MINJIN: THE MULTIFACETED

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Hey beautiful people, how has your day been? Hope great!.... I am back again with this spectacular piece of interview that I had with Nigerian artist, sex symbol and the multi-talented Minjin.

I have always known about him and I have kept up with his growth and steady rise to fame right from his first big hit "Turning Me On"" that he released back in 2010 as a fresh faced artist that had just gotten signed to Kennis Music, which at the time was literally the biggest record label in Nigeria.

I remember him doing his dance routines in the music video for the song and every hip hop, break dancing guy in my high school back then knew those moves lol, I recall being really excited to see a young guy on tv, back then it was quite the hassel for young people to break out into the entertainment industry especially in the music sector, I am beyond excited about the fact that seven years later I am able to have an interview with him and have the Afro/pop artiste really open up about his life, struggles, heart breaks, joy and most of all what inspires him and makes him happy as well as being able to discuss about all the talented sides to him, have a lovely read guys.

DVF: Tell me about yourself and background, what growing up was like for you and what kind of kid you were as a child? 

MINJIN: My name is Minjin Adewale Lawanson Junior, my mum named me ‘Minjin’ It means 'son of the most high’. She used to watch a lot of Asian movies and that's where she heard the name from, fell in love with it and gave it to her son. I honestly didn’t like the name at first but as time went on and I began to realise that down here in Nigeria, no one else has the name, that just made it special to me and that was when I really learnt to love and accept it. 

Both my siblings and I were born and brought up in Lagos by our mother, I grew in Igando area of Lagos, I grew up loving to dance to Micheal jacksons videos, imitating Usher Raymond, Ginuwine and Omarion, that birthed my love for dancing. I started dancing professionally, I competed in dance competitions, joined different dance groups and was getting paid for music video appearances. I thought I was going to end up as a dancer until ..... I fell in love with playing the guitar🎸 and everything changed, I started listening to the likes of Dido, James Blunt, and Asa. I started writing songs and record them and then the dream changed

My name is Minjin Adewale Lawanson Junior. My mum gave ‘Minjin’ to me when I was a few months old. It means ‘son of the most high’. She used to watch Asian movies a lot. That’s where she heard the name and gave it to her son. I didn’t like the name at first but as time went on it was like nobody else had the name. So I took it up as a first name .


Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2010/10/from-street-painter-to-superstar-minjin/

My name is Minjin Adewale Lawanson Junior. My mum gave ‘Minjin’ to me when I was a few months old. It means ‘son of the most high’. She used to watch Asian movies a lot. That’s where she heard the name and gave it to her son. I didn’t like the name at first but as time went on it was like nobody else had the name. So I took it up as a first name .


Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2010/10/from-street-painter-to-superstar-minjin/

My name is Minjin Adewale Lawanson Junior. My mum gave ‘Minjin’ to me when I was a few months old. It means ‘son of the most high’. She used to watch Asian movies a lot. That’s where she heard the name and gave it to her son. I didn’t like the name at first but as time went on it was like nobody else had the name. So I took it up as a first name .


Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2010/10/from-street-painter-to-superstar-minjiI was born and raised in Lagos, both my siblings and I were raised by my mother, I grew up in the Igando area of LagoI grew up loving to dance, I danced to Micheal jackson's videos, I also imitated Usher Raymond, Ginuwine and Omarion, doing all of that birthed my love for dancing, I also began dancing professionally at a young age.I competed in dance competitions and joined different dance groups and then I started getting paid for music video appearances, I thought I was going to end up as a dancer until I came across the guitar and everything changed, I fell in love with playing it, I started listening to the likes of Dido, James Blunt and Asa. I also began to write my own songs and I started recording songs and then the whole of my dreams changed  

DVF : How did you learn to play the guitar as well as the piano because I know you also play that, are you self taught or did you go through any special trainings or tutorials to learn how to play them?

  DVF: I noticed you also play the piano are you self taught or did you go through any special trainings or tutorials to learn how to play them?

 Minjin: I taught my self all I know on the piano and guitar, I am also a music producer even though I had friends show me a few things here and there when I was learning but basically I am a self taught painter, musician, record producer and actor

DVF: How did your career get in the movie industry begin and did you always have interest in acting or did you just decide to try your hands at it?

Minjin : I  initially started out as a model, I did a couple jobs from Tv commercials to billboards for popular companies and then I auditioned for the high school musical live in Nigeria franchise in 2010, it was a big mainstream production and it involved singing, dancing aswell as acting, I obviously already was in love with music and dancing so it was perfect for me but I auditioned and ended up not just being in the play but also getting the male lead role and that ignited my love for acting

DVF: What is the most challenging role you have had to play and how were you able to handle the situation and the pressure?

Minjin : I think the most challenging role was when I played Andy in the Newman street Tv series, the character Andy is an upcoming musician who basically came from the ghetto, I had to wear rags and really channel what it's like to live that lifestyle and to come from that world, it was really an emotional journey for me cause it reminded me alot of how life used to be for me, buying cheap clothes, always on the run to castings and writing songs but never having the money that I needed to go to the studio and record, so it was really tasking.

I had to Perform live on the show and I also wrote and recorded all the songs used on the tv series plus I had to joggle all that alongside my actual life and music career

DVF : That must have really had it's weigh on you, how were you able to break into the music industry, get signed and all of that?

Minjin : Well it all happened in 2010 when I won the centage superstar competition powered by Kennis music and centage savings and loans, I got signed to kennis music and my first single made waves and since then it's all been God's grace

DVF : When did you certify for yourself that you had hit fame?

Minjin : 2012, when I started getting invites for shows across Africa. That was huge for me

DVF : Your hair is one of the things that you're recokned with, tell me about what 

inspired it?

Minjin : I pretty much started growing it out because my hair was tough and I had the whole stubborn hair situation going on for me and from there it just kept growing and growing up to the point it's at now lol

DVF : That's nice, okay so now let's discuss your career as a paint artiste, tell me how you started to paint and how the love for painting came about ,do you recall your first painting and what it was? 

Minjin : My love for painting started when I was in primary school, I started drawing cartoon figures and then by the time I got to High school, I started doing more than just plain cartoon figures and started attempting stuff that were alot tougher like drawing the Teenage mutant Turtles lol but I attended my first art exhibition in 2008 and I also sold my first painting at an exhibition and it felt really good and yes, my first official painting was a landscape painting in the year 2006

DVF : How did you progress from just painting for fun into professional painting?

Minjin : I started painting continuously and consistently and through that I discovered new sides to my art and I started marketing them personally because, I needed the money it was tough but now whenever I think back at it, going through all that moulded me into the man that I am today and it was a beautiful hustle

DVF: I know you're self taught but do you have mentors in the world of painting, who have been a source of inspiration to you and how you create your paintings?

Minjin : Yes, for sure. My influences are Michael Lang, Uthman O Wahaab , Vanessa Nzediegwu , Michael Angelo and Pablo Picasso

DVF : What inspires you the most to paint and what type of paintings do you do?

Minjin : God ultimately and other works of art I see aswell as the life around me and nature. I do still life, abstracts and landscape paintings

DVF : Do you have a count of how many paintings you have done?

Minjin : I have done well over 200 paintings, right now I have about 40 in my collections

DVF : Would you describe painting as your safe haven or a means of escaping the craziness we often times experience in life?

Minjin : Yes it is where I find my solace when all is stormy, it's for sure my safe haven 

DVF : What is painting, how would you define it in your own words?

Minjin : Painting is the art of expressing your joys and sorrows with colors, I may not be the best painter but I will never be forgotten and so will my ART

DVF : Is there a particular area of painting that you haven't tried yet but have interest in doing?

Minjin : It's not exactly painting but I want to try sculpting it would take my art to another level

DVF : So the brand name for your paintings is "Skookum Art" , how did you come up with that name and what does it mean?

Minjin : It means strength, I got the name from an acting set, we were playing words and their pronunciation and a guy brought the word and I picked it from there. Originally I didn't  know the meaning but when I found out that the meaning, I loved it instantly

DVF : How do you decide which paintings you're going to sell and which you'll keep?

Minjin : Well all my paintings are all for sale, but sadly a fews of my paintings that I really loved got damaged by heavy water in my former studio and I couldn't sell them but I have phenomenal new works, I even have this butterfly that I painted that I love so much even though I will eventually have to sell it because money πŸ’° has to be made you know 😭

DVF : Hahaha, so you really don't have any at all that you have kept for yourself?

Minjin : Well no, I'm going to be selling all for now, plans for building my own house are currently in the works so when I'm done with my house, I would make special art for my home but I assure you that they are going to be spectacular pieces

DVF : How long does it  approximately take you to make one piece of painting?

Minjin : Sometimes it takes me ten minutes, while sometimes it takes thirty minutes, it also could take me an hour and other times it could take me a whole day. There's been times when a piece takes even up to a week and more but the longest it's taken is a month but it would have to be a very big and detailed piece of work for it to take that long

DVF : Have you at all thought to yourself that being a painter can be considered as an odd mix to being a music artist as well as an actor or do you see them all as one big family that just merge into one?

Minjin : Being a painter is not an odd mix because they bring out different sides of me, music brings out the emotional, energetic, electrifying and entertaining side of me, while art brings out the deep, reserved , serene and story telling side of me. I may not be a much of a talker but I express myself with pencils and color. The acting side of me brings out the artistry of character interpretation, I can be anyone when I'm acting and I absolutely love it

DVF : That's lovely, okay so how do you make out the time to focus on painting between your busy schedule, cause you're mostly in the studio, at a photoshoot, at a peformance or on set of one thing or another?

Minjin : I just work round the clock, I really get no free time, I work like everything depends on it, I hardly even have fun and for real everything I have ever made was out of Gods grace and hard work . When I travel for shows, I travel with paints so that when I have a bit of free time I can paint in my hotel rooms

DVF : Wow, to be able to do all that takes so much must take so much dedication . Have you  ever gotten musical inspiration from working on a painting?  πŸŽ¨

Minjin: That's what life is if you choose a path to greatness, I'm not there yet but I'm on my way and yeah, sometimes I'm making a painting and I get inspired and hit the studio to make a beat

DVF: So I was reading a few of your interviews from years back and I found out that you're not just talented in entertainment but you're also very brilliant, you used to be an A plus student, you attended math competitions to represent your high school and you even got a scholarship into a higher institution to further your education at one point?

Minjin: Lol yeah, that is very true

DVF: I understand that due to some circumstances you sadly lost the scholarship and had to drop out of school, how was that whole experience for you, do you feel like you missed out on fully exploring that whole aspect of your life or has becoming a music artiste completely taken over and over shadowed your love for the geeky side lol?

Minjin: Lol, now you're getting me thinking all deep brother, but yeah I do miss it and wish I had explored that side of me a little more and yeah I let the scholarship go, it was hard for me back then. It was a partial scholarship which means that we had to pay a little fee and at the time, my family couldn't afford to pay itso I had to let it go, I was really excited about it but sometimes life knocks you down but we have got to be able to get back up.

Music and art was what I used as my defence against what I considered at the time to be my ill luck, I am grateful to God for his grace, mercies and how far he has brought me but I will say though that I am definitelygoing to go back to school to get my degree

DVF: Really? Lol that means the geeky side of you is still in there somewhere, so will you be making the move to goback to school soon or in the future?

Minjin: The future is now

DVF : That's really enviable, okay so let's delve a into other things that are alot less deep lol.. you're obviously a fashion lover, tell me about your love for fashion and how you would describe your style?

Minjin : All I do is perform and make appearances at events for a living, so when I'm out I obviously don't need ties and suits so I like to be very lightly dressed nothing too serious except when the occasion requires it so fashion to me is what you are comfortable in, as for my style, Style for me is what I have got that is different from what others have that isn't easily adaptable and cannot be easily copied by others

DVF : You're actively into fitness, you often post videos of yourself working out on your instagram and the results are obvious from your physique so tell me, how did your fitness journey start off, what inspired you to get into it and how do you keep yourself motivated to keep going at it?
A post shared by πŸ‘‘ M I N J I N (@kingminjin) on

 

I started working out when I was in my teens because I started modelling and I admired guys with fit bodies and all that, so I started with push-ups then graduated to lifting weights it was real hard at first but I got used to the pain, I listen to a lot of inspirational songs and watch a lot of inspirational videos like Mohammed Ali and Eric Thomas and Denzel Washington, people that represent strength .


I also watch whatever work out videos I can lay my hands on and let's just say basically anything that is inspiring and strengthening

DVF : You're obviously a ladies man... has the attention ever gotten a little out of control? How do you handle it and do you have any crazy fan experiences you would like to share?

Minjin : Yes, sometimes it gets out of control but I live my life pretty pre-occupied so I don't have time for girls, I'm about the work and becoming the man my father would have wanted to be and that can't be achieved if I'may busy having too much fun

I have had so many crazy fan experiences, I have had a fan throw her underwear at me while I was performing on stage and others that have tried to take things way more further than you'd expect like when I went to perform at Equatorial Guinea, a lady came to my hotel room with her friends and basically tried to get me to have sex with her and her friends lol
DVF : Wow! Lol, you are often referred to as "The jack of All trades on social media" and in a good way I might add....do you agree with that title or are you like Nah and was it an intentional effort from you to master all these creative talents or did it all happen naturally?

Minjin: Well you know as the saying goes jack of all trades, master of none but with me that don't follow cause I try to master all my trades, I take conscious efforts to learn new things everyday, it's not easy, it's hard but if it was easy everybody would be doing it. I'm still growing and I'm still learning everyday until I'm invincible

DVF: I have noticed that you have a soft spot for kids especially the less privileged ones, tell me about your love for them and why you think you're so attached?

Minjin: They give me joy, i'm just always happy being around them especially the less privileged ones because they just remind me of how life used to be, I was not born with a silver spoon but I am proud to say that I fought for mine through hard work, dedication,discipline and my God given talents.

 I pray to God and hope that each and every kid gets the chance to fufil their dreams and aspirations regardless of their backgrounds, and also kids love me too, privileged or non privileged, they all just love me lol

DVF : That's really beautiful. So moving on, I have a few random questions for you. Firstly what is your go to when you need to have some "alone" time?

Minjin : I enjoy being alone in the cinema, just me, watching my favorite movie South Paw

DVF : What are the three most important luxuries that you can't live without?

Minjin : My guitar, my paint , it's brushes and lastly my computer

DVF : If you could pack up and go for a vacation right now, where would your dream travel destination be?

Minjin : Paris

DVF : Which of these do you do the most ? Sing in the shower? Eat loudly? Or snore?

Minjin : Sing in the shower 🚿

DVF : We all have something that we are scared of that other people generally might not find as scary, what's yours?

Minjin : Heights

DVF : What kind of songs do you listen to when you're painting?

Minjin : Soul music 

DVF : Whose your favourite soul singer?

Minjin : James Blunt

DVF : What movie would you recommend to a friend and why?

Minjin : Southpaw, because it teaches you how to get the fuck up when you fall down

DVF : If I was to raid your closer right now , what kind of clothes would be the most dominant?

Minjin : T-shirts and jackets

DVF : How often do you work out ?

Minjin : I work out almost every day except when I'm out or busy working

DVF : Which do you prefer? A wife or a baby mama?

Minjin : A wife

DVF : What is your favourite colour?

Minjin : My current favourite colour is black

DVF : Have you ever dated someone you met on instagram and how long did it last?

Minjin : Yes I have and it lasted for about a year

DVF : Pretty decent amount of time. If you got to plan it, what would the perfect romantic date be like for you?

Minjin : I would like a long walk in a quiet place before we have a nice meal together in a cozy restaurant and then we can talk about ourselves over drinks before enjoying a late night movie together

DVF : That would definitely be a very cute and romantic date, so back to more serious questions lol you left Kennis Music a few years back and you're now currently signed to Swaga Records, what made you feel like Swaga records is the right place and brand for you to belong to?

Minjin : Swaga records been family since I was in kennis music, they have been supporting my career since so what better way to seal our friendship than to join hands with then after my contract elapsed with kennis

DVF : Lastly what should we be expectant of from the Minjin Brand in the near future and what would you like your legacy to be?

Minjin : Music, the brand Minjin has got a lot up it's sleeves, expect international collaborations as well as timeless albums that would live through time.

DVF: Thank you so much for this lovely interview

Minjin:  Blessings, you're most welcome.



CONNECT WITH MINJIN ON HIS SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS

CLICK HERE FOR HIS FACEBOOK FANPAGE

CLICK HERE FOR HIS INSTAGRAM & HERE FOR HIS TWITTER

CHECK OUT A FEW OF MINJIN'S HIT SONGS BELOW

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