Nigerian drummer and singer, Oluwatobi Yusuf popularly known as “Tobinsco” had an exclusive chat interview with me today.
Consistency has been the order in contemporary Nigerian music. In this light, Tobinsco the troublemaker as fondly called, proves once again that he’s here to stay in the music industry following the success of his single “Gbabe” last year. This time, he delivers a club banger titled Mr. Bouncer. Emerging earlier into the scene as a comedian and writer, he has raised the ante by stepping up to the music stage and consistently dishing out good music.
This interview promises to be fun and interesting, so sit back and enjoy.
Tell us about yourself?
My name is Tobinsco, I’m a singer, songwriter and entertainer.
How did you come about the name ‘Tobinsco’ and what does it mean?
Tobinsco has always been my childhood name. Growing up as a child, football was my first interest. Matter of fact, I thought I’d go professional at some point. Tobinsco which was my football name turned out to be my stage name now. Tobinsco simply means Tobi (which is my real name) + NSCO (short for “scoring” in Yoruba) Hence, Tobi is scoring. Trust me, I was a good striker lol.
What inspired you to venture into music?
I fell in love with a lot of Nigerian songs. I remember how I’d listen to music the whole day nonstop. It became a habit. I cultivated that habit and spent quality time recreating what I listen to. Therefore, Nigerian music inspired me to create my own sound.
Education and background?
Fountain Nursery and primary school in Abeokuta, Ogun State. Nigerian International School, Cotonou. EPS-La Cite University, Cotonou. Currently studying Mass communication. I’m the first child of 3.
What was growing up like for you?
Like every other Nigerian child, I grew up with a story. I’m a man of many locations. The first few years of my life were spent in Ogun State, Nigeria. Later on, I moved to Cotonou, Benin republic for my secondary and tertiary education. I’m currently a Mass Comm student of EPS La Cite University, Cotonou.
Are you signed on any record label?
I’m single and searching. I’m an independent artiste for now, hoping to get signed on someday.
How would you describe your kind of music?
I’d say Afro-fusion. A blend of many Nigerian sounds. Most people say I sound like a combination of 9ice, Wizkid and 2Baba. That just might be right lol.
If you weren’t a musician, what would you be?
I probably would have been a footballer or writer. But life is too funny. Just too unpredictable.
So far, how has the Nigerian music industry treated you?
Not great though. I feel like I’m being underrated and undiscovered. But so far, the industry has been fair to me. Mr. Bouncer was widely accepted and loved since its release. Plus, my fanbase has been elevating ever since. At least, I have my Twitter followers to show for it.
What new things are you bringing on board the Nigerian music scene that would distinguish you from what we’ve already seen?
Is there anything we’re doing or going to do that hasn’t been done already. Music has been in existence for millenniums, and would continue to prevail for as long as the world exists. I believe my music tells a story. Whatever I sing has something to do with my experience.
What’s your take on celebrities using the social media as a battle field?
Celebrities are humans. There’s room for envy and competition. How to make these things healthy and controlled is what tends to be the difficult task. However, I believe social media is not a battle field, and shouldn’t be used in that regard. If you have issues with someone, there are several ways to go about it other than in the public eye.
Are you against the ‘babymama’ trend among entertainers?
I’m neither for, nor against. Everyone is entitled to their lifestyle.
Who’s your favorite entertainer and why?
9ice is the man. I grew up listening to loads of his songs and developed a skill in writing songs like him. He has been a major source of inspiration, I must confess.
Is it true that musicians sleep with video vixen after a video shoot?
While I might not be able to speak for any artiste, I’d simply say that it is something that I wouldn’t do. For the record, I’m a disciplined Yoruba boy and we are not demons.
As a songwriter, do you think the use of profane words/lyrics is good for the growth of the industry?
I totally disagree with this. The usage of profane and vulgar lyrics would in turn, define the kind of people that listen to them. It would consequently limit certain ages and audience. I particularly take pride in putting out clean and relatable lyrics.
Do you think you have the creative ability to displace the likes of Wizkid, Tekno, 2face, Davido and others?
Who can actually displace these heavyweights? These people have made a name for themselves. It is only safe to say that one can aspire to be like them or even do better. Their music lives on for as long as people have ears.
Is it true that you’re son of the famous Tunde and Wunmi Obe?
No, I’m not. But they’re like my parents. I’m actually glad that you asked this question. Tunde Obe is a father figure and has always been there for me. Likewise, Wunmi Obe’s advice are endless. She never stops advising me and putting me through. Matter of fact, I share the same birth date with their son. Hence, the misconception.
I’m 22. I would be 23 by April.
Tell us about your hit song “Mr. Bouncer” and what inspired it?
The song, Mr. Bouncer was inspired by an event that actually took place in Cotonou. As the lyrics suggests, I was “bounced” by the securities in my brother’s French school for coming late. The idea was initially about the story but I added a twist to it, taking it to the club. After all, bouncers are known for their mischievous attributes in clubs.
How well do you think the song is doing right now?
I’ve come to realize that, in Nigeria, “talent needs promo”. Mr. Bouncer has overwhelmingly pushed itself without due promotion. The song went viral on Twitter following a video that surfaced online which had Don Jazzy and other people listening and dancing to the song in his studio. At that point, I knew I had created a jam! The song is available on most music platforms both in Nigeria and beyond. Also, the song is jamming on several radio stations in Nigeria.
Do you have any other song released before & after “Mr. Bouncer”?
Yeah, I dropped Gbabe and Toyin Tomato and then Mr. Bouncer. Working on new songs now.
Any plan to remix it with an A-List artist?
Yes, definitely. People have suggested Orezi, Mayorkun and Davido. I believe Anything can happen!
When should we expect your album?
I’m not certain, but I think 2018 would be the year.
What’s your relationship status?
I’m single and snatching lol.
How do you spend your day?
I’m a very boring person. Slightly intoverted. I’m either writing articles, songs or just indoors.
Who’s your celebrity crush?
To be honest, they are just too many. But Cute Kimani tops that list. And she’s not even a singer or anything close to my age.
What’s your plans for 2018?
New music, new videos, a label, maybe. Just new things generally. I have over 25 songs I’ve written myself.
Any award nominations?
Top Naija Music Awards 2016 (Best Foreign-Based Nigerian Artiste)
Which event is the biggest you’ve performed at and how was the experience?
It has to be Naija Carnival in Benin Republic. It had hundreds of people in attendance. It was an awesome experience as people already knew the song and sang along.
It’s been an amazing time chatting with you. Do you have any message for your fans out there?
If you love what I do, why I do it, how I do it, I’m your fan already! My sincere appreciation to anyone who has in any way supported my career from day 1 to this moment. I can’t even thank y’all enough!
What are your social media handles & how can your fans access your songs?
My song, Mr. Bouncer, can be accessed on all music platforms worldwide. Follow this link to listen to Mr. Bouncer (fanlink.to/mrbouncer), it’s also on Spotify (https://open.spotify.com/artist/7G180YXcm5ihbWV786iIym).
You can get all my materials on Shazam: shazam.com/artist/203367673/tobinsco.
Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube Channel for subsequent videos of anything related to Tobinsco with this URL: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRk1vahp1hq5fjp-ASbZAVQ
Thank you Damilosky.
So guys, it’s a wrap. Below are some throwback pictures of Tobinsco. Let’s laugh.