In the music industry, it’s rare to find a voice that doesn’t sound like everyone else’s — Tha Boy Myles, a rising singer from Lagos, Nigeria, however, is an exception.
After exploding onto the mainstream radar with his debut single ‘Boma,’ the singer has been perfecting his unique ability to fuse genres, bringing a refreshing twist to the music scene. Early last year, he unveiled his debut EP, Mylestone. Throughout the project, his soft, syrupy voice leaves you in a trance you won’t want to snap out of. Although the project touches on themes of love, heartbreak, and vulnerability, the soulful blend of contemporary Afrobeats with urgent hip hop and sensual R&B sounds will certainly get you up and moving.
As Tha Boy Myles, born Ogunleye Olawale Michael, has risen in notoriety, he has continued to put out relatable music. He has released ‘Sugar,’ an instant fan-favourite, and then ‘Shawty’ featuring popular Nigerian singer Skiibii. His latest track ‘Roma’ continues his euphonic range as he gently rides the wave of a buttery instrumental that sees him assure his significant other of his unshakable commitment to her. What’s unique about Myle’s artistry is the fact that his passionate lyrics fit so snugly in his rooted-from-the-heart, lush vocal lines, allowing us all to feel the emotion he pours into his craft. Without sounding overdone, the production of his work is a breath of fresh air. His undeniable vocal talent and knack for writing exactly what he’s feeling, which is the ultimate recipe for success, set him up as one of the most promising artists on the rise.
Here, HUNGER catches up with Tha Boy Myles to learn about his musical background, his latest single and the inspiration behind it, working with Skiibii, and much more.
Talk me through your story. What specifically set you on the path to making music?
As a Nigerian who grew up in a Christian home, my parents always wanted me to do something for the church. That was how I found myself in the church choir. But I remember that my dad also listened to good music back then. From the church, I composed music, and then I started making my own music. I started off as a rapper, but I just knew I could sing better than rapping, and here we are. Thankful for the growth.
Did growing up in Lagos aid your musical journey?
Yes, of course. Watching the likes of D’banj, Wande Coal, and other great amazing artists, Lagos is like a hub for entertainment in Nigeria as far as I’m concerned. When a lot of people want to make music, one of the first things they think about is relocating to Lagos because this is where it happens. Once your song is popping in Lagos, it’s automatically popular everywhere.
Talk me through your creative process.
I like to make music when I’m happy. I might have a sad story that I want to tell, but I try not to record when I’m sad. I’m trying to connect to a lot of people, so if I’m going to do that, I have to do it in the best state of mind and the best way I can. That’s just my ideology. I have a song on my Mylestone EP called ‘Stay,’ and If you listen to it, it’s more like my personal experience. It’s a sad song, but I wasn’t sad when I was making the music. I was just telling my story from a happy place.
How do you see your sound evolving in the coming years?
I’ll be switching things up in the coming years. Change is constant. You can’t settle in one place and expect a different result. The way I’m sounding now is not the way I sounded back then. There has been growth, and I’m still mastering my craft. There’s always a different feeling, and the last release is always different from the next. No one can predict my next move.
With your songwriting ability, you have composed songs for some of Nigeria’s biggest artists. How do you get that first line when you’re writing?
For me, sometimes, it’s just about the vibes. I don’t write the songs before I hear the beat or the instrumentals. I can count how many songs I’ve written without listening to the instrumentals. So I listen to the beat first, and then that gives me direction on what I’m trying to do, if it’s a love song, or a song about hustle. The beat drives everything first.
What was the concept behind your track with Skibii?
To be honest, Lekki and Victoria Island girls inspired that song. They just want to live life, take pictures and just do Snapchat. I was trying to convey a message about them in the song. And it still has to do with me trying to let the girl know that all these materialistic things that she is crazy, I cannot get her. But she just wants to link up with her friends, go to the club, and be wayward. So that was what brought about the song.
What was it like working with Skiibii?
Skibii and I have been friends for about seven years. And I used to tell people never to rush the process. I have friends that we just met last month, and they want us to go to the studio and make music. I don’t work that way. Sometimes you can meet someone, and you just vibe with them and get into the studio. That’s different because there’s already that chemistry. But some people want to be friends with you because they just want to make music with you and that’s all. Skibii and I have recorded a song before, but ‘Shawty’ was the first serious song we’ve actually done. It wasn’t difficult working with him because that chemistry was there, and the vibe was just amazing.
Are there any things you look for before working with someone?
I would have said talent, but a lot of people are talented, but they have zero manners. So for me, the first thing I look out for is your attitude and then your talent. I’ve seen a lot of people that are really talented but have shitty attitudes. Except if the record is coming from outside, and they just want me to be on it, then that’s different because we don’t have to be best of friends.
Who would you like to collaborate with in the future?
I’d like to collaborate with Davido, 2Baba, Fireboy DML, Kizz Daniel, Reekado Banks, Tiwa Savage, Olamide; I want to work with everybody.
Are these the artists currently inspiring you?
I just love their music. There’s no way I won’t say they don’t inspire me because I listen to their music. I would listen to their music and hear something I liked, and I could learn from it.
As someone in the music industry for quite some time now, what has been your most surreal moment?
I can’t highlight one, to be honest, because it’s very hard for something to fascinate me. That’s just me, But all I can say is my journey so far has been really interesting and I’m excited about that.
What’s next for you?
The next thing for me is music. I just put out a new single, and I also have other things that are coming out soon. Amazing records, and videos on the way, and so much to look forward to.