Monday 6 June 2016

2face Is My Mentor, Said By Ash Flame

Olumuyiwa Samuel, popularly known as Ash Flame, is a fast rising artiste. He tells Saturday Beats about his career and love life
How did you get the stage name Ash Flame?

My mother fondly calls me Asiwaju, so I just shortened it to Ash. The ‘flame’ was given to me on the streets. Often times, people would ask for my stage name and when I just say Ash, they would say it sounded awkward. I just thought to myself one day that without fire, there wouldn’t be ash and flame. That was how I coined the name. Then again, I usually say that my music is as hot as fire; so the name actually makes sense.
How would you define your genre of music?
My style of music is afro-pop and I feel very comfortable doing this genre of music.
When did you become a singer?
Most singers say that they started in church but I started music from the streets when I was much younger. Back then, my friends and I would always attend birthday parties to mime  songs of hip-hop greats like Heavy D, B.I.G. and Tupac. But because we would always end up fighting at those parties most of the time, my parents were not comfortable with it so they banned me from singing. But my parents love going to church, so after they banned me from singing at parties, I decided to join them in the church and I became a chorister.
You keep talking about the street, where did you grow up?
I grew up in Agbado area of Lagos. I did not really live with my parents while I was growing up; I stayed with family members. Growing up with different people gave me different personalities, attitude and ideas. Most of them maltreated me because I was not a member of their nuclear family. I started learning at an early age in life and I soon became independent and that was how my ‘street movement’ started.  But then, it is not as if I grew up in a very rough neighbourhood. I didn’t have to do some despicable things to survive.
Why didn’t you live with your parents?
My parents were hardly at home because they had to face their business and make money for the family. There were no issues in their marriage; they were just preoccupied with their business.
How did you feel whenever your relatives maltreated you?
I was not happy about it and it was not easy. I had to keep to myself most times because I could not talk to anybody in the house. I felt if I explained to anyone, I would not know the next action the person might take. It made me become a loner but it also helped me in a way because making a hit song does not just happen anyhow. You have to give yourself time for the inspiration to come. What I faced in the hands of relatives really inspired and helped in my career. It was not easy but it had a great impact on my career.
And how is your relationship with these relatives now?
We maintain a cordial relationship. I believe that some things happen in life to prepare you for the journey ahead. They did not do it because they were wicked but all these things had to happen to me so that I would be stronger. I am here today because of what they did to me back then.
Did you inform your parents that you were being maltreated?
At a point, I had to. They spoke to my relatives and because my parents addressed the issue back then, they changed. It made me have a cordial relationship with them.
What are some of the challenges you faced while building your brand?
My major challenge was keeping a relationship. I lost many relationships because of my career. There are days I would save money for studio session and my girlfriend would tell me she would want to make her hair expecting that I would give her the money I had saved. I know what I went through saving the money for studio session, so to give it out would be very difficult. Most times, the ladies did not understand, so they walked out of the relationship. All the money I saved then to record is what has brought me to where I am today. I thank God that my story is different.

My father also did not support my career at first. It was very tough because he vowed that none of his children would go into music. Being my father, I had to respect his decision but the passion I had for music was so great that I devised a means and found a way around it. I asked my family members to beg him on my behalf and promised that I would not soil the family name. Financing my dream was also a major challenge but I thank God for my record label, Heartbeat Empire, they have been of tremendous support. For me, the challenges have been family, finance and women.
 Do you now have a girlfriend in your life?
Now I have plenty girlfriends.
How do you cope with them?
They cope with me and I cope with them. They understand.
Do they all know you are dating other girls?
The truth is that everybody wants to be with a star. We understand the fact that I am being celebrated now and they want to associate themselves with my success. For that alone; they are cool and I am cool with it as well. I don’t have trouble with women; there is a perfect understanding between us.
Who is your mentor in the industry?
That would be Tuface. Beyond his music, I love his lifestyle. I want to live freely as an artiste regardless the achievements I must have had. His lyrics also inspire me. He is someone that I really look up to.

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