Oyinboy talks Afrobeats, New Generation & Peckham

Ahead of his set on the Kade x Resonate Stage at the inaugural Peckham Rye Festival, we caught up with journalist Ian McQuaid, A.K.A DJ Oyinboy, to talk about all things music and Peckham!

He also delivered us this fire Afrobeats Mix which aired on our Reprezent FM Radio show:


Explain more about Oyinboy?

Oyinboy is an alter ego I took on. I use to play under the name of Nasty McQuaid; I then became a Dad and I felt stupid for still calling myself Nasty McQuaid, a name I took on due to causing trouble during my younger years. The Nigerian name for a white boy is Oyinbo and when I went Lagos I had loads of people shouting Oyinbo at me. My Wife, as a joke, suggested I change my name to Oyinboy.

As Oyinboy, I use to play a lot of Hip Hop, Grime, Funky, Bashment but now I play Afrobeats, the most exciting sound around right now, in my opinion.

Did going to Lagos influence this?

Yeah I went out there 5 years ago to see my Father-in-law and it all kind of started then. I wanted to go to whatever guy was selling bootleg CDs in streets as they normally have the good stuff. I went to a shack and bought some mix CDs,  at the same time I went into the clubs and everyone was playing Donae’o Party Hard…everywhere!

I didn’t really get the RnB stuff at first but I’m understanding it better now as the sound has shifted; it was the more up-tempo stuff I was feeling at the time. You then had these MCs coming from Funky into Afrobeats and I found it appealing – when Funky turned into house, losing the MCs, it lost something to me.

How do you evaluate the UK Afrobeats scene at the moment?

It’s live! It’s developing. There’s so much going on from different places. You have Jaij Holland, Mista Silva, Kwamz & Flava and then in Nigeria… you have Ezi Emela who has some amazing singles, New Age Music, Maleek Berry; literally it’s so exciting because there’s no particular sound yet. There’s so many sounds evolving within the scene – it’s all a matter of energy and enthusiasm which is refreshing; the labels have not jumped all over it yet which they did with Grime and Funky

Do you want the scene to become bigger?

Well yes, I want people to get paid and make a living out of it. Rather than say “get bigger” I would prefer the scene to become more organised. There’s still a lot of stuff that happens,: raves that don’t happen properly, bookings that fall through, politics! I don’t know if the scene needs people outside it; rather, it just needs to support itself and run its business properly.

Will that ever happen?

Yeah Yeah! There’s a lot of ambitious smart young people coming through. I think we will see people starting their own labels which hasn’t happened in the U.K until now. I can definitely see talented young people working with this music.

So, in terms of your own bookings, where do you normally play out and how does that alter your sets? Do you shift to cater to the crowd or try to keep it true to yourself?

I am always keeping it true to myself but I have been doing this a long time. I am not going to be playing heavy Yoruba or Twi records at a rave in Kings Cross to a crowd full of White people… at the moment, on the Afrobeats side of things, I play on Balamii – a radio station in Peckham; live wise I just started a thing at Buster Mantis in Deptford and also play at the Big Chill at Brick Lane time to time. Outside of that I DJ all over the place: I’ve played in Fabric and Ibiza. As I am a writer I’m trying to find the right balance between writing and playing out. Previously, I have been sucked into playing Bar gigs which pay the bills but was something I didn’t enjoy as much because it had to be a more commercial sound; however, I can now just earn the money writing.

What is the ultimate goal for Oyinboy?

I would like to write some bangers, work with some artists and really push the UK Afrobeats sound – get it to the level of Grime and Garage. What’s also important to me is that the music is also very positive. One of the reasons why I switched from Hip Hop to Afrobeats was after my Son was born,  listening to some of the lyrics, I didn’t want him hearing that content.  Comparatively, a lot of the Afrobeats stuff has a lot of positive messages and there’s no harm in the mainstream engaging with Black Britain, not this scary thing the media often portrays it as.

Agreed! Let’s talk about both Peckham and the Peckham Rye Festival. Do you live in the area?

Not right at the moment but lived around Peckham and New Cross for a long time.

How do you feel like the changes in the area, in terms of more clubs, bars, etc, can improve Peckham?

That’s a loaded question, within it stating that Peckham needs to improve – I like Peckham the way it is! I would say that the guy at Buster Mantis has the right idea in booking local DJs. The key thing is to make stuff feel inclusive. With the Peckham festival we are doing, I initially had my misgivings but the stage being delivered is indicative of the culture and history.

It’s wicked that there’s new clubs, bars, shops opening, just as long as the people who have grown up in Peckham don’t feel unwelcome. People move to the area ‘cos it’s exciting, cool or whatever word estate agents use – edgy! As long as people who move there are aware of the heritage and treat it with respect, pay homage to it’s history, then I am all for it… Outside of DJ’ing these are the sort of the things I would love to be involved with. I am very passionate about the community.

All the music I have played and loved in my life has been intrinsic in certain communities and I want to make sure that they continue to stay in London and to make the music I have done quite well out of.


You can find out more about Oyinboy by following:

https://twitter.com/IanMcQuaid

For more information on the festival, head to >>> www.peckhamryemusicfestival.co.uk