Afrikan Boy, born Olushola Ajose in southeast London to Nigerian parents, is a global MC fusing together grime, rap, and afrobeats. Here he explains the story behind his touching new song, “Dear Mama.”
The influences for my track ‘Dear Mama’ came from my childhood experiences and how my mother brought us up. I saw the struggles my mum went through to feed us and ensure our happiness. This song is an acknowledgement to her hussle and my promise to be successful to honour her efforts. I wrote this song as a reminder to myself to keep striving for my goals and going for gold.
I recently became a father; this has made me reflect a lot on how I was brought up, it wasn’t easy and it certainly was not rosy. I have two sisters and four brothers, and I am the oldest – so I always feel the pressure to succeed and set a good example. Even though my childhood experiences were not perfect, I am happy because it has shaped me into who I am today.
What this song means for the world is that no matter how dark things get, no matter how hopeless and pointless you may feel when you’re going for gold in what you do, remember only when it gets dark can you see the stars shine brightly.
This song should remind you to think about why you are pursuing your passion and not get frustrated when things move slowly. “I used to bunk school, now I’m teaching, I used to drive cars, now I’m driven.” These lyrics are about self-reflection. It’s about going YAM and being positive.
For all the new listeners, I hope this personal track gives you an insight into my life to remind you that we all at some point in our lives go through things, but we go through them to make us stronger and better. We Go YAM!
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