Even though he is one of the most popular artists on OAU campus right now, not much is known about the musical prodigy. The performer known for his hit song “Melody” discussed his background in the music industry as well as his upcoming concert at OAU’s Pit Theatre on May 27.
Discover more about your favourite artist, Bhlack Ace, while he shares with Inside OAU Innovations his experiences navigating through the music industry
IOI: Can we meet you?
Bhlack Ace: I’m Balogun Adeotola Teslim with my stage name being Bhlack Ace
IOI: Nice to have you around Bhlack Ace. Let us start off with a little bit of background, when did you first begin writing music, and what inspired you to do so?
Bhlack Ace: Lol, I really can’t remember. Although, what I can tell is I started music quite young. It was during my pre-degree days in Moro, the extended campus of OAU.
Also, I was born and raised in Lagos State as the second of three male siblings. Interestingly, my older brother is also my musician and producer, while my younger brother is a talented producer too.
My musical journey began as a rapper, but after discovering my singing voice, I made the switch to singing. My early inspirations included Wande Coal, Burna Boy, and Davido, who greatly influenced my style and sound. I have been singing since 2006, and it has been a rewarding experience for me so far
IOI: Wow, this is so impressive. In due sense, you had the support of your guardians to venture into the music sphere or was there any backlash from them about your chosen career?
Bhlack Ace: Throughout my musical and academic journey, my mother has always been supportive of my choices, as long as I remained in school. However, my father initially only emphasized the importance of education and was not very encouraging of my passion for music. Despite this, as the persistent and passionate individual that I am, I continued to pursue my love for music. And now, I am proud to say that my dedication has paid off, and I am where I am today because of my determination and love for music
IOI: Glad to know you stayed through with your purpose. How would you describe the music that you typically create?
Bhlack Ace: The backbone of any song I make is afro beats but I mix with whatever genre I get hold of. So basically, I do anything my ears pick
IOI: Magical ears for sounds😇 How much time do you spend planning out your songs ahead of time, and how long does it usually take you to write songs??
Bhlack Ace: I don’t really plan anything; I just hear the beat and vibe and create something that I think people would love and that is just basically it. Plus, school and a lot of other stuff have been taking most of my time lately but yeah, I hear and create.
IOI: So, what is your preferred subject matter to create in your songs, and why is that?
Bhlack Ace: I really cannot say but I do know I love “Love”. However, most times I just sing according to how I feel so I don’t really have a favorite. Maybe woman Sha o 😂
IOI: I did listen to a couple of your previous year’s tracks and I have to tell you the “Happiness is Free” track is an amazing one with great flows and a melodious tempo.
What is the story behind the hit song?
Bhlack Ace: Lol I was hoping you’d pick “Melody’’ though but as for ‘’Happiness is Free’’ I got the beat sent by my brother and after that, I just wrote something on it and then recorded. I was just thinking about memories of being a child and free.
IOI: I am definitely coming to “Melody”.
With what you’ve said, a beat(s) sets the pace of your writing other than the way around of writing first.
Bhlack Ace: Funny thing was when I wrote “Melody’’ I was very very down and stuff. So, when the beat was originally played, I was singing rubbish 😂😂. But my badman gave me what I needed and I just sang it off my head. Especially the chorus it wasn’t written it was off my head too. Just wanted to talk about how I felt about my present situation. And I did
IOI: Does that explain the inspirational sound to it??
Bhlack Ace: Yes, I was in a down place and just wanted to tell myself I got it and I can also do it better and better. I gat this fire melody. Just like the lyrics.
IOI: Believe me, you couldn’t have expressed your emotions more than that because Melody was just a perfect song. Kudos on that
So far in your musical career, what would you say have been the greatest challenges of your career?
Bhlack Ace: I’d say funding. Music is expensive and the musician has to pay for everything.
IOI: It is unfortunate we don’t have many avenues for financially supporting artistes in this country, hopefully, it gets better!
Earlier, you had mentioned how strenuous a bit it has been combining school with a musical career. How have you been able to keep a balance with these two spheres of your life coupled with friends and all?
Bhlack Ace: I’d only be lying if I said it’s been easy because most of the time, I spend it in the studio or recording but I try to prepare myself for exams and tests and basically just try to stay in school. But in all honesty, it’s not been easy
IOI: What would you say has been your coping mechanism
Bhlack Ace: My mom. She just wants me to complete my academics and always ensures that I don’t lose focus. My dad too but his own take ehn is very aggressive at times
IOI: Do you have any favourite songs that you have written?
Bhlack Ace: I’d say melody. That track still remains my best
IOI: Amazing song really that is. As a musician, is there anything that you’d like to be able to do other than what you know or are doing?
Bhlack Ace: I am passionate about real estate and proud to own my real estate agency. However, my goals extend beyond personal success; I strive to make a positive impact on my community and inspire younger generations to pursue their dreams. Through my work, I aim to create opportunities for individuals and families to contribute to the growth and development of my community.
IOI: So, let’s talk about your coming concert, could you tell us more about the coming show?
Bhlack Ace: The purpose of the concert is to connect with the people who have consistently supported me throughout my career. It’s important to me that we start this new chapter of our journey together, especially considering that my final exams are coming up in just a few months. This concert marks the beginning of the next phase, and I’m excited to share it with my fans who have been with me every step of the way.
IOI: Rightly said. As you’ve said shows and concerts are one of the major ways artists use in promoting songs and getting along with their audience, with your own experience, how would you go about energizing an audience?
Bhlack Ace: You can trust me to deliver nothing but the best. I’m focused on delivering exceptional sound quality because that has always been one of my top priorities. Additionally, I aim to create a truly enjoyable experience for everyone, filled with nothing but beautiful music in a serene outdoor environment.
IOI: Very profound. Trybecity is definitely coming in numbers to witness the historic moment of music on campus and I am sure others are too.
If there is an artist whose tune you particularly admire and would like to do a song together in this OgbaFemi. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
Bhlack Ace: Psamuel and lasko blark; these two are pure talents. For the Female artistes, I’d go for KOLD AF or Freggie.
IOI: Big shout-outs to Psamuel, Lasko blark, Kold AF and Freggie. Nowadays, there is this notion of people just coming to the music industry anyhow just for the sake of it. In your view, what do you think are the qualities that are necessary for someone to be considered a good musician?
Bhlack Ace: Personally, I don’t get bothered about things like this because music isn’t something you just run into even if you have the money to do music you have to have a lion heart. it’s not for the weak so at the end of the day, the real ones will survive and the ones wey just wan play go continue to Dey play. You get me? Also, I don’t think there is something like a good musician. It’s our job to understand our market and build a brand that people would love and want to be associated with. That’s the golden rule.
IOI: This is so brilliant and eye-opening. I couldn’t agree with you more. In the next 5-10 years, what do you see yourself doing or becoming?
Bhlack Ace: I see myself still doing what I love and making a lot of money from it
IOI: What can ‘’we’’ your audience expect from you/your set at the concert coming May 27th?
Bhlack Ace: You can expect a dynamic and engaging experience that will combine live music and captivating acting to deliver an unforgettable show. I’ll be giving my best
IOI: Are there other artistes you are looking forward to sharing the stage with on the D-Day?
Bhlack Ace: Yeah sure. We have a long lineup. Coming on stage with me are the likes of Lasko Blark, Sweezy, Kold af, Saezn, Kvng vik, Freegie, 60s Father, Asojaid, Remi, Bull, Remy jay, Dj sneeze, Biyi praise, Squid szn, B-pop, Trippy, Ayo virtuoso, Nifemi, Small shaggi, Teju live, Mc Smith, Hype Diamond, Jegz, Sammy trad, Babzaddy, Psamuel, Vatti And a whole lot more
IOI: Woah woah, I am seeing some amazing talents here. I have no doubts about it being a ground-breaking concert.
Putting the music aside, what do you like to do for fun? Like we you in the music/studio space and all?
Bhlack Ace: Video games lol, FIFA. Maybe a little bit of movies too
IOI: ehn ehn, so you are saying if you do catch me on FIFA, I’d get my ass whooped? I want to confirm something
Bhlack Ace: I don’t mean to brag but most likely you would 😂😂😂
Na we them make am for
I guess we would have to pull up another show after May 27 oooo. Anyways, that’s for another time. Your fans would like to know if Bhlackace is working on any new music right now.
Bhlack Ace: That show after the 27th have to be confirmed like this, I’m guessing the 28th would be fine 😂😂😂
Yes, I am working on new stuff. Always working. Always
IOI: Guess we should be on the lookout then! If you were given the opportunity to perform with a well-known musician that inspires you, who would it be?
Bhlack Ace: Burna boy. The best performer I know alive
IOI: What do you think about the music industry in this part of the world and if you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?
Bhlack Ace: The music industry over here is very dynamic but the only problem is the fact that irrespective of music being easier to promote now you’d still have to go through the kingmakers to actually make that name and stay relevant enough to stand on your own but if I could change anything it would be the unity amongst artists. Just more artist supporting each other would be what I’d change. All artist having a unified voice, you get me?
IOI: hmm, that’s a very thoughtful one. Bringing a sort of integration of artiste! Writer’s block impacts a lot of creative talent. What are some other coping mechanisms that you used to help deal with it?
Bhlack Ace: I had that type of thing when I made ‘’Melody’’ and I just left it a bit and just focused on whatever could get me happy at that moment and just relax. It would all come back, you don’t have to rush it you have all the time you need. That’s how I get myself back together, all you need do is just find a happy place. You can never rush the process and a writer’s block is part of it
IOI: A worthy submission.
E go get some of our female audience that would be eyeing Bhlackace, so we would like to know once and for all, If Bhlackace is single or already hijacked or ready to mingle.
Bhlack Ace: Na question wey I Dey always run from be this 😭😭. Anyways, I will answer like this, I’m not single and I’m not taken yet 😂😂😂
IOI: So far, how would you describe your stay in Ogbafemi, the experience, the people, the places, and all of that?
Bhlack Ace: The school is annoying but the people are beautiful and the ones who support me are very supportive. It’s been love all through but the school gon gon I no gbadun the school like that like that.
IOI: OAU ti fe pa undergraduate 😂💔
I suppose that is relatable. Lastly, is there anything that you’d like to add or say to your fans?
Bhlack Ace: Don’t wait till two days before the event before you get your tickets get them now before it’s sold out. That’s all.