Exclusives Interviews 13 November 2023

Odumodublvck Talks Debut Mixtape ‘EZIOKWU!’, Grime Influence, Declan Rice & More

13 November 2023

Over the past decade, Nigeria has birthed a roster of elite superstars who have graced the music scene. From Wiz Kid to Burna Boy, the undeniable talent the Super Eagles is clear for everyone to see, and next to break through the hallowed doors is Odumodublvck.

Fresh off the release of his hypnotic debut offering EZIOKWU!, the 14 track project further exhibits Odumo’s ability to merge and crossover genre’s, whilst still showcasing his roots to where his vibrant sound began. 2023 saw the Midas touch in full effect, announcing himself across continents with one of the standout anthems of the year in “Declan Rice”. The England and Arsenal midfielder was in full appreciation, subsequently linking up to celebrate the drop as the versatile rapper finds his feet on English soil.

Odumo dubs himself as a pioneer of Grime and Drill in Nigeria. He has fond memories of hearing the genres for the first time and a certain member of Boy Better Know stands out firmly. Skepta, another successor of Nigerian descent initially opened up his ears and invited the Lagos-born artist into a different sound sonically. BBK member Frisco is one of a select few to collaborate with Odumo, and when Unknown T further raised the stakes, calling upon him to lend a verse for the bouncy “Welcome 2 My Strip”, the pioneer title was in full motion.

With a hectic London schedule taking place, we’re able to catch up with Odumodublvck, who speaks on a memorable 12 months, his exciting project EZIOKWU!, enjoying the moment and much more.

Tell us about EZIOKWU! Firstly, what is the meaning behind the title?

“In Nigeria, it means the truth. Based on the fact if you hear my music, you have to see who I am from the get-go. The music is very deep and speaks for itself. The artwork, the roll out, everything around it. In Nigeria, they speak about hip-hop this, hip-hop that, but we are here to tell them everything they said is a lie! As you can see, it’s number one in the country! If it’s number one in Nigeria it’s number one in Africa!”

What do you want listeners to feel when they take in the project?

“I just want them to be excited, I want them to be happy and feel confident with whatever they’re doing”.

You blend multiple genres on the album from Afrobeats to Hip-Hop to Drill. Was it important that you showcase to everyone how diverse you are as an artist?

“It was very important. It’s an opportunity. I had to get this one right as an artist! The first one you release when all eyes are on you has to be made for everybody. Whatever kind of music you listen to, I can give you a little bit of it so you can hop into my world”.

You’ve stated you are a Grime and Drill pioneer in Africa. What excites you about these genres and what was the first track you ever heard?

“It’s just too real. I think the first track I heard was Skepta – “Ace Hood Flow”. I was like “What is this!”. The fact that it’s just raw and real. It has a nice bounce to it and it gets you going. That’s what Pop Smoke did. It depends on the artist and how you want to place it. Whether you want to place the record as a hard record, or a commercial record”.

Which track did you find most enjoyable to work on in the studio?

“All! When I make something and leave the studio, it’s my best song in that moment. Then I make the next song and it’s my best song. There’s enjoyment with every track that I release”.

When working on the album, how do you find your creative zone? Are there any methods or locations you go to produce your best music?

“Whenever I travel to anywhere, it opens a new dimension for me in terms of making music. With “Declan Rice”, I made it in Ghana, same as “Kubolor”. Some I made in Lagos, some in Abuja, I made one in Enugu State in Nigeria. When I travel, I have that feeling to just make new stuff”.

What is your process when creating a track? Is there a concept or do you freestyle?

“I just listen to the beat and then I write something. I like listening to the beat first, so I know what trajectory I want to go. I don’t like writing a song without the beat. I want to know what the producer is on!”

Who were your musical inspirations growing up?

“2 Face, and 50 Cent!”

You were born in Lagos, Nigeria. Tell us about growing up in Lagos and was music always what you wanted to push yourself towards at a young age?

“I never wanted to become an artist, I just found myself doing it. I left Lagos when I was seven to go to Abuja. That’s when I started making my music when I went to Abuja. Lagos is like New York, it’s very fast! Abuja is very calm. My energy was too much for the Abuja industry, so it was only right I made it out of there because they haven’t seen this type before”.

Was there someone pushing you in that direction to take music more seriously?

“Yes, I’m in a click! ‘Anti World Gangstars’, when you’re in the gang and everyone is serious, automatically everyone is pushing everybody”.

We’ve seen fellow Nigerian artists like Wiz Kid and Burna Boy sell out stadiums worldwide. Would this be the pinnacle for yourself?

“Yes, but later on. I have to take everything step by step. It took Wiz Kid 10 years to sell out a stadium, so everything small, small”.

What would you say has been your best live show experience so far and which country do you enjoy most to perform in?

“Nigeria. There’s a place called Patako and it was mad. It was a festival and it wasn’t my city but it felt like it was my city!”

“Declan Rice” – This was one of the biggest hits of the year. Did you expect the song to take off as much as it has?

“It was after I recorded it, I knew what I had done! I knew it would be crazy. From there, everything kicked off. Declan was involved! I think it’s the craziest run for a hip-hop record in the history of African music. No Afrobeats influence, It’s just hip-hop. It’s mad”.

How was it to personally meet Declan Rice after the song went viral?

“That guy is a nice guy! Very humble guy. Not every player would be accessible to stuff like that, but he made himself accessible. Luckily enough, he just won the Conference League so he was in high spirits. Thank God!”

Who are three artists you are currently listening to?

“Burna Boy, Omalay and Unknown T!”

How was it working with Unknown T?

“That’s my guy! I met him the last time I came to London. From there we were like okay. We had already recorded our song, so it was like a smasher when we linked. We did part of the video in U.K and he came to Nigeria as well”.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve received in the music business?

“I didn’t even need anybody to really advise me because I knew what I wanted to do. I can remember one guy Magneto said, “If you want to blow up, you’ve got to use your phone”. Everyday, post something on your story or your page. The world is now moving fast. The internet is doing 50% of the job. You must be there every day like DJ Khaled!”

What advice do you have for the next generation trying to break into the music scene?

“Just to believe and stay consistent. Consistency means hard work. That’s it. Somebody is going to spot you out and you will become the next thing!”

What does the rest of 2023 look like for Odumodublvck?

“We’re dropping a deluxe for the tape. Were gonna’ reload it. At the moment, the tape is already a classic. They know, everybody knows, undeniable! We are going to reload it again. Additional tracks are coming. It’s going to be heavy”.

Odumodublvck’s EZIOKWU! is out now, and available on all digital streaming platforms.