On the June 2020 edition of The Cover, alternative Afrofusion artist, Ladipoe aka POE aka the leader of the revival, graces our periodical and he is giving us a candid, stripped back window into his life.
Download The Digital Version Of The Cover Magazine Here: GET TO KNOW LADIPOE
30 minutes later, with a similar likeness to a panther walking into a room, Ladipoe arrives quietly, completely unannounced.
Before me stood a 6-foot man with a genuinely warm demeanour and shyness that the judgemental ones may take for arrogance.
I was expecting a whole entourage to arrive with him, but the “Based On Kpa” singer came alone.
Merely being in his presence for four hours, you’d quickly realise that there’s so much depth under the surface, he’s quick with comebacks, speaks with wisdom and an extreme carefulness to ensure he says what he means and means what he says at all time.
The self-proclaimed leader of the revival may have 99 problems, but coming up with tags ain’t one; we got up close and personal with the star
Read on to see how he’s navigating the industry, his journey from an indie artist to joining Mavins, the artistes we need to add to our summer playlist and what true love means to him.
‘Waddup guys this is Ladipoe the leader of the revival and this is my cover on Accelerate TV.’
WHAT DO YOU HATE ABOUT THE INDUSTRY?
What I hate about the industry is that it penalizes people for being their authentic selves,
So if you’re vulnerable and you expose something of yourself, a lot of times people use that against you and the industry is a place that happens alot on you regarded and you are forced to create facade on facade to protect yourself so you are guarded from being your true self.
WHAT YOUNG ARTISTE WOULD YOU LOVE TO COLLABORATE WITH?
I’m a big fan of so many people coming up. I particularly think that alot of the female artists that are female are killing it. I’ve done something with Dami Oniru, I’ve done something with Tems so that is a space I’m looking to because I feel like its the most iconic/ long story short, I’m a big fan of life-sized teddy, if you guys don’t know her then that’s something you need to sort within yourselves. she’s dope!
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST LESSON YOU’VE LEARNED FROM MUSIC STILL?
At some point in time in your career you will fave an identity crisis you will face a time where you’re not sure what artist you need to be and it’s ok, right…when you push past that, it all gets better from there
In fact, if I had any message to any young artist, it’s that when that time use it as energy for the future
TALKING ABOUT THE FUTURE, WHAT DO YOU SEE FOR THE FUTURE?
Wow, I see alot of things especially when it comes to Ladipoe, I see bigger stages, I see stronger narratives, I see the leader of the revival. You know… that’s who I am and I see everybody seeing that too.
AS THE LEADER OF THE REVIVAL, WHAT ARE YOU REVIVING EXACTLY?
The leader of the revival really is a nice tag but really what it means is that in this space, in this country…a lie has been told
Many artistes believe that what they do, who they are, the music they make is not valid, it doesn’t belong here and nobody here would love it, would accept it…
and the leader of the revival is somebody that is showing them, that is absolutely not the case,
You’re valid there’s a seat t the table for you, oh you make music that actually has substance, that has meaning, that has a narrative that has dope aesthetics…there’s space for you, you don’t have to be what people expect, you can be you.
WHO ARE THE PEOPLE THAT THINK YOUR MUSIC IS NOT VALID?
The truth is, it’s what you see, it’s what has become the standard that makes you feel that way, it might be individual people telling you within your circle or outside of your circle telling you
it might be that record producer that you went to chill with
it might have been that manger that turned you down,
it may be that friend- but at the end of the day, it’s the standard of the industry
and you don’t need to obey.
Make your own standard, I’ve always said my audience that’s my mainstream and if they buy into my music then I’m onto something
TALK TO US ABOUT YOUR STYLE (AS A RAPPER) AND WHY IT’S DIFFERENT
You see, the thing about style is that…Just the way I express myself with my music, and it’s unique to me, style is the same thing
it’s just another form of expression, to be honest, and I just feel like how can you not have style?
I’m a rapper, I’m black I’m Nigerian it’s all the reasons to have dope style and I can’t explain that the same way I can’t explain the reason why I pick lyrics but I do know that when I’m in certain outfits it makes me feel like who I am-
the leader of the revival,
the man already,
your favourite rapper,
all these things… so when I’m in Tokyo James or whether I’m in Rekana, it doesn’t matter
WERE YOU FRUSTRATED THAT IT TOOK THIS LONG FOR MAINSTREAM MEDIA TO RECOGNIZE YOU?
Frustration used to be just that for me, before,
frustration, and then I figured a way to channel that frustration into music
so I have a song called K’oye Wo, it was birthed from frustration,
I have a song called the man already, it came from frustration and so I welcome all that.
It was annoying that the mainstream.. *pause… it FELT like the mainstream sound didn’t care enough about sounds or music that had a narrative, substance or in my case, lifelines.
My tag line is ‘no punchlines just lifelines‘ and that means that yes…punchlines are dope, don’t get me wrong, I could do that all day but lifelines have depth to it, there’s just something there…
When you listen to the music you believe in something, so I’m not worried anymore
it’s not frustration, for me,
it was more like you’re going to wake up eventually, and now they are awake.
Like their eyes are open..
They used to say Ladipoe was underrated but now they say Ladipo is undeniable…
WHAT WAS YOUR DARKEST MOMENT?
I dropped Talk about Poe, my first album in 2018, before that there was no album
In the industry, they judge you by your body of work, and I didn’t have one for such a long time because I made the decision to figure out..what does it take to be a great artiste?
I’m a sick rapper I know that I’m gifted, that’s cool
I want to be more than the rapper that writes great verses, I want to be the rapper that makes great music and great songs, finish.
you know, and because it took me a while to develop that, my darkest moment came when I started to believe what people said about me.
and now that I no longer believe that, now that I know who I am, there are no dark moments.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO THAT ONE PERSON THAT YOU EXPECTED TO BELIEVE IN YOU BUT DIDN’T?
Don’t be mad if I don’t pick up your calls,I’d call you back…eventually*laughs
How do you manage expectations that come from maintaining your brand as an artiste vs. using your platform and speaking candidly to inspire change?
The expectation of being an artiste and having to say certain things …
knowing you have a voice and how to use that,
As a Nigerian man, as an African, there are so many things I see on a daily basis that are not right.. How can I keep quiet?So yes there’s a battle between the expectation of being the bigger person..because you’re a celebrity and you’re not supposed to respond to that comment, that’s not supposed to trigger you…
What are the pros and cons of being an indie artiste vs. being signed to a label?
Creative Direction: Tokyo James
Styling: Joan K. Vincent-Otiono
Photography: Mikey Oshai
Graphics: Adedayo Adegbami
By: Joan K. Vincent-Otiono