OD WOODS: ‘I Prayed, Fasted for God to Give Me Hit Songs’


Foremost record label, Aeroplay Music and Entertainment signee, OD Woods, has had many hit songs, including, “Go Below”, but very few people know the artiste. After being away for a few years, he is back with another song, “I’m Ready”. The video of the song is making waves on television at the moment. In this chat with Senior Correspondent, Hazeez Balogun, he speaks about how he rose to fame and his travails in the industry.

How did you come by the name OD Woods?

OD is from my tribal name Oduen. Because my friends could not say Oduen properly, they started calling me OD for short. Woods is the meaning of my surname in English. My surname is Ikon and it means wood in English. I am from Benue State and I studied in Jos, Plateau State, where I went to the National Film Institute. I came to Lagos after school to pursue a career in the movies and music. I have done a couple of movies and short films. I also worked as a presenter on Soundcity.

It took a while before you decided to pursue music.

Well, I got attention when I released “Go Below” a few years back. It was a song I did for Sheezy that also produced Davido. It took me some time to understand how things work in Lagos, especially on the music scene. Since I did not really understand the market here, I decided to continue my work as a TV presenter. But one day, Sheezy came up to me and asked why I decided to drop my work as a musician.

He encouraged me to show him some of my songs. I played a couple of songs that had I written and he was very excited at the “Go Below” song. We did not even have a studio then, we did most of the work on a laptop; and then we went to the studio, which we did not have money for. We had to be cautious of time at the studio. When the studio time ended, we had not finished the song and we had to go and look for money and go back another day to finish the song. We did not give up till we finished. When the song finally came out, I was surprised at the kind of love it got.

Your first try and you had a hit song; it must have come as a surprise.

I believe that it is better for an artiste to pray for God to give them the right song than to dish out any song. When I was working on the song, I did not have any money, like I told you earlier, so I focused on God to help me with the song. I knew there was no trial and error. I called my mother to also pray and fast so that the song would be a hit. Even when the song came out, I did not have money for promotion, I had to do all the leg work myself. Many people knew me as a presenter and a producer and did not know I could sing. So when I go out to promote my song, they said, ‘Aha, you sef dey sing?’ They did not take me seriously. Even when they heard the song, they still did not believe I was the one that sang it.

But I thank God that I have some people that had my back. People like DJ Jimmy Jatt would not only play my song, but also sent it to other DJs. Radio stations that I was scared to go to, I found out they were already playing the song. I mean, I did not even give them my CD, I don’t know how they got it. I believe God really had a hand in it.

After “Go Below,” there was a gap in your career, what really happened?

I started adjusting to a lot of things. I had a lot of problems that held me back. There were also some family issues I had to attend to, so I was practically out of Lagos for a long time. When I came back, I found out that the song went far but the artiste behind it did not go far with it. What I mean is that people knew the song but did not know the artiste. People in the industry knew it was me, but the average fan out there just played the music and did not know who sang it. It was when I saw this gap that I decided to do something about it. I opted for a remix of the song. Sheezy was back on the song with me, and I worked with Davido and Vector, who are my good friends as well. I dropped it last year and it returned me to the limelight.

You deviated a bit from your style of music with your new release, “I’m Ready”. It sounds more like a wedding song.

The thing is that I love showing the fact that I am versatile and can do different stuff. I don’t like being seen as an artiste that is one-directional. I feel like, if I keep doing one style people might get bored with it. Pheelz, the producer, brought up the idea, and said we should try and do something different. There was a guitarist in the studio at the time, and before you knew it, they started cooking the beats. Little by little, we started building the song. It was a spontaneous song. It was not something I had written down. That is one thing about creative minds, when we connect with a beat the melody comes naturally, the lyrics just flow. That was how we came about “I’m ready”.

When is the album coming out?

Dropping an album is not a problem. I happen to be under a very good label at the moment, Areoplay is the name; they have been doing good works. They have an ultra-modern studio where I have been recording. If I want to record an album today, the studio is there and the songs are there. In fact, I have recorded a lot of songs already. When we are ready to drop the album, the issue will be, which songs would we be leaving out? The issue now is building the followership for me and my style of music.

Tell us about your deal with Aeroplay.

The label has been doing very great for my brand. I can’t tell you in detail what my deal with them is, but I am happy with the relationship we have at the moment. They understand the music business, and how to promote me.

What is the next step for OD Woods?

I don’t want to lose what I have with the fans at the moment. So I will keep on giving them good music. I have shot a video for “I’m Ready”. I will be releasing other singles as well. We’ll do everything to keep the fans happy.

Source: All Africa

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