Talk about a rags-to-riches story. On a recent episode of Adesope Live (The Afrobeats Podcast). Afrobeats star Ikuforiji Olaitan Abdulrahman, affectionately known as Oxlade, opened up about his come-up story in Nigeria. Before 2020’s hit song Away, which appeared on Rolling Stone’s 50 Best Songs of 2020 and 2022’s Ku Lo Sa. Oxlade faced real struggles after running away from home to pursue his music career.
“After my university, everyone in the family said I had to go get nine to five. Because of that, I had to run away from home. I used to sleep under the barracks bridge sometimes.
“I will spend three days in Oga B’s house, three days in Naya’s house, and three days in Giovanni’s house, and sometimes if I see that it is too much, I would just go to the bridge. (Ojuelegba barracks bridge).
“Having to leave the house unprecedentedly, changed my life because that is when I understood the meaning of the word ‘hustle’. I was selling BRT tickets at the same barracks.
“From like 6 am to like 11 am, I am in Ojuelegba barracks. And then from noon, I go chop bread and beans. Then from 1 pm to like 7 pm, I am at the cyber cafe selling tickets. And then overnight, I sell food at this plaza-like eatery, just to survive.” Said Oxlade on the podcast.
Oxlade got to understand the value of hard work and now that his music career has taken off he shouldn’t have any more problems. Motivation-wise at least. Appreciating the hustle in Nigeria catapulted him to be able to create quality music thus garnering his fanbase. Not quite the finished product yet, Oxlade continues to try better himself and that is something we would appreciate as an audience.
So next time you hear or see one of his music videos just think of what he had to do to get to this stage and I am sure you will appreciate his artistry a little more.