Brymo goes where other singers fear to tread.
Real name: Olawale Ashimi Stage name: Brymo Date of birth: May 9, 1986 State of Origin: Lagos Nationality: Nigerian Genre: Yoruba Music, Folk, Soul, Afrobeat, Pop
Perhaps the most striking thing about singer Brymo is the fact that he doesn’t conform to the expected norms in the music industry. He does his thing his own way, and this has singled him out as one of Nigeria’s most talented vocalists.
He was born and raised in Okokomaiko, Ojo, Lagos State and his father is a carpenter while his mother is an Egun petty trader. Brymo is the only child of his parents.
The singer grew up in a household that had multi-faceted faith and this made him learn to recite the entire Qur’an after his enrolment in an Islamic school.
Brymo attended Aganju Aka Primary School and later switched to Japual Primary School.
As a child, the artist was quite a handful as he was involved in several fights with other children in his neighborhood. His initial interest was football and he planned to play after his secondary education.
Brymo recorded his first song in 1999 while in secondary school, giving it the title Future. Three years later, he and his friends created a group called The Aliens.
The Aliens experienced some internal conflict and had to be disbanded in 2005. Thereafter, Brymo was inspired to make music on his own after hearing his mother sing Fuji songs.
He gained admission at Lagos State University (LASU) to study Zoology but left after his second year to pursue a career in music.
In 2007, Brymo released his first studio album Brymstone. Its lead single Shawty was dropped concurrently with its music video. According to the singer, the album sold over 2,000 copies within six months of its release.
Brymo was featured on the hit single Oleku, the lead single from Ice Prince’s debut album Everybody Loves Ice Prince. He said his inspiration for writing the hook of the track came from passion, energy, hunger, and desperation.
Though the song didn’t generate enough money, it gave Brymo the exposure he needed at the time and rapper M.I. became interested in him.
Brymo was signed to Chocolate City label in 2010 after talking to M.I. Prior to this time, he had collaborated with the rapper’s brother Jesse Jagz on the song Love You.
The Son of a Kapenta, Brymo’s second studio album, was released on November 15, 2012. It featured Jesse Jagz, Pryse, M.I., Ice Prince, and Efya. It was recorded in English and Yoruba. The song Arab was dropped as its lead single.
Brymo revealed in an interview that his second album’s title was inspired by his father’s carpentry profession and that it is a summary of his life, with each song a reflection of his energy.
He released his third studio album Merchants, Dealers & Slaves on October 20, 2013. Brymo dedicated the album’s lead single Down to his family and country.
In May 2014, Nigerian Entertainment Today reported that undergraduate students at Southern Illinois University Carbondale deconstructed the lyrics of Down as part of a case study project. The musician was invited to the school to attend the case study presentation.
The critical response to Merchants, Dealers & Slaves was mostly positive, with it being described as a “soulful masterpiece that is emotionally charged with amazing production.” Brymo was announced as an ambassador for the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
He dropped his fourth album Tabula Rasa on October 30, 2014, stating that he recorded it to move from his controversial split from Chocolate City (the label had accused him breaching his contract in 2013, leading to his exit).
Brymo’s fifth studio album Klitoris was released on May 9, 2016. It was made available for pre-order on iTunes before its release. He disclosed that the title of the album means ‘key’ in Greek language and that the album is an expression of love and the uncertainty of it.
His sixth studio album Oso (Yoruba meaning ‘Wizard’) was released on March 27, 2018. It is made up of 11 songs and was mastered at Metalworks Studios in Canada.
Yellow, Brymo’s seventh album is scheduled for release on April 1, 2020. The announcement was made by the singer on Twitter in March 2020. It will comprise 17 tracks (6 recorded in English, 5 in Nigerian Pidgin, 5 in Yoruba and 1 in Igbo).