Brymo the guy behind the Oleku chorus was named Ibrahim Olawale from where he coined his name “Brymo”. He calls himself the “son of a carpenter” a name his friends adopted and from which #SonOfAKapenta, his second album under Chocoalte city was titled.
The former chocolate city’s golden boy was first signed to Bujoc records under whom he recorded and released his first studio album titled BrymstOne.
The album with hits like”No vex“, “Shawty” etc did poorly in the market but had a small hit that earned him a nomination at the then Hip Hop World awards.
I was first attracted to his posters on the streets of Okokomaiko in Lagos where he grew up and became more curious when I discovered we were both undergraduates in the faculty of science at the Lagos state university (LASU) , Ojo where he was studying zoology and I was studying microbiology. Unfortunately Brymo dropped out at the end of our 100 level days in 2008.
I remember the first time we talked about his first album which I opined was good but did not sound too Nigerian (he tried to mimic the Americans…but the voice was really unique though) however, he argued in the negative, saying music is universal. (I guess he later took my advice as he started sounding traditional, infusing Yoruba and pidgin English in most of his choruses during his Choc city days).
I picked up interest in his musical career and watched him rehearse on the streets of Okokomaiko with his guitar and work out at the local hood gym. No doubt he was talented but I wondered why such a promising act would drop out of school without any major achievement. My younger brother Lil Lurge (a rapper) instantly became a big fan and developed a good rapport with him, hoping to do a collaboration and Brymo even promised him the collaboration but that was all we heard of it because by this time, Brymo had started to roll with the big fish.
I was glad when I heard a song he did with Jesse Jagz who was then with Chocolate cityw. I loved the song and heard rumours of an impeding collaboration with other Chocboys Iceprince and M I.
The climax came when I listened to his interview on Cool FM radio with Ice Prince, where they had gone to promote their new collaboration Oleku and announce to the world that Brymo had also become a Choc boy. In Brymo’s words at the Oleku street Jamz in Okokomaiko December 2010, “I de my house na him MI call me o and I say which kind liar be dis …… But today my story don change”. Of course I was glad that things finally went well with my neighbor and one time schoolmate.
Brymo finally become a star and has collaborations with the choc boys – MI, Jesse Jagz and Ice prince and other big artistes in the Nigerian music industry. He went on tours and carved a niche for his unique style of music under Chocolate city but the irony of it all is Choc city whom we thought was the road to his success is now a barrier to his musical career.
Fast forward to 2013 and there’s a great discord between Brymo and Chocolate city. In his words, he was cheated by the record label and had to part ways just like Jesse Jagz did earlier. His third studio album Merchants, dealers and slaves released under a new imprint has been slammed with a lot of legal restrictions from Choc city, thereby frustrating his musical career. Today Brymo has no support from his former camp except sympathy from his fans and support from fellow Choc city runway Jesse Jagz. His music career is really being threatened and may remain dormant for a long time if not resolved immediately.
I’m not here to throw blames about who is right or not. I’ll just say Brymo is too gifted for his musica career to die off just like that and the powers that be tamper justice with Mercy so he will be left to continue his artistic expression.
One last word…. Brymo, when you come out of this, remember you still owe Lil Lurge a collaboration.