In Nigeria, getting signed to a leading record label is every up-and-coming artiste’s dream. The reason is that the system is not structured enough to favour independent musicians; at least until now, thanks to the emergence of technology and the limitless opportunities it opens us up to.
Yet, the day a talent signs a record deal with a music label heads the list of memorable days in the life of that artiste. This was the case with one of Chocolate City’s latest acts, Noon Dave.
“I feel closer to my dreams,” he said to me with absolute honesty, very tangible in his voice. “I never wanted to be a doctor or lawyer or any of such while growing up. I had always wanted to be a big musician and this feels even more real with my Chocolate City deal.”
His single ‘Brunch’ has been doing good numbers across all platforms and it’s off his coming debut EP project called ‘Brunch At Noon’.
However, Noon Dave used to be another kid on the block who loved listening to Saint JHN’s music with aspirations of making it big someday. The afropop music creator had always believed that everything would align for his good in his life. Thoughtfully, he named himself in this light.
What’s your real name?
Oluwaseun David Obafemi. I’m a typical Yoruba boy, even though I was born in Benin Republic.
So how did “Noon Dave” come about?
Dave is short for my name, David. The concept behind the “noon” is how the hands of the clock just align and meet at 12. The alignment shows that everything will align for me one way or the other in my career and every aspect of my life generally.
Knowing fully well that the music industry is saturated, why should Nigerians listen to your music above listening to that by anyone else?
Because, my sound is unique and fresh. Not so many people are doing what I’m doing in Nigeria or anywhere else in the world right now.
How would you describe your sound exactly?
It is a composition of R&B, trap and afro. And that’s not all. I also do reggae with afro and I have a lot more in store, because I really like to explore with my sound.
I heard the R&B in your single, “Brunch”. How has it been doing? Has it been living up to the expectation you had before you put it out?
Yes it has, and I hope for more. People around me have been accepting it. The numbers are running up crazy and I believe it will do even more wonders.
Did you come up with this name by yourself, or did the team do it?
No, I came up with the name, And you see how much sense it makes to have my single called brunch. Because that’s what you eat at noon. Also, my coming EP aligns with the whole idea as well. It is titled ‘Brunch At Noon’.
What should we be expecting from the coming EP?
Well, it has six tracks and contains a mix of R&B, trap, afrobeats and dancehall. It’s fire, trust me.
Any notable collaborations?
Oh no, it’s just me. I want the market to hear my sound first and love me for how I sound on my own before having collaborations.
There is a kind of pressure on artistes to create the kind of music that Nigerians want to hear. But at the same time, how do you stay authentic to your unique sound? How do you create the balance in your music?
What I do is I make what I can resonate with and I make what people can relate to. I’m able to find the balance there by infusing afrobeats into my trap sound. It is how I make the music I wish to make and still give the people what they want to hear.
With the launch of the new US Billboard Afrobeats Chart, are there any plans to make music for the international market at the moment?
Yeah, I want to gain ground here in Nigeria and still take it global, because my sound is unique. My sound is not restricted to Nigeria alone. Anybody can actually relate with it.
When every other thing seems off, what motivates you to keep going and keep creating?
I just listen to the songs I’ve made. My music motivates me. I’m a self-motivated person.
In the next ten years, what would you want to be said of you?
I would want people to know me as a legend, even beyond the music. I want it to be said that I had a great impact on the lives of many; inspiring them to be better versions of themselves.
*This piece has been edited for length and clarity.
Itty can be caught studying African pop culture, writing about it or hosting a relationship podcast. When he's not doing any of these, then he's definitely at a bar, getting mocktail.