Ego Ogbaro is a talented sonorous singer. The chocolate skinned came to limelight when she was working with Lagbaja.
Now married, Ego has found her own footing and doing well in the industry. Her single and video was released last year. It is entitled, Fall in Love and received a lot of airplay. She is now set to release her album. ENCOMIUM Weekly, had an interview with her in her Omole office on Thursday, September 29, 20ll, where she told us why it took a long time before coming out with her own song, her days in Lagbaja’s band and much more …
You are blessed with one of the sweetest voices in the music industry. How have you been able to maintain it and keep it intact?
I think it is just the grace of God. I don’t do anything per say. I don’t avoid certain food. I am just able to start training my voice. But so far, I have not done anything extraordinary about it.
Why is Ego on dreadlock?
Very convenient. Trust me, “cry convenient. The stress is just once in a while. Like now, I have to go and re-twist it, then I may tint it. I can wash it anytime I am at home. I have saved enough time and money with it. I have been carrying it for over eight years now.
Despite your sweet voice, we have not heard much from you since you left Lagbaja?
I have three singles and two videos. The first video came out last year. It had enough airplay. The title of the album is Fall ill Love. I have Fall in Love, Palava and I Believe. At this point, I think I should just say a huge thank you to all the television station. They were really wonderful. Every station played it. That attitude encouraged me and keeps me going. It has shown me that lam on the right track. I was really happy. Now, I am working on the album and it is coming out very soon.
Why did it take you that long to release your album?
There is really no time limit for anything. It is not a must to come out with an album in one year or six months. I just felt that different process apply to different things. I am a near perfectionist I like my things to be prim and proper. I wanted something that people will appreciate even though it didn’t come out as early as they wanted. I want people to be amazed, I don’t want them to think of the number of years I stayed away. I want them to see result with the quality of the song, the video and the packaging.
Like I said, there is no time limit. Putting a song together and recording wasn’t easy. I also wanted a particular person to record. I wanted Cobhams to record. He understands where I am coming from. It made the job a bit easier. I am not taking anything away from anybody.
What genre of music is Fall in Love?
It is soul. I deal more with lyrics, melody. I want people to sit down and listen. I want something to touch everybody.
My fans should expect more of soul in my coming album but I am not restricted to soul alone. Palaver was a mix of soul and afrobeat. I can mix anything together, there is no law when it comes to music. You can do anything as long as it is pleasant.
Share your challenges with us as an artiste?
I had to fund the whole thing myself which is not easy. I don’t want something cheap, like I told you, I am a near perfectionist. A lot of money went into it, the video, recording didn’t come cheap. Money was a major issue. Another challenge was time. 1 also run a band, we go for shows. I am also a Glo ambassador. We are doing Rock and Roll, so, we had to go for a tour round a whole lot of places so I had to arrange myself. It was a challenge for me.
Looking at the effort, time, money you put to the videos, singles. Is it worth it? Have you been able to get it back?
For me, it is not getting back the money that will determine if it is worth it or not. I could get the money and not be a force to reckon with. I want people to appreciate it. I want it to be a yardstick so, it is not the money per say but the passion, the joy I derive when I perform and people appreciate it So, I will say, it has been worth all the effort considering the response I have gotten from it.
People were saying you were intimidated with the likes of Omawumi, Mo’Chedah, Waje – that is why you didn’t come up with your own album?
I am never intimidated, not because I feel I am the best. I like healthy competition because I challenge myself, competition even pushes me. So, I am never intimidated not because I feel I am better than anybody, I am also not an out-going person. You don’t see me everywhere. I spend my time doing other things. I was working on the album and it took a while, so a lot of things were going on then.
What fond memories of Lagbaja do you still have with you?
I have a lot. From rehearsals to shows, the tour, hanging out, yabbing each other. It was fun. The hard work, the good time and the bad times. It was an experience. I am happy I went through it. I can’t start pointing or saying this or that, everything was fun.
What do you miss about working with him?
I miss having no responsibility. I just go for rehearsal, the band was his problem. But now, I have to sing, plan for the band, make sure things are in order. It is really crazy. I am not saying I don’t like responsibility, but I must tell you, it can be really crazy, I miss how we used to hang out and yab each other.
Would you say you would have done further than where you are if you were still with Lagbaja?
That is something I don’t know. You have to take a chance. It is always 50/50. I don’t really look at life that way. I have made my move; I have to continue with life. I can’t go back. Thank God I am here. I am still relevant, my work still counts and that is very important.
Are you considering doing a collabo with Lagbaja one day?
Well, let us see. Let us see how it goes. There is a possibility to everything.
How has life been as a Glo ambassador?
It’s been great. One word that I do use is grateful and stable. I am not the best, neither am I the most popular. It is favour. The brand is growing, they are people-friendly, and they reach out to the people at the grassroots. I am encouraged and proud that I am part of it. I am grateful.
What have you done with your Glo money?
None of your business. I invested it wisely.
Tell us about your band and how often do you get shows?
My band is called Indigo. We do mostly private shows, cooperate events, weddings and birthdays. We are great. We are a good, classy band. I have always liked working with a band and I made up my mind that I will have a band. Even when we started, the reaction was positive.
How do you juggle everything- marriage, band, album and Glo?
I cope. They are all very important. You just have to be able to manage your time. Glo used to tell us ahead of time, when we are to have events. I believe anybody will be able to cope.
I have been able to so far. My husband’s my manager, so it makes everything easier. He knows what I do.
Is that why he is your manager?
Not necessarily. It just happened he understands me. He doesn’t mix pleasure with business. It has been easy to work together. So far, so good. It’s been wonderful.
How would you describe married life?
So far, so good. Marriage has been wonderful. It is not as if it doesn’t have its up and downs. We have been able to deal with a lot of things because of the understanding and trust. We are still enjoying it.
What do you cherish most about him?
Everything. Really, it is not just one thing. It’s the whole package – he is very loyal, loving and friendly and hardworking. If he puts his mind in anything, he would make sure he gets it done.
How would you say marriage has affected your career?
I don’t know. Like I said, I try to balance the whole thing. I separate everything. I don’t let it affect anything negatively.
When are you starting your family? A Jot of people are expecting to celebrate with you since you married, or is it because of work?
No, it all depends on God, if He says so. Career can’t come ahead of family when you put everything on a scale. It will come if God says so.
You are often seen at events without your husband, why?
I don’t go to most events, anyway. We do go to events together. Though the whole protocol also gets to him at times. Sometimes we go together. Sometimes he is there and people may not notice that he is around. There is no big deal about the whole issue.
Tell us about your background?
I was born in Edo State. My dad is Igbo, my mum is Yoruba from Ijebu, I have two brothers, two sisters. I am married. I schooled in Aba, went to Eyinoma Nursery and Primary School. When we came to Lagos, I continued my primary education at Central Primary School, Ikeja, GRA. The secondary school was Ikeja High School. From there, I went Alliance Francaise. I have always loved French. Then I went to LASU. I did Public Administration but I didn’t finish because I was working.
– SHADE WESLEY-METIBOGUN
*This story was first published in ENCOMIUM Weekly on Tuesday, October 4, 2015