Since winning MTN Project Fame 6, it has not been a smooth story for promising Olawale Ojo, who was a standout performer at the musical television reality show in 2013.
The fresh graduate of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology released a song immediately after Project Fame. Though the song went on to achieve some success, little has been heard of him afterwards. Only few people even know that he had released a debut album in 2014.
In an encounter with The Point, Ojo, however, explained that he was not the first and last winner of Project Fame struggling to make impact on the entertainment scene.
“I am not the first winner of Project Fame and I am not the last. We have people who had won before and after me, and they are yet to find their balance. It is not easy; everyone is trying to put things together,” he said.
Ojo said that music was all about consistency and being consistent without a record company was not easy to achieve. Besides, the Project F a m e s t a r seems not too excited about record labels because, according to him, he had seen a lot of inconsistencies in their operations.
He said, “Most of these top labels do not do half of what they promise to do. You should be hearing about all these scandals between labels and artistes. Few months ago, I got an offer from a record label and they wanted me to sign for seven years. It is not just about being popular.
You could be so popular and would not make anything from music at the end of the day. I am not living to impress anyone. My belief is that when the time is right, things would fall into place.”
Drawing comparison between the US and Nigeria in terms of opportunities for talents, Ojo expressed the view that there was no way one would win American Idol and such person’s life would remain the same.
“The structure in Nigeria is different. For instance, once you win America Idol, your life will never remain the same again. In Nigeria, it means the race has just begun for a winner.
We do not get support like the up-and-coming artistes because people believe that after all, you won Project Fame, and you have a car and money to spend. If you want to promote your music, nobody would support you without you settling them.”
On how he spent his cash prize from the competition, Ojo said, “Apart from music, don’t I have a life? Before I won Project Fame, don’t I have a family? I was a student then, I just finished school. There are things I might not be able to say. It is easy to judge people from far.” Even as a Project Fame winner, Ojo tried to have a normal life free of drama.
On campus, he had no problem adjusting since he had friends before winning Project Fame. “When I was in LAUTECH, I used to stay on the queue like any other person. I did not say because I won Project Fame, I should be treated specially. And I eventually graduated.” For Ojo, being successful does not have to be in the same measure of success with others.
He said, “It took Iyanya four years after Project Fame to make a big song. I was nobody before Project Fame and it was my first time to go for any competition. It was not by my power that I won; it was just God. So, who am I to say that I am supposed to be at a level because of what people say? I work hard and do what I need to do. But I believe God’s time is the best.
“I am not measuring my success based on the fact that my music is not all over the place.I just dropped a new song, ‘My Darling,’ and the response has been great. When I performed it at the NYSC camp in Rivers State, the reception was loud. I am happy about that.”