One of the things I love about some of my best musicians and their sounds is the instrumentalists that perform with them. Most of the time we hardly recognise the musicians behind the big celebrities and their music which we love and celebrate.
One of such is Daramola Abiola Isaac. He is Patoranking’s/Amari Musiq official guitarist.
We caught up with him to have a little chat about what makes him so special:
Cathy Ben-Ameh: How did your passion for music flare-up?
Daramola I. Abiola: Well, I think it started when I was in secondary school. I had a group of friends who really loved music, Hip-Hop especially so, they were listening to a lot of Jay-z, Memphis Bleek, you know, Ja Rule, Dr Dre, DMX etc. I listened to a lot of DMX and it almost got me in trouble. My mum had issues with the fact that I was listening to DMX a lot because of the screaming so I had to switch to something very calm and solemn, so I started listening to R n B. The first R n B album that I listened to was TP2.com (R Kelly) and then what inspired me to start playing the guitar was Marcus Houston’s “MH”, especially the single “Clubbin” on that album ( He hums it).
Cathy Ben-Ameh: What was your first contact with the electric guitar?
Daramola I. Abiola: My first contact with the electric guitar was when I decided to go study at a music school. I had these roommates of mine, Tosin and Shola who had electric guitars. I came with an acoustic guitar because that was what I started out with. I then ventured into electric guitar.
Cathy Ben-Ameh: Which players made an impact on you at that stage?
Daramola I. Abiola: First, Pat Martino. The guy had so much impact on how I sound. Also, John Scofield and of course, George Benson and Mark Whitfield. I came across their music in music school
Cathy Ben-Ameh: What do you enjoy most about playing the guitar?
Daramola I. Abiola: I think it is the fact the guitar is a very sexy instrument. So, you carrying it alone looks sexy compared to any other instrument. What I enjoy most about playing the guitar is the fact that it is easier to just get the attention of people when you pick it up to play.
Cathy Ben-Ameh: Tell me about your best performance.
Daramola I. Abiola: My best performance is very difficult to pinpoint. There is never a performance that I felt I have done well because I am very critical about myself so, I just get feedback from people, Some say “ He plays so good” and I just say thank you even though I don’t feel it was as good as they say. What a lot of people don’t know is that musicians actually mess up on stage, but you don’t know these things because we just make it look good.
Cathy Ben-Ameh: Tell me about your worst performance.
Daramola I. Abiola: My worst performance, I think it was one of the gigs with Patoranking. There was this song I was supposed to start (The guitar starts the song) and then I was playing in a particular key forgetting that we had changed the key during rehearsal. I played it and when the whole band came in they played on the key it was changed to. It was chaos (He laughs) so I had to quickly find my way back into the key everyone was playing. That definitely was my worst performance so far (still laughing)
Cathy Ben-Ameh: If you could change one thing in the Nigerian music industry, what would it be?
Daramola I. Abiola: First of all, I think the appreciation for musicians, the respect that people give musicians is in far less measure than what is given to A list artists. The value and credit given backing musicians are getting is nothing compared to the actual work that they put into making a hit song. Another thing I would change is the appreciation for live performances.
Cathy Ben-Ameh: What are your plans for the coming months?
Daramola I. Abiola: Well, I am still evolving and in the process of finding my sound while I continue playing behind the amazing Patoranking. So, watch out.
Cathy Ben-Ameh: If it wasn’t a music career, what would you be doing?
Daramola I. Abiola: Honestly, I have no idea! (He laughs) I was a science student in secondary school. And at that time when my peers were talking about what they would be (some would say doctor, some would say engineer), I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. All I knew was the fact that I loved music. Until now, I still don’t what I would be doing if I was not doing music. But I am open.
Cathy Ben-Ameh: Thank you so much for spending your time talking with us. We wish you all the best.
Daramola I. Abiola: Oh, I appreciate you. Thank you for your support.