The name ‘Small Doctor’ surely rings a bell in the ears of Nigerian music enthusiasts. As is widely known, Nigeria is blessed with some of the most talented musicians on the planet. Many of the country’s singers have gained global recognition, and are also very rich. We have artistes like Small Doctor, Davido, Wizkid, Olamide, Phyno, Timaya, and many others, who became multimillionaires via their music careers. Many of them have also won top awards all over the country and beyond.
The genres of music that the Nigerian music industry is known for includes Jazz, Afro, Juju, Hip hop, and etcetera. Even though hip hop appears to be the order of the day, Afro and Juju music are also very prominent. Persons like Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Pasuma Wonder, Kwam 1 ‘The Ultimate’, and a few other musical icons in the past have redefined the landscape of juju and Afro music in Nigeria.
This post explores the Biography and other key information about Small Doctor, who is one of the best ‘Afro-pop’ musicians in Nigeria at the moment.
Many Nigerian musicians have stage names that are entirely different from their original birthnames, and Small Doctor is no exception. His real name is Temitope Adekunle, and while the inspiration behind his stage name ‘Small Doctor’ is not clearly known, we can emphatically assert that it has nothing to do with a medical career. Small Doctor is not an accredited medical Doctor, not is he a licensed healthcare provider, or even a medical student.
Early History, Education and Development:
Small Doctor was born Temitope Adekunle October 19 1996. He is currently 22 years old. He hails from Ondo state, and was born in one of the local government areas of the state. His primary education was at Aina Orosan Primary School, and then his secondary school education was undertaken at Oniwaya Secondary School, both in Ondo state.
Small Doctor was born into a low-income family. Tertiary education was nearly an impossibility for him, and even when he managed to enrol at the University of Lagos after his secondary education, he was forced to drop out due to financial issues.
At some point in his life, he shuttled between working as a bus conductor in Lagos State, and working as an ‘okada’ rider, still in the city of Lagos. This period of hustling spanned over a decade, before he experienced a major breakthrough.
Small Doctor is a phenomenal musician. He is most popular for the song ‘Penalty’, which is one of his hottest songs ever. The main genre of his music work is ‘Fuji Pop’, and he has worked with several prominent musicians like Terry G, Olamide Badoo and OritseFemi.
Small Doctor started his career in music during the time he worked as an ‘okada’ rider. He would spend time creating tunes and crafting lyrics in his memory, and he often performed at street carnivals. Soon, he began to record tracks in studios, and began publicizing them. After a while, a certain DJ Real, who is a popular DJ at a radio station in Lagos took notice of his talent and gave him a platform, which he fully maximized.
Things began to brighten up for him, and by 2015 he had recorded his first album, titled ‘Omo-iya Teacher’ (meaning ‘Child of the Teacher’, when translated.) In this album, he collaborated with Olamide Badoo, Q-Dot, Mz Kiss and Seriki, all fellow musicians.
Nonetheless, he really began to gain popularity after he released other songs like ‘Mosquito Killer’ and ‘Gbagaun’.
Small Doctor’s most popular song is titled ‘Penalty’. It was this song that shot him into limelight. It features hilarious and thoughtful lyrics, fitted with a trendy tune that fits the cravings of most music lovers.
According to him, he got the inspiration for the song from his mother. In 2016, he got dominated for the Best Street Hip Hop Artiste award at the Headies Awards, but he eventually lost as Olamide Badoo claimed the award. Shortly after Olamide was announced as winner, the singer got on phone with his mother to break the news; and as he explained the outcome of the award to her, she responded in yoruba language, telling him to continue to work hard. Her exact words to him that fateful night were, “Winner, Winner, Better work hard, ko ma lo gba penalty e ló throw-in next year”. In English, ‘ko ma lo gba penalty e ló throw-in’ literally means ‘so that you’ll not play your penalty kick towards throw-in’.
Even though it appeared that she was only advising him to keep his focus so as to meet his career targets, her choice of words and manner of expression struck a cord within him, and he could not just get over the line ‘ko ma lo gba penalty e ló throw-in’. It is hilarious to think of how a professional football player would be so incompetent as to play a penalty kick towards throw-in, but he made sense of it, and decided to develop it into a song. There and then, the song ‘Penalty’ was birthed, and it became an instant hit. In it, he advises people to wake up to responsibility and keep their focus, so as to achieve their goals.
He has since won numerous awards and performed the song at concerts in several countries all over the world.
He is presently a key member of popular record label, RealBeat Planet Entertainment.
Small Doctor’s music style and career has been helped by certain influential personalities in his life. His mother is one of them, having being the inspiration behind his song ‘Penalty’. She also supports him and keeps advising him on ways to make his career better.
Small Doctor has also been greatly influenced by the Fuji legend, Alhaji Alabi Pasuma, a.k.a ‘Pasuma Wonder’. Pasuma is a veteran musician, with over two decades of service in the Nigerian music industry. In fact, it was Pasuma who gave him the nick name ‘Small Doctor’.