In the midst of this pandemic, while many entertainers were struggling to survive, and some pushed off the scene due to the New Normal, a new star was born, changing the face and phase of entertainment in Nigeria. His name is Olamilekan Agbelese popularly known as LAYCON, the phenomenal champion of the Lockdown episode of the “Big Brother Naija” reality TV show, who is now the Unstoppable Superstar.
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VIEWS AND PERSPECTIVES OF FANS AND FRIENDS ABOUT LAYCON
Since his emergence as the winner of the “Big Brother Naija” reality TV show, Laycon has continued to make loud statements through his creativity and personality in the entertainment industry. In this section, Ranks Magazine, collate views and perspectives from his friends, fans and industry giant.
1: Richardine Bartinee, member of the Grammy Recording Academy
Richardine Bartinee Journey with Laycon: I heard about Laycon for the first time on Twitter. His fans, the iCONs, kept tagging him in one of my tweets. At the time, I was looking for newer, less established African artists to support. Fan bases of other people tagged their top contenders, but either their teams didn’t get back to me or had several excuses. Gomey, his manager, was communicative, and I think he trusted the process. I didn’t ask Gomey for his name until recently. He was just fast with the responses, and I was on tight deadlines. I listened to Laycon’s early releases, and I liked what I heard, but it wasn’t until I heard the content on his album ‘Shall We Begin’ before I knew I would be able to accomplish what I intended to accomplish. So far, the communication between Gomey and I have been a match made in heaven.
Richardine Bartinee About Laycon Music Genre: I think Afrorap is a great name to express and quickly identify the differences between the regional sounds of Hip-Hop/Rap music coming out of North America, South America, Europe, Australia, Asia, Antarctica, and Africa. It signifies there is something new and fresh from the continent of Africa that happens to fall under this musical category. When I see, read, or hear “Afrorap”, it feels like it is a sound coming from Africa exclusively; not the diaspora, but from African natives who were born there, grew up there, or are still living there. You might hear pidgin, local dialects, or multiple languages in one verse or song. I believe it is indigenous stories being told by gifted and talented natives. I can’t imagine why it would be controversial. Is it because Laycon is the underdog/unlikely Nigerian rapper/television personality whose getting organic support from the Recording Academy, BMI, SiriusXM, and others? If that’s the reason there’s controversy, I think it is a good thing, and I am glad to be the person behind each play. It was published on the GRAMMYs website. They don’t seem to have a problem with the artist(s) connected to the subgenre or the musical category itself.
Richardine Bartinee Favourite Song and Laycon Vs Grammy: Today, my favourite Laycon song is ‘Fall for Me’ with YKB. Tomorrow, it might be something else. I am a member of the Recording Academy, and I happily represent Laycon on this side of the world, so I want the best for him, including winning shiny prestigious awards and making the money that comes along with those wins. However, I have to be very clear with everyone who will lay eyes on this interview. I think any commercial/competitive artist (with a list of notable collaborators) can win a GRAMMY, but I don’t have the say-so nor the influence to help or make anyone win a GRAMMY.
Richardine Bartinee on Laycon’s Impact on Nigeria Entertainment Industry: I can’t tell from America. I can’t see if the growth of his following includes genuine people or if they are just there to see his next move. I think some people still cannot believe he’s getting the attention he’s getting, so they’re all watching. Without a doubt in my mind, I think his core fanbase will always be there for him. They are loyal to him, and they have been an intricate part of why powerful people in America are willing to take a chance on the unlikely “bush boy” from Nigeria that went on television to push his music. Some of us don’t see reality stars as “serious” musicians in America, but it doesn’t stop one’s destiny from happening. Look at Cardi B. She’s the best example of starting from the bottom, getting cast on an arguably “trashy” television show, and having a creative team that helped take her to the next level as a recording artist.
Richardine Bartinee Lesson Fron Laycon: a) From what I have seen, Laycon is selfless, genuine and grateful, be like him. Tell people “thank you” and show gratitude. It goes a long way.
- b) Interact with your fanbase online. Ignoring your growing fanbase won’t help a rising artist. Your fans are all you have.
- c) Based on what I heard on the ‘Shall We Begin’ album, Laycon takes time with his music. It is better to make a masterpiece than to release consecutive duds with little to no playback value. I would want other rising artists to follow suit.
- d) Laycon seems to choose happiness, regardless of how controversial his surroundings are on how people feel about him. He seems to choose happiness.
- e) And last but not least, keep some things private. Laycon is good at sharing news once it is confirmed and ready for the world to absorb. It must have been a lot of pressure not to tell anyone about his recent accomplishments in North American media.
Richardine Bartinee on Shall We Begin: My first impression of Laycon’s ‘Shall We Begin’ album is published on my website. It is a phenomenal masterpiece.
2: Comrade Olamide Lawal, Senior Special Assistant to the Ogun state on Youth and Sport
Comrade Lawal Journey with Laycon: I heard about Laycon while he was in the Big Brother house. Being a follower of Big Brother show and I was analyzing each of the housemates. What attracted me to Laycon was the fact that he is from Ogun state. As an appointee of the Ogun state Governor assisting the Governor in the area of youth and sport, one of my responsibility is to identify every Ogun indigene that he or she is doing well in their area of endeavors. That kind of program is an incentive to fame for the participants, for that reason we started supporting him and agitating for him both in prayers and resources, fortunately enough, God crown our efforts, and he emerged. That was the first time I heard about him before we made all other moves to meet with the Ogun state iCONS, we met his brother to affirm he is truly from Ogun state and we offered every form of assistance that we could.
Comrade Lawal- Ogun state Entertainment Mission: Well, Ogun state under our youth loving Governor prince Dapo Abiodun, has a vision to ensure there is an enabling environment for public private partnership to strive because he believes it is instrumental to individual prosperity. And one of the best way to engage the youth is to through creativity industry. You will see that our ministry of culture and tourism is striving very well, thereby encouraging every young people in the creative industry to grow. Also most of the infrastructure of the state that are in obsolete situations are been revitalized. For instance the Cultural Center and other creative places are been revitalized. All these are the Governor’s effort to put Ogun state on the right perspective in the entertainment industry. The state Government in partnership with Access Bank also established a creative village where young person in Ogun state showcases their talent and possibly meet those that require such talent. The state Governor is also ensuring we capitalize on our proximity to Lagos for the right exposure.
Comrade Lawal- Laycon Impact to Youth and Entertainment Industry: He has been able to sustain that good attributes that people know him for. His music career is blossoming and making sure he keeps his self in the game. Sincerely speaking, his impact is being felt. When you perform and fans sings along with you, it shows that you are blown. Laycon is blown. There are so many occasions in the state that people sing his songs words for words, he is a super star already. His album shook the industry and that’s how to announce yourself.
Comrade Lawal – first impression of “Shall we begin album?: “Shall We Begin” album is a good announcement. Ever since he came out of the Big Brother house, both his critics and fans are expecting to hear something from him. “Shall We Begin” came at the right time. “Wagwan” is my Favorite Jam.
3: Malik Ofori: Top Laycon’s fan in Ghana
Malik Ofori Journey With Laycon: I met/saw Laycon through the BBN platform on the opening night of last season’s edition. Immediately I tuned in to Channel 198, I saw a young man coming on stage with attire laced with lights. I remember Ebuka saying something like ‘a whole NEPA’, and I believe what “NEPA” represents is a Power Holding Company in Nigeria. Metaphorically it represented an unquenchable energy for me – even if the light goes off, it will come back again because I’m the source of power. It resonated with my spirit and I immediately connected to that. That’s why when Big Brother told him ‘you may have removed your jacket, but your light continues to shine’ Then he said he’s complicated, misunderstood, sexual enthusiast, open minded and smart, I got curious to know more because I represent those attributes. Since then anything Laycon is my business and that will never change.
Malik Ofori – first impression of ‘Shall We Begin’: From listening to ‘YBAG – EP’ to ‘WHO IS LAYCON – EP’ and ‘ANY GIVEN MONDAY’ series, I expected nothing but the best from his debut album because Laycon is musically gifted, and I enjoy his sounds and lyricism so much. So relatable and Timeless. I am proud as an “iCON” because he brought his A-Game, showed his versatility and growth with every record on the album. Laycon is a talented musical story teller and with every project comes another relatable story and Shall We Begin is one
Malik Ofori- Laycon from the Ghanaians Perspectives: Laycon is a representation of ‘preparation meets opportunity’. He’s a critical representation of ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’. He represents the ‘breaking of the status quo’ and societies idea of who deserves what. Laycon from my perspective is a voice for the voiceless, a motivation for those lacking motivation, fearlessness and an embodiment of positivity and belief in one’s abilities and skills. He’s an example of ‘never give up’ irrespective of the challenges or unfavorable odds.
4: AKANNI OF LAGOS: Notable iCON and Friend of Laycon
AKANNI OF LAGOS JOURNEY WITH LAYCON: I met Laycon on the first day of BBN Lockdown Edition when he introduced himself to the world. I studied him for 48 hours and I decided to embark on the journey with him. Firstly, my expectation about “Shall We Begin” was overly met, just as expected and I am sure this was the reaction of everyone beyond the Laycon’s fan base- The “iCONs”. I first listened to the Album through a snippet on Laycon’s Instagram Story and from that moment on, I can’t even wait for the project. Also, I got an insight about the Album at the listening party. Behold, we began!
AKANNI OF LAGOS- 5 things to learn from LAYCON ⁃
- His vast knowledge about almost everything.
- His ability to remain calm even in the face of storm. He has demonstrated that times without number.
- Critical thinking and analytics.
- His Consistency
- His level of intelligence
5: Fixon Owoo, top fan of Laycon
Fixon Owoo Journey with Laycon: I heard of Laycon when he was in the Big Brother house. Ghanaians do love the show so it was appearing on the Ghana trend list on Twitter like every week; I started paying attention to the show and became an “iCON”
Fixon Owoo- Laycon in Ghana: Laycon is much known in Ghana; apart from the Big Brother people now recognize him as a music icon even more than the winner of the show. I can say his music has really penetrated the Ghanaian market because Laycon is one of the top artiste that gets me a lot of views on my channel anytime I do a reaction or a review to his songs. Most of my audiences are Ghanaians and so it’s normal to get huge numbers with reactions for a Shatta Wale or a Sarkodie song but the love I get when I do a Laycon song is overwhelming.
Fixon Owoo About AFRORAP: As I said from the beginning, I knew Laycon from the house and he was a rapper before entering the house as we all know. I think rap is his talent but he had to mix it with what is actually dominating the African market which is Afrobeat. Afrorap is a mix of the two, afrobeat and rap. My first reaction to a Laycon song was Hip-hop Hurray is a perfect example of this genre. I don’t think there is any controversy around this genre I think it’s just the perfect way the president is telling people the kind of music he is doing which is giving you a bit of what he is more talented in and also making people dance.
Fixon Owoo Favourite Song and Shall Begin: Verified, I feel like that song was made for me because I can really relate to it a lot and “Shall We Begin” is a beautiful work of art, it is a great album and this is just the beginning. I loved it
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