Our interview with actress and musician Folake Olowofoyeku, who will next be seen in Universal Pictures’ “Death Race 2050”. In “Death Race 2050”, the future government keeps the masses placated with violent virtual-reality entertainment. The most popular event is the Death Race where drivers compete in a cross-country road race, scoring points for running down pedestrians and killing each other. Olowofoyeku plays Minerva Jefferson, a competitor in the Death Race of Ivy League pedigree.
Olowofoyeku’s additional credits include a lead role in the film “Female Fight Club”, “Modern Family”, “How To Get Away With Murder”, “Law And Order: SVU”, “30 Rock” and “White Collar”. She also won Best Actress for her lead role in “When They Could Fly” at the ReelHeART International Film Festival in Toronto.
In the music side Olowofoyeku is an afro-electro-rock recording artist known as “The.Folake!”. She debuted at number one on the Afro Pop charts (CD Baby) with her self-titled debut single “The.Folake”.
Who was your role model as a child?
As far as performers, I was absolutely and thoroughly inspired by Michael Jackson.
What is a typical day in your life like?
My days are never routine. I do try to incorporate some physical activity each day. I listen to music, create music, read, Dance, smile and laugh.
What was your first acting role?
I vaguely remember what I think may have been my first acting role. It was in primary school in Nigeria; I must have been about 12 or 13. It was a short play in my native language – Yoruba.
Who has made the biggest impact on your life so far and why?
My parents. My mother’s perseverance, strength, loyalty, humility and sense of humor. My father’s ambitions, achievements, strategies, tenacity and sweet-tooth.
How do you prepare for a role?
I start with the script. A well-written script provides a lot of intel about a character. I then take all those clues and use that to build the character’s world – past, aspirations, insecurities, goals, obstacles, fears, motivations, etc.
Please tell us about “Death Race 2050” and your role as Minerva Jefferson?
“Death Race 2050” is a remake of the original 1975 cult classic “Death Race 2000”. It stays true to this style.
I play Minerva Jefferson, who is a fearless, drug addicted, rock-star joining the race for the first time. In the post apocalyptic corporate world, she is her own brand of activist, diva and warrior.
What other projects have you been a part of?
I’ve been a part of a wide range of productions – theater, voice overs, film and TV. Period pieces, comedy, action…
I won a Best Actress Award for my role in “When They Could Fly” at ReelHeART International Film Festival.
What is next for Folake Olowofoyeku?
As well as ‘Death Race 2050’, I have a couple of other films coming out this year: “If” and “Female Fight Club”. I’m also working on a video game; I’ll be voicing one of the lead characters.
Also, my newly launched production company – ‘Fo Foyeh Films’ – recently released the first season of a comedic series called “Inappropriate Sh!t” It’s available to watch online now: folake.info/productioncompany
Who is your favorite actor/actress? And why?
It may be surprising, but I don’t have one!
Do you have any advice for new, young actors?
Be patient with yourself. Focus on things within your control – perfect your craft, be professional, network and learn the business.
Please tell us a bit about your musical career.
I approach music as a perpetual passion project. It’s a creative outlet where I’m mostly in control of my content and performance. I use music to express myself and comment and/or poke fun at issues in my world. My style is a fusion of Afro-beat, some electronic elements/synthesizers and electric guitar.
I had a chance to perform at the House Of Blues in Hollywood before it closed down… I’ve also had a show in Nigeria and in New York.
Describe your sound in 3 words.
Afro. Electro. Rock.
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
My goal is to work on more sci-fi/fantasy/adventure productions and continue to work on video game projects. I want to create more music and perform more in Nigeria and Europe. I also have my sights set on an Performance Arts Foundation and a non-profit breast cancer facility in Lagos, Nigeria
What was the last book you read?
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson.
What are your guilty pleasures food-wise?
Chocolate! European Chocolate!
What would be your dream holiday, and who would you go with?
I feel like I’ve experienced several dream holidays already. I travel a lot. A group of about 10 friends went to the Dominican Republic a few years back and that was epic. I went to Thailand a few years after that – another great vacation. Dubai, as well. Next, I’d like to visit Ireland or Madagascar.
What do you do in your free time?
Travel. Make Music.
What do you like to watch on TV?
I binge watch a lot of science fiction/fantasy/adventure. Thank goodness for all the VOD and streaming services; there’s an almost endless supply now.
Do you support any charities?
Yes, the Black Jaguar White Tiger Foundation.
What do you think of social media in the entertainment business?
The fact that numbers on a social media profile now matters to be eligible for some jobs… it’s a very distracting thing.
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Don’t be afraid to fail.
Do you have a role model?
Who are your favorite musicians?
Michael Jackson. Fela. Terence Trent D’arby. Enya.
Where we can follow you?
Favorite quote: “There’s something transcendent about authenticity”
Favorite drink: Boiled water with lime.
Favorite travel destination: So far, Thailand.
Favorite sports team: Any team I’m playing on. Ha!