3rty (pronounced as thirty) makes music with many strong elements to it. Folk, R&B, Afrobeats. Yet, it sounds like nothing else. It is unblemished by the constraints of trying to fit in. It is modern and timeless simultaneously. His features are the clearest evidence of this fact. He applies these same qualities on songs with new-age singers like Jinmi Abduls and Dwin, the Stoic. And this always shines through. His single Feeling is brazenly honest R&B with unexpected pop capabilities. It is also consistently Nigerian without the need to be clever.
With his new EP, Blue Crystal, he touches on topics like familial and romantic love to lessons passed on by elders. With well thought out ballads as his vehicle, he takes new and familiar listeners on a flight through his mental stratosphere.
On this amazingly vulnerable project, he admonishes and reminisces at the same time. He highlights his personal relationship with his mother and the Divine Feminine, baring his insecurities about his upbringing and how it affects him.
We caught up with him recently to speak on the new body of work, his general outlook on life, and the reception it’s been getting.
G&G: What would say was your edge over other artists?
3rty: I would say it is my brand and sound. I call it Herbal Music. It is my spin on my art. Made up of organic elements using simple, natural language, melodies, and instrumentation to create something the makes you feel at home and at peace.
G&G: Is this the type of sound / genre of music you always saw yourself pursuing?
3rty: I would say yes and no. I knew I wanted to make Afrocentric music with a lot of soul. I found myself guided by the reactions of my listeners to my first few releases. Then I just continued to fine-tune my work until it had a general sense of direction.
G&G: Working on the project, what feature were you most excited about? [& why]
3rty: I had only one feature, which is Joyce Olong, and I’m excited about that because she is a fantastic singer and songwriter I have wanted to work with for a long time now.
I only want to work with people that make excellent music and I know for sure she is one of them.
G&G: How much has changed since you dropped your last project?
3rty: Between my last project and this one, I would say I have grown a lot lyrically and vocally. With the help of my producer Jay Blakez, I have started to define my sonic vision and bring it to life.
G&G: What has been the biggest influence on your sound and it’s growth?
3rty: I would say it is listening to great music, getting inspired by the indigenous arts and culture and listening to the right people. I never had a top three per se. Growing up the major artistes I listened to were ABBA, Fela Kuti, Blackmagic and people in those soundscapes.
G&G: What has been the reception to the project?
3rty: It’s been going well so far, my existing listeners all love it and there are new people discovering my catalogue because of it. Overall, I’m grateful for the progress.
G&G: How would you describe your style?
3rty: I would describe it as Afro-bohemian. A simple, traditional, carefree look.
G&G: Does your sense of style reflect who you are or how you feel?
3rty: Oh it does, I love to feel comfortable while still expressing myself through my clothes.
I want to feel free, feel good and representative of my sound.
G&G: How would your friends describe you? Life of the party or wallflower?
3rty: Well, kind of in between, I’m quiet and observant when you first meet me but over time you’ll see how silly and playful I can get.
G&G: If you were not making music, what would you be doing?
3rty: I would probably be a visual/craft artist. I love are in all its forms and I like to believe it’s not too late for me to express myself through visual art.
Listen to his new EP, Blue Crystal on all streaming platforms.