Olawale Ibrahim Ashimi, often known as Brymo or Lawale Lfr, is a Nigerian singer, composer, stage performer, and author who was born on May 9, 1986. In 1999, while still a student in high school, he began recording music. He had a record deal with the well-known Chocolate City record label in 2010, but when the label accused him of breaking his contract, he left and started performing on his own in 2014. Additionally, he entered into a distribution agreement with Tate Music Group in 2015, which allowed him to release over eight albums internationally.
Early Life and Education
Brymo was the only child of his parents when he was born on May 9, 1986, in Okokomaiko, Lagos, Nigeria. His mother was an Egun small merchant, while his father was an Awori carpenter. He was raised in a multifaith home and attended an Islamic school to learn how to recite the complete Qur’an. Brymo described himself as a disruptive youngster who frequently got into altercations with other kids in his neighborhood. After high school, he was first interested in playing football.
Olawale attended Aganju Aka Primary School before transferring to Japual Primary School, where he earned his initial diploma. After that, he attended Ajangbadi High School in Lagos, where he eventually graduated in 2003. After that, he enrolled at Lagos State University, Ojo to study zoology, but he left after only two years to focus entirely on his music career.
Brymo began his musical career by recording the song “future” in 1999, while he was still a high school student. His musical inspiration came from hearing his mother sing songs by Fuji. He founded the musical group The Aliens in 2002 with a few of his pals, however the Aliens broke up in 2005 due to a number of issues. After that, he started a solo career without signing with a record company. The smash song Oleku from Ice Prince’s debut studio album, Everybody Loves Ice Prince, included Brymo, who also rose to fame in 2010.
In 2007, he made a connection with a local talent management, who helped him record his debut album, “Brymstone.” Music struggled as the year went on since he was admitted to Lagos State University. In 2008, he continued to promote his then-hit song Shawdy with a music video that earned the most national airplay, nominations, and favorable reviews. At its height, the video was ranked first on Nigezee and second on the MTV base African top 10 countdowns.
In 2010, he started traveling with the well-known Nigerian rapper M.I, who later introduced him to Jesse Jagz and Iceprince before signing him to the Chocolate City Music label. He has earned the title “the master of hooks” due to his contribution to Ice Prince’s monster smash single Oleku’s success.
On September 18, 2011, Brymo released his first song on Chocolate City. Within a year of hitting the public eye and without having recorded a mainstream song, Brymo was lauded as Nigeria’s hook master. However, this immediately altered after the release of the track ARA.
The song topped the MTN Nigeria Top 10 Jamz chart and the country’s Cool FM Top Ten, and Ara was the sixth most trending topic on Twitter globally. He has also collaborated with M.I., Ice Prince, Jesse Jagz, Ill Bliss, Sasha, 2 Shotz, Playboy, Sarz, and Mikky Mi in addition to other musicians.
Brymo’s music is a fusion of Fuji, R&B, pop, and rock. He claimed during his chat with Damiete Braide that his music is easily categorized as pop due to its capacity to connect with listeners. Brymo stated, “Although my songs reflect many concerns that are pertinent in my community, I believe that human relations are the site where all issues develop,” in an interview with OkayAfrica in 2016.
Brymo’s music has “profanity couched in intellectualism and philosophical concepts,” according to music writer Michael Kolawole.
Additionally, according to Michael, Brymo’s music contains “affirmations of deeply ingrained personal ideology; enigmatic and lovely lyrical poetry; equations of balanced ribaldry and cheekiness.”
In May 2014, Nigerian Entertainment Today reported that undergraduate students at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, deconstructed the lyrics to “Down” as part of a case study project. Brymo was invited to the school to attend the case study presentation.
Brymo has a son with his longtime girlfriend, Esse Kakadaare, who was born on March 27, 2015. On November 12, 2015, he uploaded pictures of his son onto his Instagram account for the first time. When he was asked why he chose to have a child out of wedlock, he said marriage is only an institution for a woman to support a man, but a child is a product of love. Also, he insisted that having a child was planned because he could not wait until he was 30 to have a child.
Chocolate City Deal
In May 2013, Brymo tweeted that he had left Chocolate City. At a press conference held at the Lekki location of Chocolate City, then-CEO Audu Maikori refuted Brymo’s claims. Maikori claimed that Brymo still had two albums to complete and three more years left on his contract. Maikori said that Brymo disobeyed directions by refusing to remove an inflammatory Instagram photo during the press conference in the Vanguard newspaper. Brymo said that Chocolate City had deceived him by failing to explain how his second studio album had been leaked in a media interview from June 2013. He continued by saying that there was no responsibility for the way his record was being sold and circulated.
Brymo and Spinlet agreed to a distribution partnership in August 2013, allowing Spinlet to stream Brymo’s upcoming album. According to Nigerian Entertainment Today, Spinlet cancelled the agreement after learning that Chocolate City already had a contract with Brymo. Chocolate City filed an interim order against Brymo on October 14, 2013, prohibiting him from engaging in musical endeavours outside the scope of his contract. Despite news of the injunction, Brymo released his third studio album six days later. Brymo was prohibited from releasing and dispersing any musical works on October 21 by a judge at the Federal High Court of Lagos while the complaint brought by Chocolate City against him is pending.
The Nation reported that in October 2013, representatives from Chocolate City met with Brymo and his management to explore arrangements that would work for both parties. During the meeting, Chocolate City tried to get Brymo to sign a document but was unsuccessful. The legal teams of both parties gathered in court for a hearing on November 11, 2013, according to a story in the Premium Times newspaper, and the case was postponed until December 5, 2013. The lawsuit was postponed four times between December 2013 and March 2014 for various reasons. The Federal High Court of Lagos released Brymo from the embargo in March 2014.
According to a May 2014 article in Nigerian Entertainment Today, the judge overseeing the case resigned after being accused of bias. In a May 2016 radio interview with Toolz, Brymo said that he had lost the legal battle with Chocolate City. “We had the chance to resolve it in court, but they messed it up. I’m not sure what they did, but I’m sure they talked to the judge and the lawyers and dropped the lawsuit because they are lawyers and can handle it. “
Affairs with Annie Idibia
In October 2020, Brymo called out 2Face Idibia for wrongly accusing him of sleeping with his wife Annie. Brymo also alleged that he was attacked by men loyal to the Afrobeats star for reasons not precisely established. In his reaction, 2Baba, through his lawyers, had described Brymo’s claims as false and threatened to seek N1 billion in damages.
During a podcast in which he was featured, the “Ara” crooner said he tried to put up with the allegation for about two years before eventually taking the matter to the public. The singer, however, said his decision to open up a few weeks after he released “9,” his ninth studio album, affected the success of the project. He also noted that seeing his streams for the project shrinking over the allegation left him hurt at the time, even though it was a necessary move to put the rumours to bed.
- Brymstone (2007)
- The Son of a Kapenta (2012)
- Merchants, Dealers & Slaves (2013)
- Tabula Rasa (2014)
- Klĭtôrĭs (2016)
- Oṣó (2018)
- Yellow (2020)
- “9 – Esan” (2021)
- “9 – Harmattan & Winter” (2021)
- Yellow (2022)
- Theta (2022)
Compilations and Live Albums
- Trance (2015)
- Live! at Terra Kulture Arena (2019)
- A.A.A (with Skata Vibration as A.A.A) (2019)
- Libel (EP) (2020)
- Ara, 2012
- See Me, 2012
- Omoge Campus, 2012.
- Good morning, 2012
- Truthfully, 2013
- Down, 2013
- Eko, 2013
- Again, 2014
- Fe Mi, 2014
- Prick No Get Shoulder, 2014
- Naked, 2014
- Dear Child, 2014
- Je’le O Simi, 2014
- 1 Pound, 2014
- Dear Child, 2014
- Alajo Somolu, 2016
- Viva, 2016
- Them ‘Dey Go, 2016
- Happy Memories, 2016
- Billion Naira Dream, 2016
- No be me, 2018.
- Ba’nuso, 2018
- Heya, 2018
- Patience and Goodluck, 2018
- Money Launderer and heartbreakers, 2018
- Time is so kind, 2018.
- Oriri’s Plight (2018)
- Verses (2020)
Awards and Nominations
- Songwriter of the Year ‘Down’, All Africa Music Awards, 2013.
- Recording of the Year: “Ara,” Hip Hop World Awards, 2012.
- Most Gifted Afro Pop Video of the Year, “Ara,” Channel O Music Video Awards, 2012.
- Music Icon of the Year, Nigerian Universities Merit Award, 2018.
- The 100 Influential Nigerian Writers under 40, Nigerian Writers Awards, 2018.
- The Headies Award for Best Recording of the Year, 2021
He has an estimated net worth of $5 million.