is a fair chance that you may not have heard the name Fakoya Qudus
Oluwadamilare, but if you haven’t heard the name Qdot Alagbe, or any of his
songs, then you are wrong.
came into prominence about 6 years ago with his song ‘Orin Emi’, renamed ‘Alomo
Meta’ by his teeming fans who recognised the earworm the song would become.
by Anthrax, his frequent collaborator, ‘Alomo Meta’ is a solemn ditty after the
order of the spiritual songs sung in white garment churches, the so-called
syncretic African churches. These songs are repetitive, incantatory and
hypnotic, and would often lull people into trance.
is not what Qdot achieved. He took the repetitive gong sound and their style of
singing to invoke a street-type trance-like experience involving three bottles
of two different types of alcoholic herbs, three rizzlers(for moulding spliff
cigarettes) and three fair sex workers for three days.
emphasis on the exact number three perhaps could be extended to the possibility
of a ménage a trios—but quite frankly, he was speaking to a carnal experience
that brings to mind reckless orgies as some sort of escapism to the table. And
this caught on.
he persisted in this line of inquiry when he released another song about another
alcoholic herbal bitters, ‘Orijin’.
charm lies in his ability to observe the street and to relay his perception with
spot-on descriptions. And his lyrics do so much at the same time. On the one
hand he sings unbiasedly about the debauched life of street boys which includes
drug abuse, multiple sex partners and thrift spending. On the other hand, he is
cautioning and critiquing this lifestyle—but what is most powerful about his ability
is that he sings from a place of deep-seated affection and with a
his most accomplished songs is ‘Ibadan’. Featuring Olamide, Qdot sings, rather
lovingly, about the ancient city with new interpretations for old metaphors while
leaning into the familiar to excavate new meanings. Olamide’s rap verse is a
gem exploring the city’s blossoming nightlife, playing a fine comparison to
strongest gift is the humour which is often lost on those who don’t speak
Yoruba. Take the opening lines of ‘Gbese’ for instance, where he is throwing
shade at someone who buys a car for 150,000 naira and expects that the car will
not malfunction during the wee hours. Then he moves on to Slay mamas on Snapchats
with made-up faces and flowers adorning their heads. ‘Gbese’, like all Qdot
songs, has several anchors. He is singing about leg work and the Zanku dance,
at the same time, he is riffing off late Apala maestro Haruna Ishola’s Ina Ran.
best adaptation of Apala music is Apala New School produced by Citiboi. A
humorous reflection on Nigeria’s 2016 recession, this song began with a shout
out to the Ponzi scheme M.M.M and finds its way to the chorus around abject moral depravity in our
society that makes a lad aspire to becoming an internet fraudster. All this is
done within the ethos of Apala music and masterfully crafted in a way that
makes Terry Apala seem like a jobber with a coarse voice.
latest song, ‘Koshi Danu’, is a quick tempo humorous inventory of hapless street
minions including Kalimot , the suspicious early caller, who steals a phone with
its charger. Over the past four years, Qdot has increased the tempo of his
songs from the slow tempo he was first accustomed to. This presumably is as a
result of his collaboration with producers
asides from Anthrax. This has increased
his appeal and fanbase quite significantly; his music is being played more
often since it can now carry dance.
his music hasn’t moved out its current sphere of influence. Qdot’s music is better
known and loved by those in the Mainland suburbs than on the Island. He belongs
to that crop of musicians that include Seriki, Junior Boy, Bharry Jay, Small
Doctor, Klever Jay and Danny Young—those whose music have not been able to
cross the metaphoric Third Mainland Bridge successfully.
Doctor is by far the most successful of this cohort since he cross the TMB at
least once with ‘Penalty’. Qdot has not had this kind of luck or love showered
on him by the Island people. But those who love Qdot are proper stans. Fancy
being at a party in Igando and you will observe youths doing invective and
infectious leg works on ‘Gbese’ and requesting the DJ to continue to cue Qdot’s
voice for an encore.
six years of prominence, Qdot has continued to stay relevant in his own way,
courting his own crowd without an album to his name. He is an indie musician
with the most original voice that harkens back to the traditional music of
Juju, Apala, Sakara and Fuji, and clearly he will be around for a long time.