There is a popular saying “no place like home” and this is the reality of Abdul-Azeez Dabiri a Nigerian/UK artist formally based in the UK. With an alluring musical career of 10 years, 8syn has explored different genres and as sound evolves, he has moved along while maintaining his originality. Just as a writer finds fulfillment in covering stories, 8syn derives his fulfillment in reinventing his style. He understands that music goes beyond combining lyrics and beats but feeling the pulse of his audience which he has kept active for the past 10 years of his career.
Amongst many hits, “GANGSTA” where he was featured by Darkoo in 2019 remains on the lips of so many including MoreBranches’s playlist. The Afro swing, Hip-hop track captured the hearts of many especially with 8syn FKA One Acen’s verse. Familiar with the Afro Swing, Grime genre where he started with the likes of Skepta, 8syn has no doubt experienced different seasons of music.
After a successful run in the UK, he returns to Nigeria to delve into the infectious genre of Afrobeats with the sole aim to get closer to his roots and a step to embracing the melodies and storytelling of Afrobeats is a step further to actualizing this goal.
With our conversation based on exploring new sounds, he tells us his reasons why he has always chosen music and most importantly, we learnt the importance of embracing changes.
Let’s us know more about you
My name is 8SYN, formerly known as One Acen. I’m a UK/Nigerian artist who is currently making Afrobeats/ Afro swing music.
How did you start your music journey?
My music journey started quite a while ago. I used to do Grime Music in London with the likes of Skepta, JME etc. That was our vibe in London. So I started doing Grime, I got my own studio, I started recording for people and helping other people record and mix their songs. And that’s kind of how I got into being more creative with making music. I ended up changing my style from Grime to rap kind of music then it turned into melody and that’s how I got here at the end.
How has your music growth evolved since your 10 years experience in the industry?
I guess it kind of just got more melodic because like I said, I was already doing melodies/ freestyles on raps, and over time, it just got more melodic and I guess slower as well. Slower and just more vibey instead of rap and trap; so it kind of just got more chill and memorable.
“Even when it wasn’t a career, I would have a job and then I would quit my job to make more music”-8SYN
Doing music for 10 years , what has been your drive?
To be honest, I just don’t really see myself doing anything else. That’s the main thing. Even when it wasn’t a career, I would have a job and then I would quit my job to make more music and then I’ll get another job but end up quitting the job again; so it’s something I keep going back to. I love creating music, making videos and anything to do with the creation of music. It’s just what interests me the most.
How do you try to involve your audience outside the UK demography in your music?
Honestly, I feel like there’s a group of people that have followed me over my different styles because even on my Instagram now, there will be one or two people that still remember like a mixtape that I put out in 2014 or 2016. So I feel I just naturally evolved and whoever followed, followed and some people may have liked me to go back to my old style but most people I think they’re just happy that I keep putting out music and I keep evolving and I keep getting better.
On your IG post, you said it’s time to redefine your creative path, what did you mean?
I wanted to change my name, my name was One Acen but now I’m changing it to just 8SYN (eight s y n) and that kind of signifies me jumping fully into Afrobeats because for the last couple years, I was doing what people in the UK called Afro swing; is kind of like Afro beats, but it’s kind of got a London feel to it. It’s just a natural progression for me, I like the idea of evolving and if you listen to a song from me from five years ago, it sounds like nothing that I’m doing now. So I just feel often you have to just reinvent yourself, to be honest.
As an individual and as an artist, what are some things you are grateful for?
My achievements. I’m grateful for everything I have achieved in London. I’m grateful for all the experiences I got to experience whether they were good or bad because you learn from them and you get better at things. Just being able to reinvent myself, there are endless possibilities. So I’m always looking forward to what could be next.
Going back to your 10 years experience, what has been your favorite track/ some of your favorite and why?
I was actually listening to all my songs this morning but I would definitely say VICE VERSA from one of my mixtapes. BELONG with crayon; that’s one of my favorite songs. I just got so many so it’s hard to even remember. R U TIRED? with JME & Merky ACE. There’s a long list, maybe 10 or 20.
What are you currently working on?
Well, I didn’t know until this morning but as I was going through the tracks that I have been recording the last six months. I literally just decided that I want to do another project for next year. So I guess I’m working on a project now because I have got quite a few songs that I feel like are good enough to put together. I always want to make projects, not just singles because when it’s an EP or album, it’s easier to tell your audience the full story. Basically, some songs sound better with other songs so I’m working on a project.