abiolaMusiq Man aka Abiola Otusanya’s music is real, truthful, moving, and also very varied. Of Nigerian origin, Abiola is a composer-producer and multi-instrumentalist currently residing in Brighton.

He developed his love for music at the age of eight, when he taught himself to play the keyboard. By the age of fifteen Abiola was singing and playing piano for a church choir. His styles include RnB, Soul, Jazz, and Hip-Hop. He has recently worked with the US rappers Jon Hope, Pyinfamous, and the French rapper Kahifa titled “Life”, on which he also sings the chorus.

He regularly performs live in various Brighton and London venues. He has recently released in first album The Journals.

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2 minute Q&As with Abiola Otusanya

When did you compose/ produce your first piece of music?

Back in 2007 in my bedroom with a laptop running the music sequence software Reason. Although I'd always heard sounds in my head, I had no idea how to record or produce them. So I watched some online tutorials about sequencers, and everything just kicked off from there.

What was it that inspired you to begin composing/ producing?

The death of my mum. She was the talent of the family, it was through her I got the musical genes, also I learnt a lot from her. The whole thing happened pretty fast and got me really down, so I started asking myself some questions. One of those questions was 'If she was still here with me, what would she have me do?' I couldn't think of anything else, other than for her to see me use the talent and knowledge she's passed down to me, to accomplish great things.

Is there a philosophical approach that underpins your work?

My approach is to be true to my art. I believe every artist should be able to express themselves as individuals, according to their own sensibility. I also like to keep it real. I honestly don't believe in making music or creating expressions I haven't lived. Be true to my art because I know if I take care of the music, it will definitely take care of me.

What drives you to continue to be a composer/ producer?

Music is such a powerful medium – I believe it has various ways of effecting people and changing lives. For me it’s therapeutic, and I feel I’ve been blessed with the gift of music - this keeps me moving. I believe that, thanks to my creator, I'm a vessel through which the music flows to the listener.

Which composers’/ producer work do you particularly admire? and why?

As a classically trained pianist I’ve always admired the work of Chopin, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff and Mozart – to me they’re like scientist musicians. Presently, Robert Glasper stands out as a great influence. I really like the way he fuses all kinds of musical ideas into a Jazz form that he makes his own. I also got a chance to meet him at the Love Supreme Jazz festival this summer, which was a day I'll never forget. Also, J Dilla is notable for his contribution to the world of Hip-Hop.

How do you go about starting a new piece?

Sometimes it could just be a drum pattern, a melody line or just a sound I hear in my head - that's how the creative process starts. I’ve always loved the idea of creating a piece out of nothing - that's like the best canvas you can have, and that thought alone is quite intriguing.

What is it you do that defines your style?

Diversity - I like to fuse styles, without being inhibited by imagined boundaries. Instrumentation-wise, I tend to use warm synth and organic sounds, like Rhodes Piano, Hammond organ, euphoric atmospheres and/ or soft lead sounds.

How do you know when your piece is finished?

It’s hard, as it seems there's always room for improvement. It mainly depends on the type of tune being produced, as to exactly where to stop tweaking. I always let the music guide me. The aim is to get my piece sounding good as I can.

What are you working on at the moment?

I'm writing, producing, and singing the main vocals on my second album entitled My Voice, My Sound. It will also be featuring some interesting artists from Britain, USA, and France. I will be releasing a single from the album titled Venus in the near future.

What other passions do you have, when you’re not composing?

Playing football, Djing, electronics, astronomy and watching live bands.



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