Singer Sunkanmi – real name, Olasunkanmi Alonge – in this exclusive chat with Naij.com’s contributor, Obey Olayinka spoke on her love for the profession at the expense of her education, the positive and negative effects of the music industry, and her relationship with Olamide and the YBNL family.
How long have you been doing music?
Let me say officially two years now but I have been doing music since when I was little. I didn’t go professional because I had to go to school. When I left secondary school, my parents insisted I must get my degree. They didn’t allow me do music, so I proceeded to Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye. After graduating, I searched for a job for a while but I couldn’t get what I wanted then I decided to go back to my roots.
You are one of the newcomers to the music industry right now, do you think you have the wherewithal to get to the top in the years to come?
It won’t take me years to get on top of my game, even before the end of this year. Hopefully, I can still spring surprises. I believe not only in my talents but my hustling spirit and with God on my side I will get there soon.
You seem to have this alliance with the YBNL crew. Young John, their in-house producer, produced Singale. You also featured Olamide on one of your songs.
I don’t think Young John is a YBNL signed producer. He is a friend of the label, as I am. I got the connection to YBNL through him. When the YBNL crew heard Singale, they liked the work and everything. Olamide’s brother, DJ Enimoney, also gave the song some shout outs on Instagram. So to me and my team, we thought YBNL was quite big and we had to take advantage of this. We met Young John and told him our intention to make the hit bigger. So he introduced me to Olamide. We initially thought we were going to remix Singale but I was advised not to because it was already out their and I need to get something out of Olamide. That was how we came up with For Body. It was big actually, but I don’t want to call it my best yet since it is not my individual effort. All thanks to Olamide.
In a recent interview, Olamide said he wouldn’t like to sign a lady to his YBNL label. But do you think with your alliance with the label you can become the first ever woman YBNL soldier?
Yes, I saw the interview too. We are friends already. I don’t think it is something that is impossible. We can make it happen at the end of the day. They are helping me, I don’t think I need any other thing than that. Even if I’m not with the label, with YBNL, a friend to my label, I think I’m okay with that. I don’t want be officially signed.
As a young woman in the industry, do you think there is any factor working for or against you in the industry?
I won’t say I have not being enjoying the privilege of my beauty. People talk about that a lot. I have been enjoying moving with the big shots on the platform of beauty and that itself is a challenge because sometimes I would be told, ‘If you want to perform at so-and-so show, you would need to see me in the back office’, but I won’t give in to such. At this junction it is God I’m looking up to for guidance.
Can you be specific on the “back office” experiences?
I don’t want to mention names but the experiences were real, I don’t want to say much but minor things like number of social media followers has denied me big offers, and organizers offered to sleep with me and doctor the whole hindrance, which I declined, and as such lost out on the deal.
So since then what have you done to improve your social media followers?
I try to talk more, post more and do some freestyles. Also, I’m planning to release more singles before the album in order to get more followers, but I have moved on since the incident. It taught me to be a better person. Since then I have been working and getting more followers and likes.
What is the weirdest thing you’ve done to put your name out there?
Funny, I have begged many people I am not supposed to beg to the extent that I broke down in tears. I performed for empty seats just because I promised my mum and many other supporters that I’m gonna perform at a certain show and they were all on the lookout only to be told my name wasn’t on the list of performers.
Who do you look up to in the industry?
Actually I don’t have any. Everybody does good music, I won’t lie, I only look up to God and every good music inspires my sound,both local and international, all genre of music.
Are you in a relationship?
How do you combine that with music?
Maybe because my man is quite understanding. He knows at the end of the day it is work. Although, he is jealous like every other man. Its been quite challenging but with the help of God it has been easy and we are cool together.