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How Oxlade Burst Into the Music Scene at the Point of Nadir


Oxlade started his music journey in the humble and conventional ambience of the church choir alongside videographer Naya Effects. They have been together ever since.

His love affair with music places him on the adverse side with his dad. He took the bold step of dropping out of school to chase his dreams, making matter worse with his family. Along the line when things got severe, he was about dropping the pen when a certain emerging star made contact with him for a collaboration.

His stock has been on the rise since then. His songs receiving praise, he grew his fan base and also performed at the 2019 Starboy Fest in London with a host of the big names in the industry.

Born as Ikuforiji Abdulrahman Olaitan on the 22nd of April 1997, he adopted the stage name Oxlade. He grew up with his grandmother after the loss of his biological mom. There the musical seeds would be planted.

“We were a musical family,” he explains the origins. “It was as if, as a family member, you had no choice but to know a bit about music. If you didn’t know how to sing, you had to know how to play the keyboard or something”.

He moved to Surulere to live with his dad after secondary school. Things became harder for him there as he had constant debates with his dad over his career choice. In his words “My father was all about me schooling and stuff. We had a lot of heated arguments over the matter.”

Meanwhile, he was having a rave in the districts along with Naya – performing at birthday parties, turn-ups and local concerts.

Oxlade got admitted into the Lagos State University to study History and International Relations. However, music was still a huge part of his plans. Two years after his enrollment, he dropped out of school. It wasn’t a popular decision with his family. His dad stopped catering for him leaving the young lad to fend for himself. His bold decision would go on to pay dividends albeit with its travails.

While he was making a name for himself in Surulere, he had met Ojah B – a producer. He received accommodation from Ojah B and Naya. It was a rollercoaster ride then. The pressures from his surroundings were evident. Even with the support from his bros, he knew he had to carve his own path. In March 2018, things got to the point where he had thoughts of putting his music career on hold to make money.
“I stopped recording music,” he explained. “I wanted to run G. I was like ‘f***’ music when I have money, I’ll come and do music.”

He earned pittance doing back-ups, musical arrangements, and songwriting for top artists. In the midst of the hard times, he collaborated on a song titled ‘Sour’ with Alpha. Blaqbonez who had run features with Alpha heard ‘Sour’ and was impressed and wanted to work with Oxlade. That was the turning point for the artist.

Oxlade featured on Blaqbonez’s “Mamiwota”. The track release in 2019 was widely received and ranked in several streaming charts. With a new lease of life, Oxlade proceeded to release Ojoro’, ‘Questionnaire’, ‘Happiness’, and also featured on Fireboy DML’s ‘Sing.’

See Also: Fireboy DML: The Jewel of New School Afro-pop

His star rose. Those at the higher echelons of the Nigerian music industry took notice of this new kid.

Oxlade tags Davido as a huge influence on his ascension.
“it takes a lot for a colleague, a bigger one, to reach out to you in your field, or support you without signing you or having ulterior motives”.

In the case of Oxlade, the talent is there for all to see. Expectations are pounding on him, but the young man has come along to budge this time around. The spanning years would reveal his true credentials.

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