Certainly one of the artists that would rock 2019, Adekunle Oluwashina Abdulateef popularly known as Zamorra came into limelight in the year 2018 with his viral video titled Importanter. The video trended for weeks, prompting the youngster to do a full song recording and also the remix, which featured Hip-Hop sensation, Small Doctor.
During a chat with City People, where he talks about his life, family and his journey so far in the Nigerian music industry and his plans for the future.
May we meet Zamorra?
I am Adekunle Oluwashina Abdulateef but my stage name is Zamorra. I am a graduate of Philosophy from Obafemi Awolowo University and a singer and songwriter.
What was growing up like for you?
Growing up was fun for me. I was the only child so there was this bond between me and my family. We were not rich but we lived comfortably. There was also a huge church and music background, which affected my life in a positive way.
How did you come about the name Zamorra?
I was once called Virus back then in school and there were a lot of people with the name Virus. There was Cyrus, Antivirus, Vector The Virus and so on, I thought it necessary to stand out so I chose to add Zamorra to the virus. So it became Virus Zamorra. But my management felt there was a need to rebrand the name. So we removed the “Virus” and was left with just Zamorra.
How did you start music?
Professionally, I started music in the year 2015 but before then, I have been writing songs as far back as when I was still in secondary school. I had a very good musical background due to the influence of my parents. My dad is a big fan of music so I grew up listening to a lot of music which kind of shaped my music.
Your song Importanter is currently getting lots of airplays. What inspired you to write that song?
Importanter started as a playful slang we use on a daily basis. So I dropped the viral video hoping it gets attention of everyone on the internet. There was actually no plan for the song as regards recording, it was just something we playfully did that went viral. At first, it trended worldwide with AS Roma Football Club using it and a couple of international brands used it before organisations in Nigeria started using it. So we decided to do a full recording of the song before the trend died down.
What style of music do you do?
I classify myself as an Afro Pop artiste but I try to fuse other genre into my sounds. In every genre I try to do, every listener would have a touch of Afro sound in it.
Who were your musical influences?
I grew up listening to a lot of Bob Marley, Lucky Dube and a lot of Bisi Alawiye, Tope Alabi and the rest due to my Christian background. It was like mixing the foreign sound and the local sound.
Is that why you have the dreads on?
(Laughs). My dreads actually depicts how I feel. I do soft music and I feel like there should be a contrast in the looks. You look at the guy and you listen to his soft music, its like Awww. A typical example is English singer, Ed Sheeran. When you listen to his songs, you expect to see a well built guy who is soft looking and has pink lips but then you see him and doubt that he sings. Personally, I think it’s quite artistic if there is a clash of sounds and looks.
If kept in your comfort zone, what genre of music would you love to do?
I think it would be Afro-soul basically because I love to tell stories and pass across messages to everyone listening. And if you are telling a story, there should be an element of soul in it.
Which artiste inspire you and your music?
I respect every artist that is out there trying to put Afro music on the map of the world but personally, I listen to a lot of 2baba. Because aside his voice and sounds, his depth is not from here. I also listen to a lot of Brymo, Wande Coal and Asa.
Did your course of study have any influence in your music?
Yeah. I studied Philosophy and it is all about Critical and Analytical thinking about a particular subject. A typical example is when you tell a Philosoher that you are a guy. It is the job of a Philosopher to doubt the fact that you are a guy and then doubt his doubt, then agree with you. Philosophy widens your mind to think deeper than the surface, so it had a huge impact in my music.
Why did you feature Small Doctor in the remix of Importanter?
Small Doctor is the biggest ambassador for the streets. Looking at his achievement he is on a different. Besides, his verse was amazing that was why we put him on the song.
How would you rate the industry?
The industry has been growing although it is not exactly where it should be. But in my opinion, the major problem in the Nigerian music industry is how the little ones are earning and faring. For instance, my song Importanter has over 200 thousand downloads on one blog (name Withheld). Assuming I earned a dollar for one download, at least I would have a new Benz or something.
Tell us about your management team?
I have a very wonderful management team. Judging from how Importanter went, you would know I have a very strong team. I am not signed to any record label now but I am open for a deal if it is worth it.
What makes you different from every other artistes?
I think my sound is different from every other artiste not to mention my looks, my delivery and even my dreadlocks.
When did you finish school?
I was supposed to finish school in 2014 but I finished in 2016 and it was due to my music. I had to drop my school for a while to focus on the music but by God’s grace, I was able to finish school.
Who are you romantically involved with?
I am in love with my music right now so there is no time for romance because I want to concentrate on my music.
What are your plans for the year?
I have big plans for this year. I would be releasing another single later in February and plans for an album is very slim right now but I would be dropping hit singles back to back this year.
Any last words?
Big shout out to everybody, my fans, my manager and my family. Expect bigger things this year and a massive shout out to City People. God bless you guys.
How do people get to follow you?
You can follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat @Zamosings and on Facebook @zamorra.
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