mahabis interviews // niji adeleye, jazz musician


In between London and New York, we caught up with rising jazz musician Niji Adeleye. From starting the piano at age 13, to working in finance after university, Niji is now pursuing his music career, having reached Number 3 in the iTunes Jazz Charts with the release of his album 'Better Days Ahead'.  
Now busy writing, practising and recording, Niji talks to us about how there's little time for downtime these days, but there's some comfort in having his mahabis to wear in the studio. 


In one sentence, tell us what you do.

I am a musician.


Give us a bit of background on the path you've taken to where you are today...

I started playing the piano when I was about 13 years old. I'm from a very musical family, and my father plays 5 instruments which was a major influence on me. From about 14, I started getting formal classical and jazz lessons at my school, before I was picked up by my local music service.

The local music service brought together the young musicians from the borough, and allowed me to play in different jazz bands and ensembles. This is where I met two of my current band members. Fast forward 9 years, after university and spending two years working in finance, I recorded and released my debut album "Better Days Ahead". This reached number 3 in the iTunes Jazz charts.


From sunrise to sunset, talk us through a typical day in your life

A typical day starts in the gym!



Admin admin admin (organising the band, or gigs etc)

Once that's out the way and I don't have to run to a studio session or gig, I would practice. I'd possibly also record some ideas either for myself or other artists' projects.



One city you'd never tire of returning to, and why?

NEW YORK! I fell in love with the vibe and atmosphere there. Lucky for me, I performed my first showcase in NY after the release of "Better Days Ahead". I've also spent a considerable amount of time there, so it's become my second home!


Where do you spend most of your time? 

As unglamorous as it sounds, I spend a crazy amount of time at my desk on my laptop working! I try to be in front of organ, piano or audience as much as possible!



How important is downtime for you? 

Unfortunately at this stage in my career, there isn't much downtime! There's always something I could be doing: writing, prospecting for gigs or practising. Sleep is a distant memory!


Describe your ideal downtime.. the ultimate way you'd choose to unwind.

Friends + Food + Live Music + Beverage (possibly alcoholic) = Ideal Downtime


When you need to recharge your creativity, where do you get your inspiration from?  

I'm a big sucker for awesome city views. I often don't relax while I'm in the country - so a good way for me to relax and centre myself is to travel. I love dropping myself in the deep and experiencing different cultures


Niji's mahabis of choice: 

I chose the dark grey and black combination. I love wearing them indoors and they are awesome for keeping comfortable in the studio!


If you had an extra hour in the day, how would you spend it?

Practicing piano or organ! Just addicted!



Head to Niji's website to keep check out his latest album and tour dates. 

Related posts