Words by Isioma ‘Jazz’ Osaje
For a lot of us, the first time we heard the name Brymo was on Ice Prince’s Oleku. The velvety voiced singer delivered a hook that was probably one of the most memorable choruses of 2010. Ice Prince’s Oleku went on to win several awards including a Headie in 2011 for Best Rap Single. A lot of pundits credited majority of the success of this single to Brymo. No disrespect to Mr. Zamani, but Oleku would’ve been incomplete without Brymo.
A little known fact is that before the Ice Prince feature, there was a song with label mate Jesse Jagz, titled L.O.V.E You. Even more obscure in the history books is that Brymo had put out three singles long before he officially became a Choc Boy. One of said singles was Shawty, which earned the singer at best, a trickle of fame. Like every upcoming artiste, Brymo tried his best to push his music, but a far from impressive bank account balance would stand in his way. And after hitting several financial roadblocks, in 2008 Ibrahim Olawale Ashimi turned his back on music.
This hiatus would however prove short lived as sometime in early 2010 things took a turn for the better in the singer’s career. A chance meeting with eccentric TV presenter; Denrele wound up in Brymo landing a meet with Chocolate City’s top act M.I. Fast forward a few weeks and Brymo put pen to paper on a record deal and thus we were introduced to the newest Choc Boy. His debut single under his new label was released in the second half of 2011.The song named ARA, translates to “Wonders” in English.
It’s the second half of 2012 and ARA is still a favorite on several radio and music based television stations. Lest he be called a one hit wonder, Brymo eager to stake a claim in the fiercely competitive music industry released his second single in April 2012. Good Morning is fast becoming a favorite among music heads. What is Brymo’s take on getting famous off a feature? The singer says and I quote “Being popular off a collabo actually makes me very happy and surprised at the same time because I never knew a collabo could do that for you”.
A few folks might point out that Brymo’s ascent to fame has been lady luck’s doing. Brymo is of the opinion that he has been lucky, blessed even but he also affirms that everyone has their own individual path to success. This is his and he’s grateful. So does this mean Brymo does not have a bonafide hustle story? Wrong! The singer states that his journey to Chocolate City was tedious and most times utterly frustrating. He went professional in 2006 and for the next four years it was nonstop grinding.
In what is fast becoming common practice for our entertainers, Brymo dropped out of the University sometime in 2008 to concentrate on his music. While it was difficult to opt out of the University, the fact that he already had issues financing his education, no doubt helped him reach a decision. Brymo recalls the yearly hour long meetings he had with his father when it came time to pay his fees. At every meeting Mr. Ashimi would strongly implore his son to quit school, go get a job and contribute his quota to the family’s upkeep.
Brymo consistently refused and insisted that as the former’s only offspring it was imperative that the older Ashimi continue to foot his bills. But the tempting lure of stardom would cause him to have a rethink. He decided to relieve his father of the obligation to pay his school fees. A nine to five was however not an option. Brymo turned to music; he figured he had nothing to lose. Well there was the fear of not succeeding and losing both ways, but what is life without risks? Four years later we ask the Lagos State University Zoology dropout if he will ever go back to the University. It’s a yes….eventually.
A major selling point for Brymo is the infusion of his native dialect in his songs. The singer says this is a conscious effort to promote his heritage. Album plans? Definitely, the Choc Boy is optimistic that it will be released before the end of 2012. Brymo already has a name picked out for his first studio album and barring any unforeseen circumstances it will be called “SON OF A CARPENTER ALBUM”. He says that while he will feature other acts on his debut album, it will be mostly all about BRYMO.
What does the future hold for BRYMO? “The future for Brymo is to simply keep making good music and to stay happy. These are the two things that are most important to me. My ability to actually keep making good music, getting to actually connect with people and me living my life to the fullest and being happy. I think that’s the most important thing, every other thing will come. I believe that”. Whatever your opinion on Brymo’s talent one fact runs true; this singer is no one hit wonder!