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KonkNaija Media | May 9, 2016

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Temi DollFace: What I’ll do with Tuface

Temi DollFace: What I’ll do with Tuface

| On 15, Jun 2014

For songwriter, singer and scriptwriter, Temi DollFace, her appeal and talent go far beyond music. She is also as crazy about fashion as she is about music. The ‘Pata Pata’ singer also describes herself as a creative multi-task individual. Since her coming into the music scene, Temi has showcased diverse creativity such that she often scripts her videos, directs her shoots and as well makes most of her stage costumes. In this interview, she talks about her career, music and soon-to-be released work, ‘Beep Beep’ among others. Enjoy it.

Who is Temi DollFace?

Temi DollFace is a singer, songwriter, composer, producer, and all-round creative individual – a one-woman mission to resurrect real music.

How did you come about your unique style? Have you ever focused on any other music genre?

As things are, I don’t focus on any particular genre of music. I consider myself as a multi-genre artist as I have a wide spectrum of influences that I like to express. I just put them all under the ‘Drama Soul’ umbrella, as my music. And its core is soulful with theatrical elements. Earlier in my journey, I was pushed by management and my label to do more R&B-driven music. But that didn’t last very long. I love R&B but I have so much more I want to express.

What would you have done aside music?

I have felt an irresistible pull towards music for as long as I can remember but my heart has always belonged to fashion as well. I consider myself to be 50 per cent music and 50 per cent fashion inclined. So without any doubt, I would be working full-time in the fashion industry, if I wasn’t doing music or in theatre doing costume and set design.

You’ve made a big hit with your debut video, Pata Pata and several shows around Lagos and beyond. What inspires your creativity?

Everything from living to art, to something someone just said, love words – anything from a bygone era and the tensions created when one mixes unlikely styles together. When I’m creating, I only need that one trigger for an idea; one small fragment and I would invent the rest myself.

How do you stay focused, and what have been the challenges while trying to break into the music industry in Nigeria?

Chasing your dream, especially one that goes against the grain, like mine, can be hard and isolating anywhere in the world. My dissatisfaction with the lack of variety in Nigerian music, an unbridled passion for what I do, and constant dreaming, keep me focused. Even though, I’m part of the industry, I like to keep a little bit of distance from it so I can maintain an organic creative process.

There are insinuations that you have your hands on a new project?

I’m working on a series of on-going projects including my album, and a few non-musical projects that’ll be revealed in due course. Meanwhile, my fans should watch out for a new single and a video titled, ‘Beep Beep’. ‘Beep Beep’ is a song of self-celebration in which my intricate lyricism is evident. With a danceable pop-hook and witty lyrics, the record also fully captures my primal energy and vocal abilities, something that was not seen in its full glory in ‘Pata Pata’.

If you were to consider going into the fashion industry now, what area would you like to focus on?

I feel like I already might as well be in fashion because so much of what I do is fashion-oriented. I style all my video and photo shoots and I am solely responsible for my day-to-day styling. I have already worked in fashion as a retailer and stylist. And I definitely have plans to revisit that, just in a different way that would not be detrimental to my musical aspirations. It’s all about finding the balance.

If you met your younger self, what would you tell her?

At 13, I was timid and fearful. And I let other people run the show. So, I would tell my 13-year-old self to ‘act as if’ and ‘don’t be afraid to bite off more than you can chew as you might be surprised by how capable you actually are’. Also, ‘don’t allow criticism to stop you. Trust your gut even if it seems bizarre, you’re closer to the truth than you know’.

You and music, how did it all start?

Like I said earlier, music has been part of me for as long as I can remember. I was in the choir at school, I sang at church, and I got involved in anything musical from quite early on. However, my first foray into creating music was at the age of 7, when I wrote and composed my first song with the help of a keyboard. I got the keyboard as a gift from the pastor of a church that I attended then. He is a musician too. So, I just found my way around it and the rest is history.

How was your growing up, did you encounter any challenges?

I grew up a shy and only child in a sheltered environment. Up against my more eloquent and outgoing peers, I felt I could express myself through music and what I wore. As it was pretty lonely, I spent a lot of time in my imagination, entertaining myself by creating music and playing dress-up. These things remain with me now.

What was your Coke Studio experience like? What do you think about the Coke Studio concept?

I love anything that challenges the norm and diverts ideas, taking them out of their original context. That was what coke studio was all about, taking well-known African songs out of their usual context to make them more palatable for the younger generation. I think the expansion of self through experiences like this is important. And I enjoyed every minute. It was good to be taken out of one’s comfort zone and work with artists of different genres. That is definitely, a great way to grow as an artist.

Ever since the success of your mega hit video, Pata-Pata, we’ve heard little from you. What have you been up to?

My thinking is, ‘anything worth doing is worth doing well’. For lack of a better cliché, I have been in the lab working on new material. And like I stated earlier, very soon, there should be an unveiling.

Do you have any musical influences? If yes, who and why?

I have quite a few such as Fela Kuti, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Billy Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, D’angelo, Missy Elliot, Pharrell Williams, and Outkast among others.

Are there any artistes, local or international, you would like to collaborate with?

I would love nothing more than to work with Pharrell Williams, Outkast, Janelle Monae, Frank Ocean, and Just A Band. And for local artists, I would like to collaborate with people like Cobhams Asuquo, Femi Kuti, Jesse Jagz, Dammy Krane, Tuface, and Boj.

What would you say is the major difference between doing music abroad and doing music in Nigeria?

The music industry over here is quite young in comparison. So, a lot of things aren’t in place such as a royalty collecting system. And we don’t have a very broad musical palette at the moment, which is not a bad thing. It just means there is room to introduce more diversity.

What’s your ultimate goal as an artiste?

My ultimate goal is to change the way music is experienced, to shatter pop stereotypes by proving that there can be alternative, experimental and exciting genre to pop music. Also, I want to give back to the society, what I get out of music. I realise that what I do is such a privilege and that with music we have the ability to touch other human beings, who are reaching out, looking for the same things most of us are.