Feature Fridays: Yinka Oyewole

Today, I would like to formally introduce you to singer/song-writer Yinka. You've seen him mentioned on this blog twice already, and now you get to learn more about this talent!  I first met Yinka at Williamsburg Fashion Weekend by chance, when I was invited backstage to meet models, designers, and performers. I asked to take a photo of him right after he performed, we clicked, and have kept in touch ever since.  I went to his performance at Nicholas Brooklyn a few weeks ago, and it was stellar.  His songs have impact.  They are psychedelic, soulful, and raw. It is my pleasure to present to you, Yinka.

Tell us about yourself!
Hi I'm Yinka Oyewole. I'm British/Nigerian musician - who sings and plays guitar and I'm currently in Brooklyn, New York making music and generally making a nuisance of myself! :)

How did you get into music? Who are your influences?

Well there was a lot of music playing in my household growing up. From hearing Hi-life in the kitchen on a Sunday - through my dad (my parents are Nigerian), to being exposed to music through friends, radio, tv, online - everything. I don't discriminate when it comes to music. I like a lot of styles- rock to hip-hop - If I feel it, I feel it

What are you inspired by?
Life, music, new experiences, places and people!
You're in New York for a while promoting yourself and your sound. I love your song "Sometimes These South London Streets Remind Me Brooklyn". What are some of the similarities you've seen? Be honest....which place is cooler?
Ha ha! Great question. I was in Crown Heights in the summer and it's a lot like Elephant and Castle - lots of Caribbean people, people of African descent, a lot of the same music. Similar attitudes. A lot of it is the vibe. Which is cooler? Well I can't make that choice! Someone's gonna get mad! OK - let's say what ever city you're in at the time is cooler for you! But they are both cool! Lol... 

How does your cultural identity manifest itself in your work?
It manifests itself through everything I do. My music - I think cuts across genres, it defies them because culturally I'm a mix - my parents are Nigerians - directly form Africa - I have a load of relatives there, I was raised in London and other parts of England and Scotland, I've been coming back and forth to US for a while and was raised on a lot of American music - so it all goes in. But also at a fundamental level, I definitely hear it in an "African" way - not really Western. So like if I program beats or play with drummers, my music tends to start BEFORE the beat - and it's also very syncopated - it's just who I am!

Your song "Know My Name" is spectacular. Tell us why we should know your name, Yinka.
Thank you Naika! I appreciate that! Because I'm bringing a vibe of self-expression and individuality that says you can be yourself and it's high time for that! This song is about YOU the listener letting people know YOUR name too!

My readers are interested in maintaining balance through the arts, culture, and holistic healing. How do you maintain balance Yinka?
Well i think that like your readers - music, art, etc. are some of the things that keeps me balanced! It's funny - and this is constant - if I haven't played guitar or sang for a few days or if I haven't listened to music for a day (which RARELY happens) I feel off. And then when I do play or listen, I feel myself again but playing especially does this for me and I release that I need to create and express to maintain an equilibrium. I also like to read, watch movies - even go to a gallery from time to time, eat healthily - it all helps. I also like to party a little - and in order to do that you gotta take care of yourself in the other ways I mentioned!

How can we contact you and stay up to date with your work?
The BEST place to check for my new material, gigs, etc. is to Like and to follow me on twitter @MrYinkaOyewole - these are the ONLY places you will get EXCLUSIVE tracks and info FIRST! So hit me up over there. Tweet me, Leave a comment, you know the drill! :)

You can also check

Anything else you want to tell us?
I've got a show coming up on Fri April 6 at The Shrine, Harlem. It's a very special place for me to perform and I am going to make it an extra special night - so people should come to that because I'm gonna be playing lots of new stuff, lots of classics and it's gonna be FANTASTIC!! :)

Check out this video- Revlation (Sabatta):

Here are some more!
(Sometimes These South London Streets Remind Me Of) Brooklyn 
Williamsburg Fashion Weekend Feb 2012
Know My Name (Live in Crown Heights)

Thanks Yinka!

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Stay Engaged,
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  1. I had the pleasure of drumming with Yinka in Sabatta a few years back. He was a hard driver, full of tough love, but a great musician to work with and I learned a lot from him! Until I got shunted back to S. Africa by the poms. Good to see he's doing so well in the music scene!

    1. Hi! Thanks for your comment Justin. That's cool that you drummed with him. Hope you're doing well in South Africa. SA is truly one of my favorite places on Earth. N

  2. Hi Naika! Love your blog! I just checked out his music and he rocks :)

    1. HI! Thanks for the compliment! I'm so glad you enjoy the blog and Yinka's music. N