Rotimi: Standing Out in a Crowd
Already a double threat for acting and singing, Rotimi talked with AndWePresent, and we learned that he is on a mission to become the best entertainer there ever was. Through confidence, persistence and patience, everything is coming to back to him, full circle.
Singing since he was six years old, his love for the stage developed during his time with the New Jersey children’s choir. “It was my first time singing with people, so I was able to see where I was at and what I needed to on work on. And it was cool because we were traveling. We were the best in New Jersey, so it really gave me confidence as a kid,” says Rotimi.
Most recognizable for his reoccurring role in the television drama, “Boss”, Rotimi enjoyed the experience and took everything it had to offer, and learned from it. What most don’t know is that “Boss” was his first audition. He’d taken acting classes while at Northwestern University, but only as an elective, never thinking that acting could be perused as a full-time career. “The director of “Boss” was in my audition and he was just wowed by my audition and we moved from there,” Rotimi recalls. “I learned so much from so many great actors and actresses, just good people in the industry. I learned how to stay humble and move around in a room…It was bigger than a show, we were a family. Working with Kelsey Grammar was great, too. I had to step my game up every time because he’s one of the best ever, so I couldn’t look like a rookie, it forced me to grow up really fast.”
Back in 2009, Rotimi opened up for rapper T.I., and from performing with him on stage, who knew that three years later he and T.I. would be starring opposite of each other on the show. For Rotimi, that was one of his most memorable experiences. It is memories like that, that drives the concept behind Rotmi’s next album, “Rotation”. He says, “I wanted to write from a place of rotation, how everything comes full circle and even my relationships with women. It’s the real truth…The truth of everything.”
Although Rotimi has been focusing on his music, his acting has also lead him to star opposite of Jennifer Hudson and Forest Whitaker for the movie, “Black Nativity”. Another film, “Imperial Dreams” which he had the pleasure of starring opposite of Keke Palmer, just screened at the Sundance Film Festival also.
With inspirations like Michael Jackson and Bob Marley, plus life experiences, his fans can expect a little bit of everything from this album. He’s switched up his production, wrote his lyrics from the heart and is looking forward to the completion of the album. Overall, Rotimi says that hardest part is staying true to yourself. In an industry that encourages you to be a carbon copy of other performers, Rotimi emphasizes that you have to believe in yourself and keep pushing. He explained a time when a label tried to force him to move in the direction of Trey Songz, and Rotimi says he respects Trey Songz and thinks he’s dope, but there can only be one Trey Songz, you have to focus on yourself and the artist that you want to be. He says, “You have to be persistent and you have to stay patient. You have to believe that you are your own man; you are your own boss. You have to believe that they need you, you don’t need them. You are the talent, so they work for you. A lot of artists get it backwards where they feel like they work for these people and they do, to a certain extent. The ship goes as far as the artist goes, so if you believe in yourself, you can control your own thing.”
Right now, Rotimi is finishing up his album and getting prepared for the year ahead. He says, “Now is my moment. I’ve showed people what I’m capable of doing. It’s time to take it more seriously and right now is that time. The stars are aligning perfectly.”