Nigerians are everywhere doing good; one of such is Olaniran Abiodun Olalekan, a Nigerian based in Pretoria, South Africa, with the stage name ‘Hareesto’. He was raised in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria till 2008 when he migrated to South Africa. Herein is the exert of out chat with Hareesto:
How long have you been in the music industry?
I have been in the music industry for 12 years, I started by learning how to play guitar to complement.
How did you start music?
I started music early in life because I discovered my talent for music when I was 5 years old. However, the drive of my parents to ensure that I am learned made me start practicing music late. With all sense of appreciation, I also consider their desire as one of the best for me because my education is an advantage to my music career.
Who are your mentors?
I have a number of mentors and they impacted on my style of music also, despite not having physical touch with some of them. People like Bob Marley, Tracy Chapman, Phil Collins, Louka Kanza are the music dons that I really adore.
How many singles do you have?
At the moment, I have 2 singles and 1 album. I also have collaborated with K zinger, Leigh Harmony; they are Nigerian musicians also based in South Africa. I am also working on these projects and I am hopeful that all these will see the light of the day very soon.
Have Nigerians in South Africa accepted your music?
Like everybody knows Nigerians are everywhere doing good in all the industries that they have found themselves. In South Africa, Nigerians especially those of Yoruba descent have embraced my music very well. I really appreciate their support because if you are not accepted by your people in a foreign land; who will celebrate your efforts?
 What are the similarities and differences between the South African Music Industry and the Nigerian Music Industry?
Nigerian music is going international as fast as it can and South African music is also doing the same. However, I love South African music a lot because most of their music are based on African roots beats.
Have you won awards?
Yes, My Single; I’ll wait, won Pretoria music award in 2012. The award spurred me to continue making good music and I am all out to delight my teeming fans with quality tracks and videos
What do you miss more about home?
Home will always be home. I have missed a lot of things about home. I grew up in a family of seven boys and seven girls. I miss the companionship and the relationship between my brothers & I. I am sure this will make you laugh; I also missed the Special Egusi soup that my Mom cooks every weekend. In all, the dream to always make them proud of my attainment at home is what I strive for daily.
If you were not a musician, what would you be doing?
Like I mentioned earlier, it is obvious that Bob Marley, one of my mentors was an Activist. I would have taken that same path if I was not a musician.
If you are not in the studio or in rehearsals, what other things do you do?
I am a very homely person, once I am not engaged in this creative enterprise; I would be in the kitchen cooking some healthy delicacies as medical experts currently advocate.
What do you want to improve in the Nigerian music industry?
Nigerian music is so much growing fast but I will like to introduce the Motherland soulfull Art into the Nigerian music industry.
Which Nigerian artiste do you want to collaborate with?
The delectable Asa has always been my favorite musician to colaborate with and I look forward to doing a duet with her either on her project or on my personal project.
The challenge for the music industry is piracy, what do you think can be done to stop it?
Piracy is an age-long challenge for the creative industry; every musical album that succeeds falls a victim. Unfortunately, the pirates feed well on the sweat of others. However, we would keep appealing to the lovers of good music to support us (the musicians) by purchasing the original disks. I believe that is the only thing way to stop piracy in Nigeria
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Which do you prefer to do, sing with a life band or to be cued with a DJ?
The test of a musician is his ability to play with a live band. A live band needs a lot of rehearsals so that it can also synchronize. That’s the hallmark of a professional.
What next from Haresto?
Yes, Hareesto has been in the music industry for a while and he intends to go into the movie industry too. These are both creative crafts and they work hand in hand and that is the beauty of the creative industry.
What do you have to tell your fans?
Shout out to all my fan, I will want to appreciate you for the support that I have received till date. All the efforts that have been invested in my career would have been a waste without your support. Please keep on supporting me and I won’t let them down.
Any advice for upcoming artiste?
I am giving this advice which is a simple phrase, “Thou shall not give up!”
(c)Olutayo IRAN-TIOLA, Lagos, Nigeria
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