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Oxlade: On the Afrobeat wagon

Born Ikuforiji Abdulrahman Olaitan on April 22, 1997, in Lagos, Nigeria, Oxlade has rapidly risen to prominence as a singer, songwriter, and a torchbearer of the new wave in Afrobeat.

Oxlade’s musical journey is deeply rooted in his childhood sways and a passion for crafting music. Growing up in the bustling city of Lagos, he was exposed to a diverse array of musical genres, from Afrobeat legends like Fela Kuti to the global sounds of pop and R&B. His early experience to this rich musical tapestry laid the foundation for the eclectic style that would define his later work.

Oxlade burst onto the Nigerian music scene with the release of his debut single, “Shugar,” in 2018. The song instantaneously garnered attention for its infectious melody, soulful vocals, and the cool fusion of Afrobeat with contemporary R&B and pop influences. This marked the beginning of Oxlade’s probe of a sound that transcends traditional genre boundaries, earning him a repute as a trailblazer.

His breakthrough continued with the release of “Sing,” a collaboration with Moelogo, which further showcased his vocal range and lyrical depth. Oxlade’s ability to flawlessly blend Afrobeat with global sounds, coupled with his soul-stirring voice, distinguishes him as a unique and compelling artist in the Afrobeat landscape.

Oxlade’s collaborative spirit has led to notable partnerships with other prominent artists within and outside Nigeria. His feature on DJ Tunez’s “Causing Trouble” and Blaqbonez’s “Mamiwota” confirmed his versatility and ability to adapt to different musical contexts. These partnerships have not only expanded his reach within the industry but have also added to the evolution of the Afrobeat genre.

In 2020, Oxlade received industry recognition with the release of his EP, “Oxygen.” The project received widespread acclaim for its cohesive sound, introspective lyrics, and the artist’s ability to capture the zeitgeist of a new generation. Songs like “Away” and “DKT” became anthems, solidifying Oxlade’s status as a key player in the Afrobeat renaissance.

Beyond his musical contributions, Oxlade is known for his commitment to visual storytelling. His music videos, characterized by vibrant aesthetics and compelling narratives, add an extra layer to the listening experience. Whether evoking a sense of nostalgia in “Away” or showcasing cultural richness in “DKT,” Oxlade’s visual storytelling aligns with the contemporary spirit of Afrobeat.

Oxlade’s impact extends beyond the borders of Nigeria. His music has gained international recognition, with listeners from various parts of the world appreciating the fusion of his unique sound with universal themes. As Afrobeat continues to captivate global audiences, Oxlade stands at the forefront of a new generation of artists shaping the genre’s trajectory on the international stage.

Like many artists, Oxlade has faced challenges in his journey, including the temporary loss of his voice due to a throat injury. However, his resilience and determination to overcome setbacks reflect his commitment to the artistry and the unwavering support of his fans. This chapter in his story serves as a testament to his dedication to the craft and his ability to rise above adversity.

As Oxlade navigates the ever-evolving landscape of the music industry, one can anticipate further innovation, collaborations, and a deepening of his artistic expression. His commitment to pushing boundaries and exploring new sonic territories positions him as a key figure in the ongoing evolution of Afrobeat.

Oxlade represents the dynamism and diversity of the contemporary Afrobeat scene. His ability to seamlessly blend genres, coupled with a soulful voice and a commitment to visual storytelling, sets him apart as a distinctive voice in the global music arena. As he continues to push the boundaries of creativity and influence, Oxlade remains a pivotal figure in shaping the future of Afrobeat. Listen to and download his latest feature on a track with Darkovibes titled Feel your body.


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