LANRE Atorise is sure a gospel entertainer that is making waves in the industry. The very controversial artiste spoke with ENCOMIUM Weekly at Opeyemi Bamgbopa’s movie premiere where he performed, on his many controversies and life on Sunday, May 17, 2009.
Considering your music that comes hot, what is the secret apart from God?
Determination. I am a determined artiste and I do a lot of research from time to time.
Research on what?
I do a lot of research to refresh my teeming fans out there. Apart from research, there should be a well spring from within that inspires you to sing. That is from God.
Over the years, what are the things that have shaped you as an artiste?
Naturally, I’m a man of principles but this question is a big one that I can’t answer just like that, it’s going to take a whole lot of time to say it all.
You mean you can’t summarise the principles that have guided you through life?
No, I can’t.
What class of music do you do?
I sing funkified gospel music. I am a gospel entertainer. A gospel entertainer is different from a gospel minister.
Can you differentiate the two?
A gospel entertainer is one you invite to sing Christian songs in a party, it doesn’t mean he should minister in the church but all the same I could minister in the church but I don’t preach. I sing to entertain and revive people, I sing to make people happy. These are what you see in a gospel entertainer. But a gospel minister preaches.
Your status must have taught you a whole lot of lessons?
Will you share some of them?
I’ve been able to travel to the UK, USA. I’ve been able to meet some dignitaries in the country, I’ve been able to get some contracts and all that.
Travelling out of the country, what was the purpose?
I went there for concert. My promoter is right here, he just came back from the US to discuss my trip for this year.
Anytime you are on stage, what do you always try to sell out?
The most important thing on my mind is to make people happy because I believe in the happiness of my people. Basically, this is my vision and mission, I like to put smiles on people’s faces.
Atorise has been a very controversial person, how do you handle scandals?
I am a focused artiste, I don’t look sideways, I look straight. Scandals are only one of the prices you pay for stardom. There is no artiste that will escape scandal, even Jesus Christ did not escape scandal.
It’s been rumoured that you were a cultist in school and that you are still actively involved?
I don’t know where they got that, I don’t know anything about cultism. The only group I belonged to while in school was Kegite which I don’t think is a cult.
Apart from being a cultist, you’ve also been romantically linked with lots of women?
There is one truth I usually tell people: any glory that doesn’t have the support of a woman is going to be limited. A glory that has the support of a woman is going to be unlimited.
So, who is the ideal woman that has made your glory unlimited?
The fact is that I don’t really go around looking for women. I have a woman, my own woman. I have my love life.
I mean what are the qualities you look out for in a woman?
I don’t really believe in qualities in a woman, I believe in you, yourself, your behaviour. Yoruba say, Iwa la ma mu lo ile oko (your character is what gives you a husband). Ewa ma n sha, iwa ni konitan lailai (beauty fades but your character will forever remain).
That means you have a budding relationship?
Oh yes, of course. I have my woman.
Let’s talk about her.
I don’t discuss my woman in public places. It’s very personal.
I don’t like it. You don’t know who you’ll offend out there so I don’t want anybody to rob me of my woman. I don’t want to endanger my woman.
If you don’t want to be robbed of your woman, that means you don’t want to get married. What exactly is the state of that relationship?
I don’t want to talk about it. Marriage isn’t what you rush into, I have so many things I want to achieve before I go into marriage.
I don’t want to tell you now. I tell God everything I want, when He answers me, you guys will definitely know about it.
Maybe your woman wouldn’t have age on her side and somebody else who’s got all it takes would have taken her hand in marriage?
I don’t think anybody can do that if it has been destined that she is my woman. Nobody can snatch my woman.
How soon are you calling it quits with bachelorhood?
Very soon than you can imagine.
Lanre Atorise is a success in his career, what more do you want from your maker?
I don’t know. Human wants are unlimited but I want the best of everything from God.
Sometime ago, you granted an interview that Lanre Atorise is turning a new leaf, what informed that confession, did you at a time backslide or what?
I don’t know where you got that, I’ve never for once backslided. I think it’s not every interview you see on paper is granted. People sometimes frame up stories and publish, I don’t respect that type of medium anyway. I know I granted this interview so anytime I see my story in ENCOMIUM, I look out for your names so that I will know if it came from you or not.
But it was further alleged that you had an issue with Gbenga Adewusi?
He is my promoter and he is still my promoter.
And you have a very good relationship with him?
Of course, we never had any quarrel.
What does money mean to you?
Owo ni keke ihinrere (Money is the backbone of the gospel). Money means a lot to everyone of us.
So, how rich are you?
I’m contented with what God has done in my life. I can’t say I’m rich, I can’t say I’m poor.
How do you manage your finance?
I invest a lot in property, oil and gas. I graduated as an accountant, that taught me how to manage money.
From which school?
Federal Polytechnic, Offa.
– SHADE WESLEY-METIBOGUN and REBECCA AKINKUNLE
– This story was first published in ENCOMIUM Weekly on Tuesday, May 19, 2009