BM Casso‘s signature sound is a heady fusion of contemporary musical elements, exotic instruments and traditional African rhythms. On his new EP Badman which features the impressive single On Repeat, the independent Nigerian singer-songwriter incorporates a cocktail of compelling melodies, rich vocals and dance-infused beats.
We caught up with the talented BM Casso to find out more.
How would you describe your sound to new listeners?
My music either talks about my life experiences, encompassed in flows and rhythm, or just vibes and melodies to make you move your body and bump your head.
Tell us about your latest EP Badman The EP?
This EP was all about coming out to show my versatility as an artist. Whether it’s my rap skills on “Somebody” or flow and rhythm on “On Repeat” or melody on “Faaji”. I wanted to show the world that I could really get on any type of sound and deliver.
What tracks or lyrics from the EP are most meaningful to you and why?
I would say On Repeat and Somebody.
On Repeat is basically talking about how you do something once and instead of people celebrating you, they call it “luck” or a one-off. I’m saying “Dem say mi nah do it so I put it on repeat”. I’ll do it again and again.
Somebody is basically saying just live your life and don’t overthink anything. Don’t go too hard on yourself thinking everyone on social media is winning and you’re not. Always remember where you’re from and stay humble. Always learn from your experiences.
Who or what is inspiring you at the moment?
My inspiration usually comes from a good production to be honest. If I hear a beat and can make melodies in my head, I’m recording. I also draw inspiration from other artists in the game that are killing it and pushing the music culture. Afrobeat in particular.
Is there a particular message you would like to get across through your music?
I think the message I always try to send is about being real and genuine. Most of the things I sing or rap about have either happened to me or someone around me, so I try to pass that out to the audience, for them to share in those experiences and learn from them.
Did the past year and COVID hinder or inspire your creative talent?
It did in the sense that I wasn’t able to perform at shows that I may have had opportunities to perform at and I’ll say that when you perform at shows, that’s an intangible experience that helps you under better, what kind of songs/productions you need on your projects. And it gets you to think about your music from a different angle, as in, what to say and how to say it, to get a crowd going in a show setting.
Is there anywhere in the world you would love to travel to and perform?
I would say the UK and Nigeria haha. Home of Afrobeat. The US is doing a good job currently though, so I’m also grateful that I get to perform here.
How important is your African heritage to you as an artist and which African artists are on your radar?
It is extremely important. That’s basically who I am. An African. I grew up in Lagos, Nigeria and came to the US at 17 but that Lagos life was already in me by then so it definitely impacts me musically. Most of my songs have Yoruba in them so people think I’m Yoruba but I’m actually Igbo.
In short, being an African is a thing of pride and prestige and I’m able to tap into my culture to produce Afrobeat-related songs.
The Afro-Fusion sound is growing in Canada. Which Canadian artists you are listening to?
I haven’t been introduced to anyone tbh but I listen to my very good friend’s brother, Lord D, may his soul Rest In Peace. He was a fantastic artist based in Nigeria and I’m pretty sure he was up next.
What do you find are the biggest challenges of being in the music industry right now?
For me, it’s promotion. Know the right people to give your music to get exposed to a bigger audience. As an independent artist, it’s hard enough getting a big budget for your music but it’s even harder knowing the right people to give the little you have to get you some good exposure.
Another thing is that most people you are genuine with will try to use you because they feel like you’re “desperate” to get your music out there so they take advantage of that. Not cool.
What’s a typical day for BM Casso?
Funny you mentioned BM Casso, the artist because outside of music, I’m an engineer and an investor so that takes a lot of my time.
For the artist, I spend my days either recording new songs, promoting my released songs or listening to music and instrumentals for inspiration on making new songs. I spend a lot of time on social media as well to try and network with fans and other collaborators as well.
What are the three things you cannot live without and why?
The three “things” would be:
My phone, because that’s how I stay connected to everything I do.
My laptops for work and for recording music.
My airpods for listening to music.
I assume money is not a “thing” or that we know we all need money