Television host, radio personality, writer, producer, Event MC, artiste and Gulder brand ambassador, Illrymz is a multi-faceted professional.
Alongside running a media company called The Contagious Collective, he is also a small partner of popular night club, 1089, which boasts the biggest bar in Lagos.
Illrymz was born Bardia Adebola Olowu on December 3, 1985. He has been in the entertainment industry for over two decades having started out as a writer. Known to friends as Illie, he has been on numerous TV shows and channels such as Nigezie, Soundcity, Nigerian Idol, Glo G-Bam Show, BET. He will be celebrating his 10th year on TV this December along with the launch of the first Instagram channel called The C Channel.
What projects are you currently working on?
At the moment, I am working on a bunch of different things. I produce different shorts and present for BET Africa. But on my own, I am launching a channel called The C Channel, which is going to be the first Instagram channel worldwide. The launch will be held at The Contagious Collective Headquarters on December 3, 2017. The channel will air short format shows to promote the platform. We are also working on another project targeted at creating contents for children, and it is called Toon World. That will also launch soon as well and the premier shows will air on C Channel till it births its own space. Toon World comes out of the need to touch the kids when they are young, and there are no original Nigerian contents for Nigerian children. So expect to see different things like simple short animations, we are also doing sing-alongs with some classic Nigerian theatre songs. Finally, we are also working on a feature length movie and TV series as well that will go to cinema and terrestrial satellite TV.
So how do you relax after the stress of so much work?
I am not one who believes in relaxing. I believe we are all placed on this earth to do amazing things and create magic, so usually I am working until I sleep. Think about your Bill Gates, think about your Dangote, when is their downtime? I am already at the 1089 club on the weekends and that is more like my downtime. I turned my passion into my profession. That being said, my most favourite thing to do is play with my niece. I have the most amazing niece in the world, she is a year and a half; so when I am not working, I dedicate time to playing with her.
What type of drinks do you order when out?
I drink everything from vodka to tequila, cognac to whisky, champagne to beer. It all depends on my mood. At other times, when I want to loosen up a bit, I make a drink called the Suicide. It takes a little bit of Hennessy, a little bit of champagne, demi-sec or rose, and a splash of Red Bull over ice – do not try it at home.
What is your favourite cocktail?
Ever been a bartender or had to serve drinks?
I am a bartender every weekend. If I am at the club on the weekend and the service is slow, I jump into the bar. Also, I am the designated bartender when it comes to beach parties and I make some great cocktails – sweet but super strong and the ladies love it. The experience is super amazing because most people are excited to see Illrymz making them a cocktail.
Do you own a bar at home?
Yes, just underneath the stairs in my house, I have a cellar-like storage that holds different brands. As a media person, I host a lot of people, so when people come over I have to offer them something – either a Dom Perignin or a Jim Bean Bourbon or some other brand. Do I stay there and drink all the time? No. As long as I drink my alcohol, I love to remain focus.
What is your favourite nightcap?
Because I am an insomniac, I love to drink red wine before bed. You wouldn’t want me to drink hard liquor after I have gone to play football, or after working out at the gym. For me, a glass of red wine and a serial movie is enough to go off.
Best food and drink pairing?
I am torn in between Pasta and Amala. But I will encourage you to pair hot Amala and Dom Perignon – it’s the best of both worlds.