Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Thursday, December 1, 2011
MUMA GEE'S WEDDING IV
MUMA GEE & PRINCE EKE
The forthcoming wedding ceremony between the Afrotastic Diva, Gift ‘Muma Gee’ Uwame and Nollywood actor, Prince ‘Eklips’ Eke will be an elaborate triple celebration.
The first stages would be double Traditional Wedding ceremonies on Tuesday, December 20, 2011. Starting at 10am, Muma Gee’s hometown of Odiabidi, Upata Kingdom, Ekpeye Land in Ahoada East LGA of Rivers State would witness the first Traditional Wedding Ceremony. This first ceremony will be the final stages the Traditional Wedding Ceremony which began in that town in 2010. It would be held in the compound of Dr. Ukachukwu John Uwame.
On that same day, at 4pm, the compound of Chief Athanasius Nwankwo Eke in the town of Umuota Umuhu, Ngor Okpal Local Government Area of Imo State will come alive as the party would have arrived their gates. It would continue far into the night.
The White Wedding would then come up on Friday, December 23 in Port Harcourt at the Recovery House, 36, Uyo Street, Off Stadium Road by Bereton School, Port-Harcourt, Rivers State. It will be officiated by Reverend Ugochukwu Unachukwu.
The Invitation Cards containing details of both the Traditional and White Wedding have already started going out to friends, colleagues and well wishers.
While the excitement of her weddings continued to build up, Muma Gee did not let down her musical oars. She is far gone in the preparations for a new album which would be released next year. The first single, “Port Harcourt is Back,” has been released and the video, directed by her husband, Prince Eke alongside Ak-One and Frank Macaulay, a renowned cinematographer was shot a few weeks back across locations in Port Harcourt.
You can follow Muma Gee on Twitter: @realmumagee
Or facebook: facebook/mumagee’s fans
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
MC LOPHThe Nigerian Entertainment Industry has just recorded another fatality. "Osondi Owendi" crooner, MC Loph (Nwaozo Obiajulu) died on the Ore road while on his way to the east. He was purportedly on his way to his own Traditional Wedding and was with his fiancee. A Road Safety Official confirmed it on the phone that the Igbo Rapper has passed away.
Sunday, July 24, 2011
Ladies and Gentlemen, we are into the last week of the Big Brother Africa Amplified and these people won’t be coming with us. Zimbabwe’s Vimbai, Kim from Zambia and Kenya’s Millicent.
Remaining in the house for the final week alongside Nigeria’s Karen and Vina and Sharon O of Uganda are South Africa’s Luclay, Malawi’s Lomwe, Ethiopia’s Hanni and Zimbabwe’s Wendall.
Vimbai went out first after losing the standoff with Lomwe. Kim didn’t survive her faceoff with Wendall and Millicent was the victim when she, Hanni and Luclay stood up.
There will be no nominations tomorrow as next Sunday is the final day of the show. You are now voting for the winners. This year’s Big Brother Africa will have two winners who will each walk away with $200 000.
I somehow expected this particular artiste not to last long and I believe many other music lovers also did. But it's a tragedy nonetheless and it's a fact that the music world has lost one of its most passionately soulful voices. Winehouse's struggles with drugs and alcohol were often in the public eye and even addressed in her own music, like her best-known hit "Rehab."
Throughout her colorful, troubled life, Winehouse fought many demons: addiction, an eating disorder, and a particularly tumultuous love life.
Read how Yahoo News is reporting after the cut...
Thursday, July 21, 2011
MTV has just announced the nominees for the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards. Katy Perry leads the pack with an impressive nine nods, including Best Female Video and Video of the Year for "Firework." Adele and Kanye West tied with seven nominations, while Bruno Mars managed to grab four nods including Best Male Video for "Grenade." In addition, Beyoncé, Nicki Minaj, Lady Gaga, Eminem, Beastie Boys, Chris Brown, 30 Seconds to Mars, Pitbull, Tyler, The Creator; Foster the People; and Manchester Orchestra all received at least two nods each. Be sure to tune in to the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards when they air live from the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday, August 28th at 9 PM (Live Eastern/Tape delayed Pacific).
AND THE NOMINEES ARE…
continue from under here...
Last week, Nigeria’s premier jazz and soul export Asa joined an exclusive league of musical greats, as she performed at the 44th edition of the prestigious Montreux Jazz Festival. Since renowned Swiss Claude Nobs founded the event, it has become an annual gathering place for lovers of jazz from all over the world.
more after the cut..
Monday, July 18, 2011
BEHOLD OUR QUEEN!
THE FINALISTSIt's happened for sometime now and I did this report then but forgot to put it up until now. Sorry about the lateness, but still read through and drop a comment.
DEM NAIJA GALS!
ZEUS GRABS THE BOOBS!
Bernadina left first. On stage, they showed her the highlights of her stay in the house and those who nominated her. Initially she thought Vimbai was one of those who had nominated her but in the end it was Hanni and Luclay. She threw her fuse at Luclay which was not to communicate with his relatives for the next week.
Zeus followed. Zeus had broken down after yesterday's Saturday dance wondering how those close to him will interpret his relationship with Nigeria's Karen in the house. IK called him the most faithfull man in Botwana as they showed him his highlights in the house which included the popular photo scene of him holding the firm boobs of Ghana's Confidence. He was very surprised to see Wendall and Luclay nominate him, but took the nominations of Vina and Vimbai familiarly. His fuse for a Housemate to wear a floral swimming hat for the week went to Wendall for his betrayal.
Mumba was the last housemate to leave the house on Sunday. Her fuse was one housemate to walk backwards for one week and this unfortunately went to Luclay who already had the one of not talking to his relatives.
Karen and Kim cried rivers as events unfolded. Today, the housemates will again be nominating each other and the housemates who poll the highest will be up for possible eviction. Nigeria's Vina is the current Head of House and this practically guarantees a spot into the final week of the competition. She is also guaranteed $10 000 which every Housemate would get apart from $200 000 each for two winners.
How Africa voted:
• Bernadina: 1 Vote – Namibia - Her country
• Zeus: 2 Votes – Botswana and South Africa.
• Mumba: 3 Votes – Zimbabwe, Zambia and Angola.
• Vina: 4 Votes – Nigeria, Ethiopia, Rest of Africa and Ghana.
• Lomwe: 5 Votes – Malawi, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and Mozambique
(Note that the votes are from the countries in support of the housemate; the nominated housemates with the least number of supporting country leaves.)
Sunday, July 17, 2011
LAMI AND ORPHANAGE OFFICIALS
One of the highest expressions of social responsibility and love for humanity is in the adoption of another human being who maybe in no way related to you as your own child, sibling or parent. Soul singer, Lami Philips, definitely took things to a different level when in a spontaneous act of kindness, she adopted an entire orphanage.
Located in Makoko, just off the ever busy Adekunle road in the university town of Akoka, Lagos, the Nigerian Red Cross Society, Motherless Babies’ Home has existed for more than 25 years and grown to become one of the most prominent orphanages in Lagos. But just like all other similar institutions, it has had to cope with numerous challenges and survive on the goodwill of the public and help from a few other quarters. Thus, after visiting the home and seeing the situation on ground, Lami was so touched that she decided to adopt the entire orphanage as her pet project.
Lami, who was appointed a UN ambassador in 2010, spoke briefly on the development. “I have been seeking to support a specific cause in the society and have considered a number of institutions. But when I visited the Nigerian Red Cross Society, Motherless Babies’ Home, Makoko and shared experiences with the kids, my heart settled on them.”
The adoption is done through her NGO BeTheChange and she intends to use her large circle of friends to raise the much-needed funds to ensure that the children get a better life than the one they are presently forced to. Her activities would include monthly gigs whose proceeds would go towards the upkeep of the place and she also hopes that other celebrities, especially those with NGOs would come on board or take up similar causes in the society.
2BABAThe more recent life of Nigeria’s most celebrated contemporary artiste is about to be released in a documentary. Entitled, THE RISE OF THE PHOENIX, it basically chronicles the last two years in 2face’s career. The reissue of the UNSTOPPABLE album; his experience at the 2010 World Cup; the One8 project; 2face Live at Eko Hotel; the 2face and Mario concert in London; the various causes he is involved in and the various awards he has won in that period.
The production dwells on the triumph and rejuvenation of 2baba after the various scandals and controversies that trailed him after his initial success as a solo artiste. It looks at what is arguably the second part of his career so far; his recent successes and metamorphosis to become one of the biggest names in African music at the moment. This is akin to the legend of the Greek mythical Phoenix bird which initially lived for 500 years then burnt itself to ashes and from those ashes arose another phoenix.
It would be produced by BUCKWILD Media and would be available for commercial release within the next month. There would also be a syndicated broadcast of the documentary as a TV special on selected TV channels just before the full release on CDs.
SAMMIE AND OZIOMA OKPOSO
The international market is coming! That should be the song on the lips of Nigerian artistes at the moment as foremost Gospel act, Sammie Okposo, becomes the latest Nigerian musician to sign a deal with an international record label. This comes on the heels of the groundbreaking deal recently signed by the MO’ HITS and Kanye West’s GOOD MUSIC in the USA.
Sammie has just been signed on by the TATE MUSIC GROUP (TMG). The record label which is based in Oklahoma, USA is a subsidiary of TATE PUBLISHING- a family owned Christian company. Their book publishing interests provides them with added funds which give them an upper hand among similarly owned companies. A statement on their website reads: “(we are) … eager to partner with you to produce, market and distribute your music. Smaller independent record labels usually have limited resources. However, because of our book publishing division, we already have successful relationships with companies like Ingram, Borders, Hastings, Apple's iTunes store and others. Your music will get nationwide exposure and be available for purchase in nearly every store and website where music is sold.”
Speaking on the development Sammie, whose own Nigerian label, ZAMAR ENTERTAINMENT, runs the career of West African Idol top ten finalist, Jodie, expressed his joy at the latest development in his career. “I am very grateful to God for his goodness towards me. Good things will continue to come the way of African music because we work very hard and our artistes are good at what they do. My deal with TMG will provide me the opportunity of having my new album, THE STATEMENT, reproduced by Grammy award winning producer, Kevin Bond and released to the international market. Also a number of international collaborations are being lined up for me,” an ecstatic Sammie revealed.
In other developments, the United Nations ambassador has moved into a new home and office in Lekki while his latest video, “I Go Dance,” directed by the young and upcoming T-Frizzle, has been released. His marriage to former Miss Ozioma Mkparu clocked one on July 1, 2011.
TRUE NIGERIANS: HEROES OF OUR TIME, that’s the newest project of musician, Zaaki Azzay. The venture which has taken the artiste into the world of television revolves round the country, Nigeria, hence the name, TRUE NIGERIANS: HEROES OF OUR TIME.
The programme, just like the name indicates, is centered around some of the most notable characters that have existed both on the Nigerian public and private spheres. It celebrates them through unique interview sessions that reveal very interesting and hitherto unseen parts of their lives that would both entertain and educate. They would also be made to undertake tasks or put in situations not normally associated with their persons.
Some of the characters that have been on the programme so far include former president Olusegun Obasanjo who sang for the audience; Barrister Festus Kenyamo swept a large compound; Professor Pat Utomi cooked while an unknown fisherman in a rural village who had his children in the university was removed from his environment and flown to the TRANSORP HILTON, Abuja for experiences which were entirely new to him and may never have come his way anytime soon.
It is through the portrayal of scenes and character like these that Zaaki aims to provide new role models for young Nigerians and encourage them on the path of honest living to achieve their goals in life. He further states that he intends to organize seminars and workshops where these outstanding Nigerians will lecture Nigerians on the principles of success and patriotism. “I have recorded episodes that would run weekly for six months and more is still going on. I hope that Nigerians would learn some good things from the individuals showcased on the programme,” Zaaki added.
ARA AND HUBBY, NURUDEEN
Drummer girl, Ara, has joined the growing list of Nigerian celebrities without their husbands. She, last week, released the belated announcement of her separation from her husband of just two years.
According to her, she and her husband, Prince Nurudeen Olalekan Saliu, have been separated since January this year but had somehow withheld the announcement till now. “We’ve been separated since January,” a statement from the musician read. “But because I do not want rumours to start flying… all my friends and fans need to know what’s happening to me, I think it’s right to set the records straight once and for all on this. We’re no longer together and we’re both happy. We’ve both moved on.”
She went on to add that she is single again but not searching at the moment. “I’ve taken this decision very painfully; and it’s particularly a tough and sensitive time for me and my son. And I plead with my friends and fans to put us in their prayers at this period,” she concluded.
The couple married on Thursday, June 4, 2009 at the Isolo Registry and had their son a few weeks after. Rumour has it that the reason for their separation is not far distanced from wife battering and domestic violence and this post on her facebook wall more or less confirms it: “When I am down, I look for someone to show love n care to, someone I probably would never see again. I don’t know how I survived d last 7months people. Through my pain, the abuse, tears, the betrayal…I thank all those I have been of help to, in heeding ur calls, my broken heart is mending. I thank those who have helped me help others, God will continually lift you all…I thank God for making me His instrument. I thank God for my son!”
The CEO of CALLYVISION NETWORK, Mr. Cally Ikpe, is in deep mourning right now. His beloved dad succumbed to the cold hands of death in the early hours of Thursday, July 14, 2011. He was aged 67 years and had been diabetic for a while but the family had carefully and successfully managed it up until the time of his death.
Pa Simon Ikpe who was based back home in Gboko, Benue State. He is survived by his wife and six children among who is Mr. Cally Ikpe whose CALLYVISION NETWORK produces LIVEBEATS and the Nigerian Music Video Awards (NMVA).
When I called Cally last week, he was already on his way to Benue State. “We accept God’s will in everything,” he said. He also added that though no burial arrangements were in place yet, that the family would abide by the tenets of the Roman Catholic Church which his father is a staunch adherent.
The first installment of this year’s CRACK YA RIBS is set to hit the capital city of Abuja on Sunday, July 31. It will hold at the THISDAY DOME and would feature artistes like Okey Bakassi, Ice Prince, Basketmouth, I Go Dye, Flavour, Funny Bone, Tiwa Savage, Senator, Dan DHumorous, Osama and Lynxxx.
According to the host of the show, Julius D’Genius Agwu, the organizers have put in lots of effort into this year’s show in order give the people resident in Abuja quality entertainment. “For the people that have been part of Crack Ya Ribs in Abuja in the past, they can testify to the standard of the show in terms of quality entertainment and we don’t intend to rest on our oars. Aside our lineup of entertainers for this year’s CRACK YAR RIBS, there will be lots of surprises. We are introducing something that has never been done before in Abuja. You just have to be there on July 31 to see for yourself.”
As usual, Aero Contractors, which is the official carrier of the Abuja show and also one of the leading airlines in Nigeria, will be flying the entertainers from Lagos to Abuja.
Crack Ya Ribs has held in different parts of the world including London and America and has become one of the biggest annual concerts in Nigeria. It celebrated its tenth anniversary last year.
The developments in Nigeria’s premier house of music, the PERFORMING MUSICIANS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (PMAN) seems to have finally taken a positive form. This comes in the shape of the brand new executives earlier elected for the association and their resolve to take the body forward. Headed by Mr. Wisdom Okoduwa (Preddy Wise) and assisted by Ms. Yinka Davies and Mr. Soki Ohale, they have declared their readiness move forward from the various controversies and disputes that have trailed PMAN for a long time now.
The remains of Nigeria’s Lady of Songs, Christy Essien-Igbokwe, would be buried in Lagos on Friday, September 9, 2011. This is according to a release from the burial committee which was inaugurated shortly after her death.
The committee is chaired by former Delta State Commissioner for Sports, Dr. Austin Izagbo and has a number of other sub-committees including Finance, Publicity, Ceremonial, Welfare, Security, Special Duties and Logistics which have been charged with handling the specifics of the burial ceremony.
A “Christy Essien-Igbokwe Endowment Fund” is also to be set up in her honour. It will handled by the Finance sub-committee which has constitutional lawyer, Mr. Fred Agbaje; Mr. Marcel Ikedudu, a retired banker; Dr. Patrick Igbokwe, member of the Igbokwe family and Mr. Mike Ejezie as members. The account will be managed by Zenith Bank and all contributions and donations towards the burial activities will be deposited there.
Nikki, Koffi and Kel
It was a beautiful festival of live music at the second edition of ONE MIC NAIJA, which held on Sunday, June 26 at Browne’s Café, Ikeja GRA, Lagos. Young upcoming artistes grabbed the opportunity presented them on a live stage with both hands and delivered some very remarkable performances with a live band.
Of the performers on the night, gospel crooner, Nikki Laoye, was the most senior and she delivered smoothly numbers from her first album, ANGEL FOR LIFE. Her performance which was to have come later in the evening was brought forward to allow her leave for the launch of Pastor Paul Adefarasin and the Chosen Treasure’s album launch holding on the island. Yemi Alade and Suzzy followed beautifully in the singing genre, both raising masculine temperatures in the building with some ‘smoochy’ moves. Slim T, Efa, Five Mics and Base One, who delivered on Nikki’s song, did the rap duties. Comedian, Koffi, also dropped some well received comic lines while rapper, Kel and former Tribesman, KB hosted.
The show was launched in April to provide a platform for upcoming music acts to showcase their skills with a live band on a stage. Last month’s edition had performances by Pope, 19th Street, Clay and many others. The June edition was supported by hair care giants, SOULMATE, who provided gift packs for every attendee. Next edition comes up in August.
The entertainment industry sure has missed him and the creativity that revolves round his work but Morachi has finally returned to the Nigerian music scene. The artiste who single, “Hapuya Like That” is back with a bang and his new works reflect that.
Recently at the Industry Nite which held in his honour at the Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Morachi launched his brand new video ‘Ibu Onye’ which was directed by upcoming director, Beryls. It features several elements of traditional Nigeria and relates his eastern roots. A 150 year-old tortoise, two ostriches, a python were on the list of characters.
On the night, he also performed for the first time, his new single, ‘Bend Down Touch Your Toes’ featuring Lynxxx of the ‘Utunu’ fame.
Speaking to me afterwards, Morachi registered his joy at once again taking centre stage on the Nigerian music scene. ‘I am very happy to find my way back into the Nigerian music industry. I thank everyone who came out to support me, most especially my mom, for all the love and support she has shown me.” He also revealed that he is at an advanced stage of work on his new album which should be out this year.
eLdee and Rita Dominic
The HEADIES, formerly HIP HOP WORLD AWARDS is gradually taking a new and definite shape for the 2011 edition.
CHANGE OF NAME: Firstly the name changed from the HIP HOP WORLD AWARDS to the HEADIES to fit the international standard set by awards like the GRAMMYS and OSCARS.
HOSTS: Prolific producer and singer, Eldee the Don (Lanre Dabiri) and popular Nollywood actress, Rita Dominic would host this year’s HEADIES. Past hosts are D’banj and Dakore Egbuson, Darey and Tana Adelana, Banky W and Kemi Adetiba.
THEME SONG: The song, entitled "Breaking from the Norm" was recorded by Waje, Ice Prince, Wizkid, Mo’ Cheddah and produced by Samklef. It was released last week and the video would be shot in no time.
ARTISTES’ SEMINAR: There are also plans to hold a seminar for artistes and stakeholders in the industry before the awards. The seminar according to the organizers is part of efforts to sensitize them on the rules, details of sending in entries for nomination, and the unveiling of the selection committee for the awards proper.
NIKKI AND HER RING
THE GUY IN QUESTION
Petite Gospel singer, Nikki Laoye, is flushed with embarrassing joy. Reason: Her beau swept her off her feet on Sunday, June 26, during a lunch date at the popular eatery by publicly going down on his knees and ‘demanding’ for her hand in marriage. She couldn’t just refuse that and since then all her profile pictures on all the social networks have changed to the picture here or something like it.
Her FACEBOOK status read: ‘and the dude done did it. June 26 is the day I will never forget. Was the headlining artiste at ONE MIC NAIJA and became d headline topic in d best proposal ever. Share my joy. LORD I thank u. U have finally DID IT. Yaay!’ She also told me that she was overwhelmed. ‘I will never forget this day in my life! It ranks right up there among the happiest days of my life and I thank God. I don’t know about marriage plans yet, I am just happy to be engaged now.’
Nikki’s fiancé, Alex, is a fair young man from Abia State who has been her confidante for six months now. He drafted his proposal letter on the blog: http://www.sammieal.blogspot.com/ and directed Nikki to it on the pretext that there’s a story on her there. By the time she got to the last line which read: ‘Oyenike Samantha (Sammie) Phoebe Helen Funmilayo Nikki Laoye Will You Marry Me?’ He was already on his knees in the public glare of the ever busy Ikoyi Chicken Republic. An eye witness account stated that Nikki immediately burst into tears before the other ‘eaters’ understood what was happening and it took her about ten minutes to recollect herself and say YES!
Her first album, ANGEL FOR LIFE, came out in 2009 and after a stellar performance at the 2009 Hip Hop World Awards in Abuja announced her to the Nigerian music community; her star has been on the rise even though she has maintained the gospel in her tunes. She is presently working on her second album.
OBI AND BABY ASIKA
The month of June was a very fruitful one for the Nigerian music industry as not less than four music personalities welcomed little tots into their homes. This came after Obi Asika, the amiable boss of Storm Records and his wife, Yetside, had closed the month of May with the birth of their baby girl on Thursday, May 26. This people followed him:
OMAWUMI MEGBELE: Perhaps the most publicized of the quartet is Omawumi’s because ever since the Idols West Africa runner-up appeared with a protruding belly, the Nigerian music world has been awash with tales. Firstly was the mystery of the baby’s father once it was established that her erstwhile boyfriend, producer, Dr. Frabz was not responsible. The lot finally settled on Tosin yusuf, one of the handlers of the popular nightclub, Movida and Omawumi put to bed on Friday, June 17 at the Rockdale Medical Centre in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. The baby girl has been christened Emmanuella Kamila Yusuf seven days after birth. Omawumi would be back in the country later in the year to conclude work on her sophomore album and a more elaborate naming ceremony would be held for the baby.
DJ MEWSIC AND HIS FIRS BABY
DJ MEWSIC: On that same Friday, June 17, at the Roding Medical Centre, Victoria Island, DJ Mewsic of Brila 88.9 FM and his wife, Abisola, received their own bundle of joy, a daughter. She is their second child (they had a son first after their marriage in 2009) and they have gone on to christen her, Iseoluwa Michelle Ojedokun.
ROGBA AND MO' CHEDDAH
The Knighthouse team is a music production outfit made up of the trio of Rogba, Gomez and Lanre. They have been involved in the works of some of the most notable of the contemporary Nigerian musicians and have Mo’ Cheddah on their label.
SOUND SULTAN AND FARIDAH
SOUND SULTAN’S baby arrived on the morning of Sunday, June 26 at a FESTAC Town hospital. The ‘Jagbajantis’ crooner and his wife, Faridah welcomed their second child, a baby boy, who comes a year and eight months after the birth of their first child, a girl, who they named Zara.
The couple got married in Lagos on October 1, 2009 after dating for some time. At that time, Farida, an Igbo Christian who went by the name Chichi was an undergraduate at the Lagos State University but she converted to her husband’s religion, Islam before taking on her present name.
Thursday, June 30, 2011
CHRISTY LAST YEAR
ANOTHER SAD NEWS has just hit the Nigerian entertainment industry. The Lady of Songs, Christy Essien-Igbokwe passed away this morning, Thursday, June 30, 2011. She was 50 years old. Information on this is still sketchy. I will update you guys on it as I get more information, but below is my last year's interview with her. I also took this picture of her here in front of her Ikeja home myself.
The lady of songs, Chief Christy Essien Igbokwe, MON, has been silent for 16 years. But we have not forgotten her because she left us enough materials to remember and rollick with. Her songs are evergreen and she laments the lack of songs like that in the contemporary music scene. Her last album, Mysteries of Life, was in 1994 and in-between that time and now, so many factors, including a four-year stint as the president of her beloved PMAN (Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria), have combined to delay the coming of her 11th album. The latest impediment is the imminent release of her son, Kaka's debut album.
We talked about so many other things, including the fact that she still has no grandchild despite 31 years of happy married life to Chief Edwin Igbokwe, who was in the adjoining living room, working on his laptop during this interview…
What has been happening to you all this while?
I am working on my 11th album. I am taking my time to do that because we want to conclude work on my son, Kaka's debut album. As soon as we are through with that, I will go back to work on my own album.
When was your last album?
My last album was in 1994.
Why did you stay away that long?
It wasn't an intentional layoff, but things like my four years at the helm of PMAN and the operation I had contributed. But I believe God's time is the best. No matter how long you are away, if God is not finished with you, He will always come back for you. He never even left me in the first place.Then, there was the issue of piracy. I had already started work on a new album as far back as that 1994, but piracy discouraged me. When you spend so much money to produce a work, they come and pirate it for you without letting you even recoup the money you spent on producing the album.Most of the record companies then were not being honest with the artists. They just cheat them out of their royalties. It got to a point where I told my record company, Ivory Music, to take the royalties from my record to take care of the people I was training.But the thing is that it's your gift and you can't just abandon it. You'll know no peace. Music is a spirit and artists are possessed people. When music possesses you and you refuse to play, you'll never be at peace, no matter the type of business you put your hands on, you must go back to it.
How do you view the position and contribution of PMAN to the current developments in the Nigerian music scene?
The problem with PMAN is that we are not focused on realizing our goals. We know we want to realize, but we are not focused on realizing them. We know we want to be a strong body to be reckoned with, but for people to have faith in their union, they need them whenever the need arises. But when you leave what you should be focusing on and only satisfying your personal needs, then you will never achieve it. God used me to form PMAN and they wanted me to be the first president but I don't believe that if you have an idea, you should be the one to control it.Back people up. It still remains your idea, no matter what happens. But when things started going wrong, they came to me again. When I got in there, I met a lot of lies, selfishness and backbiting by people who just wanted to embezzle money. For your members to have confidence in you, you must first show confidence in them. I was paying rent for some of them. PMAN was making so much and we had to help the members. I heard that any job the president brings, he or she gets 10 percent. What I did was to make my own 10 percent official. They were surprised, but I wanted to lead by example. I never used any of PMAN's money when I was their president and when I stepped down, I gave an account of my stewardship to them.
Apart from Kaka, are there other of your children that are musically-inclined?
There are, but none like him. The family loves music so much, but one person is always outstanding. They all do their own various forms of music. We have a small studio in the house and they all make use of it. My third son writes music for people.
Who are the people you have noticed in the contemporary Nigerian music scene; people you feel are genuine musicians and are on the right path with their music?2Face makes an impression on me. From his rhythm, you can easily tell that he is the one. A musician shouldn't be predictable. He is a hard working young man. There are other people, but it's just that their names confuse me. They will tell you 9ice, D'Banj or some other thing. The reason I noticed 2Face is his voice. I have interest in his voice and when you have interest in somebody, no matter what he or she answers, you will always know him. Then, there's the other one, Faze. I like his voice too. Then, I like Yinka Davies and Stella Damasus. I know Stella is more of an actress, but I like her voice. She can sing.
Looking at the industry, what are the things you think they are doing right and those areas you think should be improved upon?
Do I even get to see them, not to talk of knowing what they are doing right or wrong? If you take much interest in them, they will think you are looking for attention. They will read all kinds of negative meanings into it. Most of them would see you at events and not even show any sign of recognition. Music has its own seasons and this is another season for musicians to make money. People are dancing to anything now and that's what is making them relevant. Otherwise what meaningful songs have they sang that is making them puff up? What evergreen songs have they sang? What happens is that people are dancing to noise in order to forget their sorrows and this season will also come to pass. There is so much problem in the world today and people can afford to dance to anything and very soon, they would realize themselves and leave for other sounds. We were the ones that laid the foundation for what they are enjoying today. We worked so hard because we believed in the future; we knew that people like them will come and we didn't want them to come and suffer the way we suffered. We wanted them to come and enjoy the fruits of our labour because we, the older ones, enjoyed nothing. Only few of them would come to greet you. Others would just look at you and pass. When I was growing up, I didn't do that. Whenever I heard that Okosun or Fela was in town, I will go to wherever they were playing to greet them. If you are humble, you will continue to be relevant.
How do you spot a good song?
It is not difficult. When you hear a good song, it would capture your spiritual and physical attention. You would want to hear all of it. Not all the songs that have good rhythms have good lyrics. Some good songs might not have good melody, but the lyrics would be good. But they all go together. It's either you love a song because of its lyrics or the voicing or the percussion. Something must touch you about a song and sometimes it is everything about the song.
What makes a good musician?
A good musician is someone who is disciplined, humble, hard working, positive in thinking, has endurance, composed and must be able to work with people. You must also allow the spirit of music to control you.
What do you think makes a song to sell?
Sometimes it has to do with luck, sometimes with the song and sometimes with the person. Some people are just likeable and people want to listen to them; not that their songs are fantastic. Then, some of the songs that are selling are due to constant airplay. The radios bombard you so much with the song that you cannot help but submit and like it, since you cannot avoid it.
But there are still some very bad songs. How do you feel when you hear such songs?
You can't say any music is bad. It's a wrong way of judging music. No music is bad. What happens is that you may not appreciate it. A song you don't like might be loved by another person, so how do you explain that?
Why is it that most of the older musicians didn't really make much money and some of them are still living in poverty today?
In the past, people never took music seriously. They used to see musicians as never-do-wells. They used to see them as drunkards and in all honesty, musicians used to drink a lot in those days. That made people look down on the art. Only a few people took their music seriously. The musicians are still getting drunk these days, but they take good care of themselves and most times, the public never gets to know.I have a different style. I always fast before going on stage. If I eat before going on stage, I will mess up. The time I performed at the MTN Musicfest last year, I suffered. Most of the artists backstage were smoking indian hemp and I was inhaling it. By the time I was going on stage, I was staggering. I have never had a show like that in my life. I didn't even know what I was singing on stage.
As a showbiz person, how have you managed to maintain your marriage and remain scandal-free all this years?In everything you do, remember that there's a supreme being who we all are accountable to at the end. Always believe in what you do and do things because you believe in them and not because others are doing them; know what that thing has to offer and what you should offer to that thing.I didn't get married because I just wanted to get married and other people were getting married.What is marriage? Marriage is an institution by God, and if God could put that in place, it means that He wants us to reverence it. Breaking a marriage negatively affects the development of a child. One person alone cannot bring up a child. The man or woman has something to contribute. I think parents that abandon their children are cruel. A large number of children from broken homes never end up very well. That doesn't mean that when one wants to succeed, the marital status of his parents would affect him or that those whose parents’ marriages are intact are the best. But people with their parents together learn better home management skills and they learn from both parents. But marriage breakups destabilize the child.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
It was an evening of fun, networking and live music as soul music diva, Lami, treated guests and fans to an evening of her music delivered in unique and spectacular fashion. Venue was the Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos and date was Sunday, April 17, 2011. The election-engendered curfew had caused the event to be postponed from the earlier slated date of Friday, April 8, 2011.
But this did not derail the success of LAMI UNPLUGGED. With a host of her colleagues on hand to support her, Lami, went through the collection of songs on her debut album, INTUITION, and a number of new ones to the delight of the very lively audience.
Among her co-performers were DJ Zeez, Pope, Kel, Skales, Sammy, Efa, Sound Sultan, Djinee and Ice Prince. They were all in excellent musical form alongside Lami and the band. DJ Zeez and Pope were the first collaborators on stage after Lami had opened the stage with a solo rendition. Kel who followed next began in a slow and almost spoken rap sequence before exploding into life together with the audience. Sammy, another Soul singer emerged alongside Lami before EME rapper, Skales joined them. Upcoming star, Efa, after some freestyle rhyming, took his excitement into the crowd and invited an infected member of the audience to dance out to the front.
Sound Sultan brought some veteran air upstage and together with his sidekick, Xcel, joined Lami to take proceedings a notch higher. Djinee was next in line and he was as excellent as Lami as the evening gradually wore to a close. Chocolate City rapper, Ice Prince, brought some comedy to evening by repeatedly fluffing his lines. He had come in a surrogate for M.I who was unavailable to partner Lami on the hit track, “Know.” The audience had expectantly awaited the performance all evening and Ice Prince’s inability to deliver M.I’s lines, though disappointing was more dramatic than annoying. Lami then brought the performances to a close in a final solo performance.
LAMI & SOUND SULTAN
LAMI & KEL
ANDRE AND TOOLZ
DJINEE & SASHA
LYNXXX & TOOLZ
TOOLZ & EFE
BAYO & CHICHI
The artiste, Lami, is a singer, songwriter, educationist and youth leader. Her music is groovy yet timeless, versatile and fun. Her lyrics are insightful and relevant, speaking to everyday life and people’s constant inner wrangling.
She was born in Chicago, Illinois and educated at Queens’ College in Lagos, Roedan School, Brighton in the UK, Universities of Kent and Nottingham and also has an Executive MBA from Pennsylvania University in the USA. She returned to Nigeria in 2009 to make her mark on the music industry with the release of her debut single, “Know” with M.I. The album followed in February, 2010 and her stock has continued to rise since then.