Can you tell us about yourself and family background?
I am Omobosola Karimat Alaka aka Okal. I’m from Oyo State Ibadan to be precise but was born in Abeokuta Ogun state in the lasts 90’s. I’m the only girl from a family of 4,which really had a lot of influence on my personality.
How will you describe your music?
Afro Soul High-life. My style was influenced by my background from home not been exposed to music by circumstances at home made me decided against it for a long time until I was 14. My Dad loved listening to the likes of Ebenezer Obey, Orlando Owoh, Beautiful Nubia, Ik Dairo but had this special love for Asa s music which made the whole family’s taste bud fall in that line. My sound came from the fact that I wasn’t taking seriously and I was ready to proof them wrong and convince with conscious music.
I listened to Tracy Chapman, Taylor Swift, Don Williams, Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers and every Asa song till I came up with my style, which attracted people to me quite quickly. My Inspiration come from my life experience series of events and stages have passed through in the life is my career.
What makes your song unique?
With Okal’s sound there is always touch of soul & this rare tenderness that’s resonates with the listeners ear’s. Lyrical consciousness that links with a story-line always.
Who writes your songs for you?
I write my songs myself with the aid of the guitar most times. Some come through studio vibes although once I like an instrumental I take my time to write on it and not just freestyle I honestly don’t just record songs there is always a motive.
Music is too delicate and tender for anybody to just be recording with no direction a lot of hard work goes into perfection which is quiet impossible but at least getting something close to it.
How long have you being doing music and how challenging has it being?
Started doing music in 2012 although before then I always wanted to be on screen but really didn’t know how to go about it but I eventually got it flamed by a cousin. I visited the studio for the first time with her then I was not really the focus but the experience changed my life because it since that particular day I knew this was my path. Some months after I saved up my pocket money to buy a Guitar from one of my dad student because realized I couldn’t afford studio fees so it was the only way I felt I could start something and create music.
Challenges; At some point in career I had to make some difficult choices really didn’t have any body to seek much advice from because it was all me. Creating a sound was a major challenge I have always wanted to stand out even from the likes of Asa & Simi because people easily compare my music to theirs so over the years have infused personality & style into my brand.
Affiliating with selfish and biased management s honestly contributed negatively to my career at some point but it only made me stronger and independent because at a point I was ready to take on anything by my self and not easily convinced just any deal would benefit me or bring out my potentials.
How has the reception of your music been?
Massive am delighted having the right resources is helping me achieve my dreams. Music has always connected to people am glad it only gets heightened on a daily.
What inspires you?
Personal life experiences, I try to imagine there are others out there going through the same thing I’m going through.
Music is very spiritual and should be a means of upliftment and also I have very real connection with Asa music because her sound made me see a place for my self-realizing I don’t have to have Adele, Whitney Houston or Celine Dion kind of voice before I can sing. My Dad was also a fan of her music he played all her albums in his car. Conscious music can be delivered in from various perspectives’ that got me thinking until I was unable to combine all the sounds in mind head to end at what I sound like right now.
Is being signed to Royale Records everything you hoped for?
Yes, it is, the good news is its a fresh label, and as the pioneer artist, the plan is to work with all the resources am being given and taking it to the next level. There is no feeling like being at home with understanding set of people that see your potential and are willing to help you share it with the whole world. Its a million dollar journey and I believe this is just the beginning. A big shout out to Royale Records, my management team and every million-dollar fan supporting the brand.
What are you currently working on?
Am dropping two new singles, Lover Boy (Produced by C Melony) and Spectacula (Produced by Cracker Mallo). As follow ups for Cost a thang (Produced by Puffy tee) both songs are two different sounds with different feels that defines my sounds versatility and uniqueness with my genre “Afro Soul” being constant. Am really excited and looking forward to the positive turnout and feedback these songs will get.
Who are you biggest inspirations in the music industry and why?
ASA , Beautiful Nubia , Taylor swift ,Tracy Chapman ,Rihanna , Bruno Mars , Orlando Owoh, Ebenezer Obey, Dolly Parton. Every act on these lists has great sounds and while I was grooming my music I didn’t only listen to them but borrowed from them.
What will be your dream collaboration?
Honestly I really want people to connect to my sound first, after conquering the whole of Africa a duet with Nasty C, on the global scene a collaboration with Rihanna will be a dream come true.