Ayola Music

By Taiwo Okanlawon

Canada based Afro-soul singer and songwriter, Abdullah Abubakre popularly known as Ayola is now a member of Soul City Music Co-op, an artist-owned music label based in Windsor, Ontario.

Soul City Music Co-op was launched January 1st, 2020 by Michael Hargreaves to connect and empower a community of hardworking songwriter-entrepreneurs in Windsor, Ontario.

​Unlike a traditional music label, Soul City Music Co-op owns no percentage of it’s associated artists and exists solely as a vehicle for each individual artist’s growth and success.

Welcoming the new artist to the label, in a press statement posted on their social media page, the label shared a picture of Ayola with a detailed caption of his profile.

Cinematic, genuine, and bold – Ayola effortlessly blends his Nigerian roots with a Western pop sensibility, traversing genres to create powerful and immaculately-produced recordings. From folk, to R&B, to string-laden ballads and soul, Ayola’s catalogue of singles is small but mighty, with deep emotional wisdom in his lyrical storytelling and frank approach to modern relationships.

Born in Osun State and raised in Kwara State, Ayola grew up singing at home, competing with his mother over who had the better voice, and listening to the nostalgic Afro-juju songs of King Sunny Ade on road trips with his father. “I think that kinda taught me what good music sounded like,” reflects Ayola.

One of ten children in his family, his education was his primary focus in his young adult years, eventually leading him to London, UK for his first master’s degree at UCL. It was there that his long-held love for music finally bubbled to the surface – singing with his bassist flatmate and being around music created a deeper need to write his own songs and discover what makes a good song, spending hours deconstructing hits from Coldplay, Passenger, and Fun!. The encouragement of local musicians led to his first record deal, which he turned down in order to focus on his studies. “I was always scared of not meeting the standards I’d set for myself in my head.”

READ ALSO  New Music: Ayola drops visualizer for '1974'

Ayola moved to Windsor in 2016 for his second master’s degree at the University of Windsor. Relaxing the pace of his non-stop education, Ayola finally had time to explore his love for music again, taking the plunge and recording his first three singles – the deeply sensual R&B jam “Akoto”, the uptempo Afropop song “Bola“, and the cinematic folk soul ballad “1974” – experimenting with new creative territory in English and Yoruba.

Ayola continues to explore the intersection of beloved genres in his authentic Naija voice and effortlessly melodic style, with a new five-song EP entitled “Scum” to be released on October 30, 2020.

View this post on Instagram

Welcome our newest artist, Ayola! (@ayolamusic) Cinematic, genuine, and bold – Afrosoul singer-songwriter Ayola effortlessly blends his Nigerian roots with a Western pop sensibility, traversing genres to create powerful and immaculately-produced recordings. From folk, to R&B, to string-laden ballads and soul, Ayola's catalogue of singles is small but mighty, with a deep emotional wisdom in his lyrical storytelling and frank approach to modern relationships. Born in Osun State and raised in Kwara State, Ayola grew up singing at home, competing with his mother over who had the better voice, and listening to the nostalgic Afro-juju songs of King Sunny Ade on road trips with his father. “I think that kinda taught me what good music sounded like,” reflects Ayola. One of ten children in his family, his education was his primary focus in his young adult years, eventually leading him to London, UK for his first masters degree at UCL. It was there that his long-held love for music finally bubbled to the surface – singing with his bassist flatmate and being around music created a deeper need to write his own songs and discover what makes a good song, spending hours deconstructing hits from Coldplay, Passenger, and Fun!. The encouragement of local musicians led to his first record deal, which he turned down in order to focus on his studies. “I was always scared of not meeting the standards I'd set for myself in my head.” Ayola moved to Windsor in 2016 for his second masters degree at the University of Windsor. Relaxing the pace of his non-stop education, Ayola finally had time to explore his love for music again, taking the plunge and recording his first three singles – the deeply sensual R&B jam "Akoto", the uptempo Afropop song "Bola", and the cinematic folk soul ballad "1974" – experimenting with new creative territory in English and Yoruba. Ayola continues to explore the intersection of beloved genres in his authentic Naija voice and effortlessly melodic style, with a new five-song EP entitled “Scum” to be released on October 23, 2020. www.ayolamusic.com

A post shared by Soul City Music Co-op (@soulcitymusiccoop) on

Reacting to the news, Ayola said the opportunity is coming at the right time as he has always liked to be in a music community.

“I feel super blessed and excited for the opportunity, really, I have always liked to be in a music community, and this not only gives me that opportunity, but it will also offer my artistic journey a better direction.

“Besides, having someone believe in you itself is another boost to one’s creative direction, and I am excited on what’s to come with Soul City Music Coop,” he added.

You can visit Ayola’s website to get more details about is upcoming Scum EP.