On July 3, 2020, Nigerian singer, Omah Lay got featured as the inaugural face of ‘Africa Rising’ artist program by Apple Music. As a result he had a chat with Nadeska Alexis, popularly known as one of the hosts of ‘Everyday Struggle’ on Complex.
Here are some of the picks;
Omah Lay talks about the success of ‘Get Layd’
“I wasn’t expecting all of this. I didn’t expect it to happen this fast and so soon, you know what I mean? But I’m grateful. I just made music, I put it out, and everybody’s loving it. And I’m really grateful.”
Omah Lay talks about transitioning from a producer to an artist
“I was a music producer and about a year ago I put out a few of my songs, a few songs that I made for myself, ‘Do Not Disturb’ and ‘Hello Brother.’ And then I got a deal, I had to move down to Lagos from my city. And I made ‘Get Layd’ and where I’m at today. And I’m grateful again.
“Maybe I wasn’t confident enough but I didn’t know that I could be this guy right now. I didn’t know that people would enjoy my music this much. So I felt more comfortable just staying in the studio and making music for other people, but the time I tried with ‘Do Not Disturb,’ I put out my first song, ‘Do Not Disturb,’ and the reception was really amazing, so I had to run with it, and I put out ‘Hello Brother,’ and yeah. I grew more confident, and I started making more music, and I got my deal with KeyQaad.”
Omah Lay talks about finding his love for music and idolizing Drake
“You know, growing up and always being with my dad, he played a lot of highlife music, and growing up listening to Drake a lot, with time I just started making beats. You know, I started rapping, and I wanted to be so much like Drake, when I was really young, I just wanted to be Drake.”
“I was just a rapper. I was a rapper then I decided to enhance my music skill by becoming a music producer. I stopped rapping and, yeah, I was a music producer for a long time, for about four or five years, I was just making beats for people and writing songs for other people. So just about last year, I decided to take it up professionally.”
Omah Lay talks about writing ‘Bad Influence’
“While I was working on the ‘Get Layd’ project, I actually stayed away from my social media follow and I stayed away from a lot of things. I was just trying to get my head straight so I can get my message right, you know? While I was working on the ‘Get Layd’ project, I decided to just do something for my Instagram followers, and at that time I had just 1,500 Instagram followers, you know?
“So I had decided to make something for them to just listen to while I am off. So I made ‘Bad Influence,’ and everybody was like, ‘Yo, we need the full version of the song. This song is something else.’ And I went back and I completed it, and it is what it is today. It wasn’t even supposed to be on the ‘Get Layd’ EP, you know? But people request that for the song a lot, that we just had to put it on the EP.”
Omah Lay talks about writing ‘You’ and his songwriting process
“You’ was like my first official single. I and my team, we wanted to put out a single before the ‘Get Layd’ project, so I had three versions of ‘You.’ I really don’t know how everything happened, but it happened so fast that, and ‘You’ is there right now. I don’t know why. I don’t even know what to say about the song (laughs)”
“When I had the ‘You’ beat, I had the beat and the beat was superb, you know? I dive straight in. I started making the records. I made the first version and second version, and ‘You’ was the last version. This is usually how my process is. I try to make three different songs with the same beat.”
Omah Lay talks about his sound
“At the end, I make Afrobeats. African. This is what we do. In my own making of Afrobeats, I don’t like to get myself all boxed in, what it should sound like. I try my best to search every single place, you know, every single style. I want to do reggae, I want to do dancehall, but at the end, I want to do Afrobeat. So I’m not trying to be boxed in.”
Omah Lay talks about self-criticism
“Being a producer, I’ve heard so much. I’ve listened to a lot of songs, and I always want mine to sound the best, so every time I make a record, I’m always doubting it. But at the end, you know, everybody around me is enjoying it, and I’m a bit of a perfectionist and it’s really affecting my craft. But I think it is just like you said, it’s a gift and a curse at the same time.
“That was the same thing with the whole ‘Get Layd’ EP. I didn’t like any song from that EP apart from ‘Bad Influence’. I didn’t like any of the songs. I felt like there was a lot of songs in the trash that was better than the songs on the EP, but my whole team and everybody, in fact, my parents, my brothers, everybody thinks these ones are good enough to be in the project, so I just give it up for them.”