In a country where various artist tussle to establish their musical Uniqueness. But very few emerge fully evolved, in full command of their craft, their Identity and their Music. Oluwaseun Paul Ogundipe otherwise known as “Soul” fits solidly in the latter category. His songs are compelling, proclaiming the arrival of a gifted, creative and noteworthy new talent, one whose music feels way familiar in the best possible, while striking out on its own territory
Hails from the western part of Nigeria precisely “Ogun State, Abeokuta”, grew in Lagos. Soul played the drums as a child, took music seriously like his whole depended on it to breathe to live. His roots are equal parts traditional, classical, jazz, folk, soul/rnb and christian music and he credits his infinite love for dance and Euphonious pattern on these inventive eras. He explains, “I started writing songs and composing melodies in my head, and it took my interest in Music to another level. I had to pick d guitar up so I could cut music to the ideas in my head. Then I started playing the piano, attended Music schools (studying music theory and piano classical) Multi-media training institute studying (‘Live sound, Recording, Mixing and Mastering and Digital Music) funded by My dearest friend, Pastor and mentor Gabriel Araba, to broaden my horizons even more”. Almost immediately he joined the music and dance team of an interdenominational Christian fellowship and began playing and attending mini-concerts and shows, played local gigs with some friends who played the instruments, to also display his love for dance; he majored in contemporary ballet and traditional”. I wasn’t interested in anything other than music and dance, and I loved the wide-openness of my life”.
Recording on his phone and playing the songs he was writing for his friends, Soul saw their genuinely excited reaction. “A friend heard the songs, and even though we were broke, he approached me and we pooled our resources and his borrowed money to set up a recording studio (mark’s studios)”. Now recording in earnest, soul was gathering skill as a song writer and producer, taking his influences from, India Arie, Lauryn Hill, Jill Scott, Bryan Adams, Tevin Campbell, Maxwell, Bob Marley, Macy Gray, Naomi Campbell, Whitney Houston, Luther Vandross, Tony Bennet, Indian music, Marvin Gaye and Fleetwood Mac, and using them to shape his own style. “I grew up with a lot of 70s and 80 blues, soul/RnB and church music”. Soul explains, “My uncle used to play Marvin Gaye and Whitney Houston almost every time. I naturally gravitate to that kind of sound; there’s a warmth and timelessness to it that I’ve always loved”.
As his name grew in and around Lagos area, the pieces began to fall into place for Soul. Joining Charis Family Int’l church in Opebi, Lagos, teaming up with his Mentor and Pastor, Gabriel Araba; co-writing and recording theme songs, soundtracks and jingles for some major brands in Nigeria (www.primepathmedia.com), which earned him some much needed cash and the notoriety to begin playing and singing in bigger concerts and shows, featuring with main artistes, doing radio and music productions and Sound design for films for an ever increasing local and international audience. Recording continuously, Soul and his newly formed crew of five professional musicians (Clubartitude) and independent management outfit, at a live performance recorded a cover of the song ‘storm is over’ originally recorded by R Kelly and Bishop TD Jakes. The song sparked some major interest from several audiences so at the end decided to package the live performance and release it to a larger audience. “Working with Clubartitude has given me the freedom to be myself and to make the music exactly the way I want make it,” he declares.
That freedom allowed Soul to self-produce his songs, as well as the space to experiment while making it. Also working as a producer/song writer for so many top local Gospel and secular artists. He reflects,”There was a lot of trial and error that went into my single and upcoming album. The songwriting is far more detailed, and that was reflected in the way I recorded. We’ve recorded a few songs from my singles diary and also clubartitude’s album. I spent nights and sleepless nights on certain songs, refining them until I thought they were just right”. With Soul on piano, guitar, drums and various percussion, Yemi Oladun on bass, Daniel west ibit on drums, Tola ‘Tclef’ on piano, SheyhunDavid on keyboards, also featuring celebrity musicians like T beiz, Damilola on guitar, Henry Bass, and producers Okeysokey and Bishop beats, the sound they got is a commanding and infectious one, modern in feel, while also hearkening back to the70-90s jazz, soul, folk and pop that is embedded in his musical DNA. But as Soul says, “now I am more of a believer than I was at the beginning”.
From the opening notes of “There” his first official single, soon to be released by December. One hears that combination of melodic irresistibility and lyrical incisiveness that are becoming Soul’s hallmarks. “The song was inspired by God in my heart, more like a letter to a friend in need” Soul notes.
Soul is currently in the studio, recording and rehearsing for his regular live shows “Club3”, playing both acoustic and with his crew. It’s gaining momentum, Soul says, with the band and friends, we’re getting excited. Being on stage is something I have always wanted.
Soul is playing his songs precisely the way he’s always wanted, creating a fully realized work that is the culmination of where he’s been and where he’s going and one that is sure to win him the notoriety that is demanded by the depth and quality of his songs.
“But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty God giveth them understanding. JOB 32:8 He quotes.
- Victor is a God Lover, Brand Management & IT Consultant, Web Developer, Digital Marketing Expert, Gospel Music Promoter. He is a passionate entrepreneur and is the CEO of Vivid360 Solutions & GMN Christian Media Company