Oxlade made sure to own 2023, after an incredible 2022 with his viral Colors performance of KU LO SA.
2023 was truly Oxlade’s new dimension. This year he gained a total of five Headies Award Show nominations and a Billboard nomination for the Top Afrobeats Song of the Year.
As Oxlade closes out the year we sat down with the pop star to take a look back at his 2023 and a look forward to his 2024.
Harmattan Rain(HR): This year, you’ve broadened your horizons, working with different musicians from around the world. You’ve worked with UK artist Dave, Latin musician Camilla Cabello and even Nigerian musician Flavour. All of these artists have such a varying fanbase. What goes into working on features for you?
Oxlade: I’ve had a couple of songs with some artists that people should expect me to feature with but did not accept to go any further. I’m not thinking about the numbers but really about the impact and the volume that the music carries.
For example, I did a song with Kcee: A Legend in Nigeria. l grew up listening to him.
That’s what motivates me: to get to work with people that weigh more than me professionally, and that I can learn from. I’m trying to be a timeless artist and not a wave of the moment.
HR: What is your favourite feature so far?
Oxlade: I made a song with Wande Coal, which is my biggest flex I’d say because he’s one of the reasons I started doing music and he’s inspiring. But in general, I love all my features.
HR: What has been your favourite part of the recording process or a song which is special to you?
Oxlade: I love all my songs. Every record I drop is equally loved and that’s why I’m satisfied. But my lowkey truth is that my favourite songs haven’t been released yet, and when I listen to them it’s like a proud feeling like yeah, it’s my own. It’s the fact that I can see the potential of the song and I’m so gassed about it I think this is the reason why I treasure them most.
HR: You’ve built a special connection with fans regardless of the language barrier. Your relationship with French fans especially stands out. What sparked this?
Oxlade: I feel like French people love me so differently. I performed in Accor Arena during Wizkid’s concert. That day I was told my song was one of the most shazamed songs in Paris. Before coming to France, I had already got a diamond plaque. But I didn’t realize at this moment because I tend to differentiate between the people who listen to your songs online or just to TikTok trends etc and the people who relate to you and like you as an artist. I was proven wrong because when I got on that stage, they were all screaming my name. The velocity, the volume of this arena, made the floor shake under my feet. It was a special feeling. And having French artists approaching me also. This is the reason why I have a special connection with this country. My label is a French label too “Epic Records”. One of my closest friends in the whole world is Tayc. Some people said that we sound alike, musically.
HR: With December approaching and many people taking a break, what does Oxlade do to get out of music?
Oxlade: For example, when I’m on tour I like to go to random places in the city, village or whatever. I want to learn something new everywhere I go. I’m also a big fan of football since Rivaldo’s prime. I also play a lot of FIFA and Call of Duty. That aside, I spend quality time with my family. My grandma is my whole world.
At the dawn of Detty December, the Nigerian Afropop star hypes fans up for his forthcoming debut album “Oxlade from Africa” with a double release of “KATIGORI” and “PIANO”.
KATIGORI is an anthem of determination and a clearly stated ambition: Publicvalidation shouldn’t determine your self-view. This statement is perfectly supported by a rousing musical production by renowned hitmaker Timmy. To place self-belief and religious belief side by side, the video for KATIGORI represents the three major religions in Nigeria: Christianity, Islam and traditional worship.
“Everything was conceptualized and televised to represent my country Nigeria in this visual” Says Oxlade positioning himself as a standard-bearer for Nigeria, “Showcasing my country, everything good relatable and letting it be an eye-opener for everyone”.
PIANO on the other hand is in a register that Oxlade has mastered to perfection and takes pleasure in swinging to this catchy melody. With the talented and well-known P.Prime on production, this love song takes us on a rhythmic journey perfectly in tune with the upcoming end-of-year festivities.