Dipo’s rich voice conjures up all the good things in life – classic soul, rhythm and blues and a liquid rush of raw emotion. The Nigerian born, Toronto based artist releases his latest music video for ‘Ain’t No Love’ which is just as slick and classic as the artist and his song.
Inspired by soul legends Al Green, Stevie Wonder, Teddy Pendagras and Afro-beat legend Fela Kuti, Dipo emerged onto the music scene in 2009 with his breakout single ‘Be Your Man’ produced by Nigerian producer Spax. He has released other classics including ‘Lagos to Toronto’ and his ‘New Vintage’ EP. He has also performed alongside Nigeria’s renowned artists including 2face Idibia, D’banj, Wande Coal and also opened for Nigeria’s biggest alternative singer Asa at her ‘Asa on the green’ concert.
‘Ain’t No Love’ tells the narrative of a turbulent relationship. Dipo incorporates his native Yoruba language beautifully into the mix of passion-fuelled, bluesy instruments and heartfelt lyrics:
“If you got money, you got all you need.,
But if you got your honey, you got all you could ever want,
There ain’t no love for a lazy man.”
We caught up with Dipo to find out more about his latest track and more.
Tell me about your new single ‘Ain’t No Love’?
‘Ain’t No Love’ is a song about the bittersweet, ups and downs that exist in a dating relationship where financial problems are hindering the growth of the relationship. Now I know that love is the most important in a relationship; however, if you have money in addition to love, it makes for a smoother sail. On the other hand, the song also says that while you are working hard to make money, please remember to have a “honey” to share it with; otherwise, it might all just be pointless.
Walk me through the creative process when writing your music or recording a song?
When writing a song, I let it come to me naturally; sometimes I may be able to finish writing a song in a day, other times, it may take several years. I just let the music breath and come to me; that way, I only go into the studio to record a song I truly feel and have a deep connection with, not just a filler.
You are inspired by classic artists including Al Green, Stevie Wonder, Teddy Pendagras and Fela Kuti – who or what is inspiring you at the moment?
At the moment I listen to a lot of Bruno Mars, H.E.R, and Jacob Banks.
Is there a hidden meaning or message in any of your music?
Most of my songs are about relationships and the different shades there are; so there is always a message in there about love, but sometimes I just want people to dance.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I consider myself a very good dancer, I think people might find that surprising…
The up-and-coming artist you love the most is…?
That would be Jacob Banks, I am not even sure I should categorize him as up and coming, I think he is almost at the top with the rest of the soul legends…
In a parallel universe – if you weren’t in music what else would you be doing?
I’d probably be an actor, I once acted as a security guard in a local soap opera back in Nigeria.
You have worked with many Nigerian artists and are originally from Nigeria – have you noticed any differences in how the music industry operates in Nigeria and Canada?
Yes, there are some differences, in terms of how the society supports up and coming artists; here in Canada, artists can access grants to help them pursue their goals, there is a good infrastructure to support the artist. I know Nigeria will get to that point, it’s just a matter of time.
I love McDonalds McFlurry (Skor).
Is there anyone you would love to collaborate with who you haven’t worked with already?
I would love to work with Alicia Keys and Lianne La Havas.
Who would play you in a movie and why?
I think Mahershala Ali; he is a very talented actor, and he kinda has the same build as me.
What movie or TV series would you love ‘Ain’t No Love’ to be played in?
The Wire or Fences.
What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
I would say do not ever give up; I am not even close to where I want to be, but giving up is not an option for me; and also, you have to really believe in yourself/craft in order to convince anyone else to believe in you.