(In this interview with NET, the rapper spoke on her early beginning and travails in the industry. Photo: Tipsy)
Yewande Ishola Abiodun otherwise called Tipsy is a fast rising female indigenous rapper. She’s the last of 4 children and hails from Akure in Ondo state. Tipsy began her sojourn into the entertainment industry as a dancer and video vixen before she became a rapper, songwriter and lyricist. In 2010, Tipsy got signed on the JJC-led Big Boys Entertainment and released her very first single Énu Po’.
In this interview with NET, the rapper who recently dropped her new song, ‘Sóle’ featuring Olamide spoke on her early beginning and travails in the industry.
I started out as a dancer, and then I got introduced to JJC who was at that point trying to re-start his record label so he signed me onto his record label. At that time it was called Big Boys Entertainment. We met around late 2010, but he officially signed me around 2011.
You are no longer signed to his record label, what happened?
We broke up.
Our relationship ended in 2012. There’s not much as to why we broke up. I think it’s just normal when you sign an artiste; you basically sign them so you can develop them and get them to a point where you feel they can move on their own. So, that’s really what happened.
So it means you walked out of the contract?
No, I didn’t walk out of the contract. The contract walked out on all of us.
You mean JJC just left you guys?
No, he did not. We all agreed mutually.
What’s your relationship with JJC now?
Sure, we are still very cool, and we are still married (laughs). He’s my boss and my brother; he’s still everything to me.
Before 2011, what were you doing?
I was just a dancer dancing around, I never thought I was going to do music or become a singer. I was just a dancer for 9ice; the only thing was dancing for 9ice at shows and events. I danced in a couple of music videos too.
So at what point did you switch to music?
Honestly I can’t really say, even when I got introduced to JJC, I still did not think I could do music. JJC just said to me at that time that I could do it. He believed in me because of my swags, and he said he could develop me into an artiste. So he signed me, and at the beginning, we were kind of confused on the kind of genre I was going to do, but then I found myself.
Talking about finding yourself, why did you choose indigenous rap?
Well, I didn’t want to be a clichéd female artiste by just being another female singer.
I wanted to stand out and there’s really a lot of things to say when you rap. I can express myself better when I rap. And, another reason for it could be because of the people that inspired me; the likes of 9ice, Dagrin and Olamide. I also listen to a lot of Nicki Minaj, and I feel very comfortable expressing myself in Yoruba.
How easy is it for you to flow in Yoruba language?
I think it’s pretty easy for me to flow. Apart from the fact that it’s God’s gift, it also has to do with a lot of skills. I listen to a lot of Nicki Minaj and then I try to put her delivery in Yoruba language. I use that to kind of develop myself as well.
Let’s talk about your new song with Olamide?
The song is titled ‘S’ole’ and it means ‘drop it.’ I actually recorded the whole song all by myself when I was in London, and then I felt the song would be nicer if Olamide hops on it. So I tried to get in touch with Olamide through my London manager, AB Fresh. Olamide came through to the studio, he liked the song so it was easy for him to flow on it. Then I just came back to shoot the video in Nigeria with MEX.
How easy is it for you shuttling between London and Nigeria?
It’s the most stupid thing. It’s absolutely challenging. Fine I understand that I have to be with my family in UK, but for me music is priority and I also have to be on ground here as well.
What exactly do you do in London?
I school in UK. I’ve been there since I was 15. I’m rounding off with school soon, and I’ll be relocating to Nigeria to fully concentrate on my music because that’s the only way to do it. I have more songs and videos to release in the coming months.
How did you come about the name, Tipsy?
I got the name from secondary school. I used to be very hyperactive, and I just decided to carry on with the name because I like it and I always want to use it to remember my friends from secondary school.
What do you think stands you out as a female artiste?
In the industry right now, a lot of people are just being clichéd. Most people do music for just the beat and instrumental, but I do music with lyrical content. Fine the beat is part of it, but I’m on the lane of the very few people that do lyrical music. I put a lot of effort in my music so it’s worth the while.
Who would you want to work with in the industry at the moment?
I like Asa a lot.
If you look at where you stand now, would you say you are fulfilled?
No, because I can’t just sit here with a little achievement and say I’m fulfilled. For me I see it as I’m just starting, so I don’t think I’ve fully fulfilled what I want to do in the music industry.
What would you want to change about yourself?
My location. I’ll want to leave London and relocate to Nigeria as soon as possible.
What’s been your saddest moment?
I’ve had a lot of sad moments. Especially when things don’t work out well. I’ll give you an instance. There was a man who promised to fund my career a few years ago. He really believed in me and was ready to spend money on me, only for him to die a few days after we spoke. I really felt sad.
Are you signed on to a record label now?
No, I’m not.
So who funds your music project?
I really can’t explain it. I fund it myself and my friends who believe in me also invest in my career as well.
Are your parents in support of your career?
Well, it was kind of hard at first, but now I think they are accepting the fact that I’m actually good. They see me on TV and listen to my songs on radio and it makes them happy.
Are you married?
No, I’m not. I’m not even in a relationship.
What happened to your last relationship?
It just sank. Nature sank it. The last relationship that I refer to as a relationship ended two years ago. We just had issues we couldn’t cope with, and I guess distance contributed a little to it as well.
What would you look out for in a man?
The truth is that I’m in a point in my life where I think I know what I want, and if I’m going into any relationship now, the first is that whoever I want to date must be able to support and fund my career, because that means he’s going to be a part of my whole life. Music to me is my life and you can’t date me and not be a part of my music; that means I’ll have to live a different life to please you. So it’s just nice for us to be on the same page so we’ll know we are moving in the same direction.
What’s your view about marriage?
I think people just talk about marriage because of their excitement. Because you feel love for somebody right now doesn’t mean you should get married immediately. There’s more to it because even when I’m in a relationship, I get bored easily talk more marriage. I don’t think marriage works in this generation anymore. Marriage takes a little bit more than what people think it is now.