“I Rebelled and Here We Are…” Femi Onas and Learning Himself Through Music
I got a chance to ask pop (maybe?) musician Femi Onas about his musical journey and I was not at all
surprised by his answers, based on the groovy mixture of sounds I heard in his music. Just the title of his
song, “Would You Be My Lover,” took me back to being a little kid looking up old school music to
download on Kazaa. Take a listen to his SoundCloud and check out what he has to say about his musical
style and you’ll see exactly what I mean….
Hope: Where are you from? What was it like growing up?
Femi: My name is Femi Onas and I was born in Far Rockaway, Queens NY to Nigerian Immigrant
parents. I had an upbringing full of ups and downs but my musical appetites were fostered quite early
by my father who was an avid music lover. My mother also contributed by purchasing musical
instruments as well as making sure I always had batteries to listen to my radios. Despite this early
nurturing musically speaking, they were vehemently against my pursuit of music as a career. I rebelled
and here we are.
H: How has all of that affected your music?
F: Because of my early exposure to different genres, I developed an openness which has afforded me
great range in terms of musical composition. The different rhythms and cadences of Pop, R&B/Soul,
Funk, Hip-hop, Salsa, Afro-beat, Reggae, Classic Rock, Grunge, Punk etc. all make me the artist I am
H: Describe your music style.
F: My musical style is pretty open, fluid and not confined to any one genre institution. For the sake of
simplicity let’s just say pop.
H: Who are your influences?
F: My influences are so many but I’ll name a few; some of the main ones. James Brown, Jackie Wilson,
Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Parliament, Hector Lavoe, Fela Kuti, Ike and Tina and the
list goes on and on.
H: If you could record with one artist, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
F: There are so so so many but for simplicity once more let’s just say Stevie Wonder. Reason being you
never learn all there is to learn. Every day brings a wealth of lessons and if there’s any one close to
perfection musically it’s him. I’d like to work with him so I can learn as much as he knows.
H: Anything else we should know?
F: I feel music is a spiritual entity and should be respected, adored and carefully nurtured as opposed to
abused, exploited and misappropriated. My name is Femi Onas and I’m here with this voice that I’ve
been generously endowed with to make you laugh, dance, make love, cry, contemplate, pray and revolt.
My first and latest effort titled “Would You Be My Lover” is a lighthearted, up-tempo dance ode to
golden era 80s pop. With its catchy resounding melody, it fuses pop, R&B and funk to create the reason
for your inability to sit still.
You can catch Femi here:
And see his video here: