Adewole Solomon, popularly known as Adol, came into the limelight with his hit singles, Orin, which has enjoyed good airtime. He tells ADEOLA BALOGUN how he started and his plans for the future
You are from Ilorin, which is noted for fuji and Islamic music. Why is your own different?
It has to be different because it is a gift from God. Maybe God just wants to use me as another glory for Ilorin in another genre of music. It is not fuji or Islamic song because I am a Christian though I was not born as a Christian. I got converted about four years ago. I believe that it is my destiny to do what I am doing; I don‘t have to follow what everybody is doing. That is why I am doing pop, Afro soul and hip hop.
Probably you didn‘t grow up in Ilorin.
At all, but in 1993, I stayed with my mum in Ilorin for about a year, then I was still a Muslim and I was still going to all these Islamic schools. But today, I’m a Christian. I was born in Lagos.
Which means you probably grew up with the hip hop culture?
I was born in Mushin, very close to the LUTH area. I can sing fuji, I can sing apala, but I feel more comfortable when I am doing pop or afro soul or R and B.
People who don‘t see you when you sing will probably think you are a woman. What do you do to your voice?
Ah, I don’t do anything to my voice, it is natural. I don’t joke with my voice anyhow because it is my life. I take cool water, but anytime I’m going for a show, I don’t take things that are too oily because of fatigue. The more wet the vocal chord is, the more audible you sound. I’ve not been to any music school but I studied music on my own. I listen to good songs; I hang around people who know good music and I pray a lot for inspiration and improvement.
When did you realise the gift of music in you?
That was a long time ago, but in 2000, I was in a group which was featured by a guy in a song called, Awarawa and we shot the video. But in 2006, I decided to go solo and that was when I started professionally on my own. I have been writing songs since I was in primary school. I entered the City People talent hunt show in 2007 and I happened to emerge the best vocalist in the finals. Since then, I haven’t looked back.
Did you have problem with your parents when you decided to choose music over everything?
I didn’t have any problem with my dad and mum when I decided to go for music, but the only obstacle I had was my brother‘s opposition. He studied graphic arts at Lagos Poly and he wanted me to face my studies without any distraction. But today, he is very proud of me because people around him love my music. My dad loved music even though he did not sing, while my mum sings to the music of the likes of Haruna Ishola. I believe that God has plans for everyone and I know I am doing what He wants for me.
So how far did you go in education?
Right now, I am planning to go to the music school to learn more about music but not here in Nigeria. I want to work something out that will not affect my career negatively. After secondary school, I plunged into music fully.
Would you say you have made a success financially in music?
Well, I believe you are aware that the way things are in the music industry in Nigeria today is not all that encouraging, but thanks to the telecommunications companies around, which endorse artistes through shows. Those are the people that pay artistes good money; apart from them, all other people that organise shows will only beg you to come and perform and we do that to support them. But I can say that I am successful because everywhere I go, people listen to my music and they say Adol‘s music is sweet to the ear and I am grateful to God for that.
What do you take to fight stage fright, alcohol?
I don‘t drink and I don‘t smoke; those who know me will tell you that. I just go on stage and once I am there, I forget that I am before a crowd and I do my stuff.
Which musical instrument do you play?
I really don‘t play any, but I can work with professionals because I know tones and sounds. There was a time I went for training in guitar, but I have not perfected it. Right now, I am working on piano, but I have plans to find a way round it because I believe an artiste is more successful when he knows how to play some instruments.
It is a fact that it can be very hard to survive on music alone in Nigeria. How do you cope since you told me that music is all you do?
I live on music by the special grace of God. Right now, I am working on my album with the likes of MI. I was supposed to work with Asa when she was around recently, but she had a very tight schedule. We have been talking since we met on the Funmi Iyanda show but I still hope to do so in future. Apart from that, I want to run away from too much collaboration with artistes. By December, I hope to drop my album.
Apart from your singles, Orin and Ife Re (Your Love) that are very popular, what other hits do you have on the album?
Every song Adol sings is a hit and that is by the special grace of God.
I am sure your voice alone would have endeared you to ladies...
That is normal for any artiste that is known. Girls would always hang around you, they keep on calling you, even when you are not in the mood, you just have to make them happy. They are part of my success, I mean female fans. Without female fans, an artiste is going nowhere because they have to keep on screaming for you and they make you popular.
And you have a lot of them...
Yes, I have a lot of female fans. Whenever I go for shows, many of them want to take pictures with me. I remember when I went for the Ankara Day event in Osun State, I took pictures with more than 100 girls on that day and I was really very tired, yet, everyone wanted to take more.
So you are a ladies’ man?
Yes I am, but I control myself. I don‘t allow that to get into my head and that is why I am a man. I have someone that I am seeing and we are very close. We met a very long time ago when I was in secondary school, then my music was nowhere it is now. She is my love.
Which means that you don‘t look forward to marrying an artiste?
No, getting married to an artiste for me will be a war. You know, there are so many temptations around us in the course of the music business. If an artiste like me marries a female artiste, it will be like a distraction because I know what I face outside. It won‘t really work: I want someone I can put in my house and have rest of mind. If I have to marry an artiste, she has to quit music because there are temptations around.
What would you say is the craziest thing a female fan has done to you?
I remember when I went for a show in Osun State and after my performance, three girls told the event organisers that they would like to sleep with me in my hotel room and I said no, I wanted to sleep alone.
So is your girlfriend comfortable with you?
Of course, she knows that I have the spirit of God in me. She knows that I am a child of God.
So you may one day become a gospel musician?
I want to become a healer and a pastor. But right now, I am still a secular artiste, but I don‘t smoke, drink or engage in immorality.