#YALIC2019 - SOUL OUTBURST

#YALIC2019 - SOUL OUTBURST
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Unik Interview: Meeting with one of Nigeria's leading female drummer @topsticksdrummergirl

http://www.unikempire.com.ng

Unik Empire: Welcome to Unik Empire Media Conglomerate online interview session. Can we please meet and get to know you personally?

Guest: My name is Odebiyi Temitope popularly known as Topsticks, I was born in Ibadan, Oyo State. Third of 4 children. Although, I am from Osun state, I grew up in Ibadan

Unik Empire: Great. So can you please tell us a little about your upbringing, education and career?

Guest (Topsticks): I studied History and Diplomatic studies in Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ayo Iwoye. Did Masters in History and Strategic studies in University of Lagos. I took few Music courses which include Peter Kings College of Music in Badagry, where I majored on percussion also I have a diploma in Music from Musical Society of Nigeria School of Music (MUSON), Associated Board of Royal School of Music (ABRSM) up grade 7.

Unik Empire: That’s a huge feat. We stumbled on one of your videos on the drum and it was so excellent and captivating. When and how did the drumming get started?


WATCH HER DRUM COVER ON E DAY WORK
by SAMSONG



Guest (Topsticks): Drumming started way back when I was a kid. I loved the sound of drums and everything I laid my hands on became drums. I started out drumming without a teacher close to 2 decades now. However, over the years, I have had several people impact and influenced my drumming career. Although, my professional years as a drummer is about 10 years.

Unik Empire: That’s a great deal, it seem you’ve been drumming all your life. Taking drumming as a career as a female and a masters degree holder, what was the reaction of your parents and loved ones?

Guest (Topsticks): It’s even beyond masters, because I am also pursuing my PhD. They didn’t find it funny at first. Drumming? Why? Of all things? How about banking? Oil company? Ok, my friend works at U.S Embassy, etc (quoting my parents). I must not but say, it wasn’t easy at all. We had a lot of issues trying to understand each other. They felt I was embarrassing the family by drumming up and down. I lost some friends who felt I wasn’t representing them as well. There was a time I wanted to quit. The pressure was so much from home. My parents had a plan for me and I refused to follow it. They felt I was taking it too far and this drumming thing should just be a hobby. I would cry day and night asking God to just convince them, but it became worse. I was almost disowned. I have always known drums chose me, I didn’t choose it.


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(Continuation)...... God raised me for a purpose, to make a statement with the drums. It’s beyond drumming. It is to be a voice, make an impact and cause transformation, which has happened severally. Most times, when I go to speak, people look in awe, not of me, but of the God in me. You know, education is an enabler; it is the means to an end, not the end in itself. The question young people should ask is, “what will this education enhance”. It is to enhance your assignment, what you’ve been called to do. That which you are passionate about. Education will give you platforms, relationships and boldness. I started speaking while in school. In fact, those 4 years plus helped me build my skill, as I had enough time. And the truth is, my friends today say, “we have always known, this is what you will do” A lot would have been surprised if I ended up elsewhere. I never stopped saying it. I WILL BE ONE OF THE GREATEST DRUMMERS OF ALL TIMES. Today, I get international platforms, I mentor drummers from different part of the world, even business men and corporate organizations and youth development agencies invite me to speak. Education helped me polish and properly present my skill to the world

Unik Empire: At first they never supported you but of now, what’s your parent reaction when they see or hear of your exploits?

Guest (Topsticks): It wasn’t like they did not support, they just find it difficult to understand, because, I couldn’t explain what my plans were, but passion kept pushing me. I couldn’t write on black and white how drumming will take care of my future.

WATCH HER DRUM COVER ON CHIOMA ME
by CHIOMA JESUS



In fact, my father once asked “how do people cheer for someone just making noise on the drums like that”. He couldn’t fathom how people will pay for such. But today, the result speaks and I haven’t even started. They haven’t seen anything, because the part of the just is like a shinning light that keeps shinning until the perfect day. The first time I was interviewed by a newspaper agency 10 years ago, my father bought copies and distributed to all his friends and anyone who came visiting. He was also mesmerized whenever his friends call him to say we saw your celebrity daughter on TV. I guess it is a norm now. They are used to it. All glory to God.

Unik Empire: What is your source of inspiration whenever you are on the drum sets?

Guest (Topsticks): Ultimately God! And that young lady and guy out there looking up to me. Also, the fact that it is a Male dominated field and I kind of standout. You know It feels sooooo good to be different and stand out among the crowd.

Unik Empire: Talking about the male dominated industry, do you sort of feel under any pressure or oppression from the male folks?

Guest (Topsticks): I guess that happened at the early stage.

WATCH HER DRUM COVER ON 30 BILLION HALLELUJAH by MIKE ABDUL




Unik Empire: Can you handpick one of the early pressure you faced, how you felt and how you handled it?

Guest (Topsticks): I must say, we have different kind of people. Some see me as a threat and they say it to my face, while some others see me as an encouragement and they gave me their full support  by free coaching, materials and continuous encouragement. One of such persons is K STICKS. He took me up and trained me for many years. Also, some Male drummers who encouraged me, Taiwo Taiwo, Tosin Williams, Layi, Steve Dreggs, PapiiJ, Papa Ray, Karo and of course,  my Bishop who is not a drummer, but can give ideas like a drummer, download videos to encourage me, sit me down to practice etc. Other musicians that has influenced me, Akinwunmi Odutola, Isaiah Okoh, Wole Oni and some men who just love Topsticks because she is a drummer, Mr Edi Lawani, Mr Odia Ofeimum, Mr Femi Esho, Mr Akin Fatunke, Mr Yinka Alakija, Mr. Jagun. I have more Male fans doh. Women like  Taiwo Ajayi Lycett who invited me to her house just to discuss the next level of my career, Mrs Ireti Doyle etc.

Unik Empire: Talking about the events you grace and perform, a little study bout you shows you do gospel majorly, do you as well perform, grace secular occasions? You can state your reasons too.

Guest (Topsticks): I am a gospel artist. It is a decision I made to use this gift for God. I am not an entertainer, I am a minister. As an Entrepreneur, I attend to corporate events, dinners, breakfast meetings, trainings and gospel concerts. I use drumming as a tool for team building, interaction etc

Unik Empire: As a means of ending this session, what is that one quote that strengthens you and what is your word of advice and encouragement to the younger folks out there?

WATCH HER DRUM COVER ON HALLELUYAH NO GO FINISH by FREKE UMOH



Guest (Topsticks): Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Ecclesiastes  9:10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goes.
Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. My advice to young ones out there is; DON’T SEEK MONEY, SEEK PURPOSE, MONEY WILL COME LOOKING FOR YOU. Young people should find a problem to solve money comes to those who solve problems.
THINK BIG! Have a dream, a vision/goal.
WORK HARD! Work hard to succeed and lean on the Holy Spirit for divine insight. Don’t be competitive; there is enough room for everyone to succeed.
MAKE IMPACT! Your dream must not be ‘You Centric’. How will it affect other people?
MAKE MONEY! God says He will bless the labor of your hands. He is the God that teaches our hands to make profit. Have a business mind to present your skill so people can pay for it. Make sure you own it, don’t submit shabby proposal. Skill isn’t enough, it must be well polished and backed up with anointing and grace.
#Selah

Unik Empire: It was a nice time hanging out with you and getting to know you and your personality, we hope on meeting you again soon.

Guest (Topsticks): Thank you, will be glad to meet soon again.


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