ROADMAN–real name Toro Alaba–is an Afrofusion artist and producer rising out of the streets of New York. He is known for his lush baritone, captivating rhapsodies, and layered sounds — fusing together afrobeats, R&B, funk, jazz, and hip-hop.
As a child, he moved around a lot earning the nickname “Roadman”. Four years ago, he finally settled in America where he began playing the bass guitar and writing his own music. He went on to study sound design at the University of Rochester in New York with Emmy Award winner Rob LaVaque. The rest, as they claim, is history.
Roadman – Ghetto Boy Fly
He kicked off 2021 by being named one of Afrochella and Audiomack’s Top 25 Rising Stars for the year. Then, he followed that up on March 4 with the release of his third studio EP, GHETTO BOY FLY. Which also goes by the alternative name of “Ologo,” which means “glorious girl” in Yoruba.
The EP opens with the song “Nobody Knows,” which was influenced by last year’s extraordinary events. Finds Roadman reflecting on how there is only so much we can do in life.
He reveals the archetypal Roadman sound on “OTR” with its night-time rhythm and palm wine music vibe. Following with the fan-favorite jam “Gbewa” to join the political arena with “Bound In Freedom”. Within this track, Roadman is protesting the corruption and inequality in his home country of Nigeria.
He then tails off with the afrobeats love song “She Cures”. Before getting into the raw, frank, and introspective title track “Ghetto Boy Fly“. Speaking about the inspiration behind his Ghetto Boy Fly EP and how the project came together, Roadman says:
“The EP explores what it means to be a fly, glorious child from Nigeria, now living in the States and thriving in the face of systems meant to keep you down. The project touches on some of my challenges in life over the past year, and the longstanding issues that are very important to me – overcoming depression, police brutality, old flames, a failing country, and hope for the future”.
As a result, he is highly recommended if you like the afrofusion sounds of Burna Boy or Show Dem Camp. Roadman started his musical career as a 10-year-old drummer for local churches in his Lagos hometown in Nigeria.
The Roadman Sound
Already having two EPs under his belt, his latest project Ghetto Boy Fly sees the Nigerian native really growing his afrofusion sound. According to Roadman…
“I grew up listening to different types of music, from King Sunny Ade on my parent’s cassette player to jamming Sean Paul heavily on my discman. This helped me hone my sound and encouraged me to be myself when I make music. To push myself harder and further artistically. My drive as an artist is to connect with one person, and embrace the ripple effect as that interaction goes on to bring more people together”.
Give his latest project a spin and let us know what you think here at KAZI Magazine!
FOLLOW ROADMAN ON SOCIAL MEDIA: