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Ofili Antetokounmpo crafting his own path through afrobeats

todayFebruary 28, 2024

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Ofili Antetokounmpo

On a balmy Lagos day on October 20, 1988, the Antetokounmpo family welcomed their eldest son, Francis Olowu Ofili Antetokounmpo, into a world that would soon marvel at the extraordinary trajectory of their kin. Yet, amid the towering shadows of basketball legends, Francis carves a niche that harmoniously marries the rhythm of sports with the cadence of music. An exemplar of multifarious talents, his journey diverges from the hardwood courts to the eclectic urban soundscapes, underscoring the range of his artistic and athletic prowess.

As the music director for HYFIN, I had the honor to delve deep into the saga of Francis “Ofili” Antetokounmpo. In our conversation for HYFIN Verified, Ofili granted us unprecedented access to his creative sojourn—a path etched with the influences of his Nigerian roots, the energy of Greek culture, and the connections bridged across continents through music and familial legacy.

Path Less Traveled: From the Pitch to the Studio

Francis’s early years were marked by a kinship with sports, evidently influenced by his father’s professional soccer background. Exhibiting his athleticism in soccer fields across Nigeria and Greece, Francis could have easily fallen into the brackets of his family’s basketball heritage. However, his spirit echoed a different kind of rhythm that drew him towards music.

His relocation to Athens became the bedrock for his artistic endeavors, and Francis unleashed his auditory persona through Afro Beats, Hip Hop, and Trap. His debut single ‘Shekosi,’ released through Def Jam Greece, underscored his crossover from athletics to music. He didn’t rest on the laurels of a well-received introduction to the music scene but continued to expand his portfolio with tracks like ‘Count On U,’ ‘On My Level,’ and the ‘Rise’ EP.

A Family Legacy Interlaced with Melody

During our conversation, Ofili oscillated between heartfelt anecdotes about his upbringing and analytical dissections of Nigerian music’s global influence. Despite achieving fame and success, his voice still carried the humble timbre of an artist grounded in family values and cultural pride.

Reminiscing about his days in Nigeria under his grandparent’s care, he credited them and his parents for instilling in him the virtues of self-discipline and love. His demeanor reflected these lessons—patience, focus, and gratefulness permeated through his voice. Francis also praised his father, Charles, not just for the love of football, a.k.a. soccer, but for ensuring the family’s unity and instilling the wisdom to leverage hardship into triumph.

Bridging Cultures and Sounds

Our dialogue naturally ventured into his creative process, highlighting the ease with which he collaborates with diverse artists. With Milwaukee’s Ray Nitti and IshDARR in his list of collaborators, Ofili demonstrated his knack for not only creating music that bridges his dual heritage of Greece and Nigeria but also connecting with the American music sphere.

Eagerly discussing forthcoming projects, including his upcoming single ‘Gratitude,’ Ofili’s commitment to his craft was unmistakable. With a subtle hint of pride, he shared his openness to collaborations and the desire to connect with a global audience through his music.

As our conversation ended, Francis offered insights into his favorites in the hip-hop and Afrobeats arenas. He stated that American artists were instrumental in his artistic growth. He easily named hip hop like Tupac, Biggie, and 50 cent as motivators within his musical journey. His musical preferences mirrored his art—eclectic, impactful, and resonant. Ofili’s musical journey has also inspired his mother, Veronica Antetokounmpo, to create and release her new single, “Count Your Blessings.”

In Conclusion

Francis “Ofili” Antetokounmpo stands at the juncture where paths diverge—one leading to the legacy established by his family in the sports world, the other being the one he’s paving in earnest melodies and thoughtful tunes. His journey is a testament to the power of individuality and a reminder that beyond the bright lights of fame, there lies the steady glow of authentic passion for the arts. At age 34, Ofili continues to write his unique verse in the Antetokounmpo family epic—not with a basketball, but with a microphone and a message of peace.


Written by: Element Everest-Blanks

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