TurnTable NXT: Meet Genesys
Genesys and TTC talk about everything - musical background, influences, upcoming project, Hip Hop in Nigeria and more
TTC: So can we get to know you?
GENESYS: I'm Tha Genesys.
TTC: And your real name?
GENESYS: My real name is Olawale Bolaji.
TTC: How did you come about "Genesys"?
GENESYS: Actually It’s nothing special. Way before my name was Genesys, I had a couple of other names. When I was in PART 1, I was at the bank with a friend and I thought of 'GENESIS' as a name. So I told my friend what if I choose Genesis as my stage name, that it can actually mean something cool, it could like mean something different, like the beginning of something new and he was like "fine" and just like that I changed my name to Genesys.
TTC: Just like that?
GENESYS: Yeah. So it’s basically like not something deep .Its sounds deep but it’s not deep.
TTC: I understand, its sounds deep but it’s not deep.
TTC: So where are you based?
GENESYS: Currently I’m based in Lagos.
TTC: Tell us about yourself, just give us a little gist about you
GENESYS: My name is Olawale Omobolaji. I'm from Ogbomosho, Oyo state. I schooled there for my Primary and Secondary school but I had my tertiary education in Obafemi Awolowo University where I studied English. I'm basically a graduate now and I’m a guy, obviously (he laughs). I'm an artiste and a rapper but I call myself an artiste because I just don’t rap, I also sing because I try to infuse other sound into my music and not just like bare rap. So I call myself an artiste.
TTC: So your music background, can you tell us a little bit more about that?
GENESYS: I started music after my secondary school and it was a little bit later than other artistes and rappers because when I was in secondary school I didn't even know I could rap. So I started rapping way after my secondary school and that was back in Ogbomosho then, I used to go for competitions. I started writing like lyrics and my friend took me to the studio and we started recording and just like that I became an artiste. So that’s pretty much how I started.
TTC: Maybe yours was an in-born talent, you already had it in you, like you were a natural. So when you just entered, you'd just go to the studio and started rapping?
GENESYS: I wish. Sort of, but before then, I used to listen to a lot of rap music. So in my secondary school, I will always rap other people's songs like Olamide, Eminem. Then, in school, I used to rap the lyrics of "Rap god" but I never really thought of actually writing my own songs but it’s after school I just started writing like some bullshit and my friend actually liked it, so that's how he said we should go to the studio and then we made a song together.
TTC: Who do you consider your biggest musical influence like when it comes to your music, your sound, who do you think has influenced you the most?
GENESYS: That should be J Cole. I like him because he is real, he just like me, I feel like we share one kind of connection because he also came from somewhere that is relatively not the the biggest place. He is from North Carolina and that’s somewhere that's not like Lagos. New York or L.A is like the place of music in the United States, the same way Lagos is the place of music in Nigeria, so he came from somewhere that wasn't even anything and made a name for himself. He’s real, like he speaks real shit, he just does his thing and he's good like that. So yeah, he is the greatest influence for me.
TTC: He really is your influence because the way you are saying it, it is like you've studied him.
GENESYS: Of course. I've been listening to him for a while now so I know a lot about him.
TTC: So did the lockdown have any impact on you as a creative, did it affect your music in a good way? Have you been releasing new songs? Have it given you a new sound? Anything negative or positive because of Coronavirus?
GENESYS: Yeah, definitely because at the beginning of the whole pandemic I struggled with some things but it’s during this pandemic I got myself. So this pandemic sort of blessed me in a way because I was able to find a sound of mine. I've been working on my EP, I started working on it during this pandemic and it has been going well for me honestly because I would never have thought of working on an EP. So I started during this pandemic and now I’m almost done. So I’ll say this pandemic affected me positively.
TTC: From this EP, so do you have any upcoming singles, and any collaboration to look forward to?
GENESYS: Yeah, sure. I don't know for sure yet because I'd have talk to my team. But yeah, I’m working on dropping on one of my singles off the EP soon. The EP is a work in progress, we are just working on the recording stage right now. So yeah, there should be one the features dropping as a single with Fave. Fave is also like my colleague of mine in music, she is a singer. So I’m hoping to drop the single with Fave, I don’t know for sure yet but basically that's what I think should happen.
TTC: Have you had any major performance before?
GENESYS: Of course I have. I've performed in one of the biggest shows in O.A.U before.
TTC: Do you care about numbers?
GENESYS: Definitely, you need to care about stuffs like that because that shows that your music is reaching your audience, your audience has grown, it shows people actually like and rate your music because some chrats rank music by the sales and some rank them based on how good it is. But whichever chart reflects that your music is good, So definitely I do care about that.
TTC: How would you define success as a rapper?
GENESYS: Success as a rapper in Nigeria or generally?
TTC: Whichever way you want to answer the question.
GENESYS: It depends on the location because as a rapper in Nigeria there are so many parts involved. So let me answer "Success as a rapper in Nigeria" first. Personally, it depends on you because we all know that rappers don’t get hyped big as other artistes, say a singer, in this country.
The reason why I said "in Nigeria" is because the biggest artist in the world right now is a rapper, Drake. I don't think that would have been possible if he was a Nigerian. So success as a rapper in Nigeria is totally different from success as a rapper in a different country. So your success as a rapper in Nigeria has to be self-defined because we all know that singers are usually bigger than rappers.
So you need to define your success in such a way that you would not place too much importance on things like being the biggest, you have to know how to push yourself. So straight to the answer now, as for me, my success is how many people I’ve influenced positively with my music either strongly or greatly like the way I see J Cole influence on me.
Also how I have made a positive name for myself because I’m very big on pushing where I come from, Ogbomosho, I have elevated my city because there are so much misconceptions about places that are unknown in Nigeria, that you are probably local. So how I changed those misconceptions about that matters to me in the discussion of success. How much money I make for myself is also important because at the end of the day I still need it to take care of myself and have a very good life.
TTC: Personally, I really liked the part where you said that your success can be defined as when or how you influenced someone else through your music, just the way J.Cole has influenced you
GENESYS: Yeah, thank you. I mean like anything is open and you should not like stop yourself from dreaming, we don't know what the future holds in store for us. So definitely I know for sure that my degree is going to come out one way or the other, so it would still do something for me but then, my music comes first.