Wednesday, March 31, 2010


In a manner typical of him, Charly Boy, the Area Fada, and his cousin, Dr. Alban  (Alban Uzoma Nwapa), who has been out of musical circulation for a long time, staged a one of a kind album listening party at Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, last year.
It was a gathering of their kith and kin, friends and the press. Charly Boy and Dr. Alban were returning to music after a very long hiatus. Another interesting thing is that they picked Dekumzy, the talented and humble producer, who boasts of hits like Resonance, "Yori Yori" and Nigga Raw's two albums to work with and together they did a 15 tracker entitled Charly Boy On The Loose, featuring Dr. Alban.
They performed a few of the tracks and from what we saw, a lot of work had been done. They have also shot four videos.
The event was more of a routine stage performance by the trio of Charly boy, Dr. Alban and Dekumzy till they got to the track, "Commercial Waist," which Charly Boy re-titled “Commercial Nyash”. All along, there were two scantily clad dancers on stage, but with
the start of this song came a third less-clad one with a mask. She was obviously there to buttress the message of “Commercial Nyash”, and she did.
Not that the two girls already on stage were not doing well, but this third girl took things to a higher level and actually gave guests more than they bargained. She danced from seat to seat, leaving either one of her bracelets or ring to show for and for people to gawk at.
Prominent among these men were Denrele of Soundcity, who featured in the original video. She left him a ring. Another was Big Bamo, who, after an unsolicited session of lap dancing, was still open-mouthed when the girl added one of her bracelets to his souvenirs.
Other members of the audience were Lady D, Charly Boy's wife, his daughters and grand daughter, his younger brother, who is a lawyer, Tunde Obe, Elajoe, Nyore, Yaw, Felix Duke, KC Presh, Anis of Project Fame and others.
The four songs whose videos were previewed and premiered were “Work Work”, “Carolina Remix”, “Shayo Plenty” and “Commercial Waist”.
The videos were shot by Clarence Peters and Bobby High. There was viable quality and directorial dexterity in all of the four videos.
But the highlight was the “Commercial Waist” video. There was bold attempt at the sexual provocation of the viewer and was obviously not shot for public consumption. At least, not for terrestrial TV channels. Charly Boy even echoed this fact when he stated that they just shot the video for the fun of it. “We know they will not show it on local channels, but we are not after that. We were just playing. There are many other works that define the album. The album will not be judged by just this song”, he explained. Adding that there were more sexual explicit versions of the “Commercial Waist” which he is not bringing out.
After the show, Notes and Tones had a chat with Dr. Alban in one of the Lounges of the Sheraton Hotel, Lagos. Excerpts…

What prompted this musical return to Nigeria after such a long time abroad?
I came back because after so many years and 16 million records sold and I hadn't done anything in my mother tongue, I realized the need to do something here.

Looking at the Nigerian musical terrain and what you are used to overseas, how lucrative would this be for you?
No matter what happens or what will happen, this is a dream come true for me. I needed to do this to make myself happy and complete as a musician. The monetary aspect is a secondary issue. It was never about money. As you can see, we have already done four videos without a marketer for the album yet.

What message do you want to pass across to Nigerians, at this point of your career?
The album contains my project and that of Charly Boy. There are 15 songs in the album and about half are mine and the other half are Charly's. I have songs that encourage people to strive hard and make a success of themselves. There is a song called Work Work, which was performed at the recent Nigerian Music Video Awards and that is the message.

Why did you people combine your works when you could have released them independently?
We are just having fun; we are happy with what we are doing and we are cousins. We didn't ask anybody to give us money or any marketer to pay us any money. The main thing is that we did it, it is a dream come true and it is fun.

How often do you visit home?
I am home every other Christmas.

What has been the reception of this work outside Nigeria since you released it?
The song is in Igbo and pidgin English. It has been released in Finland and it was well received there. The white man loves the rhythm and it interests him. That's why he released it. Moreover, there are a lot of Igbo people overseas and they enjoy the home flavour of the song.

What is your evaluation of the current Nigerian music scene?
The music industry is good. The music produced is good, but there's a whole lot of attitude problem, indiscipline and other vices among artists and that is hindering them from getting the crossover they need. You make more progress when you have a crossover, but most of them are not willing to do that.
For instance, I called D'banj to do a collabo with him and he directed me to his manager. Just imagine that! I told him no, because I am an artist like him and an elder for that matter. And I was not going to talk to any manager.

Did you make any attempt to work with any other artist?
Yes. I recorded with the Danfo Drivers, but they started quarrelling and we couldn't release. They wanted to go to court and I told them that I wasn't going to any court, so the record is lying there.

Are there other musically inclined members of your family?
My daughter is developing an interest, but she is still quite young. So, we will see how it goes. I would just look at her talent and make her focus on that and help her develop it.

You brought this project down to the contemporary musical situation in Nigeria, how did you arrive at the decision to work with Dekumzy among other producers in Nigeria?
Because he is young, talented and humble. He was able to do what we wanted and how we wanted it. He is a very disciplined young man and he can communicate very well.

You people are exposing him to a new world different from what he is used to, how are you going to keep him up?
I and Charly Boy are very down to earth and we have been advising him not let the negative things of the Nigerian music industry affect him or influence him.

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