Friday Feature: Don Steve has a “Mind Of A King”.

By Phumzile Mavimbela

 Don Steve carries a harmonious sound design in his latest offering; an 11 track album packed with an essential afrobeat care package curated with impeccable taste and distinct earworm passion and audio zest. Born Okeowo Stephen Oladimeji, this West African national captures the essence of Africa through his distinct desire to change the perception of African culture on a global scale. 

Don Steve grew up in the vibrantly and busy city of Surulere Lagos State Nigeria, his upbringing consisted mostly of hearty warm family meals and visits to the local fresh foods market. Naturally, the core of Don Steve's values is; soul. From the early age of 12 Don had been a member of the local church choir, Don steve is also a music theory graduate who has a fondness for wind instruments and happens to play the recorder and saxophone.

Don currently resides in the beautiful City of Tshwane where he has placed roots for his growing record label OkBeatz, which he established in January of 2020. “I have been in SA for over 5 years, I find it welcoming, warm and the music is inspired” , says Don Steve. He  has released a full body of work titled; Mind Of A King on 05 March‘21
His debut Album comes after nearly 1 year of successful music collaborations, record label establishments and ultimately becoming an entrepreneurial artist with a platform to turn authentic vision into song. 

Don Steve

Mind Of A King — A purposefully robust 11 track Album packed with afrobeat,  amapiano flavour and a message of hope for the people all across Africa.  Assembled through musing masterful instruments not only to lure the earworms but rather it evokes profound sentiment, through its spirited staccato rhythm, the “dancercise”  progression of the percussion while the dancehall flavor perfectly paired with brisk aura saxophones.       

Don Steve put his pain into this artistry and told a story that men from the diverse African diaspora can relate to. “Black men are part of the lifeblood and contribute a great deal to the heartbeat of black families. But the road to leading our families freedom in not an easy one.” Mind Of A King; stems from some eye-opening struggles Don Steve endured when he first arrived in South Africa.

Don delivers powered masculine vocals, articulation and rhythmic complexity. He takes us on an imaginative journey as he elaborates on the birth of “Mind Of A King”. 

“Thinking back to my first day arriving into South Africa, I was stood up, by a friend who was meant to pick me up and give me accommodation until i was financially stable, he instructed me to make my way to a filling station, and never arrived, I was stuck in the brutally cold winter weather of Johannesburg for hours, not being able to recognise any familiar faces, not knowing how to ask for help without seeming shady or like a criminal, being treated like a homeless nobody. Having to build unique business tancity by selling goods on the side of the street for a meer meal. In this hardship I also met a lot of people who had nothing but bad intentions for me, some of these people took advantage of my vulnerability, some pretended to be friends and I ended up with large ‘knives’ in my back. Some discouraged me from my dreams and some did everything in their power to block my road to success.``

Don Steve’s lyrics and the storyline is an authentic ensemble that outlines the lengths and extremes that come with being a black man with a dream.

Mind Of A King consists of 11 tracks, Jeje which has been the single extracted from this amazing album. Jeje has been well received by various South African radio stations. The Jeje music video is set to be released and screened on all major TV platforms by 1 July 2021.

Jeje was released in 5 March 2021 and has since received significant radio support. The track was produced by Champion Bwoy YL. 
Jeje is the current single from the album. Don showcases his amazing songwriting capabilities alongside his sensually masculine voice. Jeje in this instance refers to how our youth forget to plan, especially pertaining to serious things like one's own dreams, “I have seen many abandon their own dreams to pursue someone else's dream, simply because they desired something they saw. We need to stay on our own path and not be swayed into another path because it looks good. Don't rush, Jeje, take it easy.”

Malode  an amapiano afrobeat fusion, this song is the ideal dance track, the fusion carries authentic amapanio flavor and is well paired with the afrobeat Melody- The word Malode can be derived from Melody. 

Mind Of A King This title track gives meaning to the word hustle, a storyline of rising after falling. A word of encouragement for those who feel like giving up. Your dreams have been placed in you for you to achieve. You have the mind of a king, don't surrender to negativity and press on, you are royalty.

It's not easy to choose one particular favorite track off of this 11 piece art set, the diversity in this creative collection is has an aromatic audio flavour, where a mix of sounds have blended into a banger of an album, there's a slice of music for just about everyone, the amapiano dance head, the vocally enthusiastic fan, that person that appreciates a good hip hop sauce and even some dancehall for that herbal devotee.


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Don Steve

Okeowo Stephen Oladimeji


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