INTRODUCTION Olatunji Oladotun Alade (born in c. 1993 in Ogun State, Nigeria), popularly known as Dotman, is a Nigerian singer, rapper and performer. In 2014, at age 21, he signed a record deal with U & I Music. He is most famous for his hit single “Akube”
EARLY LIFE AND BACKGROUND
Olatunji Oladotun Alade was born in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria and originates from the Yoruba ethnic group in South-Western Nigeria. He attended Abeokuta Grammar School and is currently studying at the University of Lagos for a degree in Physics Education. Inspired by artistes like Da Grin, Davido and Olamide, he credits the start of his music career to him winning a rap competition at the University of Lagos. HE TALKS ABOUT HIMSELF AS AN UPCOMING ACT: How is it combining your academics and your music career? It’s actually not easy, because I have to attend classes and all. You attend classes regularly? Yes, I attend classes as regularly as possible. And when I do not, I keep in touch with my friends and they keep me updated on everything. I don’t joke with lectures and I only miss classes when it is for something really important like being here today for this interview. As a young artiste and with so many other artistes out there, what are you bringing to the table? I am bringing a different, new sound and I think it’s a style you’ve never heard before. Yes, there are a lot of great artistes out there with their own sound but I’m bringing a fresh sound. How do you find inspiration to write songs as a songwriter? There’s no particular way it comes. Most times when I want to write a song, the inspiration just comes. Also, I could choose a topic and write a song about it. What is the predominant theme of your songs, is it money, girls or what? I write different kinds of songs touching on different areas of life, be it money, lifestyle, harsh life experiences and others. But I write a lot of hustle, either my hustle or that of other people. Though I’m young, I’ve faced quite a lot of challenges.
CAREER AND LIFE
The fast rising indigenous artiste made his debut 2014 with two well received singles, “Yes Melo” and a mix tape of Bobby Smurda’s Hot Nigga titled “Blessing” both enjoyed massive airplays in the country. “I do indigenous rap, hip hop and a little bit of afro pop and because I love doing it, it is easy for me to do and that is why I chose that particular genre of music” said the up and coming artiste.
Dotman began to gain major recognition, after he was featured on fellow U & I Music label-mate singer Akin’s single “Make am” also featuring Oritse Femi. He gained more prominence with the release of “Fine Girl” video. The University of Lagos 300 level student of Physics Education who said it has actually not been easy combining music and school, noted, “I am trying my best to combine the two perfectly. I do attend classes but not quite regularly. I keep myself updated with notes from classmates but I don’t miss my tests and exams. One of Dotman’s defining traits as a rapper/singer is his versatility and wit as a lyricist. He has impressed listeners by crafting punch line after punch line; many of these lines have managed to become almost iconic. It is a level of creativity that not many others dared to touch until now. “I am trying to bring my own unique sound and I am sure it is something that people have not heard before,” he noted. Speaking on how he gets inspirations for his songs, he said, “They just come. Whenever I have a topic or think of any, I find it easy to write about it. The different songs I write are based on different aspects of life like money, lifestyle and real life.
I write a lot about the hassle of life because a little as I am I have faced a lot of hassles in life.” His inspiration, again, he said basically comes from University of Lagos students. “They motivate and support me a lot. I would say they are like my backbone because whenever and wherever I go for a show or competition, they turn up in large number and ginger me up when I am on stage.” Although he has been faced with so many challenges in his career as a musician, Dotman’s greatest fair has been acceptably. “Mine is like a strange sound and it has been pretty difficult convincing people to accept a sound that is kind of strange to them. This is so because their earrings and mindsets have been tuned to a particular kind of sound and styles by a particular set of artistes over time and now it appears a bit tough to make them absorb my kind of music which is entirely different from the norms. But I am still working hard to get to people”, he said. His motivation, Dotman said, also comes from his record label, U&I as it is doing everything possible to push him out there and doing a lot to develop his career. “Right now I have two videos on ground and the third to about to be completed and they are still planning to do more”, he revealed further about U&I efforts in his musical career. “I have gotten so much support form U&I Records even beyond my expectations and beyond what an upcoming artiste like me would ever get. For instance I got signed up early this year and by now the achievement I have gotten is unbelievable”, he added. Ironically, the young artiste said he actually looked up to the late Dagrin as his role model in music industry but unfortunately, never met Darin during his lifetime. “It was from him I got inspired to do music and most importantly rap. But it is a pity I never met him in his lifetime. It is so sad”, Dotman noted.
Dotman who claims to be good at both singing and rapping, revealed his he has a soft spot for rapping, adding, “I don’t really play instrument but I understand some musical notes and I know the basic thing on keyboard and any kind of instrument but I don’t play them.” His greatest moment as a musician he said was when he was involved in a musical competition organised by the University of Lagos student last year. “The crowd was like 7000 people and I happened to be the winner of the competition. And for him, “It has been good and full of progress and I am loving it because there are signs that things are going to work out for me with U & I Records.” And his vision is to see himself being one of the greatest artistes that the Nigeria music industry has ever produced, with hope to collaborate with Nigerian musicians like Davido and Olamide. For his parents, “They have been very supportive and they like what I am doing, even though they never liked me going into music initially, the support I get from them is the best ever and it is what every child should pray for. Although they are not supporting me financially but they I get the best of moral support in prayers and other ways from them. And I feel that is the best I could ever get from anybody.” In 2016, he was featured on TooXclusive’s “Artistes To Watch In 2017 and Vibe.ng’s “7 Breakthrough Acts To Watch Out For In 2017” In January 2017, Dotman performed at Big Brother Naija’s Live Eviction Show in South Africa.