Olurotimi Akinosho, popularly known as Rotimi, is no stranger to the international entertainment scene. The talented actor and musician puts his heart and soul into everything he touches, and this has gained him millions of supporters who love, enjoy and respect his craft. Some of his unforgettable work includes his character of Darius Morrison on the Starz series Boss, as well as that of Andre Coleman on Power.
Raised in New Jersey, his upbringing contributed immensely to the kind of person he is today. He grew up as an only child and his parents played a huge role in supporting his interests and granting him access to opportunities which would bring him closer to the best version of himself.
“My parents let me try everything because they wanted me to find who I was as a person. And thank God they did this. I was playing violin, soccer, basketball and I was also part of the New Jersey Children’s Choir. I was doing all these things at the same time. That got me used to being a multi-hyphenate as I was able to do a lot of things and I realized I can my current work,” he said.
Rotimi also relayed how he fortunately did not experience any problems with fitting in as a Nigerian person born and bred in the United States.
“A lot of people didn’t know that I was Nigerian so I didn’t have to face a lot of stereotypes. They already thought I was American. It was actually harder for me to convince them that I’m Nigerian.”
Music is his first love and it has been in his spirit since he was 5 years old. Interestingly, his mother was his very first manager.
“She had me singing at weddings, performing at the YMCA and high school talent shows for years. It was really beautiful but it was also a learning experience for everyone because she didn’t know what she was really doing,” added the musician.
While his story with music was basically love at first sight, the same cannot be said for his passion for acting as it caught up with him only later on in life.
“I think it was maybe around 22 or 23. Acting wasn’t the original plan for me. It was God’s plan but it wasn’t what I really knew I wanted to pursue. I just knew I loved entertainment. I remember watching Michael Jackson’s music video and thinking about how incredible it was because it was technically a movie with music. All of his old music videos were like mini-movies and I remember just wanting to do something like that.”
Although Rotimi is known and loved for various characters which he has played, the comedic ones tend come out top in his books.
“My most favourite character would have to be the one on Coming 2 America. I wish I had more time with it. It would have been fun and different. It would have been something that is just more close to my actual personality. The most influential was obviously my role on Power but I feel like playing something silly or different is really important,” he said.
Working in an industry where his image and health are of the essence, the star also shared some of the things he does in order to remain healthy and happy.
“I drink a lot of water and I try to stay as stress-free as possible. I’m also in the gym 3 or 4 times a week. Working out is therapeutic for me.”
He also emphasized that a good diet goes a long way and that intermittent fasting is also something he does as it allows his body to get rid of toxins on its own.
Currently, his single ‘Make You Say’, featuring Nektunez is making waves with plenty of dance videos going viral. The song has an Amapiano feel to it and is something which Rotimi describes as the perfect blend between his own style and the Amapiano vibe.
“It wasn’t even a thought-out decision to make an Amapiano record. I met Nektunez and we wanted to record something really dope.
He just started playing these beats and I wasn’t truly familiar with Amapiano at that time. But I know good sound. I know good music and the log drum. He then explained to me that this is a style from South Africa and I told him that if we’re going to do this then I have to stay completely true and authentic to myself.”
The musician further added that he is grateful for the opportunity to contribute towards the growth of a beautiful genre and to push the culture forward. He is also not opposed to the idea of collaborating with any of Mzansi’s Amapiano acts.
“Everyone is so talented and I’m open to anyone that makes sense. I pray that they’d want to work with me as well.”
On days when he is not in studio or on set, the musician and actor can be found catching up on sleep or spending some quality time with his family.
“I don’t have that much free time so whenever I’m free, we binge-watch something that we can find on Netflix and just relax because I move around so much.”
Also a father, Rotimi shared how the journey of fatherhood has been educational, enlightening and generally one of continuous self-introspection.
“I have one child and we have another one on the way. Fatherhood teaches you a lot about the true definition of love. It teaches you about yourself and how you have to improve as a person. A child basically holds a mirror to you. It’s the ultimate self-check but it’s been a beautiful journey. My partner and I have learnt so much about each other too.”
In the upcoming year, supporters of Rotimi’s work can expect to laugh their socks off as they enjoy his character on a new movie called House Party.
“We’re releasing it in January and again, another funny character that I think if I had more time with, would be one of my favourites,” he added.
Excitingly, the musician also let slip that he is working on an EP which is also set to be released in 2023.