9ice, real names Abolore Akande is one of the artistes that brought pride to singing in their mother tongues. The brave act was not only applauded, he became role models to many upcoming acts trying to sound like. Lately, the super star has been out of the radar except for the negative stories making the rounds in different newspapers and magazines. Upon his arrival from the UK, he sat down with Seun Apara to give answers to all the stories that have termed him controversial including plans to drop new songs and his new album.
Was it a deliberate act to stay off the scene for a while?
Well, I have been involved with other projects. I was busy with a movie project where I played a major role and that took lots of time. I also travelled to UK to shoot four videos which I will be releasing as a compilation in a matter of weeks. I shot videos for Attitude and 3310 from my latest album, Basorun Gaa. Also shot videos for Get Into It and Ike Kan, two of the four singles I will be releasing soon.
What about the four singles you are releasing?
I titled the four singles I’m releasing as ‘Obawon’, ‘Ikekan’, ‘Get into it’ and ‘I Dare You’. The motives behind the four songs are that we are entering into the festive period and people need to party and enjoy. Aside that, there is a need for re-think of how they spent their lives from January to December. The four singles coming out is also to whet the appetites of the fans for my next album coming out in March 15 next year but before then, the Alapomeji All Star album will drop in December.
What do you intend to achieve with these new singles?
The overall achievement basically is to be at the forefront because I have been quiet for a while now in the industry. It’s not going to be over until it is over and as a result, we need to keep the brand going. ‘Obawon’ is all about trying to reframe your identity or your privilege in the industry and I Dare You’ is another word that people uses a lot; I dare you to slap me or I dare you to call my name. I am daring people to say one or two things about me. I want a reaction from them.
So what will happen after if they dare you?
Then I will react
What are the concepts behind your new videos?
They are going to be historical videos. For instance, not everybody will understand what we mean by ‘Ike Kan’. So we are trying to explain what ‘Ike kan’ means in the video and same thing for ‘Get into It’. The videos were directed by Musa, the same guy that directed Wizkid and Wande coal’s latest videos. We are releasing the four videos together as a compilation CD with a concert to accompany it. The whole idea behind the concert is just to drive publicity to what we are releasing so that the fans can go out there and get it. You don’t just release the singles and be silent about it. You need to let people hear about it and also perform it for the people that will be in attendance. This will go a long way in putting it in the mouth of people. I will be supported by other Alapomeji acts like Alabi and Seriki.
When is the concert coming up?
It will be in second week of December but no specific date yet. The concert will take place at Civic Center. The superlative concert is basically for industry people and the press as well. It will be strictly b y invitation.
What is the title of your on-coming album?
I always release the title of my album long before it dropped. I don’t like to hide it. I’m releasing a double album like the last one I did. One is ‘CNN’ while the other one is titled ‘GRA’. Each is going to come with eight songs making it total number of16 songs. The full meaning of GRA is Galvanizing Right Ahead and the other one is Cancelling Numerous Negativity (CNN). There has been a lot of negativity about me of late. One is cancelling all negativity and the other one is a step to move ahead.
Apart from the new materials you are about to release, what are the other projects you are working on?
We are working on the Alapomeji All Star album and that will be released next year. People felt by now Kayefi’s album should be out but there seems to be no sign of such. A lot of people don’t know the story behind it. She just got married and she’s raising her child. We have to allow her to raise her child.
There is this news that you just joined a new record label known as Diesel Music, how true is it?
There is no iota of truth in it. The owner of Diesel Music is a friend of mine and we are just trying to make the label popular.
How do you react to controversies and negative stories?
I like it and I want more. If nobody talks about you, that means you are not in existence. I have learned to realize that both negative and positive stories work for the artiste but it depends on how you can cope with it, live with it, get over it and move ahead. Whoever is having it negative now, should expect it positive later and whoever is having it positive now, should expect it negative soon too. The most important thing is deal with it and get on with your life.
What actually went wrong between you and your former manager, Dehinde?
People always want to believe something might have happened before two people with working relationships go their different ways. We all know that 20 children can’t play together for 20 years. There is always a point in someone’s life that you think you need to move on. That was what happened and I still work with him on one or two other things that I need him to help me do.
What is the true story that an Abuja lover that delivered twins for you?
Sometimes, I wish people can just ask me questions before publishing their stories. That story is not true and I want to tell you that they are making it up. If they had asked me, I would have been able to tell them if it’s true or not. I wish the habit of writing without confirming from the person involved can stop. I wish!
And that you are back to your estranged wife hobnobbing in Magodo?
People just like to spread unpalatable stories and nobody will call 9ice to even confirm. I was once married and I’m now separated. That is the fact!
You recently featured in a movie titled Jejere, what was the experience like?
Well, I don’t think I want to feature in any movie again. That might be my first and the last. You sit down at home, watch them and criticize them but there’re so much more to it than what we see. Imagine shooting a movie for over a month and you are supposed to edit it to an hour. It’s much more difficult than we imagine.
How would you describe your experience on set?
I was there for about a week, in different locations. They shot in different cities and places. It was difficult, quite difficult and at the same time, very challenging. That is going to me my first and last movie except if I’m being offered a huge sum amount of money, then I can cancel other events for like two weeks for a movie shoot.
Aren’t you planning to shoot your own movie before?
I was supposed to shoot a movie of my own before actually but while working on Jejere and I saw the way is being done, I decided to drop that movie idea for now.
What is your opinion about the current state of the Nigerian music industry?
I think we are getting worst instead of us getting better. What we dish out is not quality. What we have now is quite different from the way it all started. I would say it’s better we go back to the days of Plantashun Boiz. What do we have now? Do we even have song now? What we have now is the beat. Aside that, there is no content regulation .We have been saying that we should go back to the drawing board. The first thing is to get PMAN right. Once we get PMAN right with the artistes of this generation participating actively in PMAN activities, the body will be able to represent all the musicians and fight for our collective and individual rights.