POPULAR music star, Timi Dakolo has said marriage is molding him to be more responsible. The king of ballads also said his greatest achievement in life is having a wife and two children. Timi Dakolo who won the first West African Idol in 2007 spoke about other things as regards his music career and more…
What is Timi Dakolo working on at the moment?
I am releasing a new album this year. I just released a single from the album entitled, Iyawo mi. The whole idea about the album is love and the consequences of love be it good or bad. So, it’s taking a lot of time to put together. This weekend I would be on the Rhythm Unplugged show, called Loud and Proud. I have great plans for this year.
Love is something everybody can relate with, everybody experiences love in one form or the other. It is just about singing what the people can relate with. People suffer heartbreak and some other experience the other side, excitement. It is about me singing about such experiences.
How would you want to rate the success of your last album?
I released my first album two years ago. I released, The Great Nation song, the Nigerian song and it is doing very well. If I go for a show the request is massive, it is bigger than I thought it would be at the beginning. I just wanted to sing for Nigeria and it has done excellently well. It has exceeded my expectation.
Why did you even decide to sing about Nigeria?
It is my love for the country. Nigeria is our home, our country. If anything happens, we have no place to go. At some point, we always complain why things are not working in the country, why can’t we leave those negative thoughts and think positive. Let us start from somewhere and build the nation.
How do you get your songs?
They just come. I really don’t have part to play as regards the melody and chorus, they just come and I grasp it as they flow in. I hold on to it and I begin to brood over it sometimes days, weeks.
Also, your voice is one of the things that impresses your fans. What is the secret?
I just sing. I practice a lot. I have never done any serious voice training. I just sing, I keep singing. I do it my own way, that is just the secret.
Did you ever imagine being big like this when you started years back?
Basically, I did not know how it all happened. When I won the West African Idol, I reckoned the stage was too big for me. But I went back, did a lot of research, checked online about music. I read about song writing, about great performing artists. I listened to songs and then wrote something down about the kind of music I want to do, how I want to go about it. I have always known what I want and I go for it.
How does one become continually relevant in the industry?
Very simple: I do music not for immediate relevance but also for future. Don’t do music because everybody is doing one particular type, how about tomorrow? Don’t do music for the short term but for the long term benefit. That’s why music of yesteryears are still relevant in this generation, they are not flashes in the pan.
My greatest achievement in life is my family, all other things, I think, are just bonus. Family is the greatest achievement for me, having them around, my wife and children.
What about material possessions?
Those are not. If you have all that and you don’t have a family to share them with, it is all vain.
How will you describe life as a family man?
It is awesome. I have learned a lot from my children, I learn from my wife. Family comes with a lot of responsibilities. You think of how you want to go to work, come back. You can go out and come back anytime, but as a family man you think of your home because you will be setting an example for your children. If they see me come home late, or drink, they are watching. I have to lead by example. Everything about me has changed since I now have a family. I don’t work because I want to wear the best clothes or shoes but because I want my children to have a better life. Marriage comes with maturity, grace. Marriage is a different ball game compared to just being in a relationship.
What has worked for you in terms of keeping your marriage intact?
I am very open. My wife knows who I am, everything about me. I know when I should be at home.
What lessons have you learnt in marriage?
Being responsible and open to your partner. Open up and share your life completely with your partner.
What does the future hold for you?
The future tells me I am going to do greater things. I have plans to start a foundation, at least give back to the society, work on new songs.
Which of the two gives you more money, doing shows or releasing an album?
Highest part of my income comes from live performance, ring back tunes, endorsements. If we have a structured system, we would be getting royalties from airplay, make more money from album sales and others.
Like how much did you make from the Great Nigeria caller tune?
It is doing really great, a lot of people have it as ring back tune.
What effort are you putting into doing another hit song like Great Nigeria?
I used to have that mindset whether I could do a great song like that again, but music comes freely for me. It’s like creativity, you don’t force it, it comes naturally.
How do you keep in shape?
I eat healthy, I go to the gym, I don’t eat junk food.
How do you enjoy your leisure time?
I sit at home with my family, play video games, watch movies, watch football. Sometimes, I go on vacation with my family. My favourite place is Cape Town, South Africa.
– FOLUSO SAMUEL