Monday, 21 January 2013
I APPLAUD D’BANJ FOR WHAT HE HAS BEEN ABLE TO ACHIEVE. HE IS A BIG BRAND
JJC talks to Punch about D'banj, Don jazzy and his relationship. Read excerpts from the interview below.
OBVIOUSLY, YOU LOVE THE MUSIC BUSINESS. BUT HAS IT BEEN FINANCIALLY REWARDING?
I have been fortunate in the sense that aside from succeeding in making a career from music, I have made money. I have been able to build houses from music. I am fortunate to have been brought up in the UK. I feel for majority of Nigerian artistes, because over here it is hard to make money from music. Here, you have to spend a lot to get noticed. In Nigeria when your song is aired on radio or TV, you don’t get paid royalty. In some cases, the artiste has to pay for his/her song to be played. So, in most cases, Nigerian artistes work so hard when they should be enjoying what they do. For me, I have had my good and bad times in Nigeria. I am at the verge of going to the next stage of my career, the stage where Tuface, P-Square and D’banj are. These guys enjoy corporate branding. They have gotten to the level where powerful people are willing to collaborate with them because they know that these guys have a large fan base. More after the cut
PEOPLE WOULD WONDER IF IT IS A GOOD THING FOR YOU TO ASPIRE TO BE LIKE D’BANJ, WHEN YOU GROOMED DON JAZZY, WHO IN TURN CREATED THE KOKO MASTER’S SOUND?
I don’t see anything wrong with it. Rather, it is a good story to tell that a teacher learns from his student. I was brought up with the mentality that there is nothing strange about teaching someone and he progresses so much that you can pick a few things from him. It is high time we started thinking that way in Nigeria. I applaud D’banj for what he has been able to achieve. He is a big brand. I doubt if I ask people walking on the street right now and they would say they don’t know who D’banj is. We should celebrate him and the others that have made Nigerian and African music global. Life is like a circle. I was like them years back and I helped them get into the game. Now, there are leading acts and I am studying their style to see what I can get from them so that I can get back into the lead.
LAST YEAR, YOU CAME OUT TO DEFEND YOURSELF WHEN D’BANJ SAID THAT HE WOULDN’T CHEAT DON JAZZY LIKE YOU DID. HERE YOU ARE COMMENDING HIM. HAVE YOU GUYS SETTLED AFTER THAT EPISODE?
I haven’t seen D’banj after what happened. But the air has been cleared between both camps. I have gotten several emails from common friends and I can tell you there is no bad blood between us. I guess it is just the way people like to do things in Nigeria. They want to know who is fighting who. For me, we are all brothers who should work together to promote the Nigerian brand.
YOU ARE A SINGER/PRODUCER AND YOU ALSO ARE A LABEL EXECUTIVE. WHICH ONE OF THESE THREE ROLES IS YOUR FAVOURITE?
I love being on stage. But my best moments are when I am teaching others. I feel great when I meet people and they tell how I taught them this or that thing in music. I meet people on the train or at shows and they tell me how big they have become from when I taught them a skill that got them where they are. Look at the D’banj story. Five to six years after we were together, he turned out to be a success story.
WHO IS THAT PROTÉGÉ THAT GOT THE BEST OF YOU?
I will say Don Jazzy because we were more like friends. We used to hang out a lot. We partied together. And he is the person who shares my ideology that we need to inspire artistes. We might not be close now but I see all the good stuff he is doing by discovering talented artistes and producers. I hope these people he has discovered will also pass down the knowledge to the next generation.
ARE YOU MARRIED?
At this point I am not married.
ARE THERE ANY REASONS WHY YOU’RE STILL SINGLE?
Music is partly to blame for my not being married. You know, I got into the industry at a young age and ours is an industry where women form a large chunk of the fan base. I guess I made a few stupid choices because I was young. It also is difficult balancing music with a career like mine. But right now, though I am focused on my career, I am also looking for the right person.
WHAT DOES YOUR MRS. RIGHT LOOK LIKE?
The funny thing is that the girl I will marry doesn’t have to be one that has a certain kind of look. I don’t have a model girl as such because I have tried beauty, it didn’t work. I have tried intelligent girls, it didn’t work also, I think what I need is a good friend. I need a girl who will be my friend and lover. But it’s hard to find a genuine friend and lover once you are a celebrity.
FROM WHAT YOU HAVE SAID, YOU MUST HAVE BROKEN SOME HEARTS?
(Laughs) Well, I have been a bad boy. I have had my share of bad relationships. But I guess its part of growing up. The only way to appreciate a good relationship is when you have been through a bad one. I guess this is why I am searching for that good relationship. When I find it, I won’t let it go.