DJ Paul’s “Mafia Radio”: Nigerian Artist Zlatan Talks Overcoming Poverty & #EndSARS
Zlatan Ibile, born Omoniyi Temidayo Raphael, is a Nigerian singer-songwriter making waves in the music industry with his upbeat, catchy music. Having started making music in 2011 upon graduating high school, Zlatan has since dropped several singles including his hits, “Am I a Yahoo Boy,” and “Bolanle,” as well as his debut album, Zanku, in 2019.
Having a pastor for a father, Zlatan’s musical leanings began with him playing the drums in church growing up. He told DJ Paul, “My dad is a pastor and I played drums in church, so I already had an idea about beats and being on key and all of that.” Zlatan goes on to talk about how he began making music when he had just two shirts to his name, illuminating his inspiring rags-to-riches story, which he often touches on in his songs.
The industry newcomer has already racked up some impressive collaborations, including one with Burna Boy earlier this year on their track, “Killin Dem,” and a handful with DaVido, such as “Sweet in the Middle,” and “Bum Bum.”
The pair go on to discuss the #EndSARS movement going on in Nigeria, in which citizens are protesting the country’s Anti-Robbery Squad, a branch of the police that uses its power to torment citizens and do little else. Zlatan says of them, “They don’t focus on robbers, that’s why people are protesting, they’re supposed to focus on robbers, but instead, they focus on young boys looking fresh.” Initially having been formed to protect the public from robberies, SARS are often the ones conducting robberies themselves, prompting citizens to call on the government to abolish the police force.
To hear more from Zlatan and DJ Paul, watch the full episode above; to check out last week’s Mafia Radio episode on ghostwriting featuring Academy-Award-winning songwriter and singer Eric Bellinger, click here.