Ruger: Man of Dior
Words By – Rita Okoye
Michael Adebayo Olayinka popularly known as Ruger, is a Nigerian Afrobeat singer, and songwriter.
Ruger came into lime-light in 2021 after signing a record deal with D’Prince’ “Jonzing world record” with a publishing and distribution deal with Columbia Records, and Sony Music Entertainment, U.K division.
At the moment, he is unarguably, the head of Nigeria’s new school talents and his latest single, Dior is currently one of the hottest songs in Nigeria.
We spoke to the singer about his meteoric rise, his style of music, and pressure from the new generation talents likewise dominating the Nigerian music scene.
Your latest single, Dior has become a national anthem in Nigeria, what was the inspiration?
Dior is a diamond in the rough. The major inspiration for it is lifestyle. I was thinking of where I was, where I currently am, and my projections for the future, basically lifestyle. Some of the things I said I’m not yet living them out, so I’m basically prophesying what I want for my life.
I talked about how I was living my life at that time, and how I want to live my life. The Song Dior is for ballers, every hustler, everyone who loves luxury and wants to enjoy life.
How long did it take you to record the song?
One day, we literally recorded it in one day.
How did music begin for you?
Music has always been part of me right from a young age. I decided to do it fully when I was in Senior Secondary School 2 to be precise. It’s been my passion since then and I’ve loved doing it.
Tell us your Jonzing World’s story, how did it start and where is it going?
My Jonzing world story started with my freestyles on social media. I used to freestyle on Instagram back in the days. One day, D’prince saw the freestyle, reached out, and told me to come to the studio and start working. Since then, it’s been work, work, family, learning, putting in the work, having the knowledge that the goal is to go make it big and it’s been bliss since then. I know we’ve barely even scratched the surface. I’ve loved being a part of this family. Jonzing world for life!
Tell us the inspiration behind your latest EP, Second Wave?
I make music out of experience, so most of the songs there are about my life’s experiences.
What artists are you feeling at the moment and do you have any desire to collaborate?
I will always feel Burna boy! Recently, I was listening to Burna Boy Essentials and I realized I know all the songs and their lyrics which makes me a fan. Artistes I’d like to collaborate with are:
Koffee, Sean Paul, Burna Boy, and Kayode KK.
What makes your sound different? How do you define your sound or like it to be perceived?
My melodies are different, they always sound fresh and brand new. I want to be perceived as real because I do music based on experience so I want people to know that this happened.
Which of your songs blew your mind in terms of its success?
Dior! I wasn’t really expecting too much from it. I did it and moved on. But D’prince loves it and I’ve grown used to him always playing it. So, it was surprising to see how big it got. I was so blown away by its success and I’m super grateful for the acceptance. It’s doing massively well on Tiktok, Instagram, everywhere!
What was your highlight for 2021?
Performing at The 02! It was such a great experience and highlight of my year.
What is the lowest point of your career?
I don’t have any low points, everything has been great vibes!
Working with the likes of D’prince is a dream for many young talents, what are the biggest lessons learnt from him?
Patience is what I’ve learnt from him and to focus on the work rather than the result. When you are focused on the work, then you aren’t pressed about what the result would look like. Also, when the results start springing up, you’re able to appreciate and enjoy it properly.
If you are focused on the result while working, your work is already adulterated with what you think the result would be. You would have robbed yourself of the true experience and process of creating, and when the result or success now comes, it won’t be as wholesome as it should be. I’ve also learnt Hard work, putting in the work irrespective of what anyone is saying, just do your work.
So many bright talents in the industry, do you feel any pressure?
No pressure, I’m enjoying myself. I love that everyone’s dropping music and I jam every song from every part of Nigeria. And, since I’m dropping and people are feeling me as well, it’s exciting.
Rema recently went back to school, what are your plans towards furthering your education?
(Laughs) Well, that’s personal. I’d do it when I want to do it and you will know when it happens.
Are there no pressures from your parents concerning your education?
Honestly, I won’t call it ‘pressure’. My parents are understanding of the situation and encouraged me. In the period of seeking admission into the university, I got working, just to gain knowledge from other fields. I worked at the popular Computer Village in Lagos. I started as an apprentice at a phone repair shop before becoming an engineer after some months. I gained all that knowledge, learnt some new things, so there wasn’t any pressure whatsoever and by the third year, I met D’Prince.
What is the main reason behind your one-eye signature look?
My name is Ruger. I don’t shoot literally. I shoot musically. The way a sniper closes one eye to aim and hit their target is how I am with my music; one eye is shut so I can focus well, aim and hit right with my songs and projects.
What has stardom deprived you of?
I won’t really say deprive, maybe what stardom made difficult and that would be my Spirituality. It’s pretty difficult being a star and maintaining your spiritual life. I try to be strong, pray and stay in faith regardless.
What is your New Year’s Resolution?
To enjoy my life basically, to be present and enjoy every moment.
After Dior, what is Ruger’s next project?
Let’s watch and see. I don’t like to spill things before they come to fruition. I like surprising people so let’s just wait for what’s coming.