When I heard Zlatan was on his way to our office for an interview, I was immediately filled with joy and curiousity because I have been dying to know who exactly Temidayo Omonire popularly known as Zlatan Ibile, is. I always had this feeling that Zlatan was street (please don’t judge me), but I was actually shocked to see just how modest and cool Zlatan was.
Smiling all through the interview, Zlatan talked about growing up in a Christian home, wanting to be a footballer and being grateful to God and his fans for helping him reach these heights.
He was quick to humble himself before God by saying all his achievements are from above.
“GOD CAN CALL ANYONE, DON’T BE SURPRISED IF I OWN A CHURCH LATER ON”
It’s been a long and graceful ride for Zlatan Ibile in the music industry and the hard-core rapper is certain of better things in times to come.
“Zlatan Ibile,” How did you come about this name?
Zlatan means “Gold” in Swedish. I wanted to be a footballer and had a lot of jerseys in secondary school with Zlatan printed on them so it just stuck and Ibile was added to it by my mates then.
Can you please pronounce your nickname and tell us the meaning?
“Kapaichumarimarichopaco”. It is a spiritual language and can mean whatever you want it to mean.
How did you start music?
I started in 2012. Failed maths in WAEC in 2011 so had to stay home for one year so I started going to the studio with some friends and that was how I got influenced.
What motivated you to pursue music?
It was an uncle in church then who used to be choirmaster. I saw him on TV one day, approached him and that was how I started. I basically thought “if he could do it, So could I”.
How did you feel about changing your dream of playing football to doing music?
I don’t regret it because music is good to me. It’s hard to become a footballer in Nigeria, so many have tried and it didn’t end well for them.
Does your family support your choice to do music?
They didn’t at first as both my parents are Redeem pastors. Then in my first year in school, I won an Airtel competition which got me a brand new car. It was like a dream come true. My parents couldn’t believe it, but that was when they decided to let me be.
How did you meet Olamide?
*Laughs* I did a song then with the ‘Shakiti Bobo’ dance back in school, then olamide’s shakiti bobo came out a year later. So as not to create a problem on social media cos people were already asking questions, I did something with Olamide’s shakiti bobo. I guess he saw the dance step somewhere like I did and that was when he reached out to me. Last year he called me to travel with him and that was when we did “My Body”.
Are you really signed to DMW?
No, I am signed to coded records entertainment. David is a friend, he is a helper. He is family.
Can you tell us first-hand what the controversy with Segun Money and his family was all about?
To be brief, I met him on the street, tried to take him off but his family tried to spoil my brand. I took the matter to the law, we even tried to invite his mom for a discussion and they became violent. I never took him away from his mom. I officially have nothing to do with Segun Money anymore.
How do you feel about people knowing your name and songs but not your face?
I don’t feel bad, I came from nothing. I get up to 25,000 likes on Instagram and more people know my face. So I’m fine with that. With time it will change
Does rapping in Yoruba come easy to you or did you learn with time?
It comes easy to me as interviewing me comes easy to you. It is part of me.
How would you describe your kind of music?
I like passing messages especially to the young and hopeless. I rap with what I see.
Don’t you think rapping in Yoruba reduces your fan base?
I mix Yoruba with a little bit of English and pidgin and I know my people will be my people. You can’t have everyone.
Would you say between when you started music in 2012 and now, you’ve made remarkable progress?
Quite well. I know a lot of people that started before me and are not here yet. If I say I haven’t achieved, I will be an ingrate. I never thought I’d be where I am.
Who is Zlatan outside music?
Zlatan is a football lover and a cool guy who never allows fame get into his head. I am also a people lover and God lover
Are you involved in other things apart from music?
Nah, not really. Right now I’m all into my music and education.
What do you think makes your music sell?
I pack whatever is in vogue into my song because people would be able to relate with it. And I appreciate my fans a lot.
Do you target a particular fan base?
Not everyone can support you but I do it for everyone, no specific target.
Is your hairdo like your signature style?
Yeah, everyone likes it especially the girls. I do not intend to change it.
Is there a special girl?
That would be my mom
Where do you see yourself in two years?
I don’t really know but I’ll be great beyond my expectation because I work hard.
How religious are you?
Ahh, I’m a Christian, a church boy sef
Is your style of music complained about in church?
Oh, not at all. No one condemns in my church.
Do you really think the Holy Spirit will call you sometime?
You never know, anyone can be called. Don’t be surprised if I own a church later on.
Do you have a plan B? If not music, what else?
If I had the chance, it would be football.
If you were given 50 billion Naira, would you stop doing music?
I fit pause music oh… *laughs*
Who do you look up to in the industry?
I look up to anyone who is doing better than me, the likes of Davido, Olamide, Wizkid, Vector, Reminisce.
Who would you give anything to collaborate with?
That would be the person that I featured on my soon-to-be-released single; Davido
What would you like to say to your fans?
I want to appreciate everyone supporting my brand. Through all the controversies, God and my fans have been there so I’m grateful and I won’t let you down.
What do you think of the sex in Big Brother?
They are enjoying themselves, God be with them. They have their lives to live and I have mine.
All in all, Zlatan’s modesty and humility are some of the things that I now love about him (asides his great music of course)! Watch the video above to see Zlatan in his element as well as him divulging other amazing secrets that were too juicy to be typed. *tongue out*