Sadiq Onifade is an American-Nigerian singer and songwriter professionally known as WurlD. He is currently in 254 to promote his latest single Contagious and talks to Alfayo Onyango about his music journey
Your new single Contagious is out. How did the whole idea of the song come about?
I was born in Lagos, Nigeria where I was exposed to Afro, fuji, juju music and then I moved to Atlanta, in the United States and I would do a lot of fusions be it soul, RnB or pop music so as to relive my childhood. I linked up with my producer Shizzy whom I work with closely and we created this fuji pop song. The conversation in the song is about my awareness on happenings in the world. The song also reminds people that energy is contagious.
What is your process when creating a song?
Different songs are created differently. Some songs are faster than others while some are melodic than others. Contagious for example, I had the melody and the lyrics to the chorus, met up with Shizzy, he understood the idea and worked on it for about three to four months.
In that period I had gone hiking and when I heard the song again, I knew the direction I wanted it to go. There is no right way of making music. Just do what feels right and go with the wave all the way till it feels good.
You have a very interesting aesthetics. Where do you get the style from ?
It’s all about being a lover and a student of art. The rest is just being true to myself and being unique. Doing what feels right. My favourite colour is blue and I decided to dye my hair two years back, it’s fun like that.
You remind me of Frank Ocean and Usher with the vocals , who are some of your best vocalists growing up?
It’s a wide range but of course Michael Jackson was amazing and then Boyz 2 Men when I was growing up, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Coldplay, Bon Jovi and Kanye West hands down but despite a lot of people having an influence on me I still manage to find my own voice.
You are an amazing song writer. What are your thoughts on ghost writing in music?
Songwriting is such a huge part of the song in America a lot of money is invested just to make sure the conversation is right. I feel like lyrics is the next step to taking African music to platforms like the Grammys. We already have the rhythm but if we put the right words to the music, we can have more impactful music, better structure and our songs would be a notch higher.
Your videos have the Africanesque features despite your huge connection to Atlanta. What about Africa and Lagos do you want the world to know about?
Being African doesn’t mean you are just supposed to entertain Africans right? We have to evolve and expand. I appreciate the idea of someone tracing something to find out that its origin is from here.
People have to know there is note to music in Africa, there’s food, fashion, art, business. The world is watching us now and my goal is for my art to contemporarily and fearlessly show our beauty in the most refined way.
What would you like to be remembered by?
A giver. A lover. An uplifter. I want to be remembered as that person that would bring people together to do something positive for the community. Tell us about your favourite performers Michael Jackson, Usher and Coldplay.
What are some of the crazy misconceptions you hear about Africa?
That Africans control their women. What artistes would you like to collaborate with?h? Anybody doing anything unique, but I have got a soft spot for any traditional African acts.
Give us five underrated albums in your opinion
The Invisible Album – Michael Jackson, Donell Jones- Where I Wanna Be , Coldplay – Viva La Vida, Kanye West – yeezus and my beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy .