Music Updates

Rotimi Is ‘So Proud’ to Release Debut Studio Album ‘All or Nothing’: ‘I’m Stepping Into My Time’

The New Jersey native Nigerian artist’s all-new album comes nearly two years after the December 2019 release of his rhythmic EP, The Beauty of Becoming. That set’s lead single, “In My Bed” became an international sensation and peaked at No. 15 on the Billboard Top Triller Global chart. The track also peaked at No. 12 on the Hot R&B Songs chart, where it remained for 12 weeks. The beat, Afro-pronunciations and cadence were the perfect storm on ‘In My Bed,'” he says. “We got way more [hits] to make and this is the best time for All or Nothing. It was always a part of the plan.”

Rotimi is officially set to appear in the highly anticipated House Party film remake via New Line and HBO Max. Below, the multi-platform star opens up to Billboard about his new album, and balancing his music and film careers.

How long have you been working on All or Nothing, and why is now the perfect time to release it?  

I’ve been working on this album for a year and a half. Ever since COVID. Last February, I built a studio in my house and literally just locked myself in and recorded. I found out so many different sides of my musical ability and have been getting better and better. It was the first time I was ever able to focus on music for a long period of time because I’ve always been balancing the two, [acting and music]. For me it was like, ‘Go crazy. You got no excuses now, so go crazy. Do everything you said you wanted to do and create a project that people love.”

What made you feel “What to Do” and “Decide” would be the perfect lead singles?

I wanted to do something different that people hadn’t seen from me. “In My Bed” did what it needed to do, but that’s one side. Now I wanted to do something a little more mainstream with “What to Do” while simultaneously hitting you with some pure R & B. Now, you start seeing what I’m capable of doing, while I’m building the story out with the album from that point on. To open a new demographic of fans, “What to Do” felt like the right record to go with radio and get the ball rolling.

Why is it so important for you to show how diverse you are musically on your debut studio album? 

It would be doing my talents justice. I don’t want to focus on one thing. I was able to show the range of what I can do, because I feel like people need to hear that type of music. People need a soundtrack to their life. I give that option and that possibility, for people to vibe and play any Rotimi song at any moment they feel.

All or Nothing is being released by Empire, who you signed with in 2018. How has your experience been working with the label? 

I love it. It’s freedom. They believe in me. They’ve delivered on their end and I’ve continued to deliver on my end. All my numbers are consistently growing. I think it’s a great partnership and I feel like it’s the perfect situation for an artist.

Tell me about the album title, All or Nothing. How did you come up with it and what does it mean to you? 

It’s how I feel about my situation. You gotta go hard or go home and we wanted to make something that I poured everything into. With the way we have it structured, the music, all of my talents and ideas it’s like, you might as well go crazy or don’t do it at all. Give everything you got.

You’ve released mixtapes and EPs, most recently The Beauty of Becoming and Walk with Me, both in 2019With All or Nothing being your debut studio album, do you feel more pressure for it to succeed?

It’s not pressure because I’m confident that we made music that people are gonna gravitate towards. But you know how serious things are now and you don’t take it for granted. You maximize every opportunity. I’m stepping into my time, so now it’s like, “Make sure you do what you need to do.” I’ll always do music — but basically, I’m betting on myself. I’m putting all my chips in and I can guarantee that I’ll win.

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