a chat with FEMI OGUNTAYO, talks about his music career, among other issues. EXCERPTS:
What led you into music?
I started as a kid out of mumbling. My immediate elder brother once told me that I was 3 years old when I had my peer group gathered in our neighborhood leading a chorus that has no exact meaning. He said I started singing: “Idiye adidiye” he said before they knew it, other kids around my age joined me and whenever I said ‘Idiye’, the kids replied, ‘Adidiye’. By the time I was in primary 5 at Command Children School, NDA Cantonment, Kaduna, I was lucky to have an elder brother David; who was professionally into music in Kaduna under the group called “The Bishops”. He was their lead vocalist and they always rehearsed in our house back then in the mid 90’s. He influenced me greatly to start composing my own songs.
The music industry is no doubt saturated, how do you plan to stand out?
Yes, my husky voice is an advantage and my lyrics and composition. 98% of Nigerian artists/ world artistes shy away from socio-political topics or use their music as a force to tackle social injustice. This is where I tend to bridge the gap. “Home Training”, my latest song will give you a clue to where I am coming from.
After your debut single ‘Aye Dun’, followed by ‘Your beauty’ which you released in 2016 under Chibana entertainment, did you take a break from the music scene?
Actually my contract ended with Chibana Entertainment in December 2017. I relocated to Europe in January 2018, I kept doing music, I released “Hold Me Tight”, “Let You know” and “let’s go” under Muzik Jail records. Although these songs were majorly promoted in Europe, that is why it seemed I went underground but in the real sense, I was very active in the entertainment industry, performing at different events in Europe.
How would you compare Nigerians artistes with those abroad? Is there any difference?
Nigerian artistes are world class. Their creativity has given them world recognition. Out of little, they have been able to display their talents and export to the world. Nigerian artistes are number one in Africa; even the whites are now rocking our songs with pride. Imagine if we have the support from the government like other developed nations, we would do wonders.
Were your parents supportive of your career at first?
They never discouraged me; my late mom wanted me to be a gospel artist. Although my late Dad wanted me to be a chartered accountant and join the Army, going to the University to study Philosophy changed his wish in that regard. He later encouraged me to make good use of my music talent after he watched one of my live performances on TV, he was proud of me. He later advised me to start listening to the likes of Fela, Ebenezer Obey, Sunny Ade, Orlando Owoh and Bob Marley.
What motivates you?
Anything motivates me. It could be pain, hurt, love and care; it could also be social injustice.
Who are your role models?
When I am doing rap music, DMX and Ja Rule are my role models, but when I’m doing pure Afrobeat, late Orlando Owoh and Fela Anikulapo Kuti are my role models. However, business wise, JayZ and P Diddy are my role models.
What are the projects you are presently working on?
I have many projects that are ready, but presently, I just released my first activism kind of music with the title “Home Training”. I think the spirit of Fela Anikulapo Kuti possessed me in this very song.
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