Nigerian, singer Oxlade real name Ikuforiji Abdulrahman Olaitan is currently one of the young new acts tagged to change the face of the Nigerian and African music Industry.
Oxlade started pursuing music right from his secondary school days to the disapproval of his parents who felt it was a waste of his time.
He got admitted into Lagos State University to study History and International Relations only to later drop out. This however came at the consequence of having his father refusing to cater to his needs.
Oxlade was at some point close to giving up on music when Nigerian Rapper, Blaqbonez collaborated with him in 2018.
He also was encouraged by Davido who sent him messages on Instagram packed with words of encouragement after he listened to one among his songs.
In terms of sound, Oxlade is a soulful singer who fuses Afrobeat and R’n’B to supplement his deft use of his standard tenor voice type while he also experiments with his vocal range and octaves.
While songs like ‘Shugar‘ and ‘Legend’ or features like ‘Ibadi’ with DJ Tunez, ‘Wait For You‘ with Melvitto and ‘Angelina’ by Juls didn’t really crack the mainstream and become hits, anyone who listened to him sings, would be immediately held spellbound.
In 2018, he joined Fireboy DML on the ever soulful “Sing” where they talk about the challenges of being an upcoming artist. The song will forever be a classic as it piano chord sounds and emotional lyrics have the heart of a listener stuck.
For this writer, this is the song where Oxlade pours his heart out without restrictions. The song also have Oxlade giving us an hindsight on his powerful vocal range.
However, it was his 2020 debut EP, Oxygene that pushed him into the mainstream music scene. The six-tracks EP was Oxlade finally trying to get his footing in the music industry.
The lead single, “Away” was an instant hit, it’s catchy hook and lyrics were enough to get an audience to sing along no matter what your views of Oxlade were.
Produced by Spax, the song is composed of catchy hooks, upbeat palm wine kind of music accompanied by Guitar melody. In the song, Oxlade convinces his woman to run away with him from the many obstacles against their relationship.
Oxlade doesn’t stop there, he also dishes out “O2”, “Hold On, “Kokose”, “Weakness”, “Tables Turn”. Though the EP hasn’t produced a mainstream hit song yet, “Away” is memorable.
Basically, while Oxlade might have the talent and the vocals to match it up, I think more thoughts and planning still need to put into the type of songs he sings.
However, Oxlade is like a mustard seed, with every passing day, he grows till he blossoms into a full-fledged tree. He has the potential to be more if he decides to push himself out of his comfort zone.
The artist has the potential to follow in Wizkid’s footsteps. His unique sound, vocal range, and charming voice holds his listener spellbound like a snake charmer playing a tune for a snake to dance.