MAN OF MIL­LIONS

India Today - - LEISURE - IN­TER­VIEW —with Sheokesh Mishra

Since Sa­muel Ade­poju aka Sa­muel Singh’s first YouTube clip went vi­ral a few years ago, the 27-year-old Nige­rian has been post­ing Bho­jpuri, Haryanvi and Odiya songs. His Bho­jpuri song, ‘Lol­lipop Lagelu’, has got 688,000 views, 20,000-plus shares and more than 4,000 com­ments. His Odiya folk song—‘Ranga­bati’—is romp­ing with 1.45 mil­lion views. Last month, he an­nounced on his FB page, “Get­ting to a 100K sub­scribers on YouTube is not re­ally a day’s job... the next mile­stone (mil­lion mark) is tougher, but let’s do it again.’’

How did you get in­ter­ested in Bho­jpuri, Haryanvi and Odiya songs?

It all started when I vis­ited In­dia for can­cer treat­ment in 2010. I fell in love with In­dian cul­ture. I got more into it when I needed to talk to a girl I liked but she didn’t un­der­stand English. I had to learn a few words to be able to com­mu­ni­cate with her.

At what point did you start think­ing that mu­sic could be more than a hobby?

I started singing a year af­ter mov­ing back to Nige­ria in 2015 (af­ter com­plet­ing BTech from a col­lege in Jaipur). Now I have a pro­ducer who records me.

What are your picks when it comes to Nige­rian mu­sic?

Nige­rian mu­sic is ma­jorly of the genre called Afro beat. There are a lot of good songs here and it’s dif­fi­cult to re­ally pick my favourite. But for now, Wizkid and Davido are favourites with a lot of peo­ple.

What are your favourite In­dian folk songs?

I usu­ally play songs on YouTube and when­ever I come across any­one I like. It’s re­ally dif­fi­cult to pick a favourite singer or song. In­dian songs are very pure and nat­u­ral.

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