Where are you from?
I come from from Nigeria. Lagos is my home town.
When did you start to make music?
This story is actually quite interesting, I started rapping when I was 13, back in year 9. I was at home during the summer and I was just messing around on my computer. I went on Garage Band and I just started messing around on it with different instruments. That is how I ended up making and posting my first song on Soundcloud and I haven’t stopped rapping since then.
What’s the name of your first song?
The name of my first song was “From the Start”. I was just starting from the beginning and I made a few bars here and there.
Where did you grow up and how did the music scene there affect your style?
My style is definitely influenced by where I grew up because I am definitely influenced by the people around me and the people older than me. The Nigerian style in general is quite expressive and quite in tune with American style. So that’s where my style comes from, quite American based and unique.
Have you ever performed in Charterhouse?
Yes, I have performed in Charterhouse on a few occasions. In Artifex, Lack of Talent, and in Plugged. I have really enjoyed performing at this school, and thanks to them for giving me the opportunity. I’ve really enjoyed the support.
Musically, what are your biggest influences and who are your favorite musicians?
My biggest influence are the legends 2Pac and Biggie, but my favorite rapper has to be Kanye West. He’s not only a producer, but he’s also a rapper, and has inspired change and development in so many different things in the industry. Not only does he rap, but he connects music with art, so it’s not just about lyrics, but it’s also about the visuals for Kanye West.
What’s your favorite Kanye album?
People might doubt me on this one, but I’m going to have to say “My beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” because I just thought that album changed the rap game and my view on rap. That just has to be it.
What do you think of the hip-hop scene in Charterhouse and how do you think it could be improved?
The hip-hop scene right now is wacky, wacky as hell, I’m not going to lie. I’m the only MC in here and haven’t heard of any others, obviously I want some competition. People acknowledge rap at Charterhouse, but they only listen to rap because they think, “Oh my God, it’s rap and it’s cool,” they don’t actually listen to the lyrics and develop a love for rap, it’s more about rap is cool and trendy. People aren’t actually listening, and they haven’t even gone to the roots. I listen to 80s rap, 90s rap, 70s rap, before just listening to whatever is considered ‘popular’ or what’s been circulating.
How would you describe your own style of music?
So basically, I would like to think that I’m versatile, more of a turn up rapper because I am very joyful, so I really do like music which makes me and others feel good. I’m not really the sort of person who writes lyrics which are deep, I am more like a ‘get hype’ sort of rapper. I can write lyrics which are deep, but I prefer to be more playful with them.
Would you see yourself collaborating with in the future?
Well, if I became famous I would love to collaborate with ASAP Rocky. He’s so cool and has a fashion sense, it would just be so cool, he is just jiggy you know.
In what ways has your newest music changed from when you first started?
Well first of all, my music is more lyrical and concentrated on how I feel. These days I probably have over seventy songs that are unreleased because I can’t make up my mind as to what I want to post. Like, I really make my music in the moment, but my music has changed over time because before it was more like I wouldn’t think, I would just record. But, now I think before I record, and I think about what I want to produce and how I want it to sound, whereas before I would just record it once and think it was okay. That’s how I have changed in general in regards to my approach.
What are the main inspirations for the lyrics you write?
I’ll give you an example; I found this beat online and I was just listening to because I had just stumbled across it. The lyrics just came to me in my head and I began rapping, it’s like the lyrics just fell upon me in my head, and after I got the first line, it leads to the next line and then the next line, and from there I form a song. Most of the time, my lyrics are inspired by my lifestyle, like what I’m doing in the moment, the people who are around me, or the things I am doing for instance all inspire me. If I’m playing football, then I’ll probably end up coming up with a lyric that related to football, or if I’m watching basketball, I’ll make a reference to Lebron James. But, obviously I make a reference to the legends such as, 2Pac and Biggie.
What would be your dream venue in which to perform?
People mostly say the Grammys, but I feel that the Grammys are just so organized, and I don’t like something which is so structured. I would prefer to perform at BT, and I also like one of those festivals like, Lollapalooza. I’m not going to be performing at Wireless, but Coachella definitely.
Do you think you’re going to continue rapping after you leave Charterhouse?
100%, because the thing about me and rapping is that I’m not doing this for anyone, I am doing this because it’s my passion. So, even if I get one view or two views, it doesn’t bother me, I’ll just put out my music. If people really feel how I feel, then they can get my vibes, but if they don’t then that’s cool, I really just make music because I love to. That’s the way I feel, I am always going to make music, even if I don’t post it.
What would you like to say to your fans?
To my small fan base, I would like to say just keep on listening to my music, I got something coming soon, after my exams this summer I’ll be working on my new project, and so fans out there just keep on supporting me and share my music because trust me your boy got flames, that’s all you need to know. That’s it, it’s A Y O, AYO check me out on Soundcloud.
Check Ayo out on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/ayo-oshin