AN INTERVIEW WITH THE WINNER OF 2019 BOWEN’S GOT TALENT; IFIHAN AKINSOLA

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Bowen’s Got Talent fifth edition starts with the theme, ‘Bursting with Talent’. Our own Korede Ogunleye did an incredible job of publishing two reviews during the contest titled: “Review: Bowen Got Talent Audition” and “Road to BGT Grand Finale”. The grand Finale held on 27th of April 2019 of which Ifihan Akinsola emerged as the winner.

Can you tell us about yourself?
My name is Akinsola Ifihanayooluwa. I’m a student of the department of Physiology and I’m in my final year.

How do you feel being the winner of the just concluded Bowens Got Talent?
Well it felt amazing winning BGT back then but now I’m numb to it.

How much effort did you put into this contest?
BGT was really tasking to be honest. There were times I was emotionally and physically drained. Most times I’d pick a song to sing when it was really late and the instrumentalists would complain.

What inspired you to go for BGT?
Just friends, different guys saying: “Ifihan your voice is nice and unique just go for BGT na”. Although I had been hearing it since 100 level and I decided in 400 level I was going to go. I paid for my form a night before and filled it on the day of auditioning. I was the second to the last to sing, picked my song a night before. I didn’t think I’d make it pass the auditions because I felt I sounded horrible.

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So what encouraged you to move further despite the fact that you felt you sounded horrible?
After the quarter finals I felt challenged by the contestants, they had mad vocals. Let’s just say I was inspired by the contestants.

For How long have you been singing?
Well since I was a little kid. But I started taking music seriously 4 years ago.

As a kid, on what platform were you singing? Were you in the choir?
As a teenager yes, I was in the choir but as a kid I just had interest in music; I wasn’t singing on any platform.

What training did you give your voice?
No training, I just sing.


Have you participated in any musical contest before?
Yes in my secondary school; Mavericks got talent.

What was the experience like for you?
I didn’t make it to the quarter finals, the judges said no. I won’t lie, I was a bit scared it was going to happen again. #theaftereffectofrejection. #TheAfterEffectOfRejection

Was their a coach or a very close friend that was encouraging you all through the contest?
Yes my friends; Tama, Festus and Jide. I’ll like to mention my BGT coach too; Faith.

Do you plan to take music as a profession?
Yes I do!

Is there anything you did not like about BGT as a competition?
I don’t want to speak on this.

Who is the musician you wish to be like someday or even better than?
Kendrick Lamar, J Cole, Frank Ocean and Childish Gambino; these are my mentors. But I’d like to be better than Kendrick.

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Why?
He raps about things that are happening around him and he has inspired soo many people with his music.

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You performed “Dangote” during the finals. What inspired you to do so?
I had a problem picking a song to sing for pre-finals. So I was about leaving temporary site, then a guy in the shuttle bus started playing “Dangote by Burna Boy”. We all started singing. As I entered y2k cafeteria, “Dangote” video was playing on the TV. I also got to the hostel and someone was playing it. So I felt it was a sign from God, then I worked on it.

How do you plan to combine your education and music?
To be honest, I don’t know. Maybe work on my music during the NYSC period.

Do you have a girlfriend?
No, but I have someone.

Someone you’re crushing on?
No I’m with someone but I haven’t just popped the question.

Any moment all through the contest that you will say was your saddest moment?
Yes, I had not rehearsed for the finals . Then after getting all the instrumentalists ready they took the light. I had to stay in chapel from 3pm till 9:50pm. I was frustrated and sad.

What would you have done better during the contest?
I would have picked a song that had a ground-breaking message for every performance.

Any comment you’ll like to pass across to the organizers?
Yeah, they did a good job.

Any word of encouragement for those looking up to you and hoping to achieve what you’re achieved?
Yes, if you feel it in your guts do it!

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If you were to dedicate the success of this BGT to someone, who would that be?
To God and God-given friends!

In the next ten to twenty years where and what do you see you self becoming?
I see myself becoming a renowned individual In whatever I choose to do.

INTERVIEW BY: Shalom Sangobowale, Gbemisola Akinloye, Korede Ogunleye and Johnson Okunade

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