– Explains why he cannot remix Double Wahala with OLAMIDE
TALENTED singer, Oritsefemi Majemite Ekele is the artiste whose song is on every Nigerian’s lips at the moment. Double Wahala, a song he dropped for the streets with special dedication to the legendary Fela Kuti has got the entire country singing along since December with no signs of abating.
ENCOMIUM Weekly interviewed the Itsekiri singer on what inspired the song, what he was doing before returning to limelight as well as how he plans to stay relevant.
He also spoke about what music has done for him and much more…
You were almost off the scene completely until late last year when you dropped the song on everybody’s lips today, Double Wahala. What happened?
I just had to sit back, relax and work on my plan to push forward. I sat back, put in a lot of work in my songs and that’s why today I have new hits right now, making waves all over.
There was a rumour that you got stranded in Malaysia not too long ago, how true is it?
That is false. Many people cook up stories for their selfish interests. My show in Malaysia was great. I even went back to do another one and people were booking me all over in Malaysia for events. So, I actually had a great time in Malaysia.
There were even stories of you getting involved in internet scam and smuggling?
My only job is music. I’m a musician, I don’t do any other business than music. Even if I will do any business, it would be inside music. I go to shows and I get my cash. I had international shows and tours too. I have no problem. I’ve got no issues with any country. I’m a straight forward Nigerian musician, I stick to my music.
Talking about your song, Double Wahala, that has taken over everywhere, how did the song come about?
As I said, my work had been receiving some low level impact so I had to go back and restrategise to bring out something unique. Life is all about appraising yourself. You don’t need anybody to tell you that things are not working the way they’re supposed to be. You evaluate yourself and work towards who you’re supposed to be. My ambition is to become great and internationally acclaimed, not just in Nigeria. So, I have to fight anything in my way so that my true potentials would be released and I can realize my ambition. That’s the secret of some of my new songs you’ll be hearing soon. You’ve not seen anything, a lot of things are still coming out.
Still on Double Wahala, when you released it in September 2013, did you know it was going to be accepted this much?
I don’t position myself like that. I give myself a test and wait for the result. It’s not for me to predict what would happen. I thank God that all the results are positive. It gives me that inspiration to do more, to want to go that extra mile.
Are there plans to remix the song and who’s likely to be on it?
Definitely. If I’m going to do a remix of Double Wahala, it has to be with an artiste that my spirit wants and not what people are imagining. I don’t want people to suggest someone for me. I’m not saying the fans can’t suggest but at the end of the day, I want to do it with someone that my spirit picks.
What people are saying is that when you wanted to remix Mercies of the Lord, you featured the late Dagrin. Now there’s another artiste in his mould, who’s doing well for himself, Olamide. People are suggesting him.
I think if I’m going to do a song with Olamide, it will be on another track. I don’t want it to be Double Wahala. Actually, I like Olamide and I want him to be on one of my songs just like he wants me to be on one of his songs also. I will do a different song with Olamide.
Nigerians still can’t get over Double Wahala, yet you have dropped another nice song, Sexy lady featuring Davido. Why that?
Life is like a train. When it’s moving, it only stops at its destination and some designated stations. If where you want it to stop isn’t among its stations, it’s not going to stop. You need to be at the bus stop to catch the bus. Life is about trends. Right now, I’m part of what the people want to hear; so, I must not waste time. I have to give the people what they want in time because it doesn’t wait for anybody.
But you’re known for doing conscious songs, why are you now singing about sexy ladies?
I said it so many times that I’m a versatile musician. I follow trend. I can sing fuji tomorrow, all I know is that in every of my song, you’re going to pick some message. These guys are making the industry very colourful, so I have to follow their trend and work with them and they love me. Me being in their midst right now is lovely. I can do a song with Wizkid and the likes anytime.
We all know you were born and bred in Ajegunle, Lagos. Now that you’re more comfortable, where do you reside?
I stay in so many places in Lagos because I have many corners in the state where I have my projections. I don’t have a specific place that I stay now. Sometimes, I stay in my house in Awolowo Road area in Ikeja, Lagos. But now I have my apartment that I’m working on, on the Island.
Do you love cars and which is the most expensive you have?
We artistes love cars, you don’t need to lie that we don’t love cars. So, if someone gives me a Maserati, I go come talk say because of say I no like car, I no go come drive am? It’s not possible but for now, we believe say houses na im dey reign. Those days, we dey do cars, but now na houses. People want to come to your house and have a party, dinner with you and so on. For now, let’s conclude the house matter, we don dey drive car, no be now.
How much are you worth right now?
I don’t have to disclose my account but I can tell you what I’m worth based on shows. I charge N3 million for a show; so, when you calculate that amount with the shows I do, you can come to your conclusion.
How many shows do you do weekly?
About four sometimes. This Friday alone, I’m attending five shows.
You used to be very spiritual, how spiritual are you now?
I’m still spiritual. I don’t take things for granted. I even go to church even if I’m not regular.
What label are you on?
I have my label, Arogunmenite Sound.
What does that mean?
It means someone who can face any challenge squarely.
What are those things you would say music has done for you?
Music gave me recognition. It gave me some prestige. Back in AJ, we live on several means of survival. There was so much starvation, many activities. Hustling and bustling in order to support your family, in the process you might even step on some toes. In my case, I used to ferry people with boat from Ajegunle to CMS through the riverine area. Music solved all those problems for me. Even people that were quarrelling with me turned into people that welcome me. It gave me some level internationally. I remember those days when we used to be afraid of travelling out, me and my friends. Some of them that were desperate even went as far as going through land routes, some died, others went through hiding under ships and other dangerous means just to get to Europe. But because of music, I can go anywhere in the whole wide world. I respect and appreciate music for what it has done for me.
What else should fans expect from you this year?
They should expect something great and dynamic, something they’ve not heard before. I’ve been trying my best, I don’t sleep much now, though my doctor has been complaining that I need more rest. But the truth is there’s time for rest, this is time for work.
Sorry about the recent loss of your dad. How did you hear about it?
I was actually in the studio, I got a call that my dad was in the hospital, that they just rushed him there. I was shocked because he was not sick or had any problem with his health. It was tragic. Later, the calls started coming. Meanwhile, I was in the DJ booth, working on some lines. So, my phone was with my manager to avoid distractions. I just had this urge to pick my phone and see what’s up and all I saw was a message that my father had died. I was so shocked. I cut off the song, I felt really bad but I didn’t have to blame God because He gives life and He takes it back. He understands everything so all I could say was I thank God for every situation I find myself. I also want to say rest in perfect peace to my dad.
What would you miss most about him?
His proverbs and words of encouragement. Some of the deep lyrics I have in my songs were due to the time I spent with my father. He was a very funny and observant man and I inherited some of these things from him. I miss him so much but as I said, I can’t blame God because He knows best.
Are you planning to get married soon?
By God’s grace, I think when the time is right, it will happen and I will make it known.
Any last word?
My last word to the world is that they should endeavour to be unique and always strive to be among the very best. Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, if they can count one to 10 and you are not there, it means you have not done well. It’s not compulsory for you to be the first but if you cannot be among the top 10, you have to sit back, relax and restrategise.
– DANIEL FAYEMI