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Hello Africa Episode 2 recap - Kevin Olusola

Hello Africa features host Eunice Omole and interviews with some of Africa’s most inspirational and successful celebrities.

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Kevin Olusola is born of a Nigerian father who later moved to Pennsylvania where he finished his residency.

Having realized the gifts in him at an early age, his parents transferred him to Owensboro where he was exposed to pre-calculus in the 9th grade. He later got accepted into Philips Academy Andover where to which he owes some of his virtues as an individual; he posits that: “That upbringing gave me the work ethic and persistence that I needed to be doing what I’m doing now.”

This was after he moved from an average student to a top honors student and his participation in various activities was due to the encouragement and the support that he got from his teachers and mentors at the institution.

These formed the foundations that define his establishment as a multi-instrumentalist and a singer and a budding entrepreneur, “I felt pressure to be the best at whatever I did. To follow their passions, but do it in a constructive manner. The pressure was internal because of the high expectations they had of me. I think that meant, I wanted high expectations for myself.”

Having identified his musical talents at an early age, his parents enrolled him for music lessons where at the age of four he was introduced to playing the piano, and he started playing the alto saxophone.

His confidence rose sky high as he participated in bands as well as community-based orchestras, it was not surprising that at the age of 12 he was chosen as the principal saxophonist in the Collegiate Wind Band. His talent was also nurtured in the Kentucky Youth Orchestra as a principal cellist.

KO, as he is nicknamed, is considered as the epitome of musical talent, and he, however, remains very humble over his successes as a musician, and he owes his achievements to his descent as an African, it has not been all rosy as one may think.

Tenacity and determination have always driven him forwards in his career as a musician, and he even quips “As long as I’m going fill force and doing what I love and pursuing the unthinkable the untouchable I think I'm successful because I have a reason to get up in the morning and do what I do. That’s what truly gets me excited…that’s my success.”

The joy of the parents was in the success of their son, and he regards them quite highly for the belief in him. They pushed him to scale higher heights because as non-natives, life was harder for them compared to the natives; “When you’re an immigrant parent, you come to the United States with the idea that your children have the best opportunity to succeed---when we say succeed,…it’s not just being able to make a living but to excel in areas that are challenging and prestigious.”

This seems to have been the driving force for KO; he, later on, became a member of Pentatonix, a group which took the music world by storm as they released hits after hits.

The group went on to win a Grammy in 2015, and their songs are rated so well on the Billboard. His beatboxing skills have also not gone unnoticed. Kevin has also ventured into a unique form of production and songwriting that uses stomping and clapping in Accapella.

Kevin Olusola is an icon worth emulating.

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