Sean Dampte is a fast rising artiste who says he is taking over with his music. He spoke to ROTIMI IGE about his plans for world domination.
I am Oluyole Oluwaseun, formerly known as Dampte, but now Sean Dampte. Most people still call me Dampte. My secondary education was in Lagos. As God would have it, I have a master’s degree in Business Administration from a university in the United Kingdom and my Bachelors of Science degree from an American university. Like most people, my growing up was not all rosy. I can say that my parents tried to make sure we children never lacked.
You were in the Nigerian music industry and now you are an entertainer in the UK. In what ways are both similar and different?
Yes, you can say that definitely. There are glaring similarities and differences, but at the end of the day we all trying to bring out the best of Afrobeats. Production wise, the sounds around here are quite different but still borrow most of the African bass drums and melodies to make the something unique. So, for me, the similarities and differences are inter-woven along the line.
You recorded some success in Nigeria. Which song put the spotlight on you and how did you get inspiration for the song?
Yes. A couple of tracks in some months (like Alignment featuring Rayce and No) have brought attention. The inspiration normally builds from my environment. For the track ‘Alignment’, for instance, I draw comparisons between an exotic car and a beautiful lady.
How do you come up with your lyrics and beats?
It depends, really. Sometimes the beats or sound drives the track and other times it is the lyrics first. You try to get a melody that works and from there, you begin to build.
In Nigeria and abroad, who are those you have had to collaborate with?
I have worked with the likes of Goldhands in the US, Delirious and some many others in the UK. In Nigeria, I have had sounds from DXL, Fliptyce, Jomane and Joey Benks amongst others.
Your new single, ‘Million’, just dropped. Tell us about it.
Well, I hope people love it. That is all I expect, to be honest.
What happens if it doesn’t go the way you hope?
(Laughs) It will go the way I hope because my expectations are already in motion.
How was life for you in Lagos?
Lagos is and will always remain home. My family lives there, the same thing with friends and a lot of people who appreciate me as a person and the music I do. I come to Lagos at every opportunity.
Why did you leave Nigeria for England?
It was a difficult choice I had to make, but it was something that I felt strongly I had to do then and I did. It was not my first time living outside the country and so when I felt it was time to move again, I had to do it.
What do you think is responsible for the positive response that Nigerian music, especially Afrobeat, is garnering worldwide?
I believe our music expresses the mindset of the people. Nigerians are generally happy people and so our kind of music is that which brings you that happy feeling. Like Plato said, society changes when music changes. So I am guessing happy music, happy audience. Afrobeat to the world!
Do you really think Wizkid and others are truly making Afrobeat productions?
(Laughs) I believe Wizkid and the others are doing a great job at promoting our brand of music and culture.
Which musician(s) do you anticipate working with in Nigeria and beyond? And why these people?
In all honesty, there is no one artiste on my mind. I keep working as hard as I can and if the opportunity comes for more collaboration, then my team and I would have to consider.
Do you have plans to release an album anytime soon?
Who knows? Right now, I love the attention and the short span. Producing an album is something the team and I may have to consider.
What can bring you to Nigeria at this stage of your career?
Generally, I believe my sound is differently unique in the way I deliver my tracks and also the genuineness of which I am is what I try to put out there for everyone to see. So “If I say that I love you, no be joke.”