He came into the industry changing the love song pattern with his delivery on hit single ‘Aduke’ creating a lasting remembrance in the hearts of his listeners. Right Entertainment act, Tijani Fowosere, better known as TJAN, is one of Nigeria’s fastest growing new entry in the game who has proved he knows his onions and ready to take over the industry by storm. His distinctive style of musical delivery sets him apart from others. Not wanting to be a one hit singer, Tjan recently teamed up with Tinny Entertainment act, Ycee on a single song titled ‘ Meji’ which is currently enjoying massive airplay. In this interview with MUTIAT ALLI, Tjan takes us into his foray into music, expectations, and fashion sense to mention but few.
For you, what does doing music mean to you?
Music is my life, I’m not exactly a hard worker when it comes to doing chores or I’m not the guy that my mum will say oh! Yes he’s my son that used to clean the house or wash plates. But music for me was a get away from everything, it was what I did when I was conscious, subconsciously or anything, it was just all I did because I sang without singing. You know growing up, I was always singing and singing so much that even though you sound so good but you get the whole you sing too much, can you just shut up. They know you sound amazing but then it just gets to the point when they tell you dude, can you shut up! Go get a studio. Music was everything to me; it was a thing I could do without being uncomfortable, without being angry, without being stressed. It’s something I will do at any point in time. And I decided after my service that when I won a musical contest at the camp when we were doing the orientation at Delta State, I decided this is the sign that music is my calling and I should definitely pursue the career of music for myself. I don’t think I will be doing anything better right now if I weren’t doing music, I think my life will just be a mess.
How will you describe your kind of Music?
I would say I go all around because I enjoyed to doing r ‘n’ b, pop songs as well as doing Afro pop songs too. And that way it’s just helps me to go all round, since I’m capable of doing more than one. That’s why I did not stuck myself with one genre of music. My kind of music is basically how I feel, what I would love to express and how I want to express it. It’s not determined by what genre music we default knows. A good example of what I’m talking about is Beyoncé, Chris Brown as well. You can’t say they are just ordinary artistes because Chris Brown can do pop up and sing a country song and you won’t probably realise it was him. So I really don’t want to be limited with explaining a kind of sound that I really like but because I want to do music and do what I love to do, let me just do it and have fun with it.
Your single, Aduke, has made a lot people think he’s a lover boy, so how did you come about the song?
From my previous songs as well, you will discover he’s a lover boy because my previous songs like ‘I love you’ featuring Reminisce, the original, Hey Mama is for the mothers and someone who is so in love and everything and remembering singing songs for the matter which is something I really appreciate the Hey Mama song. But what brought about ‘Aduke’ like you asked, the song was produced by Cohbams Asuquo and he is a renowned producer in Africa basically. I met with him and it was a big privilege for me and shout out to my boss for giving me the platform to achieve my dream because it’s definitely one of the things I longed for as musician to meet with these guys and do great music with them because that’s what they are known for and Cohbams is definitely one of the top list people I know and meeting with him was a process and not a onetime thing because it wasn’t like he knew me before now. Before I did Aduke with him, we were working on three song deal but Aduke being the first attempt working with him and then coming out this way, definitely he needs me to do many more songs with him which we both started working on and it being the first experience came out this good. Aduke for me was a special experience from maybe when I had a girlfriend or from heartbreaks I’ve been through but basically I’m someone who loves to love and I believe you can hear it from the delivery from the song.
How do you tend to stand the test of time in the industry?
Well, it’s definitely going to be tough in the industry and it’s taking me almost two years officially to get up to this point. I got signed in September 2014 and this is 2016 and it’s not being easy I must say to you and we have done so many trials and errors, worked with so many people to get to this point. I’m not saying I’m not working with other people; I’m definitely working with other people, already I’ve started working with Sarz, Moe Musa, people who are in the mind of sound that I believe would really make me stand out and what to do is not just staying in the industry. It’s more than the industry because music to me, I feel like it should be given to the whole world, a large number of people. Standing out for me will be giving my best and pursue the dream beyond the regular landmarks like making your music in Africa and maybe a couple of states or countries in Africa. I’m trying to do music that will reach across the world, not just here in Nigeria or Lagos basically. I believe it takes a lot of commitment, hard work. I just really want to explore because these things are what we don’t really do, we don’t go deep into the music or into the act, and we just do the music on the surface. But for me, music is life and I want to live it because living it makes it better explained when you’re leaving what it is your singing.
If you were to pick somebody in the industry who does your kind of music, who will that be and why?
I will pick Banky W because he’s someone who dared to try. He came down and he stays steadfast with his style regardless of whoever will not accept his style of singing. He never stopped and kept it really going hard and he’s worked with the best also. We know him for always giving us the best music, giving music that is out of this world and for me, Banky is really someone I really appreciate and thanks to him also because he encouraged a lot of people who dared to try and to stay on our lane, not by all means follow the bandwagon to just keep up with the hustle and not stopping. He’s someone I really respect on that line. He does what is quite similar to what I’m doing and he’s amazing!
How do you intend to joggle both your music and your personal life together?
My personal life is so quiet, I’m a very easy going person. I talk but not a lot, let’s just say I’m a gentleman basically and it’s quite unfortunate that I will not be able to stay in that gentleman zone and that quite zone basically. So I think I can still maintain the gentleman but the quite zone I won’t be doing that for a while because having to do music means sacrificing a lot of things, you’re giving up on a lot of things. I believe with God, all things will work out fine.
Is there anybody you’re dedicating your song “Aduke” to?
Well, I’m dedicating the song to a special being. I dedicate Aduke to the married couples though I’m not married and to every wife, every newly couple and basically the wife. The song is explaining a profound love that you feel for someone and since I’m not up to marriage, I’m not dedicating the song to anybody but I hit it to every beautiful lady out there basically and I just want to enjoy the life span of the music because I know the music just stands the test of time. I dedicate it to everyone who has ever being in love in the world.
Let’s talk about your style; what does fashion mean to you?
Well, I’m not really a fashion guy except that people really know that I love shoes. Usually and mostly, the thing that pops up about me is my shoe. I can spend half of everything I have on shoes because I love shoes. I’m always going online to check out new trending shoes, I like sneakers too. But fashion for me is a statement and I don’t think I make a lot of statements but with my shoes I definitely do.
What’s the latest amount you’ve spent on a fashion item?
Personally, on one item, I bought a shoe about $500 and $500 right now is an one hundred and something thousand and if I’m not mistaken, that’s like the highest I’ve done. I still save money to do things not that I spend all on shoes. It sounds on reasonable spending $500 on one shoe but I just did it.
What won’t you be caught dead wearing on the red carpet?
I know I’m never going to be caught like a girl. I don’t even know because I believe I’m going to be properly dressed. You can’t catch me wearing a waist trainer but normal thing boys wear.
If you’re not at the studio, how do you un-wind?
Well, mostly indoors. I don’t go out like that. So I just stay home and watch movies, documentaries. I do read because music needs something that is innovative and a very open mind and reading helps to broaden your mind. I like to talk to people who are lively too. Then going a shoot maybe, hang out with friends and that’s all. I also run website too – www.tjan.com, it’s an interactive website. Finally, I like to travel.
Being a Mass Communication graduate, why do you intend to go for music and why not practice it?
It was strategic from the start because I’m quite a good talker; I talk quite well and thought about what I needed to do to enhance the way I talk. So I thought communication skills will be the best option to go for because it has to do with how to be able to talk too properly, you know being a journalist or be someone who has to be great with the telecoms. Also, its art, art has to do with music and all of these things put together. In case I didn’t start up with music, I probably will be working at the communication company at some point and come back to music. So its music, entertainment, and art. So basically, I thought of just studying Mass Communication and in that way it’s still put me in that circle because definitely music has always been the goal even though I didn’t know how to start and where to start from, and I’m thankful to God that it was what came first.
So who is that special lady?
The special lady is still out there I believe because I don’t have her now. Hence, I’m practically single and married to the music for now. I think I still need to focus more because this is just the early start of my success in music. I really need to focus or else I will be down and I don’t want that to happen because I’ve had different experiences before I got to this point. So the rest will follow once everything is good.
So what should we expect from you?
I say just expect a lot from me because we are taking our time doing the music basically and great music isn’t done in a rush, it’s done with so much patience and so must exploring. So just expect amazing songs, it’s taking so much time but we’re making great progress about it. And my album whenever it’s going to be dropping would comprise with a lot of different sounds because I will be doing up beat songs, r ‘n’ b, afro sound as well and I’m just going to enjoying this while I leave the process of the songs. So, I’m just going to do music the way I feel. I really want to show to people that there is more to music than just being in a small circle. Sing about the people who are not as privileged as you are, sing about love you know, just touch music in the aspect where a lot of people don’t think of it. Use it as a tool to support, reach out and tell a story to the people.