This year has failed to reveal its mandatory line-up of Nigerian music artistes set to make an entry into the mainstream, but that notwithstanding there are some active players working feverishly behind the scenes to take a shot at becoming King, and the Afro-fusion sound of music artiste Jobaa is in the race for our attention.
Jobaa’s musical journey is not unlike a lot of music artistes, mimicking the works of established acts before gaining enough courage to dig deep within to find their own unique sound.
“I was not singing from the age of 2 or the age of 4. It was more of a different thing for me because I started by singing Wizkid’s songs during the EME crew days. It was my friend and I, and we were both die-hard Wizkid fans, so we used to sing together.”
Bolstered by an impromptu audience of Secondary School seniors, Jobaa along with his music partner, tried his hands on a few rap lines; a move that resulted in the formation of a teenage music band they called ‘Untamed’’.
Participating in a school-organized music competition and deciding to compete with an original song rather than mimicking a known song not only won Jobaa and his friends the top position, but opened him to the possibilities of songwriting.
“Because we were still young, we didn’t know what to do. So I decided to go solo and start writing my own lyrics.”
Jobaa hasn’t done badly since then. With an official single release and a record deal with a UK based Record label behind him, he is poised to create magic.
The stage name ‘Jobaa’ is a construct from a combination of two of the artiste’s names, Oluwajoba and Aina. His hit song ‘Olla’ isn’t Jobaa’s first stint, his first single ‘Sweet love’ features Buju and in Jobaa’s words, is ‘a special mood song.’
His influences include a line-up of the biggest names in the game, from Adekunle Gold to Wizkid, Davido, Kizz Daniel, Tiwa savage and Yemi Alade.
Jobaa peddles his own brand of Afro fusion, something he attributes to re-inventing his music brand.
“I will describe my music as afro-fusion because I combine different afro sounds together. I feel like because of how my record label JoJo Entertainment has tested my limits and my abilities, I have been able to diversify my sound,” he added.
In the midst of a pandemic-ridden world, Jobaa came through with his first official single under his new Record label and he calls it, ‘Olla.’
‘Olla’ is the perfect industry introduction song. It delivers a dual message and carries a healthy mix of braggadocio and small doses of sexual allure. It’s an amoral introduction to a proposed seductive experience with a girl but it’s also a subtle reverse messaging that simply says, ‘you all need to know me.’
There’s a special synchronization of the instrumentation and the singing that shows us instantly that Jobaa is someone to pay attention to . We don’t often see that special hybrid these days. It’s either the singing is catching up with the music or vice versa.
Jobaa’s interpretation of his official single, Olla carries a devious sting
“Let’s say you just arrived in Lagos, bad boy personae, trying to brag about yourself like, do you know me? Do you know who I am, do you know where I come from like? That’s kind of the general concept of the song, ‘Olla’.”
The aforementioned global pandemic has also deterred entertainers around the world and Jobaa isn’t any different. The young artiste owns up to its limiting effect on his fast-rising career.
“I have not been on stage for a while and I miss the energy that comes with performing. My single would probably have been supported a lot more if it wasn’t for the lockdown directive.”
With a music video to accompany this debut, a new single afterwards, and an EP set for release in early 2021, Jobaa and his team seem to have mapped out his trajectory for the coming months.
“My EP is set for the first quarter of 2021. It’s an avenue for my fans to see my true diversity. The project will define me properly as an artiste,” Jobaa explains.
The general consensus by music artistes everywhere is that awards reward hard work, but Jobaa strikes a balance in that analogy with his succinct response.
“Awards can motivate an artiste and show their hard work but it doesn’t take away from those who have worked hard but didn’t win anything.”
Jobaa fields a few passions, music and otherwise but top on his list is exporting African music globally.
“I mean African music is going global at the moment, I am passionate about pushing African music everywhere. You know, I feel like in five years I should be creating awareness for African and Nigerian music,” he explains.
Some would argue that Jobaa is lucky to have risen this fast considering his minute discography profile, but luck doesn’t really have anything to do with it. Finding your unique sound and expression early is a daunting task, even for established acts but if you are fortunate like Jobaa to embrace and apply it early, it will define your rise and your imminent Kingship.
This article was written by Henri ‘Yire; connect on Instagram with him here