1. What are your full names?
Margaret [CRINGE] Morenike, Aina, Olukoga
2. What state are you from?
I know traditionally people usually just acknowledge their fathers background, but I think both are just as important as each other. With that said, well, my dad is from Ogun state [Ijebu Ode], and my mum born and bred in Oyo [Ibadan], although the heritage goes further back and deeper, but I don’t wanna confuse you now!
3. What was growing up like, as regards music, especially rap?
I come from a very artistically expressive family so we all grew up on music. My dad loves his organic music, he fed us on Louis Armstrong, Diana Ross and Paul Robeson. My youngest, older, brother [confusing] – the R’n’B lover wouldn’t let me wake up without hearing the likes of R.Kelly and Genuwine, and then my sister I remember pumping the likes of Jay Z, Brandy e.t.c in the 90‘s while painfully braiding my hair. I’ve always liked and been exposed to a variety of music and rap music in particular always spoke to me clearer than any other genre. It always stood out as a storytelling platform more than anything else. I’d listen to it almost like I was reading a book. It took me to places I’d never physically been. And that’s what I see myself doing for people.
4. Educational background?
Well…[cough] – I’ve always been a VERY good BAD girl! I’ve been expelled countless times, but it didn’t stop me from being Head Girl in secondary school. My grades have never been disappointing. I’m currently in the University rounding up my Sociology & Politics Degree.
5. When really did rap music start for you?
In case you didn’t know, I’m part of an Arts Alliance [Silhouettez In The Dark] and whilst co-directing in the group, I’d write poetry and performance pieces which helped me nurture my poetry and spoken word. I had the knack for putting words together and I felt that exploring other avenues to do so only made sense.. I made my first recording at the end of 2011. But I’d say Rap music started for me when I started listening to it, which was from around the age of 11.
6. Were your parents in support initially, and are they in support now?
Support ke? Show me a Nigerian parent that supports anything outside the curriculum and I’ll show you a couple that ain’t my mum and dad! [hahaha] At first I tried to hide it but they could tell. They weren’t happy at first, mainly because they assumed it would affect my studies, but now they see I can handle the workload they’re more supportive than anything. I logged onto Facebook recently and saw my mum posting my next mix-tape artwork. And she constantly, [even when I’m in Nigeria] calls to ask me how performances are going. I guess it’s just the fear that led them to feel the way they did at first. But now they see my vision, and their supportive prayers are a blessing for me.
7. Tell us about the first verse you ever wrote and recorded, how was the experience?
To be honest [I hope this isn’t conceited] I think my first verse is one of my favourites. It was a feature for someone, he wanted help writing his verse and when I recited it to him he asked me to take a verse on the track. I didn’t want to do it because I didn’t think I had what it took to be a rapper. But now I realize it’s what you believe that IS. It was that first verse that made me realize I can really do this!
8. First time i heard you was on “Picking Out The Seeds“, what inspired that song?
Is that a trick question? I’m a herbalist.
9. Back to “Life EP“, tell us about it.
“Back To Life“. It was about turning my back to my old life. I was a very shy person and that held me back from doing many things I wanted to do. “Back To Life” was about turning my BACK to THAT old life, and RETURNING “Back To LIFE“. A Ressurection. It was about me trying something new [Rap] and I’m happy I’ve done it. I’ve learnt so much since the release of that mix-tape. It’s amazing what can change in a year if you’re dedicated and hardworking.
10. Who will do you see as role models in Nigeria and Abroad?
Wow. Well there’s a few. Firstly M.I is definitely a role model for me. I love the fact that he brings himself to music. He brings the truth and his personality. He showed me [through his music] the spectrum of his emotions. It’s that reality that can stimulate change. No one is perfect and he illustrated that well. My uncle Sound Sultan is also an inspiration, I love everything he stands for. Abroad I’d say Kendrick Lamar. His non conventional flow and lyrics are like food to my soul. He’s a movement by himself, I’d love to meet and work with him.
11. The UK side of you, what’s it about? Born there, or moved there
Born and bred in London. I’ve lived here all my life [20 years]. And it’s funny because as much as I do love London, it’s never felt like home. I grew up around racism which definitely made me realize from a young age – home isn’t just about where your born. With that said, I’m a Londoner and London stands for multiculturalism which I definitely promote. I think it’s important for everyone to love and respect where they and others, come from and where they live. There’s a lot to learn about heritage. NEVER forget where you come from!
12. What inspires you to write?
Everyday life. Anything can be an inspiration, it just depends on how I choose to look at it. I find I write better while I’m experiencing whatever it is I’m writing about so I’m accustomed to randomly pulling out a notepad, or my BB to voicenote or tap down whatever it is I’m feeling.
13. How do rate the Naija Rap scene, what are you going to add to it?
I think the Naija Rap scene is 2D at the moment. I believe the foundation is being laid and I respect all the artistes doing their thing right now, but the rap scene has a long way to go. Hip-Hop is FOR the people. It’s a culture. And I think right now it’s still floating around as a genre rather than a culture. AFRICA is Hip-Hop. But we need a wake up call. The more unity there is in the movement, amongst the artistes and with the message, the further it will go. I’m adding myself to that ‘movement‘. Myself being – the truth. I’m not tryna make music about a life I don’t live, I’m rapping/writing/speaking my truths [all of it] and that’s the only way people will relate. I’m adding content more than anything else and I feel that’s what the Rap scene lacks. Anyone can rap and rhyme about glamour sex and partying, but what about all the other aspects of life? Aina More is going to add the missing piece.
14. For a female in Rap music, any challenges?
In Europe for me, it’s been a legit hustle. There’s been ups and downs as there is for any artiste, but me and my team persevere and never fail to achieve our goals, the only way is up, regardless of what I’ve experienced. But I’ll keep it 100 with you Tosin. In the Nigerian industry, sex is like currency and I AIN’T GOT THAT TYPE OF MONEY! It’s political. The mentality of Nigeria is wounded and it reflects in the industry. I definitely think female Rappers should set standards on the same level as the men. YES – The industry is dominated by men, but that doesn’t mean women are any less worthy, talented or capable. There’s been hurdles, I wouldn’t call them challenges because they didn’t challenge me. They just amped me to get to the studio!
15. What plans do you have for the future? Working on anything at the moment? What should we expect?
Of course. I’m always working on something. There’s a lot in the works. There’s my new mix-tape “It’s A W.R.A.P [Words Rhymes and Poetry]” dropping on November the 12th which entails some of what we discussed earlier in regard to Hip-Hop. In the coming quarters, there will be a more mainstream approach to what I’m doing now. I’ll be popping up in Nigeria too, but beyond that – expect greatness. Me and my team have a vision, but rather than telling you where we’re heading, I’ll just let you enjoy the journey with me! Just stay tuned @Ainamore @TeamAinaMore – I’ll be taking everyone along with me.
THE ONLY WAY IS UP.
- Aina More – IT’S A W.R.A.P [Exclusive Mixtape Preview] (aceworldteam.com)
- TosinadedaHYPE presents: Blaqbonez (aceworldteam.com)
- Magnum ft. Naila Boss, Abiz, Aina More ‘n’ John Hectic – UNITED WE STAND [Remix] (aceworldteam.com)
- Magnum ft. Naila Boss, Abis, Aina More ‘n’ John Hectic – UNITED WE STAND Remix [Official Video] (aceworldteam.com)
- Rae’Em ft. Yung6ix – MAMA ROLL 2.0 [prod. by O’tee Beatz] (aceworldteam.com)