You may be familiar with Olanrewaju Ogunmefun a.k.a Vector Tha Viper as the rapper famous for his hit single, ‘King Kong’, but he has way more up his sleeves, including a surprising debut as “Vector Tha Actor” in the summer release, Lara and the Beat. We caught up with the performer to discuss his music, his movie debut, and much more. –Racheal Abiriba
Despite a degree in Philosophy, you pursued a career in Music. How did your parents react to you taking on a non-traditional profession?
My parents always knew I was a creative person. It also helped a lot because they loved music and to be honest I’ve always been lucky when it comes to my music. For instance, my first record deal was in the UK, so it has always been an interesting observation for them. I’ve always loved music from the start. My energy has always been around music so naturally, I followed my energy.
How much did starting as a high school student in the early 90s contribute to your passion for music?
That era was all about the raw passion for music. You just had to have passion for the music or [just not do] it all.
You recently starred in your first movie, ‘Lara and the Beat’. How did that come about?
Well I was contacted and asked if I would like to feature in a movie that is music inspired. It also involved making original music for the soundtrack. I liked the idea and decided to give it a shot. The crew was awesome and the planning was great. The script was different and fresh, it isn’t the typical stuff you see everyday.
Did you know you had a talent for acting?
Funny but I never knew I had talent for acting, I just gave it a shot because I liked that the movie was music related. Now I know I have to take acting classes though (laughs)
In the movie, ‘Lara and the Beat’, your character, Mr. Beats, helps an upcoming artiste in realising her dreams. Is that character in anyway a reflection of people within the entertainment industry?
It is very realistic in the industry. For instance, in my case, I had lots of people and amongst them are TuFace and Timaya who gave me a spot to shine with them. I’ve equally done the same to a number of upcoming acts. It’s a law that is meant to happen but I also understand that it mustn’t happen with everybody. You’d be amazed how often it happens than no.
How have your fans reacted to seeing ‘Vector tha Actor’?
They were surprised. To a larger extent they didn’t expect it to be that great. Mostly they thought it was the usual Vector they were used to seeing. They hadn’t seen this version of the shy Vector and the lover boy. It’s a new turf for them but they are loving it.
Are there plans for you to star in more movies in the future?
I believe so. I plan on making my own movie in the future because I’m good at writing too.
What inspires your music?
My life, every day. All my daily encounters are inspiration enough. I get inspired by anybody who had a struggle that they came out of and that’s practically everybody because this is Nigeria and every day is a struggle.
How do you feel as a rapper in an industry that seems to ‘favour’ more singers than rappers?
I have absolutely nothing to worry about. Social media is a huge part of your professional and personal brand.
What effect has it had on your career and your relationship with your fans?
Social media is a platform where you can get to meet your fans one on one and get to know the feedback they have about you and your brand (music). It’s a great thing to gather people who love you in one space and then harness the ambience of that energy, but then I try not to get carried away, I always find a balance.
Being in the public eye, how do you deal with criticism about your music?
A man shouldn’t base his life around criticism. Constructive criticism [is] different. You will always know people who are genuinely concerned and people who are just being difficult.
What are some of the key lessons you’ve learnt so far?
Everything is vanity, do your best whilst you can.
Should we be expecting something exciting from you soon?
There’s always something exciting from me! (Laughs). I’m supposed to have given a date for my album release but the delay is due to the extra efforts being put in place, so yes something definitely exciting soon.
This is interview was first published in Genevieve Magazine September Issue, Download Digital Copy