Lagos born, Abuja bred Odumodublvck is one of the most exciting artists coming out of Nigeria right now. Since the release of his single Dog Eat Dog, his unique Afro-Grime/Afro-Drill sound has captured the airwaves, cementing his place as Rap’s reigning champion. Since the release of Dog Eat Dog, Odumodublvck has gone on to release Picanto – which gained critical acclaim- and his first number one single, Declan Rice. Upon its release, Declan Rice was not only massively co-signed by fellow artists but by the man himself (Declan Rice) and the whole of West Ham United FC! Find out more about the audacious Odumodublvck and his musical goals.
Bambo: So you are one of the hottest artists coming out of Nigeria right now but, before we get into talking about you, the music and all of your fame, I would like to know about your childhood. Talk to me about your childhood and what your life was like growing up.
Odumodublvck: Basically, I have four sisters, so I’ve been around girls for a long time and they always listen to music- my brother is always on his decks. I was born in Lagos, then we moved to Abuja so, right now, I’m an Abuja boy. Anytime I come to Lagos, I know how to handle these Lagosians- a lot of them don’t know that I am one of them. Basically, my childhood was nice – Lagos to ABJ (Abuja) was my childhood.
Bambo: So where did your interest in music actually come from?
Odumodublvck: I’ve always liked music from when I was a child. Like I said, my dad, my sisters and my brother were always playing music. You know, music is something that calls you, you get me? You don’t go to it, you don’t really call it. It called me and I went, I picked the call. You get me?
Bambo: That’s so cool! Since your house was very musical, what artists were you listening to growing up?
Odumodublvck: Lucky Dube was one! There are some Ghanaian guys, but I don’t remember their names. My dad always used to play some very old traditional Igbo music. I was also listening to 2Face (2Baba), 50 Cent, Dr Dre and Eminem. If you knew how to rap those days, you’ll be seen as a cool guy.
Bambo: Okay, nice. So you’ve mentioned 2Face (2Baba) and Lucky Dube, but your sound is very different to theirs, very unique, and it’s definitely a blend of genres. Who inspired your sound directly?
Odumodublvck: I won’t even lie, it’s Jesus. I cannot give anybody else credit for that. If I say, let me bring it down to human skill, I would say Fela Kuti based on the fact that he was always speaking the truth. The guys in London like Skepta, Frisco, JME, Ghetts, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross and down to 2Face (2Baba) and Burna Boy. Based on that swing, it’s just a mash-up of everyone.
Bambo: How did you know that the Afro-Grime/Afro-Drill sound was supposed to be your sound?
Odumodublvck: I listened to Rap music for a long time – for like ten years. I listened to Grime for just two years and I realised it was so different from just Rap, and people had not really tapped into it but it was so easy for me to do it. I wouldn’t say normal Hip Hop is boring- it’s nice but, we’ve gotten to the age where people want to move, they want to feel something. You can’t just keep telling people conscious stuff. In Nigeria, we are suffering too much, I have to give them something that they can play in the club, something that can play at a party – and that’s Grime, that’s drill. I see Black Sherif’s music being played at parties! Even Hip Hop too!
Bambo: Yeah, definitely. So you mentioned a couple of UK artists, like Skepta and JME. Are there any other UK artists you would like to work with in the future?
Odumodublvck: Central Cee. Do you know him? If you know him, tell him I’m coming for him. J Hus and Pa Salieu are my guys!
Bambo: Yeah, I think you and J Hus will definitely make something dope! So now we’re going to move into talking about your journey and your music personally. So you are a part of the Hip Hop collective Anti World Gangsters. How did you get involved in the collective?
Odumodublvck: I was, and still am at the forefront of it because when we started, we didn’t have money to do anything. I just thought about the number one resources in this world – human beings. Since we don’t have money, let’s use ourselves! Let’s just come together and make sure my fans are your fans and your fans are mine, and we will grow and spread in that way.
Bambo: So you’ve been releasing music since 2017, but you really started gaining – I would say -mainstream appeal last year with your single Dog Eat Dog. Take me back to when you recorded that song and what was happening in your life at the time that inspired Dog Eat Dog?
Odumodublvck: Dog Eat Dog was recorded after my popsi [dad] just died. We had already done the burial, so it was fresh. I was in a more happy state and if I remember, a lot of show promoters and music label execs believed in me but they didn’t want to put their leg inside (didn’t want to commit). It was kind of tough. I was like, okay, this is what I’m used to. I kept telling myself to just keep going to the studio. I did and luckily enough for me, it came out better than I even expected.
Bambo: Yeah, definitely! So now moving on to Picanto. I think for a lot of people here in the UK, that was probably the first song they heard from you. What was interesting about Picanto was, the news of you signing to Native Records came out around about the same time Picanto dropped. What made you feature Zlatan and ECko Miles on this song?
Odumodublvck: When I recorded Picanto, it was just me on it. ECko Miles wasn’t meant to be on it. I recorded it in his brother’s house, and he kept asking me to be on the song. He even said he would bring money for promotion so, even if it’s eight bars I could give him, I’ll give it to him. I also figured that I had passed the position of just dropping music. I needed a thing behind dropping the music and the next thing Teezee just hit me up and said “Let me drop your album for you!” I was like let’s do this! Let’s just see where we can head to. That’s how we did everything. By God’s grace, we exceeded a lot of people’s expectations.
Bambo: Nice. So your latest single, Declan Rice, has been co-signed by Wizkid, Davido, Adekunle Gold, the whole of West Ham United FC and Declan Rice himself. This song earned you your first top ten. When you saw how the single was moving through the charts, how did it make you feel?
Odumodublvck: To be honest, it’s a bittersweet feeling because I had surgery, so I could not really celebrate it at the time. I just thank God, man. It’s just gratitude, basically. That’s just the word, gratitude. It’s not like we were surprised that this was going to happen because we put in the work. The whole team put in the work to make it happen. It was structured. We are well assured that it was the work that we put in to make it come out this way. These results that we are getting are not a fluke.
Bambo: Can I just say, a massive well done to you and your team on the rollout. It was very impressive, so well done to you guys!
Odumodublvck: It is one of the greatest rollouts in the history of Nigerian music. A Hip Hop song with no feature went number one! I can’t remember the last time a Hip Hop song with no feature went number one. Bear in mind that I’m not a blown artist. A lot of people don’t even know who we are. Our record label started barely six months ago and we have the number one record! A Hip Hop not an Afrobeats song, Bambo!
Bambo: Trust me they’re going to know that this is one of the only Hip Hop Songs in Nigerian Music history to go to number one! Honestly, it’s a massive song right now. It’s definitely going to keep growing. You’ve seen what Declan Rice and Picanto have done for your career, how have you been able to process all of the success that you’ve been getting?
Odumodublvck: It’s the most streamed Hip Hop song on its debut week in the history of Nigeria! This is as far back as Tony Tetilla, MI, Olamide. Everybody that did Hip Hop music in Nigeria didn’t get the amount of streams Declan Rice got in its first week. Is that not Jesus? Like I said, it’s orchestrated. We knew that this moment will come and we know that by God’s grace what’s even going to happen tomorrow will be even greater. We don’t know how big it’s going to be, but we have an idea. So many people are shocked, I’m not surprised. We are just coasting in the Lord’s glory.
Bambo: I love that! Do you feel any pressure at all to top the success that you’ve had?
Odumodublvck: No pressure. Not even one bit. Do you know why? Because everything is the Lord’s doing. I’m telling you. Some people think it’s cap. They think that I’m just being erratic but everything is the Lord’s doing. I will keep on going up. We’re not thinking of the next song that we’re going to do. It’s just going to come.
Bambo: So what has kept you motivated over the years to keep making music? Especially because it wasn’t like you came out in 2022 and you blew up immediately. You’ve been in the game for a while and obviously it takes some time to get your moment. What has kept you going?
Odumodublvck: When I started music, I asked my friend how long it would take us to blow. He said five years. I said let’s start the earlier the better. I started in 2017 and like you said, 2022 was when Dog Eat Dog came out so five years on the dot. The fact that I knew that I had to be patient was good enough for me to keep going. It’s not like some artists that come out their first year, they sing one or two songs and get tired. Artists need to understand that they are not in charge of all those things, they just need to be patient. When it’s your time, it’s your time. Hunger was a very key part. I had to look out for my family. This is my job now, it’s not like I’m just doing this for fun. This is all I have now.
Bambo: We’re nearly five months into 2023, but you’ve already had some major wins as we know. What has been your highlight of 2023 so far musically and personally?
Odumodublvck: Musically executing Declan Rice with my team. There’s a certain feeling that you have if you watch football and the coach says “Let’s play it like this” and it works. That shows that we can keep doing more things. Personally, if you see the way I’m talking, I had surgery and I survived! I almost lost my life so personally on that one God saved me. To see all these things are happening now, I’m so grateful.
Bambo: Definitely. What can we expect to see from you for the rest of the year?
Odumodublvck: What you can expect to see from me is inside the Bible. The Lord says, “Eyes have not seen, ears have not heard.” I don’t even know what to expect from us because what are we about to do – Bambo? Oh my God! Let’s leave it as that.
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