Since she broke into Nigeria’s music scene with a bang several years ago, there ain’t no resting on the oars for Bukola Afolayan, popularly known as Bouqui. In this revealing chat, the internationally celebrated gospel tells Isaac Oladipupo why she does collabo with secular musicians and prefer living outside Nigeria…
Tell me about your background
I was born into a family of 6; five girls and one boy, and I occupy the second to the last position. My brother started a group when we were just kids inspired by the sound of music, so we used to sing about and then it went a notch higher when I saw my brother rap and fell in love with hip-hop. I remember going to his room and saying that I wrote a rap and his first reaction was ‘oh oh’, and he told me the rap was wack. So I made up my mind to show him that I could do it, and that translated into something I really like to do, with his help and support though!
You’ve been away for some time now. Where have you been and what are you up to?
I have been on an unending tour, because of what I do; Christian music. We just don’t do shows, we encourage and inspire others with our music.
Since you’re been on tours across UK and USA an all, how would you rate the acceptance of your music over there?
Like I said its fantastic music, but it’s not the music they are embracing as such but the good news I bring that they celebrate! I went round ten states and twenty cities in America to perform. I also went to over eighteen cities in the United Kingdom, all to spread the good news through music.
Why have you chosen to sing only gospel all your life?
Because it’s what am most convinced about and I know me, when am convinced about something I go all the way for it. So if the religion I have chosen to believe in says that preaching the gospel is the mandate, trust me am all for it. Besides am not just doing gospel, I am doing what I was born to do. I’ve found my purpose in it, it’s my destiny!
As a gospel musician, why do you do collabo on circular music?
Hmmmm…when I was a child I spoke as a child, now it’s time to put away childish things! And even if you check it, all the songs I did were message driven, I never did a stupid song with anybody.
Numerous artists start by singing gospel and later fall into the crowd, can you tell us why Bouqui’s going to be different?
I am here and will remain here by Gods grace because I’m in alignment with God’s plan for my life! It’s not about the career or ambition, it’s a mandate from God. So I am not PLAYING church! I am a representative of God on earth so even if I stop music as a medium of expression, I will use other gifts to pass on my message!
Gospel or circular music, which is more financially rewarding and acceptable?
What do you think? What is the yard stick? Is it the number of cars you have or the quality of life? What’s the yardstick used in measuring benefits? There are some things the paper in your hands can’t buy! Success and peace of mind for starters. So you might want to note that money (the paper we chase all our lives and die chasing) is just a means of exchange, if I can jump the process without sweating or losing sleep? Now that’s living in abundance. You can’t buy that!
What inspired your hit single –Take You Away?
Ignorance is the worst thing that can happen to anybody, so instead of using the played out technique of ramming it down their throats that awake all yee that sleep, I realized that I could encourage us all by being positive and uplifting. “It says put your hands in mine lemme take u away, we will rise to the top”. This is realizing that this life is a journey and in as much as we have different lanes, we are all in the same race! No man is an island and love is the greatest commandment! The helicopter I used in the video just symbolizes rising high!
How is the market responding to your latest album?
Gods using it to open doors!
Most of your singles are worked on abroad, why do you prefer producing abroad.
I don’t prefer producing abroad, it’s just that I’m always travelling and work still has to go on!
What’s your next move after this tour?
The tour never ends, there’s Canada, Asia and the rest. Just watch this space!!
Who’s your favourite Nigerian rapper?
I’m content driven! It’s not how you say it, it’s what you say ultimately, and very few say what I want to hear! I choose what I listen to because I don’t just hear with my ears, but I also listen with my heart! Guard your heart with all diligence for out of it flows the issues of life! Remember relevance is meeting at the point of need!
What’s your definition of the word love?
Love is a choice. Wise people walk in love and into love, ignorant people fall in love! Knowledge is key!
pink and purple
depends on product
To reach as many as I can for God