Tolulope Olumide Bajulaiye aka Tolu Mogul, who was born in Lagos, Nigeria and later moved to London Borough of Islington on 31 December 1990, is a versatile artist, singer, songwriter and record producer. He is also is a British National of Nigerian descent.
Early in his career, Tolu Mogul in 2014 produced his first official record (F**king Up My Sh*t) for dissolved English Hip-Hop group Dem Man Dere, better known as D.M.D. featuring members (Rago, Prezzy Po, Kaptin & Tutu).
After the dissolve of Dem Man Dere in 2015, Tolu Mogul went solo and released his debut Extended Play “Progress Not Perfection“, on 3 March, 2017, under his label Black Clan.
Check out my exclusive interview with Tolu Mogul below, Enjoy!:
Hey Tolu Mogul! Would you like to introduce yourself to our readers?
I’m Tolulope Olumide Bajulaiye but better known by my stage name as Tolu Mogul. I was born 31 December 1990 in Lagos, Nigeria and later moved to London Borough of Islington. A versatile artist, singer, songwriter and record producer.
Talk me through an average day in the life of you?
I can’t really say I have an average day, but the rte are certain things that I have to do, gym, studio, writing music(this is something I can’t do without), I am constantly working on new material.
What institution(s) did you attend and what did you study?
For high school I attended Babington Macaulay Junior Seminary, I studied creative art at the University of Lagos, even if my father wanted me to study anything relating to banking but I had to be true to myself. After this I studied Studio Sound Engineering at Alchemea College, London, even though I had been making music before this, I still felt I lacked some technical know-how.
Why the interest in music and how will you describe your type of music?
It wasn’t always music, I was in love with playing basketball, but music seemed to have a better future growing up in Nigeria. And since the day my cousin introduced me to my first DAW (Fruity Loops 3 or 3.5) I fell in love with the creating of music because to be honest, I am the worse at following up with new music, I’m more fascinated by the creation. As for my type of music, it varies, because I love all types of music, I just do what I feel at the moment regardless of genre.
How did you come up with the name “Tolu Mogul”?
Well Tolu is my name and Mogul is because it is how I began to feel after I started to take my craft more serious, and it is where I see myself in a couple of years.
Tell us more about your label, “Black Clan” and which artists are signed to it?
“Black Clan” both words are acronyms B.Lack (Beyond Lack) & C.L.A.N (Creative Level Above Normal), currently no one signed to this, I am the only one under my label for now but the future holds so much possibilities.
How’s the music industry in the United Kingdom and do you feel the industry is doing alot to encourage upcoming acts?
I like the UK music industry, because of the diversity. I think the industry shows love to upcoming acts, if they see your drive and hunger, and of course if you are putting out heat after heat(not to be confused with “hit”), I mean, if you are putting out real fire.
You released in March, 2017 your latest EP “Progress Not Perfection” got massive response/ positive reviews from industry watchers and fans. How did that make you feel and what inspired the title of the EP?
I loved putting out Progress Not Perfection, I’ve been shown some love and I’m hoping to receive more in due time. It is an EP that has something for everyone, from rap to pop, I wanted to show case my production, writing and delivery abilities.
You just recently released a new music video for “We Came A Long Way” FT. Egle x Kaptin. What will you say was the main message behind the song/video?
“We Came A Long Way” gained the most love out of all the songs, I love it because the creation of the this track was so organic, I was in the studio with Egle and right before we left I played the instrumental, Egle had something for it instantly, we nearly left and the engineer(Footsteps), encouraged use to record it, we did, after the play back I immediately knew Kaptin would give me the best second verse. The track is acknowledging the ups and downs, countless obstacles you’ve been through with people dear to you in one way or another and coming out a stronger human.
Do you plan to return and invest in the music business in Nigeria?
Nigeria is a huge market for so many things, I’ve been investing and will keep doing so, never forget where you came from.
You are a young entrepreneurial minded guy. How do you balance your personal and professional life?
Balancing my personal and professional life is not easy and anyone in this industry will tell you this, especially as an upcoming independent artist.
How often do you go to the gym and how many hours do you spend while you there?
I’m in the gym 5-6 days a week, I try to keep it under an hour and half.
What’s your 5 Dos and Don’t when it comes to music?
1. Invest in yourself (It’s never a loss)
2. Believe in yourself
3. Never put out sub-par music
4. Be consistent
5. Make a plan (it doesn’t always go as planned) but have a plan.
1. Think you need a feature to make an amazing song
2. Don’t get too attached to a track
3. If its great then release it as soon as you can.
What would you say is the main misconception the public have about musicians?
I’m not sure about this one, maybe that all musicians (male) are into groupie lifestyle.
What aspect surprised you the most once you started as an artiste?
It is not so much of a surprise now but people are simply not who they claim, and a lot secretly don’t want your progress.
Which brands, producers, directors, clients and musicians have you worked with?
I’ve only worked with people you see on my EP and a couple other friends that you will see in the future, as I have learnt it is important to build your own brand so you are not just the person who featured another person(if you understand my point).
What has been one of the most memorable jobs to work on?
My most memorable job is “Fucking Up My Shit” which I produced for D.M.D, it was purely vibes, we were in the studio, I started making the beat and before I could finish it, Rago had his verse, Kaptin came in and then there was a chorus, before we knew it there was Prezzy and Tutu and the track was done.
Who do you want to work with that you haven’t yet?
This a long list, taking I love a lot of music, this varies from Kanye West, Burnaboy, Wizkid, Skepta to Tony Bennett, Marley’s, Lady Gaga and a bunch of upcoming artistes around the world.
Tell us two things people don’t know about you?
I’m amazing at cooking and basketball.
What do you consider your biggest professional success so far?
Biggest so far is putting out my EP, there was a lot put into it, lots of hours and emotions.
Who do you want to work with that you haven’t yet?
Who do I want to work with repeated again.
What has been your biggest challenge?
I can say my biggest challenge was transitioning from a producer to an artiste even though I felt like I could do it, I needed extra pushing.
You are very active on social media. Do you think its important to be online and if so why?
Social Media is a huge thing for upcoming and independent artistes, it is important to be active because this is an avenue for you to reach fans and people both far and wide, unreachable people.
You are a British National of Nigerian descent. Born in Lagos, Nigeria and later moved to London Borough of Islington. Will you say that as given you a brand-new perspective towards life?
My move to London definitely gave me a different look on life as I think moving anywhere will.
What are your must visit travel destinations?
New York, Dubai, Miami, Zimbabwe, Romania.
How would you describe your style?
I’m a huge Kanye Fan, and I can say he kind of influences my style choice.
What music genre appeals to you the most?
The genre that appeals to me most is Rock and Vocal (Like Sinatra).
Name your five must have accessories/essentials?
1. Wrist Watch
What are your favorite fashion trends?
I’m not really into trends, if I see something I like and I look good in I wear it regardless.
What is your favourite dish?
I’m a huge foodie, I can’t say I have a favourite, it changes.
What songs are currently on your playlist?
Both old and new tracks of Kanye West, Jay, Wayne, Skepta, Fekky, Big Sean, I actually prefer to listen to their older art.
Apart from music, what other projects are you currently working on?
Apart from music and sound engineering, I model, and discussing a brand with a couple of local designers.
Seeing you’re doing your dreams, what advice can you give others to pursue their dreams?
Invest in yourself, never think you can’t, the more hours you put in the more you grow, consistency is key.
Any specific plans for the future?
For me? To keep putting out good music, expand my brand and my label.
Any final words?
Thank you for the interview and the support, I appreciate it.