Why did you take a break from music?
I actually needed a quiet time to work and now, I can attest to its benefit. I know that a lot has happened in the industry. I have actually evaluated the situation and gone back to the studio to record a new album.
From back in the days at Mo’ Hit Records to Mavin Records, we don’t usually put out music at all times. But personally, I don’t think anyone records more music than me.
There is nothing you go through without a reason. I believe all the experience I have had in this industry will help me in the future. I know the future is very bright for me. The future is bigger than the music, Nigeria and all that we see presently.
With the album that I intend to put out soon, I think it will answer questions that many people have been asking me. If I show you my mails, you will see those messages that keep me going.
With the success of your debut album, are you not under pressure to deliver a better sophomore album?
This is always a big question for anyone who plans to drop a sophomore album. People will always want to compare the former and the latter. However, I prefer to leave that to the consumers once the album is in the market.
For me, this album is just about growth and realisation. I feel like I have never put in so much work as I have done in this album. I have the conviction that my music is coming from my heart now and I am in a better place. They say if your dreams don’t scare you, it is not big enough. I know I am better and I know there is a huge improvement in my music.
Don’t you think taking a break may have possibly worked against you?
If you read books about life, scarcity also increases demand. In Nigeria too, you cannot be everywhere as an artiste because it may not be wise for people to see and know everything about you.
I am not a solo artiste, and I don’t own a record company yet. Since I am still signed on to Mavin Records and there are protocols, I must always abide by the rules and regulations. If I flout the rules, I would have left the company since. Maybe when I have my record company, I can then begin to make music as everyone expects.
What has changed about you since you became a father two years ago?
My child and the mother are in America, so I travel often to see them. Being a father has been an amazing experience for me. My mother normally says when you get to a bridge, you will cross it. I saw the bridge and it was easy for me to cross over.
Do you plan to marry secretly too, like D’banj did?
It is not about having a secret wedding; it is about living a private life. I am who I am today because of my music and talent, not because of my relationship or family. How about if my partner doesn’t want to be in the limelight? So, we need to respect the other person’s decision too. I have seen a situation where the lady got so much attention and she was not prepared for them. I don’t even fancy putting my personal life on social media.
Why have you yet to get married or are you afraid you will lose your female fans?
We all know Kevin Hart is married, yet women still chase him. Diamond Platnumz from Tanzania is married but still impregnated another lady. So, it is not about marriage. The fans love you for your music and they don’t care about your marital status.
Do you think you are a better singer now?
I released my last album, Frenzy, three years ago when we just started Mavin Records. And I think I am a better human being now. I appreciate this moment of my life, but people still make references to those songs I did then.
According to Jay Z, if you love my old works, go buy them in the store. So, if people still love my old materials, they still have them in the store.
I am a better human being now and obviously, my music should be better. I am in a place where I feel that a lot of people will be touched and affected positively by my music, which is very important to me.
Are you working on anything?
I have different projects that I cannot disclose now, but in the near future, I will be unveiling some platforms. Some of these platforms already exist, but we are bringing them back to the forefront so that everyone can benefit from them.
I am born to the world for music and I have always believed that your handwork should speak for you. As a journalist, if you are not doing your work well, it will tell. I want my work to speak for me, rather than speaking about it. That is how we were raised in my family. That’s how my brother, Don Jazzy, is. We are not boastful; we just focus on our work.
Last night, I was in the studio with Tiwa Savage all through. She will be here very soon again and we plan to work all through the night as well.
When we are not in the studio making music, we are at one show or the other. We travel a lot too. So, music is a way of life for us. Come rain or shine, this is what we’ve sacrificed our lives for and we have people who look up to us.
Has there been a time you felt the pressure to exit music?
How can you quit the only thing you know how to do? When we had issues at Mo’Hit Records, it was a trying time for everyone, including me. We were forced to face the whole media turmoil and we all suffered it. But it was not enough to quit music and we came out stronger.
Quitting is not even something you should ever consider as long as you have a passion for what you are doing. Regardless of your humble beginning, you cannot quit. If you hear Dele Momodu’s story, he didn’t have it on a platter of gold as a journalist but he never quit.
The challenges will be there and we cannot run from it. But anyone who neglects your struggle doesn’t know what life is all about.
At the time Mo’Hit Records collapsed, how were you able to stay friendly with D’banj and Wande Coal without betraying Don Jazzy?
The people who had a clash were the two at the top, D’banj and Don Jazzy. I didn’t have any problem with either D’banj or Wande Coal; so, our relationship has never changed a bit till date. And the same goes for other members too. I don’t think it will ever change unless I have personal issues with them. They are still my brothers.
Did you consider starting a record company like D’banj and Wande Coal amid the crisis?
I did not think of leaving Don Jazzy to start my record company. I can’t leave my family; I am with him and I plan to be with him forever. I know the benefits of leaving and starting my own thing, but I don’t think I am prepared for that. I really want to build with my family.
The reason I am still alive today is because of my principles. I don’t interfere in issues that I have nothing to do with. I just want to focus on the only reason people know me for.
How have you managed to stay away from scandals?
My father and mother are very much in touch with what we do. I talk to them every day and they give us parental counsel. And right from the outset, we’ve been God-fearing. We are not just regular artistes who don’t have principles.
I also stay away from negative places, things that are negative and interviews that all they have to say borders on negativity. But I understand that sometimes when you stay away from trouble, it still comes.
Do you think it is ideal to get married before Don Jazzy?
I don’t think it matters; marriage has nothing to do with age. I’ve seen many situations where the last child got married before any other person in the family.
Even if Don Jazzy had been married, people would still not know. We want a private life, but when it comes to music, we like to have fun together. Involving your private life in music sometimes mixes up things, and doing so is setting up oneself to get hurt.