From reality star to superstar: Laycon makes his move
Fame is not an easy thing to handle and for someone who just won the grand prize of N85 million barely a year ago, much is expected and even sometimes, when you give your best, there’s always that fear that it might not live up to the expectation
This is the case of Olamilekan Agbeleshe, popularly known by his stage name Laycon, who emerged the winner of the most-watched season of the Big Brother Naija reality show ever. His celebrity status skyrocketed with the win and his social media followers followed suit to a count of 3 million followers on Instagram and 1 million followers on Twitter.
After winning the show, Laycon collaborated with DJ Neptune to remix his smash hit song ‘Nobody’ with Joeboy. Laycon did not miss and even took the song to new heights with his version gaining huge popularity beyond the original version.
People who knew the rapper before his time on the Big Brother Naija show have testified that he is actually immensely talented. He even had an EP, Who is Laycon, that was released before the show and it does offer some good lyrical content as well as great melody.
Despite his famed brilliance and talent, there seemed to be an apprehension that he could fail to capitalize on the opportunities winning the show afforded him. Quite a handful of former contestants from the reality show have invariably failed to turn their fame into a launchpad for their career.
From the first listen, “Wagwan” by Laycon, hints that it’s a song tailored to etch itself in the minds of listeners immediately they hear any part of the song. It embraces the rapper’s newfound fame, financial and celebrity status. The song also gives credence to the story of where he is coming from.
“Wagwan” appears to be divided into two parts with the first being more of an Afrobeats song where Laycon stretches his vocal. He uses the latter part to exercise his lyrical ability with what my colleague calls ‘high school rap’.
There are no details yet on the mastery and mixing of the song as well as its production credits. However, Pulse writer Alake rightly says that the song feels cut from ‘the Sess-Falz era of Hip-Hop-infused pop music’ that reigned just a few years ago.
Regardless, the majority of social media reaction to the song has been positive with some of the few notable ones we collated having the following to say about it:
Laycon is going to be around for a pretty long time. He did justice to his new songs – Fall For Me and Wagwan. The latter is such a feel good, groovy tune. Lovely stuff. ??
— E (@iamOkon) March 10, 2021
Laycon’s transitions are always on point… man bodied himself on Wagwan.. if that’s even a thing… laycon sabi ?
— ???? ? (@thatSlimFella) March 10, 2021
When I first listened to wagwan I thought it was Olamide singing.
Omo Laycon sabi o#WagwanOutNow
— Cheerokee (@okeniyi40) March 10, 2021
The last user compares him to the Nigerian music icon Olamide, which is quite the high praise.
Fall For Me
For his second track “Fall For Me“, Laycon teams up with YKB, a seemingly unknown vocalist who had also worked with Zlatan Ibile on “Dey Your Dey”.
Laycon delivered some lines to remind his listeners they are still listening to a rap song but the overwhelming direction of the music is clear. It is also a win for the two artists involved in its making.
The song is also generating positive reviews and reactions online with people already presumptuously calling it a classic song.
Laycon just released a classic bop…..Fall for me!!!!??
— Vjpresh30BG? (@OlajideDMW) March 9, 2021
— TEEMAH?? (@teemah_kenny) March 10, 2021
“Fall For Me” appears to be the more popular of the two songs and it found itself on the Nigeria Twitter trend table within a few hours of its release. It also topped iTunes charts in Nigeria and Ghana on the first of its release.
It is without a doubt that Laycon is finely positioned to take his music career to even bigger heights. Just recently, he performed at the 14th Headies award show. Also, he is the subject of the first-ever Showmax Nigerian original series “I Am Laycon” which launched on 11 February 2021.
Learning from predecessors?
While past winners of the Big Brother Naija reality show such as Miracle Igbokwe and Michael Efe Ejeba have not exactly been successful in the entertainment industry, others like Mercy Eke and Katung Aduwak did leverage on the fame they found on the show to give their career a major boost.
Miracle Igbokwe, understandably, was never interested in the entertainment industry but there are others who came on the BBNaija show as actors, actresses or singers and have summarily vanished since the show ended. Laycon is proving to be on a different path.
Instead, he has become one of the celebrities that BBNaija made like the iconic presenter and host Ebuka Uchendu, actress Bisola Aiyeola, actor Tobi Bakare, and actor Gideon Okeke (though not winners).
Releasing two songs that already look like successes is a message that he will not be a ‘one-hit wonder’ neither will he bloom only for a short period of time before withering into oblivion.
Understandably, not everyone sees Laycon as a success yet. There are still those that doubt that the young man is here to stay and they believe that if his BBNaija house fanbase, ICONS, outgrow him, he will not be able to keep up the pace.
These doubts are valid but will not change the fact that at this time, the 26-year-old singer is giving his fans what they love and he is basking in the warmth of their affection for him. What more can an Icon ask for?