She’s one of the very first set of Nigeria’s female rapper, most especially in the gospel genre. That’s Bukola Afolayan a.k.a Bouiqi, a talented daughter of a University Professor who prides herself as a Christian Rapper. The stylish musician who has been out of the circulation for quite a while told Faith Irabor the reason for her absence and also spoke on some of her ideals and principles of God. In the same interview, she informed her fans to watch out for her next album, a 20-tracker which her management is still struggling to sort out.
Hello Bukky how come it’s been a while since we heard of you?
Yeah, I went on my world tour and just got back.
Interesting, can you tell us about it?
Yeah, I did fifteen states in America, thirty two cities in Europe and five states in Canada and I must confess it was a pretty hectic time for me but I am back now and as a matter of fact I just finished recording my third Album.
What about it?
Oh well, it’s going to be titled the Marks of a General and we have twenty tracks though we are trying to see if we can drop fourteen, we are like where do we put the remaining six and we are thinking of doing a double CD so we are basically just trying to sort things out. We are also planning an album release party to that effect.
And when is that going to be?
Well, I can’t tell you for now but we are definitely going to do it before the end of the year.
What about the speculation that you’ve relocated?
(Laughs) ah! To where? No way except if it’s by marriage of which I don’t see that happening yet.
Because anything can happen tomorrow and then you’d say oh but she said this or that, so I just leave things for God to do but basically we are working on my next album for now.
But are you in a relationship and when do you intend settling down?
Let’s just say I will be settling down when God says the time is right.
What church do you attend?
I attend Day Star Christian Centre.
Can you quickly let us into your educational background?
Yeah, I and the rest of my siblings all went to school in Ife even my father was a Professor in Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife. I went to Ife Staff Primary School, Moremi secondary also in OAU, School of Science all in OAU because of my father but I decided to take it farther. I did Broadcasting at the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) training school here in Lagos as well as an online course so I am a certified Broadcaster.
When did you discover your talent in music?
I would say music discovered me.
Well, I was born into a musical family, my father was an organist in his church as a youth and my mum too was a singer so by defaults, we were born into a musical family.
Well, my brother was a rapper and I remember I was twelve years old then. I saw him rapping at a concert and I was like “this is so awesome!” So I wrote my first rap at age 12 and went to his room to tell him and he was like abeg abeg(laughs). He said it was whack and I said to myself that I was going to show him that I could rap but you see, determination over time turned into something that I like with his help and so here we are.
So will you say your choice of music contributed to your tomboyish nature, from your dressing to the way you talk and even your look?
(Laughs) I honestly don’t know o, maybe it’s my default setting.
What about your hair which is more like your trademark how did you come about it?
I think it’s just consistency. Funnily it was my stylist Bobby’s Signature that created it years back and we’ve been able to maintain the look over time.
What do you do to stay in shape because you rarely gain weight?
Thanks, my weight actually fluctuates, I add and I lose but I try not to eat too late even though I break it sometimes and I don’t really eat the things that would make me grow fatter than I am, like fatty foods and above all I work out.
Don’t you feel threatened by the new female faces who seem to be taking over the industry compared to when you just started that we had very few of you?
I am still who I am and I will remain who I am as far as I keep being myself because it’s not a competition. What brings people to the good stage they are is actually what they have to offer, so if you have quality stuff to offer, all you need to keep doing is, re-evaluating over time, you don’t need to be agitated and say oh my God this is this. What it means is that I am just re-inventing myself and as per musically, I will try as much as possible to adapt to all the new sounds that are in town even though I basically might not like it, it’s not for me per se, it’s for my people and that’s what they want to hear. One thing we musicians should know is our target audience and then you give them what they want to hear in the right way, do you understand.
You’re a gospel artiste, right? But would you favour a collabo with secular artiste for a good pay?
Well that’s a personal thing but for now, as we speak I won’t do it because it’s not about having an offer, you need to know what you’re doing and how you intend to get to where you’re going, so you would systematically cut off any little thing that would want to be a barrier, I am not saying that I am better than a lot of people but I am saying my stand for now as I speak, I probably would not do that. If tomorrow I get the need to do that, then I am open to explore those grounds but for now I won’t do it.
But don’t you think there are some Christian artistes, who might also want to condemn your music because you wear trousers, earrings and make-ups because it might be contrary to their beliefs?
You see the thing about life is you can never please everyone, so you can only do your best and leave the rest to God because your reputation doesn’t depend on human but God, or let me even re-phrase it, my reputation is left to God, to faith. I do my best and I try my best to live right as a Christian and also fulfill the laws of the Book, my Bible and if I step on people’s toes in the process, I am ready to apologize but if pleasing God would mean stepping on people’s toes, then I don’t mind, I know God would always make that work out well for me but of course my ideology is JOY meaning (Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last). That’s what I do but if I am trying to do that and I am still not in your good books then it’s the person’s problem it’s not mine to face and because it’s not mine to go out of the way to please you and don’t forget you can’t please everyone.
Where are you from and where does your inspiration for good music comes from?
I am from Osun State, Ora Igbomina to be precise and as for my inspiration, the Bible says there’s a spirit in man that makes the breath of the Almighty gives him inspiration, so I have the breath of the Almighty inside of me and He gives me inspiration when I am in the presence of Him. I always find time to be in the presence of God because He always gives me inspiration.
How did you come about your stage name BOUQI?
BOUQI means Born Once more Unto a Quicken of parallel Image
How can you describe yourself if you’re asked to?
I am an unrepentant, uncompromising, unapologetic, Christaholic, Jesus freak!
Finally can you remind your fans of your real name and your number in the family?
Ok my name for those who don’t know is Bukola Afolayan and I am the fifth of sixth children, my father was a Professor, I am a Christian rapper. I love you my fans, I’m back now and you can follow me on twitter Bouqi2, follow me let’s get it pumping. Keep doing what you enjoy doing and God bless you all.
It’s been nice chatting with you?