Midas the Jagaban is a bit of a mystery.
For the British-Nigerian musician, who has worn a mask since breaking out onto the UK’s Afrobeats scene in 2020, anonymity is of the highest importance, and although she insists on keeping her personal life separate from her musical alter ego, she does offer some explanation for her alias.
“It’s inspired by The Midas Touch – the Greek myth of King Midas, where everything he touched turned to gold. The alias itself is almost like a comic book character kind of vibe, totally separate from myself, a different kind of vibe altogether.”
So far, it seems everything Midas touched has turned to gold. Her debut EP, Midas Touch, was an instant social media hit, with lead singles – the high octane earworms Come We Bill Ehh and Party With A Jagaban – amassing over 104 million Spotify streams combined. How’s that for a debut?
The following year, Midas was nominated for a MOBO Award. “[That] was very surprising for me,” she says, Zooming in from her home in South East London, where she was born and raised. “Then performing at Carnival this year was a really important way for me to see how people responded to the music, all the love, which I hadn’t seen before.”
Then, Midas took some well-deserved time off to work on new material, and to be sure her follow-up project was well worth the wait. On 17th November, she’ll release Midas Touch EP Vol 2: Return of the Mask, which promises a more experimental approach to Afrobeats. The single Melanin Pop blends a techno bassline with Afrobeats and amapiano rhythms to dizzying effect.
“I just want people to feel different when they listen to my music,” Midas continues. “I want it to help them escape from their day-to-day life, and not think too much about things. Being young, you think about the future too much. Things will go the way they need to.”
10% What kind of emotions and experiences influence your work?
Freedom, and the emotion that makes you crave freedom, maybe when you’re feeling unsettled.
20% Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
Definitely Kanye, The Weeknd and Olamide.
30% If you were cooking to impress someone, what would you make?
My special pasta! That’s my go-to. Tomato sauce and cheese. I might also put some parsley on there.
40% What’s a bad habit you wish you could kick?
Smoking cigs. It’s a habit I’ve adopted over time and I really hope I can stop someday.
50% What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
I remember someone telling me that even if they don’t get it, as long as I do, no one else can question me or make me feel any type of way about something.
60% If you ruled the world for a day, what would go down?
I don’t want the stress of ruling the world! I’d just let everyone do their ting.
70% Love, like, hate?
I love weed, I like cats and I hate slugs.
80% Dream holiday destination?
Japan. I feel like that’s a good tourist ting. Then I wanna go Bali on a proper baecation ting.
90% Most memorable DM you’ve ever received?
I remember once there was a fan who got very angry at me for not releasing some music. They kept making threats. But it was a little kid, so it was quite funny. No scary shit.
100% If you could travel back in time to watch an iconic music act perform, who would it be?
Queen. I’d have loved to see them.