Ayoleyi Solomon, also known as Reekado Banks was signed by The Mavin Records in 2014. He bares his mind on how it started.
How did you get signed on to Mavin Records?
Don Jazzy put out a notice on the Internet and wanted people to send in their demo songs in May 2013. I sent mine and I was the only one that got picked out of 5,000 people.
Have you always been Reekado Banks?
I was not Reekado Banks at that time; my stage name was Spicy. After I got signed, I noticed a lot of artistes bore Spicy and I wanted to be different. I decided to change my stage name because I needed a fresh start. So, I chose Reekado Banks.
Are you threatened by competition from other artistes?
I am not in competition with anybody and I am not trying to be like anyone. I will do what I have to do so I can fulfill my dreams. I will take things one at a time. There is no need to rush because I will be here for a long time.
What will happen to your degree in History and Strategic Studies?
I recently graduated from the University of Lagos and I will get to work with it someday. Right now, I want to concentrate on my music career. I am certain my degree will come in handy.
When did you become a musician?
I knew I wanted to be musician as far back as 2008. I was a little above 14 years old then and had just finished secondary school.
How did your parents react?
Considering the fact that I am their last child, it was not difficult to get their blessing. I have a sister who studied economics at the university and today, she is a fashion designer. My parents are pastors and they always support their children with prayers.
Are they comfortable with you doing secular music?
They do not have a problem with it. All they ask of me is to be a good boy. Some music artistes began their career in the church choir. That wasn’t my case; I was a member of the drama group.
Are you distracted by ladies?
I am 21 going on 22. You have to decide if you want to focus on your music or focus on the women. I do not think I can be distracted by women as I am focused on building my career. I like the support I get from my female fans but they do not constitute a distraction.
How do you relate with other members on the record label?
We are a family. We make music together and look out for each other.
What motivates you?
God and the fact that I am not from the richest family. I want to make my children proud when I have them. I love kids and sometimes I wish I had younger siblings.
What was growing up like?
It was good but my parents were strict. We were not allowed to go out often and my dad did not encourage his children to visit friends. He preferred our friends came over to the house. Also, I learnt humility because I did not get all I wanted and there were financial limitations too.
Has fame affected your relationship with your friends?
No, it has not. They do not care who Reekado Banks is. They see me as Ayoleyi. The only difference is that we no longer play football together or walk on the streets making jest of people. However, we are still close.
Have you experienced some of the challenges associated with being a star?
I do not get embarrassed; I get attention. Sometimes I may not just be in the right mood; I may be sad and thinking of something but people still want to see me happy. It might be a bit of a challenge, but it is fine. It keeps me smiling, whether I am depressed or not. As long as I am out there, I have to forget about my depressions.
Which awards have you won?
I won the award for Rookie of the Year at the Headies Award last year. That was my first award.
Which artistes inspire you?
Don Jazzy, Tuface, DJ Jimmy Jatt, Olamide and MI are great, hardworking, and consistent.
Do you plan to be a producer?
I would do something else asides singing but I don’t want to talk about it now. I do not see myself becoming a producer, but as time goes on , that might change. Now, I am planning my future.
What is the message in your songs?
There are several messages I am passing across. I am not just selling to one particular type of audience. I do not want to be restricted to some sort of message. That will be boring and versatility is needed to last long in this business.