How does it feel like acting for the first time in Nollywood?
It feels like a blessing, an honour and privilege to be associated with the cast, crew, executive producer and director. Everybody was at the top of their game. This is the first time in my professional career that I would be the least experienced person. Everybody was more experienced than me. It was an exciting thing for me.
How challenging was it?
It was challenging because you don’t want to let anybody down. I grew up watching RMD, Aunty Ireti and Aunty Sola, you don’t want to come and mess things up for them. Maybe not delivering your lines, or not putting the right emotions.
I was not nervous but I was excited to go in prepared and do a great job. I don’t want them to worry when it comes to my own part and that was what I did.
Why movies really?
I have always wanted to go into movies, even when I was young, I had always flirted with script but the music had always been first. If you recall, I went to film school some years back. All the videos we have done in EME, I wrote the treatment and I co-directed it.
In life, you should never be satisfied with one achievement. As you are reaching one goal, you should look for another goal and continue to grow. The day you are satisfied with where you are is the beginning of an end. Acting is something I have always wanted to do but I didn’t want to be arrogant about it, I wanted to act in some good productions before I can do my own movie.
As I am talking to you, I have started writing my own movie but I would take it a step at a time.
What made you tell The Wedding Party was a right start for you?
I think it was because of the caliber of cast on set. They are all at the top of their game. I like being around great talents and achievers. Kemi Adetiba is very dear to my heart, we have worked together in the past, we have done a lot of videos.
Mo Abudu is someone I have utmost respect for in terms of what she has done in African entertainment. I also read portions of the script and felt it is the kind of film I want to be associated with. Before now, I have read some other scripts which didn’t arouse my interest. Also, I never wanted my first featured film to be something given to me because I am Banky W, I wanted to earn it, let me prepare, work hard for it. If I deserve it, then give it to me. That was what they made me do and it was okay for me.
Did you audition for it?
Yes, I did. It was a real audition and I felt very good about it.
What sort of roles would you love to play?
I am open minded. But if I have my way, I would not play Banky W in a film. I have done it for Jenifa because she is my sis. As long as it is challenging, it is a quality production, absolutely, I would do anything.
The chemistry between you and Adesua was so real, how did you achieve that?
If they put you close to Adesua and you don’t try and create some chemistry, then. I don’t know what to say to you. She is extremely talented, she is lovely, she made it easier for me because I was new to the movie scene, I wanted to go through my lines over and over again. The cast were kind and gracious to work with me.
The kiss, was it real?
We kissed for real.
You said 80 percent of Dozie is Banky W?
No, Mo Abudu said it. What I would say is that I identify with Dozie because he is successful, he has good people around him and he wanted to get married. That was why I was able to identify with him.
Also, people have been asking when I would marry, they should go to the theatre in November 16 and watch me marry. I am getting married in The Wedding Party.
Hope your music would not suffer because of movie?
No, I am close to completing my next album and we are so close to the end of the year. I would leave it till Valentine day next year. It is a day that has been good to me.
What is so special about February 14?
If you look at my music, I do RnB, pop but at the end of the day, I am a romantic guy.
Was February 14 the day you found the right woman?
I have not found her, I just believe she is coming.
How do you cope with women?
I have learnt that you can’t get too excited, you can’t get too depressed because the same people that love you today can throw stones at you tomorrow. Just keep a level head, I will continue to be my best and be true to myself.
How was the experience directing a movie for the first time?
It was amazing, difficult, I felt privileged. I wouldn’t want to give it up for anything.
Why did you say that it was difficult?
Shooting a movie in Nigeria is difficult, especially something of this magnitude. You saw how many people were in the movie, it was an experience, it is my first feature movie, I was running on an average of two hours sleep a day. I had to do early call time, late rap up time.
But it gladdens my heart when you go through all that process and people are excited about it, it makes everything worth it.
Were you jittery at first?
Yes, not when I was shooting but at the beginning before I started shooting. There was a time I was so tired, I had to tell myself, ‘Kemi’ get up every day and do it. But I had a lot of people who made it worth the while.
Which is your favourite – movies, music directing?
All my music videos are like small films. So, it is the same thing, just an elongated version of the music thing. The only thing that was different for me was stamina. The longest I shot a music video for was three days but this one, it was back to back. I was also dealing with more people.
I had to wear the heart of a leader, we had about 300 on set. I had no space to question decisions, I just needed to go.
Why the choice of video directing for a woman?
I don’t think I chose to be in this career because I am a woman. It just happened. It is something I love to do and I had to do it, the priority is doing it well that people would not care if I was a man or a woman. It was an obligation to myself. I wanted to inspire people.
For many years, people thought I was a boy until I went on instagram. I want to be a representative that it can be done strictly on craft. I am doing it so that somebody can know that it can happen. I used to say your work is your business card to the world.