He’s one of the CEO’s of T.O.Y Inc,a Fashion Designer,a Writer, an Engineer in the making and an Artiste under Soyinka’s Afro Group which is a new hiptrounksoul (hiphop , electro,funk and soul) group .The group started recording in 2009 and have three singles ; story book girl , i no fit and Black berry lover. Their debut album titled – Mannequins , Mohicians and Misdemeanors will be out in January.We at GidiNoize were priviledged to have an interview with this young Chap.
GidiNoize Interviews Akitoye Balogun
1. WHO IS AKITOYE BALOGUN?
Well, I’m a typical naija boy with a twist, fashonista I’m a bad guy in the least lol.
I’m just a unique person with a love for music and an eye for fashion. Before I forget, also a heck of an engineer to be.
2. CAN YOU TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND (EDUCATIONAL, FAMILY)?
Born in Lagos, lived in Austria for a bit. Primary school in Chrisland and Greenwood House, Lagos. Secondary school in ISL Lagos and currently studying Petroleum Engineering in Leeds University.
Only son of my parents, I have four very talented sisters and my parents Mr. and Mrs. Balogun.
3. WHEN DID YOU REALIZE MUSIC WAS YOUR CALLING?
Ermm, I’d say since when I was little. I always had an ear for the lyrics in rap music especially, and it kept mesmerizing me till I started doing it myself.
4. WHAT GENRE ARE YOU INTO AND WHY?
Well, we Soyinka’s afro are into soul, funk, hip-hop, African-sounding-music lol, pop, and basically anything that makes us tick.
5. WE AT GIDINOIZE COULDN’T HELP BUT NOTICE YOUR STAGE NAME, AJEBUTTER 22 AND YOU BAND NAME SOYINKA’S AFRO HOW DID THAT COME ABOUT?
‘Some of these people like us the others are foes and we’ll keep growing like Soyinka’s afro’-This is where the name came from it’s just something I always say and taymi thought to use it fort he name of the group. As for Ajebutter 22, only God know where it came from I’ve always been an ajebutter anyway :).
6. HOW DO YOU MANAGE YOUR STUDIES, MUSICAL CAREER AND RUN T.O.Y TOGETHER?
It really is a challenge sometimes! But when you are involved with things you’re passionate about, you can’t tell what will keep you going.
7. WE UNDERSTAND THAT YOU HAVE TAKEN PART IN SHOWS CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THEM?
TOY Inc has been involved in a few fashion shows, and it is never an easy job getting ready the preparations take forever! Plus all the nerves, but the ends result is wonderful so we thank God. Joy won’t feel so good if it wasn’t for pain.
8. WHAT HAS BEEN THE GREATEST MOMENT OF YOUR MUSICAL CAREER?
It has to be the first time I heard Storybook girl on the radio. I remember I had to listen to it on the car radio and there was no light! I don’t remember experiencing any greater joy in my life. Ps: #lightupnigeria
9. OUTSIDE THE MUSIC/T.O.Y SCENE WHO IS AKITOYE BALOGUN?
Lol, Akitoye Balogun is also an active member of the Leeds Afro Caribbean Society!, an ardent arsenal fan!, and a student.
10. ARE YOU SINGLE?
No o, I’m plural hiss lool.
11. APART FROM MUSIC AND FASHION DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER AREAS OF INTEREST?
The psychology and philosophy of the female specie. As well as food and football 😀
12. DO YOU INTEND GOING INTO MUSIC FULL TIME?
I love it! so why not? But it depends on the success rate! But I have a plan B, C, D and E!
13. WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN THE NEXT 10 YEARS?
Alive to start with, MAYBE engaged. Taking Temi’s kids to school lol. Telling kanye to bring me coffee! More seriously, I really do think TOY will be the best clothing line in Nigeria and Soyinka’s afro will be dominating the world!
14. THERE ARE A COUPLE OF RAPPERS IN THE NIGERIAN MUSIC INDUSTRY, WHAT CAN YOU BRING TO THE TABLE THAT OTHERS HAVEN’T?
Number 1 thing is risk, I can’t careless about pleasing the whole world, and our music has been often referred to as international, so it is something more modern for the Nigerian market.
15. GROWING UP, WHO WERE YOUR MUSICAL INFLUENCES?
My favourite question! My very first music influence was Michael Jackson like every other kid in my time. (Yes, I can still moonwalk) Then there was heavy D, tupac, Mariah Carrey, remedy, plantashun boys. The artiste that inspired me to rap though was MODE 9, also terry tha rapman, fabolous e.t.c
16. WHAT DO YOU THINK THE NIGERIAN MUSIC INDUSTRY IS LACKING AND CAN FILL THE VOID?
Patience, very few artistes have the patience to build up their work everyone just wants to go straight into making millions which isn’t really the way it should work.
17. DO YOU WRITE YOUR OWN RAP?
Ahh yes o! I even write for some people occassionally!
18. WHATS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR RAPS?
To be honest, a good percentage of the time it is coca cola! Ps: I’m not joking
also, just my surroundings the music I listen to. Or that girl…
19. IS THERE AN ALBUM OR MIX TAPE IN THE WORKS AND WHEN CAN WE EXPECT IT TO DROP?
Ahan! e tun bere? For sure. The mix tape, ‘Mannequins, Mohicans and Misdemeanors’ is coming out January latest. And the album ‘Evolution of the fro’ is out some time in 2010 date has not been finalised!
20. WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR OTHER UPCOMING ARTISTES?
Do not get into music unless you’re actually passionate about it.
21. ANY LAST WORDS FOR YOUR FANS?
I love anyone supporting me, I really do and I’ll never disappoint y’all. To the haters, It’s always ajebutter22 so don’t hate me if I don’t love you too! Mwah!
You can listen to his songs on