Meet Jubril Batiste!
As I walk into his friend’s house in west London, Idris welcomes me with a hug and a big smile. The African vibes do not go unnoticed: the speakers are playing some loud Nigerian music while the boys are watching the game on TV.
“Oh by the way, I’m changing my stage name, and this is the first interview I’ll be giving with this name, so if I ever blow up, this is going to be the interview, ” he says laughing.
With a new album coming up this summer, Jubril Batiste, stage name of Idris Olaniyi Alex Adedeji, tells me he started making music when he was very young: “I was born in London, but I moved back to my homeland, Nigeria, when I was about two years old. That’s where I started – in year 9 or 10 with my friends, ” he says.
By assuming his music would have been inspired just by his Nigerian culture, I was wrong: “It is not Nigerian music. It was five of us; we started doing Nigerian music, and two of us are still doing it.
But things have changed. I do more western type of music, hip hop, ” he explains, after clarifying he moved back to England after 18 years in the African country.
Jubril is very realistic when it comes to inspirational characters in the music industry. Rather than being inspired by someone in particular, or just by one type of music, he prefers to take the best out of everything.
“It’s only recently that I began to understand that everyone is actually dope,” he says. “If you make music and you think your idea is good, then it’s good, because at least one person likes it”. We think you are pretty dope too, for being so open minded and inspirational yourself.
I am told he is pushed to do more and more by the music industry nowadays: “I think the music industry these days is very challenging, because, you know, it’s much more than just music, I feel like you also need to have good social following, a lot of views, which will determine how good you are in people’s eyes”.
As though music was not enough, in November 2014 Jubril founded a clothing brand called ‘90’s Baby’.
“All the cool kids like it you know, ” he jokes, “we have to make sure this campaign goes well before the other one, which is expected for May, comes out”.
Amazed by how he can manage to do all this work by himself, I ask him whether he has someone that works with him, a team, and this is what I hear: “My friends are my team you know. Their support alone is enough. I have a group of designers, I come up with a theme, they design and we create a campaign around the theme”.
Evidently, Jubril knows what his priorities are, since he is about to graduate in Music and Entertainment Industry Management. Nevertheless, if you think that he has his mind just on business, you are definitely wrong.
“Success to me would be doing what you like to do, music in my case, and having people recognizing and respecting you for what you do”.
So, when ask if he wants to be more successful in music or with the clothing line, Jubril has no doubts: “Definitely music. I don’t know much about fashion, I just know streetwear brands, which inspire me for my clothing line. But definitely music, yeah”.
Keep doing your thing Jubril, the music industry needs more artists that cherish one another.