By Godfrey Idakpo, Iretomiwa Balogun, Adeshola Bankole and Faith Enang
Adetona Isreal Ayoade, a singer and songwriter with the stage name Tona the Titan shared his music journey with UnilagSun reporters: Godfrey Idakpo, Iretomiwa Balogun, Adesola Bankole, and Faith Enang.In this interview, Tona talks about being exposed to different song genres, attempting songwriting at the age of 10, and the journey to Machiavelli.
You are a songwriter who sings and performs original sounds. May I ask when you began your music journey?
I was 10 the very first time I attempted to write a song. It really was a hobby of mine throughout secondary school and I only started recording professionally in 2019. I’ve spent much of that time doing artist development. Working on my craft and songwriting.
In your own words, what is music?
Music to me is one of the most powerful forms of self-expression given to humans. It is an art form that allows the artist to conjure up emotions by just using sounds. It is special because you can’t see music in its physical state like other art forms such as film, visual art or even photography, yet it is as powerful; if not more powerful than any other art form out there because it is a feeling.
Who has had the biggest artistic influence on your music journey?
Truth is I’m a music junkie and I have listened to a lot of artists from different places, different generations and multiple genres. From Lionel Richie, Michael Jackson, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Nina Simeone, K1 de ultimate, Haruna Ishola, Ayinla omo wura……To contemporary acts like Burna Boy, Davido, Olamide, The Weeknd, Jay Z, Drake, Rick Ross, Tiwa Savage to mention a few. I grew up around music lovers and one way or the other their music tastes rubbed off on me.
Dead or Alive, which artist would be your dream feature?
I have really thought about it because the list is super long but on top of that list would be Olamide.His music has greatly influenced my sound. He’s set such a high standard as an artist and as an industry power player. He has also successfully mentored a large number of artists. So yes I don’t just want a feature, I’d love to have him as a mentor too
.As much as you’ve been doing music since you were little, you are still a student and that can be challenging. How do you juggle life as a student and as an artist?
It’s not easy but I don’t have a lot of other interests so I spend all my time outside school working on my craft. I’m not really an outdoor person so after class I just go straight home to work at my recording set up in my room. When I want to rest or unwind, I watch a movie, read a book or play FIFA with my friends. It’s challenging but I love music and I don’t see myself wanting to do anything else.
Being an African, how were you able to convince your family to let you do music and not the in-box occupations?
My family is super supportive, actually seeing as it’s their fault I’m doing music in the first place.My late father used to have his vinyl records up until I was 12. My mom and sister play a lot of gospel music. My brothers love my craft. So I didn’t have any problems letting them know I do music.
So it is music or nothing for you?
Not exactly. I’d like to go into filmmaking at some point too, not as an actor but maybe as a director.As you said earlier that you write your songs yourself, are there any between-the-lines meanings in the lyrics of any of your songs?There’s a lot of hidden meaning in my music and at the same time, my lyrics can be interpreted exactly how they are written. It just depends on what my listeners can relate to.
What is your favourite part about this line of work? Your least favourite? And why?
My favourite part of being a musician is the process of making the music. My least favourite part would be having to deal with the business side of the Industry but I’m lucky because I’m surrounded by a team of professionals who are ready to help me navigate those difficult situations.
Your song MACHIAVELLI was released about a month ago and it is already doing numbers. How do you feel about that?
I honestly wasn’t planning to put out this song any time soon but the universe has a way of making things happen. So right now I feel perfect that my work is finally out there and it’s leaving an impression, one listener at a time. I have gotten amazing reviews so far on this project and I hope more people will listen to more of my work and love every song.
Should we be expecting more projects from you this year? A single, an EP, a Mixtape or even an album?
Hopefully, there’s one more single dropping before this year runs out but we haven’t decided what song to pick yet…
How do your personal life experiences reflect on your music?
Well, I’m always writing about the things that’s happened to me or around me. I have also written songs about what the people around me are going through in order to achieve that element of relatability in my music. I also hope people get to see my growth not just as an artist but also as a human being through the music I make
.A line in the song, Machiavelli, referenced the days of sleeping in the dark to now going blind from camera flashes. What can you say about your music journey so far?
What advice will you have for someone thinking of going into music?
Is Machiavelli your debut track?