Saturday, March 12, 2011


It was a gathering of stars, fashionistas, models, photographers, family members and well wishers on Sunday, February 20, 2011 as ace photographer, Kelechi Amadi-Obi and brilliant stylist, Dimeji Alara, presented the first edition of their magazine at the Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The magazine which is aptly christened MANIA is a combination of maverick fashion, photography and words and this very first edition is subtitled “Fearless Fashion.” It has body enhancement specialist, Modupe Ozolua in a half-clothed pose on the cover plus articles on her, Keziah Jones, Munachi Abii and others. There are also contributions from Olayinka Epega who is the deputy editor, Chude Jideonwo and a host of others. The magazine would be published bi-monthly and would sell for N1000.

Part of the evening was music from Bez, Yinka Davies, MI, Banky and Godbless’ Eboni Band. The event was compered by Ik Osakioduwa and Michelle Dede. There were so many interesting guests at the event and I have taken time to find out the identities of most of them and they will really interest you. Just scroll through...
Editor-in-Chief, Dimeji Alara & publisher, Kelechi Amadi-Obi
Dimeji Alara & mom
Kelechi Amadi-Obi's mom, Mrs Theresa Amadi-Obi also made an appearance in purple while his elder brother, Barrister Sylvester Amadi-Obi, who owns a law firm in Owerri, Imo State, also showed up.
They are joined here by Kelechi's youngest brother, Azuwike, who runs Hues and Shades modelling agency and his wife, Mrs Nneoma
Kelechi's wife, Julia also stood beside her man
On their flanks are the ever casual Edi Lawani and master photographer, Don Barber
Kelechi's aunt, Mrs Nnenna Obi-Ani also made a reverent appearance
His cousin and namesake, Barrister Kelechi Obi also stood strong in his support
A large contingent of the Obi family including Kelechi's sister, Barrister Roma Wayo (on Kelechi's right), niece and model, Esuru Ahaneku (extreme left), cousin Igbo Amadi-Obi and wife (extreme left) were also present
Studio 53 host, Eku Edewor stands with Kelechi
Rapper, MI, who arrived late but still rocked the stage, points fingers with Kelechi
The audience asked for more Bez
Ik Osadioduwa & Michelle Dede made a good coup on stage
But his wife held her own
While Adebola Williams stood in for Steve Babaeko
And model, Cynthia Omorodion stood with her own man
Kate Henshaw showed her happiness to be around while Ini Edo tweeted hers
Kemi Adetiba looked on with interest
Face of Sleek, Makida Moka was also happy to be there
Same with Nollywood actress, Rita Dominic Nwaturuocha
And ex-beauty queen, Omowunmi Akinnifesi
MAI's Ohimai Atafo makes a statement in red and brown
Model, Uche Odoh, looking chubby these days had to be there because she is signed on to Hues and Shades
Soundcity's Yeancah came on her volition in this flowered piece
MI is "Undisputed"
Azuwike's half smile raps up this session.

Friday, March 11, 2011


Soft Rock crooner, Etcetera Ejikeme, and his parent record label, X3M Music recently parted ways. The Steve Babaeko owned outfit disclosed that after the singer’s contract of three years and two albums had been fulfilled, both parties had felt the need to end the relationship amicably and move on.

In a statement from their spokesperson, they had wished Etcetera good luck in all further endeavours and asked their fans to continue to support him. Their relationship brought two beautiful albums, the self titled ETCETERA in 2009 and YES I AM earlier in the year. Etcetera also won the award for Recording of the Year at the Hip Hop World Awards in 2009 among other awards and nominations.

However in a perceived replacement move, Notes and Tones can authoritatively reveal that X3M Music has now signed Praise Adejo (Praiz) another soul singer and second runner-up in the inaugural edition of MTN Project Fame West Africa to join Overdose as the second artist on the label.

Praiz and the label boss were spotted at the recently held Champagne Conversations and a later phone call confirmed that Praiz whose debut video, ‘A Woman’s Need’ was release in the latter part of 2010 is now an artist an X3M Music artist.

He will be having a LOCKDOWN PARTY today, Friday March 11, 2011 at Fluid Lounge, 21A Saka Tinubu Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.


Young act, Mo’ Cheddah, is the latest addition to the list of Soulmate Brand Ambassadors. She was weeks back unveiled by the hair care giants as one of those to help in their quest to capture the younger generation of hair product users in a deal puportedly worth N5million.  

She joins another young female act, Kel, on the books of Soulmate based on her latest ratings, acceptability and popularity. Her debut album, THE FRANCHISE CELEBRITY, was released last year and she has since gone on to become one of the most recognizable musical faces in the country. She has bagged major awards, such as ‘Most Promising Act to Watch’ (Nigerian Entertainment Awards 2010); ‘Most Gifted Female’ (Channel O Music Video Awards 2010); and ‘Best New Act’ (MTV Africa Music Awards 2010). She was also nominated at the Soundcity Music Video Awards as the ‘Discovery of the Year’.

Kel on her part is on the path of resurgence in her career after settling her dispute with her former label, CAPITAL HILL MUSIC, owned by video director, Clarence Peters. She is on the verge of dropping a couple of singles and videos after earlier releasing a single, ‘Action,’ which is still being rotated on radio. Kel was initially signed with Beat FM’s Gbemi Olateru Olagbegi a year ago as Soulmate sought to reach out to the younger generation and adding a fast rising act like Mo’ Cheddah only goes further to show their commitment to that goal.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


By now everybody must have watched the ‘Mr. Endowed’ (remix) video. What did you see?

Towards the end of last year the story that D’ banj has recorded a remix of his song, ‘Mr. Endowed,’ with the one and only Snoop Doggy Dogg was everywhere. Many saw it a very big step in the right direction by a Nigerian artist while others dismissed it as a mere publicity ploy when after some time there was nothing forthcoming.

At the turn of the year, the story that they had gone for the video shoot came and this time they substantiated it with pictures. The video duly followed and after having watched it for a while now, a lot of people have made up their minds about it and others are still to decide in what direction the development would take Nigerian music.

What is quite obvious is that it is a welcome development to do a ‘collabo’ with an internationally recognized artist but the intention is confusing.’ Is it to show off access to an international artist or to harness the unique musical and artistic talents of both acts to create a universally acceptable sound and video?

The video, even though of excellent visual quality, seems to only be celebrating the importance of Snoop’s presence. You see D’ banj and Don Jazzy looking every inch of nephews to their ‘Uncle Snoop’ and the fact that Snoop is quite taller than them both only accentuates this in the video. The relative creativity exhibited by director Sesan in the original version of the song is jettisoned for the presence of Snoop and the‘endowment’ of his ‘house.’ *Observe the rest of the Mo’ Hits family crew in different parts of the house.

D’ banj and the Mo’ Hits are not the first to do a ‘collabo’ with an international act. Among others, 2face has recorded with R. Kelly and Wyclef Jean, Star Quest winners, The Pulse, have done same with Busta Rhymes and Clarence Peters even shot the video.

What is noticeable from the goings on so far is that the Mo’ Hits are still trying to find a selling point for D’ banj’s new album and the idea of international ‘collabos’ seem to be the most appealing to them. Lately there is the story of more ‘collabos’ with the likes of Kanye West, Beyonce and Jay Z. If they happen, then the Mo’ Hits family tree would be accordingly proliferated as they uncle-nephew relationship would be automatically triggered.


Once again, as has been their custom over the years, Redstrat, organizers of The Future Awards took the winners of the 2011 edition on a fun trip to MicCom Golf Resort and Hotel, Adah, Osun State. It was a trip not usually restricted to the winners alone as a host of other celebrity guests usually joined and this year’s was no different as a number of them joined the traveling party that gathered at the Ojez Restaurant, National Stadium, Lagos on the morning of Friday, February 25, 2010.
Just a handful of the winners were available and they were Banky W, Sossick, Matse and Tolu…. They were joined by regular travelers in the persons of maverick Soundcity presenter, Denrele Edun, the duo of the Rooftop MCs, Sade Ladipo, MC Shakara, OC Ukeje, Kemi ‘Lalah’ Akindoju and others from the Redstrat family including Chude Jideonwo and Adebola Williams.
Two coaster buses were provided and as they gradually filled up, the stadium inhabitants took notice. They became particularly interested in the arrivals of Denrele and Banky W. The former, in his usual elements was an instant hit with the stadium boys as he greeted and re-greeted them over and over again to their delight. Banky, after greeting them adequately, got into the bus and his personal bodyguard manned the door. But one of the boys (a fierce looking man with battle scars all over him who claimed to be an Olympic champion) took an exception to this and unleashed all kinds of threats including shattering the windscreen of Banky’s bus with stones and beating up his bodyguard for refusing him entry into the bus. He and a few other boys who had joined him only subsided when Banky got down from the bus again for them and in no time we were on our way to Adah, Osun State.
One of the buses broke down in Ibadan. This was in spite of the assurances of the company that provided the buses who had been called for reassurances when we noticed some funny sounds coming from the bus back at the National Stadium. It wasn’t the one which Banky was in but Denrele was in here and as we stepped out of the bus to stretch our legs while repairs were being done on the bus, he was immediately recognized.
He was wearing a blond hair and for those who might not have recognized his face, if there were any, that and his outlandish clothes and shoes more than stood him out. The school kids who were around that time on their way back from school were enchanted together with the elders. The boys rushed to take pictures and a particular one who spotted Denrele from the school bus alighted at the next stop to rush back and meet him. Most of the girls ran away seemingly confused about his gender and one truck driver caused a traffic jam in order to get a picture with him. The bus was repaired in a while but it broke down again before we got to Oshogbo and we had to make alternative vehicular arrangements which divided the occupants of our bus into two before taking off again.
Our party arrived a sparkling and well-lit MicCom Golf Resort and Hotel at night. The first bus which had Banky W, the Rooftop MCs, Matse and a host of others had arrived much earlier and they had all settled down. However we were warmly welcomed by the amiable manager, Bukola Adubi, who has always happily and ably hosted all those who visit the Hotel.
MicCom is the biggest, most comfortable and most welcoming place in Osun State. There were so many spacious rooms and halls for various levels of meetings. There was high-speed internet in all the rooms, swimming pool, three different bars, restaurant and the well kept 18-hole golf course.
The hotel has played host to virtually all the major events and visitors to the state including the cast and crew of the Gulder Ultimate Search whose pictures and those of many other visitors adorned the hotel.
Because of our late arrival, we didn’t make it to lunch but after we had checked into our rooms and freshened up, dinner was served. There were two venues for this – the restaurant and the terrace of the golf course bar. A few people made use of the restaurant while others preferred the terrace where as soon as they were done with dinner, switched into a party mode. The party included a game of Dancing “Round the Chair.” This involved contestants dancing round chairs which are one short of their number and the one without a seat when the music is stopped abruptly by the DJ is eliminated. One player and one chair goes off at the end of each round until only one player sits on the last seat.
Eight enthusiastic players which included Sokleva of the Rooftop MCs, OC Ukeje, Shade Ladipo, MC Shakara and Uche Odoh took positions while Banky W manned the DJ post and Soulsnatcha of the Rooftop MCs moderated proceedings. The prize was a sample perfume and a lap dance from the opposite sex of the winner. Shade adequately won after outsmarting all other players and displaying some sexy dance steps. She got her perfume and a lap dance from Sossick before people gradually retired to their rooms.
The next morning started with breakfast at the same venue of the dinner. This was followed by some amateur golf sessions supervised by the caddies who willingly lectured us. Then there was a brief period of rest as a new bus was brought in from Lagos to replace the faulty one before we took off to our picnic destinations for the day.

The Osun Grove was the first port of call for the picnicking party. It was a highly mystical area complete with all the gods of the Yorubas and most of their worshippers. We were led round most of the landmarks in the large forested compound by a female attendant who narrated some of the rituals and significances of most of the objects, carvings and sculptures we saw.
We were led through the journey of both Orunmila and the virgin priestess who worships on Osun Oshogbo Day. Then we saw the effigies of Orunmila, Ogun, Susan Wenger and her dog and husband in that order, the god of chicken pox, Ogun and the river which she told us was a healing concoction. So many beautiful monkeys also inhabited the area and they happily jumped about to our delight.
The Erin Ijesha waterfall was the next destination and Denrele again caused quite a stir among picnicking students from the University of Ibadan and Ladoke Akintola University of Technology. It was also fun galore and may stripped to their underwears to savour fresh waterfalls on their bare skin. Many others climbed the mountain to visit another front of the water. Our stay here lasted far into the evening and our journey back was disturbed by occupants of the first bus who diverted to buy palmwine. We got back to the hotel at night for a short rest before the dinner and after party.


This took place far into the night of Saturday, February 26. It was originally meant to be a very formal occasion with proper dinner and evening dresses but just a few adhered to the dress code as having stayed and played together for more than a day had taken down all formal and unfamiliar airs around us. But it was still a very successful event as Banky W and Sistasoul serenaded the guests with music while they ate. MC Shakara provided comedy while Kemi ‘Lalah’ Akindoju acted out a double sequence of the Vagina Monologues. Gifts were also presented the available winners of the awards while the others had their representatives receive theirs.
There was a concerted effort to hold an after party for the event in one of the hotel rooms but it wasn’t very successful as the available music provider was just the room’s TV and that couldn’t serve the purpose. Everyone was already tired by this time and gradually retired to their rooms.

Our last day in Osun State was Sunday, February 27 and it once again started with breakfast. Interested swimmers then got into the pool for a short while before getting ready for departure which was put at 1pm. We then bade bye to the hotel after filling out their various forms and feedback requests.
The journey back was faster and hitches free. We only stopped at a market in Ibadan to buy fruits and some foodstuffs which were cheaper than in Lagos before continuing our journey. Both buses were together and Denrele kept making faces at surprised passengers of other cars till we got into Lagos.

I talked with a couple of the winners and this was what they had to say...

TOLULOPE IRUOYE was the winner of the Best Use of Technology at the 2011 awards. He is involved in the design and construction of electronic gadgets, hardware, alternative energy solutions, security systems and control systems and has developed a unique tool called the Magic Box which allows you to control electricity and mobilize or immobilize cars from anywhere in the world with the aid of a mobile phone. He was a first time traveler to Osun State and had these answers to my questions:
How was the whole experience to Osun State?
I was very enjoyable. I totally enjoyed myself, especially the waterfall and Sunday, February 27 was my birthday.
What did you have to leave behind for the journey?
I had already cleared my schedule and was very free to enjoy myself. I don’t work for anybody.
Did you meet people and make new friends?
 Yes. I made friends with Sossick the producer and a couple of other people.
How has winning The Future Award changed or contributed to your life?
It has given me a lot of publicity and has encouraged me to do more. The Magic Box was like a play thing for me but winning an award with it has made me take my work seriously. It has encouraged me to believe in myself.
In what ways do you intend to use your award and your position to contribute to the country?
I am working on a magazine that would contribute to the growth of technology among the youths and the country as a whole.

SOSSICK (Esosa Douglas Osemwengie) was this year’s Music Producer of the Year at The Future Awards. Amongst most of his numerous works was that of the late Dagrin and he said these:
How was the experience?
 It was my first time in Osun State and I enjoyed myself a lot. I enjoyed the food and the hospitality of the people of Osun State. That was the most fun I’ve had in my life because I’m always locked up in my studio. The trip has made me want to win the award again in order to be able to go on such trips.
What did you leave behind for the journey?
I left my studio and my hustle for it but I didn’t miss them one bit. I really needed the break because I was really saturated. I would have broken down if something like that hadn’t come along.
Did you meet new people and make friends?
 I met a lot of new people and made friends that I would love to hang out with more often. I met so many other professionals.
How much has winning The Future Awards contributed to your career or changed your life?
It has sealed my name as a producer to reckon with in this country. I has exposed me to know more of my worth and people also take me more serious and treat me with more respect. It has increased my financial ratings and changed my packaging coming on the heels of other awards I’ve won recently.
How do you intend to use your award and your position to contribute to the country?
I am not from a rich home or a well-to-do family but I’ve been able to use my skills and handwork and with God as my pillar I have got to where I am today. I will like to encourage others like me to go for the best and aim to the top and there’s no limit to where they can get to. With hard work, God and challenges, they can get to wherever they want to in life.


Returnee singer, May7ven was involved a ghastly motor accident in the early hours of Saturday, March 5, 2011. She was on her way back from Movida Nightclub, Victoria Island, Lagos, when her driver ran the car into a parked truck injuring her and her sister, Fumi, who was with her. They had been at the club with 2face but he wasn’t with them when the accident happened.

She was in the back seat of the car and sustained a deep cut on her cheek while Funmi who was in the front passenger seat escaped with light bruises. They were treated at EMEL Hospital, Festac Town, Lagos and discharged not long afterwards.

We didn’t meet them at the hospital when we got there on Sunday, March 6, 2011 but a nurse at the hospital confirmed that they were admitted to the Emergency and Accident Unit of the hospital, treated and discharged. She disclosed that May had a deep cut on her cheek which was stitched up before they left the hospital.
A phone call to May revealed a lively voice on the other end. “I am fine,” she said. “I just had cut on my face which they stitched up at the hospital and I am feeling okay.” But she voiced her disappointment at not being able to travel back to London where she has an engagement. The pilot had refused to let her fly later that Saturday because he felt she wasn’t in the condition to fly shortly after such a frightening experience, she told us over the phone.
We also spoke to her sister Funmi on the phone and she sounded very fine. “I just had little bruise,” she told us.
May7ven, real name Yemisi Odegbami is the daughter of Nigeria’s football legend, Segun Odegbami. She has been a musician and entrepreneur in the UK and has worked with the likes of Akon, Blu Cantrell, Beverly Knight, Mary J, Angie Stone and Joe Thomas among so many others. In 2009 she won the award for the Best Nigerian Music Video in Nigeria at the Nigerian Music video Awards (NMVA) and has had several other awards and nominations. She just returned to the country to work with some Nigerian producers as she concludes work on her debut album and performed at the eviction show of the ongoing Nigerian Idol on Wednesday, March 2, 2011. I had an interview with her which is published in the Encomium Weekly of Tuesday, March 8, 2011.  
                         SEGUN ODEGBAMI