Melding catchy lyrics into engaging melodies, Nigerian rapper and singer Jaido P craftily flows over hip hop-infused production on his debut EP, Shopla—a title born out of some accidental, yet effective marketing.
As he tells Apple Music, “There’s a slogan I used to say immediately after I introduced myself: ‘Shopla shipon kefty kefty time time asprita, asindamagret a what ahumba.’ It doesn't really mean anything; I just coined it from mumbling words together. All of a sudden people started calling me ‘Shopla Shipo’, and that name was getting more popular than ‘Jaido P’. I felt like it was too long, so I had to cut it short to ‘Shopla’.”
And who is Shopla? “I’m a very calm person,” Jaido P (real name Taiwo Olajide Daniel) explains. “I'm from the streets, and then there's this rugged side—we’ve seen a lot. And when you see too much, you say less. So there is the rugged side, and the is this calm side.”
That engaging display of duality is present over the EP’s six tracks, and is inspired heavily by his background. “I’m from Iju Ishaga in Lagos,” he continues. “The environment, the things happening there—it’s not somewhere I would advise anyone to bring up a child. I tend to put these things in my songs. Most of the people listening to these songs just want to dance—and that's the mode of the songs. But then if you come down and listen to the song, you get the message.” Here, Jaido P breaks down Shopla, track by track.
Omolomo “The meaning of the word ‘omolomo’ is literally, ‘the child of somebody’. The word ‘omlomo’ is slang in Nigeria, especially in Lagos. People have been using it, but it's not really that popular. We use this word behind people: if you say something or you do something in my presence, and I don't want to talk about it in front of you, or I want to talk about it to someone else, I can just say that ‘Omolomo was telling me about my EP’. But recently we've been using it with people. We now use it to hype people up—whenever we say ‘Omolomo, you're high, you are drunk’; ‘Omolomo, you are this, you are that’. So that was what inspired the song ‘Omolomo’. The song is about boosting one's self-esteem and self-confidence; [it’s] hyping myself up.”
My Level “Conceptually, it's a bit similar to ‘Omolomo’. This song says ‘nobody's on my level’. I'm just hyping myself up, majorly. For me, I think no one is on my own level. And I feel everyone is going to relate that—everyone feels that no one is in the their level. We all have those self-esteem issues; that ego.”
Survive (feat. Olamide) “‘Survive’ came out of emotions. The day I recorded ‘Survive’, I actually wanted to go and record another song with Olamide. We started talking; after a very hard first discussion, we thought that first we need to work on something else entirely because the producer [EskeezonDBeat] was present. We talked about the old general stress; the country stress; everything. We just went to the studio and poured out our hearts, and that's how we recorded ‘Survive’. And the song is a mix of the struggle, the hustle, and falling back to the love of our black women. Most of us, after going through stress and everything, we fall back to our women.”
Mama Mia (feat Joeboy) “I make music [based on] my state of mind. Commercialising my songs was one of the mistakes I used to make when I started recording. I always thought, ‘How do I record this song in a way that everyone will be able to sing along with me, and relate to the song?’ And at the end of the day, I would end up making a song that maybe no one would feel. At some point I realised that I had to start making music according to my own state of mind. The day I recorded ‘Mama Mia’, the producer, P.Priime, was just very lively, playing melodies, and I had to come up with some melodies to fit into what he was playing. I had to do ‘Mama Mia’ for the ladies, and when I finished recording the song, I think I sent it to one of my friends, who works with Joeboy. He played it for Joeboy and he loved the song.”
Tomorrow “‘Tomorrow’ is the odd one out, because I recorded it very early [in 2020], around January, and that was before I dropped ‘Tesina Pot’. So the song had been there just in my archive, and my guys had been telling me, ‘Just drop the song, because people will love it.’ And I just felt like, ‘This song is old—why do you guys want me to just put this song on this project?’ They were like, ‘Just put it out; it’s cool.' At that point I didn’t have ‘Tesina Pot’ out there; I didn’t have ‘Survivor’ out there. It was just me; I hadn’t met Olamide Badoo. So I was just doing my own thing. And, my state of mind when I go and perform in shows, and I watch show organisers, and the way they treat you—those things are normal, as an up and coming artist. You want to show yourself to people, yet you still face difficulties, trying to show your talent, trying to do what you do. Those things are what I put together into the song ‘Tomorrow’. The song is saying, ‘Today might be bad; tomorrow will be better. Today might be good; tomorrow might be bad.’ So whichever way it comes, we just have to accept it; that's life. You always face one scenario or other, whether you like it or not; even the richest man on earth is facing something. So tomorrow is tomorrow. No one knows tomorrow.”
Brokoto “In Nigeria, whenever you say you want ‘brokoto’, it means you need ‘a large piece of meat’. I was trying to create this hardcore street sound; I was working with Cracker Mallo. I think we just finished the song we just finished ‘My Level’ and we were like, ‘Let's just create something very danceable’. So I was thinking about a concept just thinking fast, sharp, sharp, sharp. What can I do? Then the word ‘brokoto’ came to my mind and we had to just create something with the word ‘brokoto’, a large piece of meat—and you can also relate it to a big a**. That was what the song is about—I’m just trying to say, ‘Okay, I'm the man here, and this large piece of meat is mine.”
Tesina Pot [Jaido P & Olamide] “Before recording ‘Tesina Pot’, I knew I could make songs like this, but I was not making them; I was into my emotions and into my feelings. So after making emotional songs, I just felt like, why can't I just have fun in the studio—just play with beats and just [have] fun? So I talked to my guys and we contacted [producer] Cracker Mallo—I think he had seen some of my works on Instagram, because I used to do Instagram freestyles, before I started dropping songs. ‘Tesina Pot’ had been in my note pad for over four years. ‘Tes’ is a Yoruba word meaning ‘press’; ‘ina’ is a Jamaican phrase—like ‘ina de place’—and ‘pots’, just like English pots. The idea of the song is I just want to keep pressing it into the pots; that’s just the normal meaning. Then there is another meaning to it; I think everyone knows [what that is]. [Fashion stylist Samuel Adekolu, aka Uncle Soft] was styling me that day; he’s still styling FireboyDML and Olamide Badoo. So when we finished the song, Soft said he thought Badoo would like the song. I had sent a lot of messages to Badoo, trying to reach him, trying to tell him, 'Bro, check me out man,' but then, no reply. So I was just trying to be positive about it. And I told Soft, ‘No problem; let's talk to him; let’s see what can happen.’ I took out one of my verses and I sent it to him; then I got Badoo's verse in maybe 45 minutes. I met Badoo on the day I was shooting the video. It was just unbelievable—but he's a very free person. He talked to me; gave me some tips, and from there, I knew that we would have a lot of things to do together. Since then he has [become] my big bro.”