While watching a makeup tutorial by Cynthia Gwebu, Hameed Idowu’s hook on “Dancer” caught my attention. After some more clicking around the internet, I found his social profiles and two of his projects on SoundCloud and Tidal.
On this day, in 1960, Nigerians were enjoying their first few days of freedom since 1900. Once a British protectorate, Nigeria is a country of unapologetically African and boisterous people. They have changed art scenes of all disciplines throughout the world. In fact, you can find them everywhere in the world. As for Hameed, you can find him somewhere around the DMV if you keep a look out!
Lagos to Washington D.C.
Hameed Idowu, a Nigerian born-US based musician, moved to the US when he was 9 years old. Living in America for over thirteen years, he recalls the memories he made back home. “I learned a lot back home; it’s weird I remember so much,” the rapper says. Having moved at such a young age, Hameed went to high school and university in the American system. Even with the DC, Maryland, Virgina (DMV) area being where he resides now, Nigeria will always be his home.
Learning a new society is no small accomplishment; especially for a nine year old. “I’m able to see different vibes and cultures. I’m lucky enough to be able to blend both [Nigerian and American culture] together.” The young rapper is keen to represent himself and his country through music. His debut single, “Bad Man,” was an important moment for him as a musician.
Wazy: the point between genre and mood
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For Hameed, music is a lifestyle, and the time between conceptualizing and publishing music is the space for the curation of that lifestyle. The desire to have a voice that could be recognized was one of the reasons why he took music seriously. Singing in the house or just playing around with rap among friends was the foundation of his budding career.
The musician describes his genre of choice as “wazy”. For him, the term wazy has everything to do with whatever the listener is in the mood for. He explains that someone could be listening to Meek Mill, a favorite rapper of his, and hear Mill’s rhythm and flow in the music around them. “I just want to be free; music is music, as long as it sounds good.” He enjoys genres like jazz, hip-hop, and afrobeat to name a few. Idowu credits his ability to see the connections between all of them to the duality of his heritage.
Since his debut EP, Metanoia, Hameed has come out with the WAZYFAMILY EP. The project features Hameed artfully blending lazy hip-hop beats and rhytmic flows to the afropop sounds of his birth country.
Enjoy listening to the EP below. Images were taken at FELABRATION NYC – A Celebration of the Music & Life of Fela Kuti. All images were shot by Solwazi Afi Olusola