Moelogo might be far away from the Nigerian soil as he had moved to the United Kingdom since a tender age, but he is no doubt one of the top innovative creators defying and bending genres to their will to leave fresh taste and ideas into the music industry. Having endeared himself to many listeners with his globe-trotting single “Happy” with Adekunle Gold, a cult classic among his audience with his “Me, Myself & I” trilogy earlier this decade, and series of masterclass performances on features, most notably his contributions to Show Dem Camp’s “Palmwine Music“.
With that in mind, Moelogo has never been to far away from home, always seeking an opportunity to connect with his roots and his audience. However, it’s been a period of reflection for the act as he looks inward for inspirations on his next steps. Now gearing up for the release of his seventh studio project scheduled to be released on Thursday, the “Point of View” EP will represent his fifth body of work released this decade putting him amongst the most prolific Nigerian artists since 2020.
Just before the release of his anticipated project which have been teased across his socials for nearly a month, our representative had a chat with him virtually to capture his exact state of mind going into the release of his latest project. We were able to discuss with him and get a detailed breakdown of the creative direction behind the new EP plus how he has endeared himself to become a solid fixture in the Nigerian Pop framework.
A-T: To start with, you got a really good catalogue and it depicts your growth. Tell us how the journey has been since your first delve.
MOE: Thank you so much for that. First of, all praise to God for giving me this talent to just shine through and I feel like my journey has been an amazing one. Sometimes, it seems like it’s hard and things are not going the way I planned it but I always sit back and realize that I’m actually in a great space and have a great opportunity to connect with people and they see me and my talent. The growth has been amazing really, I mean just to really have people resonate with the music on a deeper level is a win for me.
A-T: You moved to the United Kingdom in 2001, as a result of that you are regarded as one of the Nigerian acts in the diaspora kicking things up for the Afrobeats scene in the UK, how do you embrace that image?
MOE: Yeah, I’m grateful for that title wherever it came from. I believe I was part of the foundation of people that championed African music here. At the time, it was not even because of the recognition that came out of from it, but because I’m African and proud, so no matter what land I find myself I will champion my culture and language. So, I was just showing the world how happy I am to be a Nigerian and I through that, it kind of resonated with people and made them think since he could do it, then I could too. It’s a great feeling actually.
A-T: Your music is sonically diverse and this makes you an artist which cannot be boxed. It could be a groovy pop song now, then the next is an RnB ballad where you are just pouring your heart out. Is this natural or its calculated sometimes?
MOE: For me, it comes natural because I feel like I don’t box myself into a genre. I love music in general, so I feel like if someone comes through for a feature on a rock song, I’m doing it and I will give you the total Moelogo package. I don’t believe I should box myself to an Afrobeat artist, or say an Afro-Pop artist or whatever k>we want to label ourselves. I label myself as a musician because I love music and there is no music I cannot attack. So I go with my feelings and I know that as long as I can pour my feelings on that track, it will work.
A-T: It’s more reason your discography is filled with various sonic magic. What genre of music are you inclined to create easily?
MOE: That’s the thing. I don’t think about genre, even when I enter into the studio, I’m not always concerned that I want to make an Afrobeats song or something soulful or anything else, I’m just making good music and that’s what I cherish so much. I’m glad the people that work with me understands this, as they don’t give me pressure to create something that is trendy, rather we just go into the studio to make beautiful music. I feel its obvious in the music I make, it’s not too forced and makes me sing my heart out and let people understand what I’m going through at that time. So I don’t put myself under pressure to make a certain kind of music, if I make a song and people dance to it, so be it or if I make a song relating to people and they resonate with it, I’m fine too, as long as you get exactly what Moelogo was feeling at the time of recording.
A-T: You have had really interesting collaborations with various global stars which have given birth to interesting and relatable cuts. Which artists do you love to work with constantly and is there a personal way you attack those features?
MOE: With me, I can make music with anybody actually as long as the person understands their sonic identity and that the energy they bring into it, I can match it up. I don’t have a favorite artist I make music with even though I feel that every feature has its own meaning. The way I attack features is based on feelings. In any music I want to create, I like to consider my feelings because I have to feel the music at the time of recording because whatever my mind is telling me at the moment is what I literally put out there.
A-T: Which artists do you admire a lot and would like to work with?
MOE: Within the continent and globally. I admire only myself.
A-T: Oh, Wow. You had a moment with your “Me, Myself and I” trilogy earlier this decade. How do you feel about creating three impeccable project and what impact did it make on your career?
MOE: Yeah, that trilogy was an amazing one for me and also for the fans who had the chance to enjoy it. The process for that was amazing as I was in my Harry Porter era. I compare it to Lord of the Rings, Matrix and Avengers because it was amazing. My fans all over the world got the chance to see me and witness me taking them through a journey so it was fantastic.
A-T: Especially on the last installment “I”, it really documented your growth since you gave us “Ireti” and “Magic”. Which one would you pick as your best body of work?
MOE: This is really hard because for me I don’t think I have a best project. I feel every body of work I release brings out the best of me at that time it was released. So its like if you are fan of my music and a lover of good music, then you can go back and listen to them all to determine how I was feeling at the period of time I recorded each project and it gives you something unique. You will never hear me give you the same because I’m obviously not feeling the same way every time, so I give to you how I feel at every particular point and the mood is very much embedded in my projects.
A-T: Tell us about your creative process.
MOE: My creative process is more like when I enter into the studio and a beat is being played, I want to get the melody first because that’s very important. I feel once you get the melody, the rest is easy. Anyone can write, so I focus on getting the melody. Once you get the melody, you are good.
A-T: Do you help in charting the production process too?
MOE: I try not to disturb producers when they are in their own space or zone, but I do give inputs. Maybe I want a particular instrument on a song and I don’t know how to play, I sing the melody and they play it. The first time I attempted production was on “15TH” which is a song off the project. I think I’m going to get into that bag more.
A-T: Still about recording, your songs are always a form of storytelling. What stories do you love to tell often?
MOE: Yeah, I love this question. I like telling stories about life, not just the most difficult part of it but also the solution to whatever it is we go through in life. I want to let people know that one could go through a lot and overcome it. Yeah, and the ladies too, so its a bit of life and love. Sometimes, I even create stories that are not even around, my mind just treads through and I bring them into life.
A-T: You got a new EP around the corner and two singles released already. Tell us about what you went through in creating it.
MOE: Yeah, the new EP titled “Point Of View” is out soon on 30th of November. So this is a piece of work that I’m really proud of and it’s an amazing one. The single with Aylo is literally amazing and I just can’t wait for the world to listen to the project. While I was creating the project, it was a bit challenging, but that’s what makes it a beautiful project in that we were able to get the desired result.
A-T: We got another EP again, one would have expected an album. What fuelled your decision?
MOE: Like I said, I go with feeling and that’s what I felt like doing when I started the process of recording for the project.
A-T: What are the themes the creative direction intends to portray to the listeners?
MOE: The direction behind the project is like an awakening from frenemies and fake friends. It’s about life as well and things I have gone through. It also represents my stand on religion and spirituality, how I see the world and my view on love. So it’s a bit of everything of what I’ve been going through in the past two to three years. You all haven’t really heard from me within that time space so this project gives you a glimpse of what I have been going through and where I see myself going in the future musically and personally.
A-T: Interesting. Its really a nice idea. You have your childhood picture as the cover art, where does that fit in the creative direction?
MOE: Yeah, I have always incorporated pictures of my younger self as the art covers in my project even from my first project “Ireti”. If you check “Magic” EP, you will see me there with my mom and aunt. So, I was sitting at home and thinking of what to use as the artwork for the project. Then one day, I was just looking through old pictures which my mom kept and that’s where I found this picture. When I saw it, it was the perfect fit. A face where I’m smiling to symbolise that even though I’ve gone through something, I’m still smiling. I’ve graduated and going through life but I will overcome.
A-T: What are your expectations with the EP ?
MOE: I don’t really have so much expectations. My thing is that I just hope it resonates with many people. Although, a lot of people are going to love the project because it is me in my bag. I’m not into those indsutry stuffs about charts and numbers. I want to be in people’s heart and I want the music to touch them. Yeah, that’s where I want to be.
A-T: Which songs should we watch out for ?
MOE: Watch out for every single song on the project. Again, every single song on the project. It’s like a journey, you can’t listen or pick one song alone to listen rather you have to listen from start to finish the way it is arranged.
A-T: What’s your state of mind going into the release of this EP?
MOE: I’m just excited that everyone will finally hear what I’ve been cooking. I can’t wait to see how they resonate with every one who listen and breakdown the songs. I’m anticipating all the post release reactions.
A-T: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
MOE: I want to continue to break barriers, keep connecting and winning souls with my music.
– This interview is compiled and written by Adebayo Boluwatife, an Album Talks writer. ( Twitter: @BIG_BOLUWATIFE).