Pele Play is a fast rising artiste from Lagos, Nigeria.
Hi, Pele Play! Can you tell us a bit about yourself? How are you coping with the lockdown?
I’m Pelumi Raphael Afolabi, most people call me Pele, and my stage name is Pele Play. I’m 21, born in Lagos, Nigeria. To be honest the lockdown to me as an artiste hasn’t been so different from my everyday life; make music, chill out and just survive basically.
What was growing up like for you?
It’s kinda hard to summarize my childhood in a sentence lol, but I guess I’ll say growing up was amazing and rocky at the same time. Just me, my mum and big sis. I’ve been through phases like everyone trying to survive and make it in Nigeria. I’ve had my low moments and I’ve also had the great ones. Also had the reality check moments and I bless God for it all.
What kind of music did you listen to, growing up?
My earliest memory and experience as a listener was church. My mum used to sing some Ebenezer Obey songs. Over time I was listening to Wande Coal a lot because he’s the goat. Over the years I’ve really not limited my listening range of genres.
Did your early music experiences influence you to start creating music?
Yeah, singing in church really influenced my early music creation. Over the years I’ve just followed the process of trying things out, making mistakes, learning from them, and trying to be the best version of myself as a person and artiste.
When did you start creating music? When did you start pursuing it professionally?
I started early in the choir, had my first studio session at 15, and I’ve loved the thrill and process of it all ever since.
Who & what inspires you to make music now?
For the most part I’m inspired by everything happening in my life and around me at the moment. I’ve also been inspired by the OG’s in the game home and abroad. Big ups to Wande Coal, Burna, Wizzy and every other real one in the game that paved the way for the youngers to dream bigger. Recently I’ve also been very inspired by Nipsey Hussle and his legacy.
Do you play any musical instruments? Can you produce and engineer yourself?
I only play the basics on the keyboard, I don’t produce and engineer. But I enjoy being involved in the beat making process.
When you create, what’s your process like? What are some things you do to get into the zone to create?
When I create I always appreciate the company of a good joint(not necessary but always a blessing). I see the beat as the canvas, the melodies and words are tools to help paint the picture.
Do you make music for yourself or does your audience influence your direction?
I make music I enjoy most importantly, also not neglecting the audience. I make music that I find pleasant to my hearing and feeling at the time. And to be honest It’s a blessing people fuck with it. I make afro inclined songs with a fusion of every other genre that I find interesting. I hope to keep creating good sounds, and therapeutic music for everyone going through life in their own way and on their own terms, cuz we all tryna get it the best way we know.
Have you ever performed on stage? How did it feel?
Yes, I have performed on a couple of stages. I had my first major stage at 16. At first it was nerve wracking. But over time I’ve come to enjoy the thrill.
How is support from your family regarding your music?
The support has been great through it all. Few warnings and caution here and there but mostly encouragement from my family and friends.
What has been the most challenging aspect of your career as an emerging artist?
As any emerging artist the most challenging part is the journey to discovering your sound and niche. And eventually the recognition.
Will you rather be independent or sign to a record label right now? Why?
For now I’m enjoying the process being indie with PLAYGRND all the way, when the right time comes for a deal it’ll be the right one.
What have you learnt the most so far in your music and life journey?
So far I’m learning to trust the process with patience and keep striving to be a version of myself. And do the best you can with what you have at your disposal.
Many artists have distinctive visual brands. What would you say is your fashion style? Do you have a stylist?
I reserve my comments on fashion.
How frequently do you release music? What influences your decision on when to drop music?
I release music as frequently as I can, and yes I’ll be dropping something soon. I drop music when we feel It’ll be right to drop.
Any projects coming soon?
I just dropped something themed “Night At The Playhouse”.
If given the chance, would you: Reinvent the wheel or build a new chariot?
Definitely build a new chariot.
What’s the goal for you? What would a successful career for you look like?
The goal is constantly evolving and the picture of success has never been one thing to me so I hope to constantly grow and evolve into the best I can be by God’s Grace.
Would you take a 9 to 5 job to supplement your income – do you currently have a job – or do you do music full-time?
I won’t take the job because I won’t be happy there. And yes it’s music full time.
Where can people reach you on all platforms ?
On Instagram it’s @peleplay, and on Twitter it’s @peleplay_