Omoniyi Temidayo Raphael, best known as “Zlatan Ibile,” is a young 26 years old fast-rising, award-winning Afrobeats rapper and dancer who is one of the most headlining Nigerian singers in recent times. The rapper was brought to the limelight after the release of his popular Olamide-assisted hit track, My Body, in 2017, in addition to his subsequent singles Zunku (Legwork), which was accompanied by a novel dance routine, and his 2019 most popular hit song Yeye Boyfriend.
Zlatan Ibile is also famous for his popular slang “Kapaichumarimarichopaco,” which has clinched to the lips of most music lovers in the country. This further made him gain more popularity in the Nigerian music scene.
He Is From Ekiti But Was Born In Kwara State, Nigeria
Omoniyi Temidayo Raphael was born in Ilorin, the capital city of Kwara state, on December 19, 1994, though he is a native of Ekiti State. Meanwhile, he had spent some part of his childhood in Ilorin before moving to Lagos, where he completed his secondary education. Zlatan Ibile had a strong craving for football than music from his childhood, as many fans may have thought.
He had even wished to become a footballer and is an ardent fan of the football icon Zlatan Ibrahimovic – this was obviously what inspired his stage name as a singer. Coming from a poor background, Zlatan struggled to complete his secondary education. He even proceeded to the higher institution at the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic in Ogun State, where he majored in Business administration and earned a National Diploma in the course in 2011.
Meanwhile, Zlatan fully harnessed his music potentials during his polytechnic days, which led him to win the One Mic Campus Tour music competition, sponsored by the telecommunications giant- Airtel Nigeria. Incredibly, Zlatan was only 19 years old at that time. At the same time, he had started nursing the idea of venturing into music since his secondary school. That being said, his education may have positively influenced his later career as a singer.
Zlatan Ibile Was Raised By Conservative Parents
Surprisingly, Zlatan came from a family of fervent Christian faithful as his father is said to be a clergyman at the Redeem Christian Church of God. This implies that he was brought up along with his siblings following the tenets of Christianity which the family dearly upholds.
In essence, he has been more of a church boy while growing up, owing to the expectations that the Pastors’ children have to be equally very active with church activities. Thus, he joined the church band, where he became a drummer in the church choir. Be that as it may, being born without a silver spoon, Zlatan did not have such a rosy childhood as his family was said to have struggled financially. Growing up, Zlatan could not enjoy the much-expected luxuries of life as his other well-to-do friends to the extent that he had to take up some menial jobs like bricklaying and grass cutting to support himself and his family, which he revealed in an interview with BBC Pidgin.
His Career kicked Off When He Was 19 Years Old
The king of street Music, Zlatan Ibile’s career could be said to have kicked off when he was only 19 years old. His journey to fame was quite a swift one, and it all started shortly after he completed his secondary school when he stumbled into one of his friends who told him that he had been going to a music studio and that he had even recorded a song. This revelation instantly ignited the innate music passion of Zlatan. From that point, he also decided to start going to the studio alongside his friend with the conviction that he could do better than his friend as he already has the talent coupled with the fact that he had gained singing experience while he was in his church choir.
By the time Zlatan Ibile was admitted into the polytechnic, he had already pictured himself becoming a musician. His first experience with the mic played out when he got into the One Mic Campus Tour, a music completion put together in his school by Airtel, and as fate will have it, Zlatan put in his best and wowed the crowd with his talent. Consequently, this later saw him emerging as the competition’s overall winner, thus driving home the grand prize of a luxury car. This feat watered the ground for his later exploits in the music industry.
My Body (2017), Brought Zlatan Ibile To Limelight
As soon as the afrobeat rapper stormed the Nigerian music industry, he became easily identifiable with his catchphrase Kapaichumarimarichopaco. His first studio experiment came in 2016 when he recorded his song Odun Yi; his friends within the neighborhood applauded his effort. Again in 2017, he was also able to drop another track titled Omoge, this track turned to be better than his first song, yet these two songs could not accord him the desired national recognition in the industry.
Luckily for Zlatan, he got the golden opportunity to feature the Afrobeats and hip hop superstar Olamide who is already a household name in the music industry. In this regard, Zlatan, along with Olamide, released the hit single My Body in 2017, this became his game-changer as the collaboration thrilled his growing fans, and it became a massive hit track, thereby giving Zlatan nationwide recognition while the song trended.
It is as the result of this track that he caught the attention of Mr. Lawrence Irabo, the co-owner of Alleluyah Boiz Entertainment (A.B.E), who saw the great potentials in Zlatan and decided to sign him to the record label in 2018.
Also, still in 2018, Zlatan was featured in the monstrous hit track Able God by the music sensation Chinko Ekun. This song also improved Zlatan Ibile’s popularity a great deal.
However, all of those were just the tip of the iceberg as his next hit song Zanku (Legwork), skyrocketed and turned him into a very prominent superstar.
The soaring success of Zanku (which literally means Zlatan Abeg No Kill Us) was not unconnected to the new dance routine that accompanied the song, which has now become one of the most trending latest dance routines for millions of fans nationwide even internationally. Again, in 2018 Zlatan had another successful collaboration with one of the most popular Nigerian celebrities and musical icon Davido in another chart-topping single, Osanle, which was widely accepted by fans.
Additionally, the Afrobeats rapper featured the African musical figure Burna Boy in the track Killing Dem which became an award-winning song and got him several prestigious awards and nominations. Yet again, Zlatan also featured Nigerian hip hop goddess Tiwa Savage in the single Shotan. With these eminent collaborations, Zlatan has now proven his worth in the music industry.
Zlatan Ibile kept wowing his fans back to back, and in 2019, he released the masterpiece tracks YeYe Boyfriend and Bolanle, which are in his album Zanku. These tracks became exceptionally popular. Particularly, YeYe Boyfriend turned out to be the most popular song of the year and could be said to have attained the status of an anthem on the lips of every music lover in Nigeria and beyond.
The rapper kept adding more songs to his library with other hits such as The Matter, Unripe Pawpaw, and several other thrilling songs. Recently, his years of hard work finally paid off as he became officially recognized and honored with awards and many nominations notable among them are
- Headies Award for Best Collaboration Burna Boy and Zlatan for Killin Dem in 2019.
- African Muzik Magazine Awards for the Song of the Year Best Collaboration for Killin Dem
With this, it is clear that more awards are still underway for the young rapper as we watch him climb to the peak of his career.
List of Zlatan Ibile’s Songs and Collaborations
Here is the complete list of all Zlatan Ibile’s Songs and collaborations with other artists according to the year of release.
- “Odun Yi” (featuring Spaceboi) Non-album single
- “My Body” (featuring Olamide)
- “Jogor” (featuring Lil Kesh and Naira Marley)
- “Zanku (Legwork)”
- “Osanle” (featuring Davido)
- “This Year”
- “4 Days in Ekohtiebo”
- “Killin Dem” (with Burna Boy)
- “Shotan” (featuring Tiwa Savage)
- “kokosa” (featuring Juls, Damibliz, Jorlasi)
- “Bolanle” (with IVD) Non-album single
- “Gbeku” (featuring Burna Boy) Zanku
- “Yeye Boyfriend”
- “Unripe Pawpaw” (featuring Papisnoop, Jamo Pyper, and Oberz)
- “The Matter”
- “Soro Soke”
- “Lagos Anthem”
As Featured Artist
- “Jo” (Dammy Krane featuring Zlatan and Olamide)
- “Am I a Yahoo Boy” (Naira Marley featuring Zlatan)
- “Kowope” (HDT featuring Zlatan and GCN)
- “Flenjo” (Ceeza Milli featuring Zlatan)
- Lock Up (Davolee ft. Zlatan)
- “Chacha” (Remix) (Harrysong featuring Zlatan)
- “Onye Eze 2.0” (CDQ featuring Zlatan)
- “Gelato” (DJ Cuppy featuring Zlatan)
- “Chairman” (Remix) (Dremo featuring Zlatan)
- “Pongilah” (Slimcase featuring Zlatan)
- “Egungun” (Remix) (Obesere featuring Zlatan)
- “Of Lala” (Rahman Jago featuring Zlatan and Jamo Pyper)
- “O Por” (Rexxie featuring Zlatan)