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Fortified: Uniting Cultures, Crafting Melodies, and Leaving a Lasting Impression

Exploring the Fusion of Afro-Swing, Afro-beats, and Rap: Fortified's Journey from South London to Lagos and Back

Fortified © 2023


 

Today we have the pleasure to have Fortified here, on Goathead!


GH: Hello Fortified, Thanks for being here! What inspired you to merge afro-swing, afro-beats, and rap in your music?


Fortified: Hey! Thanks for having me! What inspired that mainly was growing up between South London and Lagos, Nigeria. Since these were the two cultures I grew up in as a kid, it made sense to reflect them in my music. So musically, it's like South London meets Nigeria with the rap style from South and the production and melody being from Nigeria.


GH: How has your Nigerian heritage influenced your sound and style as an artist?

Fortified: Being able to move to Nigeria for 5 years at 10 years old definitely played a huge part, it made me more grounded culturally. I was able to be introduced to our sound before "afrobeats" was a term or popular as it is now globally. D'Banj for example, who has been a pioneer flying the flag for the sound since the mid 2000s, simply from living there I was able to be introduced to his music 7 years before his commercial hit Oliver Twist dropped in 2012. I became an artist in 2010 at 16 years old so the influence from my heritage was always there years before I picked up the pen.

GH: Can you walk us through your creative process when producing a new track?


Fortified: Since I produce all my tracks (although I'm open to work with other producers), it starts off with listening to the finished beat for a bit, to understand the rhythm and how I would approach the beat flow & melody wise. In terms of lyrics, because I have a lot of wordplay in them, inspiration can come from anywhere. I play on homophones and homonyms a lot so if I realize two words have the same or similar pronunciation, that could literally spark inspiration to start writing from that. For example: flawed/floored, ours/hours, story/storey, stair/stare. Once I get the lyrics, I usually read back on them to find the central point or theme of the lyrics to get inspiration for the hook and title of the track. I usually rehearse the lyrics to myself with the beat playing or without working on my clarity, cadence and flow until I can deliver it flawlessly. Usually when I’m satisfied, I will then go to the studio to lay down the song. Sometimes, I may vocal down an idea and still work on my clarity, cadence and flow away from the studio so it’s either one of the two.


GH: What do you hope listeners take away from your music?


Fortified: I hope listeners are able to enjoy the music, relate to the music and learn from some of the gems I put in the lyrics. Those gems are usually inspired from experiences I learnt from.


GH: What has been your favorite project, between the many you have accomplished, so far, in your career, and why?



Fortified: I would definitely say so far,my song Results from my first EP Creative Soul getting airplay twice on BBC 6 Music in 2016. The main reason is it felt like a real full circle moment, from growing up hearing BBC Radio in the car, to having a song you recorded and mixed in a university played twice on the same radio station. A major career highlight. As a talented, rising artist in the UK music scene, what do you hope to achieve in the next few years? I hope to definitely have more live performances, a headline show/tour, have my music enter the official charts, music award nominations/awards, a debut album and definitely some music collaborations.






GH: Fortified, it was a pleasure having you here today, we can't wait to hear of your new projects soon as we love your music and we are looking forward to see you rising even further!

Fortified: Thank you Goathead! Nice Talk!


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