My Bro is a bi-weekly Zikoko series that interrogates and celebrates male friendships of different forms.
A mutual friend brought Rhaffy and Dwin, the Stoic to work with them in a recording studio in 2018. They quickly bonded, and their work relationship has since blossomed into a friendship.
Let’s start from the beginning. When and how did you guys meet?
Dwin: We met at a recording studio in Victoria Island through Otims, a mutual friend who wanted to work with me after my first album dropped. Rhaffy was going to produce it. That night, we worked on a song and connected so well.
Rhaffy: I think I still have that song somewhere on my Drive.
First impressions of each other?
Rhaffy: He was open-minded. You know, sometimes, when you work with someone for the first time, they want to be in their space and do their own thing, but it was different with Dwin. He was calm; he didn’t even seem like an artist that had already dropped a body of work. Dwin’s personality is an interesting one — when you meet him, you get this feeling of “Oh, let’s keep this going.”
Dwin: In this music business, you can work with someone once and never do it again. But that wasn’t the case with Rhaffy. We understood each other. I like how he works too. We began creating and things were coming together. At that point, I knew Rhaffy was malleable, just like me.
Did you know each other’s musical work before you met?
Rhaffy: Nahh, that was the first time actually.
Dwin: It was the first time. But wait, Rhaffy, you’ve produced on Otims’ project, yeah?
Rhaffy: All Otims’ songs from back then actually.
Dwin: So before Otims hit me up about collaboration, I had listened to his EP and I really liked what I heard. The production was incredible. I felt it’s something I’d also like to explore in my music.
What if the other person wasn’t feeling your sound?
Rhaffy: I didn’t feel like that. Otims already told me Dwin was going to drop by. Otims is a talented guy, and I believe anyone he recommends would be equally talented. The synergy from the onset was positive.
Dwin: Yeah, exactly. Nothing like that. I came through to the studio, Rhaffy played an instrumental, and we started vibing. We got into the song pretty much immediately.
Rhaffy: I remember, after the session, I had to go listen to Dwin’s project, and I was like, “Wow”.
How exactly did you go from working together to becoming friends?
Rhaffy: It was immediate. The first song we worked on turned out to be a big one. So we knew we had to come together to make more music.
Dwin: We’d link up to work on some great ideas we already had, then finish up and start new ones in the studio. This happened week after week, session after session. As we made the music, the friendship bond got stronger.
Rhaffy: Prior to our linkups, we’d talk about what we’d do and stuff like that.
Dwin: I was working a 9-5 that time. So sometimes I’d go to the studio from work on Fridays and go back home on Saturday mornings. We did that throughout 2018 and 2019.
In my songs, I mostly talk about life and the things that affect us. While recording, we’d talk about our lives and the things we want to do. We’re aligned in terms of vision and how big we’re trying to be.
Rhaffy: It’s beyond music now. In fact, music isn’t the top two or three of what connects us right now.
What are the top two?
Rhaffy: Life and money.
Dwin: Yes, because this shit is also a business.
We’re building a community as well; bringing people together from our different circles and sourcing opportunities. We’re grabbing all we can from every side.
Do you do music full-time now?
Dwin: Yeah, that’s our day job. That’s our major.
How’s that going in this Buhari times turned agbado era?
Dwin: It’s not easy. But we’re so sure about the music. Four years ago, the vision wasn’t as clear. Now, we’re just biding time. Soon enough, we hope to be out there.
People come and go, but we believe our music connects with multiple generations on a personal level. We believe it can touch lives, and we know the more people it speaks to, the higher it will go.
Rhaffy: So that’s it. That’s what we’re doing.
Dwin: There’s a plan to do a show in Lagos soon. We’ve been rehearsing for that. There’s also a potential show in Dakar that we’re still trying to talk to the organisers about.
Rhaffy: Yeah, we’re trying to be out there.
Dwin: You’ll see us in shows very soon. If the plans fall through, Rhaffy and I will be making music with a couple of musician-friends of ours in whatever city you might happen to catch us.
Dwin, can you remember a time Rhaffy came through for you?
Dwin: Many times. I don’t think I can pick one. It started very early in the friendship; like when I’d need a quick mix for a song. Even when payment wasn’t ready, he’d do it. Also, it’s the little things that friends do. From seeking advice on certain things to needing a place to crash sometimes.
What about you, Rhaffy?
Rhaffy: Dwin hooks me up with great gigs. If I had other friends that could give me those kinds of gigs, they might ask for 10% or 20%.
Like he said, “It’s the little things that friends do.” If I have to start writing them down, it’s going to cover a whole 60 leaves note.
Do you guys fight at all?
Rhaffy: If we get into fights, it’s because of the music. I won’t even call them fights or disagreements. We just share different opinions sometimes. But we’re always open-minded.
Dwin: If someone wants to try something new, we talk about it and make suggestions. If it still doesn’t work, or you can’t talk about it, no issues.
Who do you think is the most emotional?
Rhaffy: I’m not emotional. I’m always direct.
Dwin: I think I’m more emotional. Rhaffy, though, when he gives compliments, he means it.
Rhaffy: I don’t think we’re emotional people, honestly. We’re only emotional when our songs drop.
Dwin: We just call each other and gush about the music.
Anything you’d like to change about your friendship?
Rhaffy: Nothing. If there’s one thing we both want, it’s to make plenty money.
Dwin: That’s it. There’s nothing to change. We’re aware of our growth. We’ve achieved a lot in the last four years. Imagine what the next few years will look like, especially with the kind of music we’re working on. For example, we just made a record with Ogranya.
Rhaffy: That song is not from this planet, bro. Ogranya is the coolest guy. He was actually cooler than I thought. We played FIFA, I defeated him four or five times. Then after the recording, I was so excited that I allowed him to beat me 10-0. I have to say this because he posted it on his Instagram.
Dwin: Anyway, you’ll hear the song soon. It’s ridiculous.
What’s something you’ve always wanted to tell the other person?
Rhaffy: I always wanted to tell Dwin that he’s the best songwriter in the world. And you need to accept it with your full chest, my brother, because it’s something you shy away from.
Dwin: I need to start saying it randomly.
Rhaffy: You need to officially start saying it, bro. I’m serious. And it’s not just about writing alternative songs. Any genre, you kill it.
Dwin: So here’s the thing about Rhaffy. He has the best ears. Just leave the music to Rhaffy; it doesn’t matter what genre. We did a random spontaneous thing on the rock version of Allez, a song on our new EP, Love Lane. He made the drums sound with his mouth. If you heard it, you wouldn’t know it’s Rhaffy. He has music inside him. I’ve always wanted him to know that. I think the fact that we met is unfair because there’s nothing we set our minds to that we can’t achieve together.
Rhaffy: It’s like having Messi, Suarez and Neymar in one team. We’re like 2014/2015 Barcelona.
Do you have an interesting bro story you’d like to share? Fill this form and we’ll get back to you.