NotjustOk hype will feature the future potential heavy hitters in Naija music. Any material featured in this category will be from an unsigned OR up & coming Nigerian/African artiste/producer/record label that boasts of nothing but promising content. There will only be ONE post a month in this category.
If you have or know of anyone’s music that you feel is a hit or any good, please send an email to the official notjustOk email (music-at-notjustok.com) with a link to their page or where we can download the song. BETTERYET, send in the artiste’s song(s) as mp3 attachments along with a brief info/bio and a picture/artwork.
When the NotjustOk “Most Gifted Rappers” list came out, so many people were not expecting to see a name “Mojeed” on the list at all and it was even more surprising to see him sit comfortably on the #4 spot.
Well, anyone who has been following the rap game in Nigeria for the past 9 months won’t argue on Mojeed, signed to Aristokrta Records, being on the list. His Mixtape – WESTERNISED WEST AFRICAN is arguably the best mixtape that dropped this year and with previous singles attesting to his natural talent as an MC of repute.
This month, we serve you MOJEED as NotJustOk Hype for November 2014!
Yo! Mojeed, What’s up Boss?
Bro, I dey o. I’m very well o.
Congrats on the the NotJustOk Gifted Rappers list for 2014. You were number 4 on that list and there are some people who have been questioning why you were on the list because they don’t know you. Please introduce yourself.
Well, my name is Mojeed. I’m a hip hop/ Afro-beat Rapper, based in Lagos and signed to Aristokrat Records. In regards to how people feel about me being on the list, I don’t think I have any say because that’s their own opinion but as long as I get them talking, I can’t shout. I also know that there are a lot of artistes missing on the list but people need to understand that even though I’m new to the industry, I have been grinding for a very long time. For me to come out with a body of work like my mixtape, you need to judge from there.
Who exactly is Mojeed? And tell us about the early stages of your musical journey.
I think that kind of question is ongoing, that’s why my Twitter handle is @whoismojeed because I feel it’s like a quest for people to wanna find out more about me. Well, I’m a 26-year old rapper, grew up partly in Lagos. I went to Fountain on Adelabu-Surulere, then King’s College, graduated from ADRAO in V.I before I moved to America to further my education. I schooled in New York, then I went to London to do my Masters before I decided to come back and do Music. Music started for me when I was 13 – when I was about graduating from High School in Nigeria. I hooked up with Lynxxx from Syndik8 Records. The first track I actually did was “Back To The Mic”. It was a good song and from there, I started feeling myself that I can actually do this with support from friends and all. I opened for PHARELL WILLIAMS when I was in a group called OMG. I came out tops out of like a thousand people in the whole Eastern Region and my group won but because I was the only vocalist in that group, I had to go and perform. I feel like you have to work hard before you are noticed, you don’t work hard to be noticed. I learnt a few things watching these Yankee acts on stage and that is what I’ve brought back here for people to enjoy here. So, make dem no para!
Coming back to Nigeria, how has it been?
All I’ll say is that growing up under your parents, things are kind of different but when you are alone, that’s the real life right there. Coming back has taught me so much. One sure thing it has taught me is never to give up, just continue. Somewhere down the line, something will work.
You came to Nigeria and people got to know about the Aristokrat deal like it’s been ongoing for a long time, even before you came to Naija. Tell us more about that meeting that got you signed to AR.
With AR, I’ve been friends with the label owners. They were a group before they became a label. I was friends with the artistes in there and down the line, I was introduced to the head of the label. In 2012, I was in London when someone came to meet me to talk to me about it up until 2013. So, by April 2013, I just came back to Nigeria and penned a deal wit them. We recorded a couple of songs, went back to School and moved back fully in January this year.
What were the first set of songs you released under AR?
Ermm, I released BOSIBI first on August 31, 2013. Then I released ELEVATOR sometime this year. Then a couple of singles after that.
So, how has it been so far under Aristokrat Records?
Mehn, It’s a blessing, I mean. You guys put me on the map na! I can’t complain. Nowhere is easy mehn. I’m just a patient person and will just wait. You know, it’s God that sent you guys (notjustOk.com) to show the world. When God says it’s your time, it’s your time.
Growing up as a rapper, who are the people that influenced you and your music?
When it comes to the skill set, because I divide music into Soul and Skill. So, for the skill, I’ve got people like Jay Z, J.Cole, Kendrick Lamar. There are a bunch of them. When it comes to soul, I look at the people around me that will influence my life to make me a better person. Those are people I try to draw up inspiration from. I’m not really about looking at who’s on TV because what’s on TV is packaging. So, I’m more about reality.
Now, let’s talk about your very first body of work – THE WESTERNISED WEST AFRICAN Mixtape.
That mixtape has different stages mehn because it actually went through a lot. It was supposed to be called T.R.O.N before the name change. Along the line sha, Westernised West Afrcican came and because we were colonized by the British people, we are Westernised by default. Westernised Western African is a person who has spent some years living abroad and has now come back to become a Jagaban (laughs).
Dope mixtape! But the major hit right now off the mixtape is JAGABAN. Tell us what brought about that song?
As we all know, Jagaban is a leader and a great leader at that. I sang the hook in Yoruba. – “Mo fe l’owo bi Jagaban”. That means “I want to have money like jagaban”. I mean, it’s just a song that everybody could relate with because we all want to be great leaders. Whoever wants to be a great leader will be able to relate to a song like that. The whole mixtape was conceptual and when we got Jagaban, I kinda felt like this is what I want to do. So, I started telling a story from Jagaban – about my life, down to the end of the mixtape. It shows me reflecting and showing people all sides of me. Now is the “knowing” stage.
The mixtape itself, how long did it take you to put everything together. Also, tell us about your relationship with the producer – LeriQ.
When I came in April 2013, I recorded a bunch of songs. Like 7, actually. Then, I went back to London, came back in January and recorded more songs again. With LeriQ, you can’t just understand someone in a day… with time, we spoke, hung out and the chemistry just started building up from there.
And you decided to stick with him alone on the project. Why?
I kinda feel like I don’t owe any producer or anybody. Even when I was in Yankee, I used to work with only one producer. I feel there has to be a chemistry with the person that will discover your sound and will give you that confidence. So, for now; I wanna work with LeriQ and establish myself in Nigeria and the music is not for other producers or musicians but for fans of music. As long as I put out something great, it really doesn’t matter who produces it. It’s just the song you should enjoy, not the politics of it.
We have Pucado, Kamar & Ozone under AR as your label mates. What’s the relationship like with all of them?
They are all cool, mehn. Everyone out here all feel like kings and we all respect each other. Once you just have that mutual understanding, it will work from there. We work, do tracks together. I have a couple of songs with every one of them.
A friend was watching the Jagaban video and didn’t seem to understand the concept. I wanna hear from you – what’s the concept behind that video?
You know, these times; people are all about flashy stuff, which is cool. But I just had to bring in something different, from a different angle. Sometimes, when a million things are trying to go through one hole, it’s better to go through another hole. So, Jagaban is a song for everybody. A rich man could say that and same goes for the poor people too. The video shows people on the road and portrays different parts of Lagos where it all started for me. I’m happy a lot of people can connect and for me, the numbers may not be like a Million views and all but you see those Five Thousand people that have watched it, I kinda feel that I would get their heart.
How has the support from the Industry been so far?
Ermm, the Industry has been very very kind to me. I don’t look at what I can’t get but focus on what I can get. I can’t really say the Industry hasn’t worked for me. I’m just happy to be here. You know, I just focus on what’s important.
Let’s talk about your relationship with other rappers in the industry.
There are a bunch of them that I respect a lot. Reminisce for one, I respect him. Very dope rapper. Then there’s Phyno, Olamide, M.I, Jesse Jagz. Everyone on the NotjustOk List and even some that are not on the list. I’ve met a lot of artists too. I’ve got BOJ, Ayo Jay, 2baba, Wande Coal – I’m a very very big fan of Wande Coal and he happens to be very supportive of my music.
Let’s talk about collaborations. You had a couple of collaborations on the mixtape. Should we be expecting much more of that in the nearest future?
Yes, definitely! I think I have an EP coming out very soon (in a few months). It’s just to give them something before the album drops. As soon as I drop the EP, I’ll start working on my album. So, the fans should be on the look out for the EP coming very soon.
I know people expect a whole lot from now, henceforth. 2015, what are the plans?
Omo, to keep moving forward noni! (laughs). Mehn, to shoot more videos. There are gonna be more videos coming from the Westernised West African tape before we delve into the other projects. What else? Shows! And then, we are planning on an AristoKrat show in December. What else is gonna happen? A bunch of stuff. I might go into; acting also.
So, you can act?
Well, I actually don’t have the experience but in my mind, I think I can do it.
Now, if there was one producer that you’d love to work with apart from LeriQ, who would it be?
One, One! Ermmm, does it have to be one?
Okay, feel free!
Ermm, I’d like to work with Kid Konnect. I think Sarz too. I’d like to do something just different.
And if there’s one song you wished you wrote, what song would that be?
Errm, (snaps fingers) Davido’s AYE. I kinda feel a connect with the song. It connects on all levels.
Now….. Final word for the fans. Those out there who did not know the name before the NotjustOk List and those who already know Mojeed before the list.
Omo, keep supporting your boy! I’m going, I’m going! There’s nothing stopping me mehn. More music will come mehn. So much more music will come. I believe in good music and that whatever is worth doing is worth doing well. Ask LeriQ, before we release a song, I put a 100% into it to make it the best.