MANY would easily see him as pompous as a result of the many confrontations he had with some of his friends in the beginning of his music career. In an exclusive interview with ENCOMIUM Weekly, 9ice explained some of the issues surrounding the misconception that has encapsulated his career and his new album.
What can you say to those who believe that 9ice shies away from the media because he is pompous?
That’s not true. This is the way I see it, if you write something wrong about someone, without examining all the facts and figures, the person would be angry with you. That is why I have refused to grant any media interview for a long time. When I grant an interview to someone and you don’t write what I said, you go ahead to write what I didn’t say or you don’t even interview me in the first place and you are writing stuff about me from nowhere, then I would not be obliged to grant any interview again, because it is not fair to my person. But when I grant an interview and you write what I said, I would be happy with you and I would feel comfortable talking to you another time. Even when you verify your facts before making it public it’s better for all of us. Now some people have turned around to say 9ice is bragging or 9ice is changed. I don’t think it’s right. If you write something bad about me, I am free to react because I am human. It’s not the best when you go around publicizing what I didn’t say and you make it look as if I said it.
It’s been a while we heard about your relationship with ID Cabas a and Lord of Ajasa?
It’s true that when we were all staying in Akoka, it was easy for all of us to be seen together. But now, Lord of Ajasa stays somewhere in Ikorodu, ID Cabasa stays in Akoko, I stay here in Abule Egba. The distance has not made it easy for us to see less frequently. We might see once in a week, but I can assure you that the relationship between the three of us is cordial. For instance, ID Cabasa produced a song on my new album, that only proved the fact that we are still friends, just that we stay far apart.
So, are you also saying 9ice and Ruggedman are now together?
There is nothing like that, all these were in the past. I don’t want to comment on something that is in the past. So, I will say no more comment on this issue.
There is this news that 9ice has a secret lady in Abuja and even the lady has twins for you from the relationship?
No comment. I can’t say anything on something like this. Like I said, all these were in the past and I don’t want to talk about them.
Is it true that you and Toni Payne are getting back together and there exists a love nest of yours somewhere in Magodo?
What I can tell you is that the relationship 9ice had with Toni Payne produced a child, for this reason, the presence of this child will always create a reason for the two of us to see, because the father needs to see the son and the son needs to see the father. So, if anybody sees 9ice and Toni Payne together, it’s probably because they have to come together and take care of the boy. There is no way we won’t be seen together in carrying out our responsibilities as the boy’s parents.
What has changed about your music career since you left your former record label to start yours?
We have been waxing, we now have four artists, including Seriki, Snow, Kayefi and Whyte. Seriki’s album would soon be dropped, if it doesn’t drop before the end of the year, then before February next year Seriki’s album would be out. We have been busy trying to put things together and also working towards the success of my new album. So, I can tell you that Alapomeji is coming up and we are ready to start doing our thing.
Talking about album release, what’s this your new album about?
We have two albums, one is Bashorun Gaa and the other is Versus. Bashorun Gaa is an 18-track album, while Versus has 17 tracks. These albums are the new 9ice I want people to see and I hope they understand the effort we put into the albums to ensure that we don’t let them down.
How are these albums different from your previous works?
These albums would be quite different from all my other albums. If you listen to my first album, Certificate, you will notice it was far different from Gongo Aso, if you listen to Tradition, it was different from the rest. The same thing with Bashorun Gaa and Versus, they would be different from the others because I don’t go back to what I have done. I always find a way to do it differently so as to keep my fans interest in the new stuff we drop. Though these albums have an admixture of local languages and English, the same style 9ice is known with, but the difference in concept and general appeal of the albums would stand them out.
Why did it take you so long to come out with an album, because people were insinuating 9ice is no longer doing well music wise?
It took us this long to come out with an album because we involved a lot of artists and the caliber of artists involved made it necessary for us to travel and manage time efficiently. Sometimes, I might be free and the other artist would not be, so you have to create time to ensure you can work together. The Versus album especially, took more time.
So, since when did you start working on these albums?
I started working on these albums last year, since then we have been busy piecing all the components together to ensure we get an acceptable standard. We faced hitches that also affected the release date.
Talking about hitches, can you mention some of them?
For instance, it took us time to get some artists on board. Apart from that, we also encountered some difficulties when the hard drive got lost, by that time we had recorded Timaya, then the data was lost, so we had to look for Timaya and record again. So, you can imagine when someone had done something and you want him to come back to do it again. You know the kind of busy person he is, it wasn’t easy. But thank God he came back and he recorded and we have him on the album too, with other artistes.
What happened with the data you lost?
We had a huge issue with the hard disk and that made us lose a lot of data of so many songs that have already been recorded. In fact, there were so many artists that were supposed to be featured on the album but the lost of the data made it impossible because we couldn’t call everybody back. So, some of their recordings were missed out on the album.
You said you featured many Nigerian artists, did you include Ruggedman?
No, Ruggedman was not there. We have Sound Sultan, DJ Zeez, Tiwa Savage and others. Like I said, there were others who were supposed to be there too but we couldn’t record them again.
How do you think these albums will do?
I don’t know, I have done my own part, it is left to God. So, I am looking unto God.
What are the tracks to look out for in these albums?
The major tracks in Bashorun Gaa are Eni fe, My Strategy, Pacesetter, Shakashi and a couple of others, but the people would actually determine which of the tracks they would like most. But these tracks I mentioned should be amongst those that would be most loved.
- This story was first published in ENCOMIUM Weekly on Tuesday, December 13, 2011