Led by Dolapo Amusat WeTalkSound Are Making A Run For Greatness

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“No man is an island,” so the saying goes. And more so in the creative industry where its practitioners must work together to bring down generational barriers, and, if they’re lucky, have fun doing that. WeTalkSound, for all its relevance to the populist ideal of collaboration, holds fun in equal regard. That has been the unique mark of this collective. 

Dolapo Amusat, 24, is the founder of WeTalkSound, a collective started to support the passion of creatives, provide them with a forum to get feedback and generally, help navigate the music business. While music has become the defining venture of WeTalkSound, the collective boasts the membership of varied professionals in media. Graphic designers, producers, OAPs, journalists – you name it.

WeTalkSound started in Ibadan, in 2016, when Dolapo, who’d since held a day job in the tech sector, was in his final year as an undergraduate at the University of Ibadan (UI). The idea to form a music-inclined supergroup took root and he would make the first move by creating a WhatsApp group. “People started sharing the group, asking to added and so on,” he told me over the phone. “It really just grew organically.” 

The stuff of humble beginnings, the currency with which they negotiated their rise has been their passion for music, and even fiercer passion to make it here, so to say. WeTalkSound has grown in number since them WhatsApp days. At the moment, it boasts over a thousand members on its Telegram group (the WTS forum for sharing ideas and music), making it the biggest Nigerian music collective. 

WeTalkSound
Dolapo Amusat, WeTalkSound founder

The Geeky Midget (TGM), Dolapo’s otherwise known name, is a reference to his body build and of course, his career tendencies. Going off that, he ensures data–as a well-utilized tool in making music and pushing it–remains a grounded vision of WTS.

More than just making music, the world, a beast fueled by consumerism, requires extra dedication and deliberation from anyone with something to sell. “He is very resilient; once he has his mind set up on something he pursues relentlessly,” Vader the Wildcard, a rapper in the WTS fold, who has known Dolapo from when they were both UI undergrads, said. 

In no way an easy task for Dolapo, leading WeTalkSound has been an exciting experience. On the phone, in the initial stages of our conversation, as we danced through formal niceties, he sounded tired, but when we’d settle into the work at WTS, he was (noticeably) animated, and I could picture him, many miles away, gesticulating, as if to weave a basket from nothing. But when idealism meets the unmistakable pragmatism of Dolapo, greatness isn’t far away. 

LOFN3: A Collection of Love Stories

For the past three years, WTS has put out an album, with contributions from their members worldwide. Its third instalment – LOFN3: A Collection of Love Stories – was released on February 14th, and it has gone on to do incredible numbers. Still doing great. 

A year prior to LOFN3, WeTalkSound had put its sophomore project, a 16-track affair which, although rated highly, got WTS even more believers as the collective donated proceeds from the album to charity. Eleven months later, LOFN 3 would be released.

Thirty songs were received for the project and while some good records didn’t make the final cut, there’s no questioning the quality of those which did, beautiful music made by young artists in the tens who had their names mentioned more proudly (and definitely loudly) after LOFN3 dropped. 

WeTalkSound’s rise in profile has been well-documented. Native Mag ran a feature on the collective in March, the writer asserting that “they’re a phenomenon that will go whatever distance and heights they set for themselves.” 

Going by LOFN3, those are sure lofty heights. The project is ambitious, and each artist and producer fleshes out the reality of every scene beautifully. From the opener, Shakez’s “Long Distance”, to Dwin the Stoic’s “Juju”, the project is a curious look into the complexity of relationships,  honesty being the third eye by which all is revealed. 

So, what’s next? 

Considering the WeTalkSound community work remotely with music as a passionate–rather than professional–indulgence, their impact on the music scene, in a little over three years, is even worthy of greater accolades. 

“To be honest, most of the funding we provide them in-house by ourselves,” said Dolapo Amusat, when I asked of how WTS manages to be consistent with their projects, in an industry where money is almost as important as the quality of a product. 

He goes on to explain they although have some brand sponsors, revenue is usually generated from the WTXtra, a creative arm of the collective. Sold as a “data-driven agency providing creative and tech services to your favorite brands”, WTXtra has had a notable resumé of clients, from riding app Bolt to Lagos-based rap duo Show Dem Camp. 

WeTalkSound
Dolapo Amusat and Vader the Wildcard performing

WeTalkSound continues to talk sound. “Right Back”, their latest posse cut, has inspired a slew of covers through an open-for-all challenge. The Inglorious M.O.B has delivered one of my favorite projects of the year. Two years after winning the Hennessey VS Class, Vader the Wildcard is intent on putting out his debut album.

Shakez was featured on MTV Base’s cypher alongside some of the brightest prospects in Nigerian Hip Hop. Dwin the Stoic continues to cut his teeth in the alternative market, both as a solo act and as part of the trio that makes up the Ignis Brothers. Meji’s ‘The One’ EP is set to be released soon, and MI Abaga is waiting to listen. There are many names to mention, but a look at all the tracklists of the LOFN series will have you with just enough talent to have you send me money.   

Planning, as always, plays an important part in navigating today’s music scene. For some, the trajectory is to make music, stir the timeline and charts, get a cosign, get signed. For others, the plan isn’t so clear cut. Of course, there’s no black and white – one needs to understand the nuances; like fostering a community.  WeTalkSound does, and with greatness in sight, they’re making a run for it. May they succeed. 

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