Active since the mid-2000s, Nigerian songwriter/vocalist Brymo cultivated his unique style from a blend of R&B, rock, Afro-beat, and more. Brymo's vibrant personality sat at the heart of his music as his career developed, candidly exploring matters of the heart as well as societal issues on albums like 2013's Merchants, Dealers & Slaves.
Brymo was born Olawale Ashimi in the Lagos State region of Nigeria in 1986. He was recording his own songs by his early teenage years, inspired to make music after hearing his mother singing Fuji songs. After a few attempts to play in bands with friends fizzled out, Ashmi went solo, dropping out of college to pursue music full-time. He took up the Brymo moniker and released his first album in 2007, the R&B-flavored Brymstone. In 2010, he signed with the Chocolate City label, which would release his 2012 album The Son of a Kapenta before heated disputes with the label led to Brymo leaving his contract early. His third album, 2013's Merchants, Dealers & Slaves, was released independently and saw him growing more into his sound with accessible pop production meeting elements of African folk. Brymo released new music at a steady clip over the next several years, offering up fourth album Tabula Rasa in 2014, the sexually charged Klĭtôrĭs in 2016, the jazzier Oṣó in 2018, and his eclectic, exploratory seventh album, Yellow, in 2020. In addition to his highly active solo career, Brymo both joined the alternative rock group A.A.A. and published his first book around the end of the 2010s. ~ Fred Thomas