Gabriel Afolayan is an award-winning actor and up-and-coming musician. He talks about his foray into music
Is there a difference between Gabriel Afolayan, the actor and G-Fresh, the musician?
Gabriel Afolayan is my name and G-Fresh is my nickname. I do not necessarily consider G-Fresh my stage name; the brand remains Gabriel Afolayan, whether for movies or music. Gabriel and G-Fresh are the same and there is no dual personality.
Some people see music as a means of making extra income; would that be the reason you ventured into music?
I could make money from it too as an added trade, but the ultimate reason lies in my passion for it. It is a feeling that I have carried with me for a long time. I am grateful to God about it. It is a dream come true. I love music.
How do you handle the fame that comes with the job?
I have been around for some time now. God’s wisdom and grace have been with me and are still there.
Your father and brothers are quite famous, have their names opened doors for you?
Yes, their names have opened doors for me. That is part of my pedigree, but my credibility has also played its own part.
Which do you love more between music and movies?
I love them both because they are two sides to my coin. They both share my being and I care for them both. As I look after my acting, I’m also very passionate about my music; from conception to delivery.
You have won some awards, did you expect to get to this point or be successful at this point in your career?
I have some accolades to my credit for both acting and music. Some of them include Best Actor in a Supporting Role at the Africa Movie Academy Awards 2013, The Rising Star at the Nollywood Movies Awards, Best Actor in a supporting role at the Nollywood Movies Awards 2103, Best Actor in a leading role at the Best of Nollywood Awards, Best New Act 2012 at the DYNAMIX Awards, and Most Promising Act at the Yoruba Movies Academy Awards. I have always prayed to be this successful and even more, but I believe I am still on a journey. Hopefully, a joyous ending lies ahead.
What is the message you intend to pass across to your audience through music?
A free-spirited and inspiring message is key to making good music. In terms of rhythm, melody, and lyrics, I intend to bring a good message at all times, even in my commercial songs.
How do you intend to remain relevant in the music industry?
I know I have a style and that is most essential. If I do any type of song, one will surely know it is me singing. In the very competitive music market, I know I have a place for my style to shine. My sound is called ‘the alternative sound’. I love soul music and intend to explore my music depth. Also, I want to let people know that I have a flip side in music. That is my jive part where all the commercial vibes lie. People should not be surprised if I release some metallic dancehall.
The news went viral that you did not scale through the audition for Shuga; how did that make you feel at that point?
I am only human and I felt sad about the misinformation. I was called to have my cloth measurements taken and this was after the audition had taken place. I do not know what happened and when the news came out, I tried to find out what went wrong. The truth is MTV didn’t know about the news and of course it was some funny dude trying to get at me. It was an attack on my person because nothing like that happened.
How do you plan to manage competition in the music industry?
Keeping up with the hustle is what the hustle requires. We are in it already and we would see how far we can go with it, and with God being my strength.
What is your opinion about marriage and love?
Marriage and love are the best things that can happen to any human being. Love is interesting and for anybody, it should be fulfilling. Nothing gives greater joy than this. Even when things go wrong with regard to making ends meet, you can run back home where love lives and get the best succour of life. You sleep, wake up and life continues. Marriage and love are sweet. It is part of God’s blessings for all, if we get it right.
Do you have any guilty indulgence?
Every human being does, but this is not the right avenue to lay them out.
How do you unwind?
I read, listen to soft music or go swimming to relax my muscles so they can remain flexible.
What does style mean to you and how do you like to dress?
Simplicity works for me. I do not like too many details on my fabric or the way it is sewn. I like to dress simple and I get inspired by it through the things I do.