His real name is Oluwatosin Shobanjo. But everyone calls him T-Flex. He is one of the new fast rising hip hop artists. T-Flex journey into the music world started 10 years ago, when he was discovered in church, and there was also a confirmation from his Pastor to that effect, that music is his calling in life. He has so far released up to 5 tracks to his credit and the young talented artist is not slowing down. Recently, T-Flex visited City People Head office at Gbagada, and he was interviewed by the Assistant Editor, SUNDAY ADIGUN. He spoke on the many challenges he faced before he discovered his talent?
Who is T-Flex?
My name is Oluwatosin Shobanjo, my stage name is T-Flex. I’m from Benin Republic but I grew up in Nigeria. I was staying with my parent in Benin before my brother brought me to Lagos in year 2000, then I was 13 yrs old of age.
One would expect you to be in school at that age, what happened?
I was in School in Benin, but due to my dad’s financial incapability, I had to follow my brother to Lagos and started working.
You started working in Lagos at age of 13, what kind of work was it?
I started working in a pure water company, while my brother was a driver then. I stayed in Lagos for 4-yrs before I returned back to the Benin Republic.
Why did you go back to Benin Republic?
My dad was not feeling too well and they asked me to come home, though I eventually lost him within a year of my return. After my dad’s death, I thought since I don’t have anything doing in the Benin Republic I should just return back to Lagos. I came back and I started learning barbing. I only spent 6 months there because I ran into a little problem with some of my friends I was staying with when I returned from the Benin Republic. Those guys used to swindle people in the guise of being a celestial guy. They swindled lots of people and the day they were caught, police did not spare anyone of us, I was arrested with them.
And you were not part of their scam?
I never joined them for once. They were duping people in the name of their church; meanwhile, I did not attend the same church with them. I remembered my Pastor even told me to be careful with people especially friends.
But why didn’t you leave the house when you discovered they were scammers?
I had nowhere to go because upon my return from Benin Republic, I didn’t go back to my brother’s house.
So who bailed you out of the police custody?
Their family member bailed us out. She spent close to 150k to secure our bail that year. She also offered to accommodate me when I told her I didn’t have any place to stay. She accommodated me and promised to help me secure a good job.
But why didn’t you go back to your brother since he stays in Lagos?
I couldn’t go back to him because he didn’t know I was staying with that kind of people in the first place and nobody would believe me that I was not working with them. But I still had to call him at the end of the day to come and pick me from the woman.
Why, was she harassing or abusing you?
No, she did not harass me; I was only tired of staying at home when the job was not forthcoming. I called him and he came to pick me up.
So how did music now start for you?
Firstly, I started from church. I am a good singer. I attend the same church with my brother. Secondly I used to relate with some of my friends that also sing, like Small Doctor.
The same Small Doctor?
Yes, we used to roll on the street before his fame. We are all from Agege. I do go to the studio with them, we freestyle together. My Pastor also told me that music is my way. That was how I started.
What were the challenges you’ve experienced so far?
To be sincere with you, I lack supports. If you are good at what you do but lack supporters, you can’t go far.
What was your brother’s position on your career?
He supported me. He really wishes to help me but he doesn’t have the power.
So since how many years have you been singing?
10 years now.
What have you done so far?
I have up to 5 tracks; I just released one titled ‘Blessing’.
Do you have any known artist that you look up to, probably your mentor and role model?
Olamide is my mentor. Though I have several mentors but I love Olamide. I’m not a rapper, I’m a singer, but I love his style. And I look forward to working with him.