The Sharp Band is one of the foremost and most viable live bands popular across the length and breadth of the country and beyond.
Led by talented Anesi Igharue, the band has gone beyond the regular entertainment at events to the introduction of Sharp Band Versus Sharp Band Show.
In this interview with ENCOMIUM Weekly, Anesi Igharue said the Sharp Band Vs Sharp Band Show is another style of honing the skills of the band and not a competition and much more…
You are among the top live bands in Nigeria, how do you feel?
It’s a privilege and honour, most especially by God’s grace, it’s not man’s doing. It feels good to be reckoned with as one of the top bands in Nigeria today. It takes a whole lot of hard work, it’s been long time and not something that started yesterday. It cost hard work consistently and I have been able to withstand the pressures that are coming from all corners. I feel good about it.
How will you describe the success of the band since it started?
The success of the band is not something that was sudden. It was a gradual thing. When we started, it was as if there was no hope and gradually there was awareness, we were spontaneous. Slowly and steadily, we got to where we are today and we give God the glory.
What is your relationship with other bands?
As a matter of fact, our relationship is very cordial, we are friends. Myself and Godbless of Eboni Band are very good friends, Akin of Shuga Band too, Kudense Band of Ejiro. We are like a family, we connect, we talk, we have good rapport, and we meet from time to time.
As a matter of fact, there is this meeting that holds every Monday, tagged Monday Night Gig. It’s a way of bringing us together, so that we will have a common front where we all meet and discuss the problems and issues arising from business of band ownership. We are very good friends, like a family. There is no problem at all.
What are the pains and gains of this business?
A whole lot of pain and a whole lot of gains. The pain is more because you wake up in the morning, you think of new things, new ideas, what you should fuse into the band that will make it more interesting. The market is so competitive, so you try to be ahead of others, create something that will be unique, something no one has done before. Apart from playing music, your delivery matter a lot. Your co-ordination, your packaging generally and a lot of rehearsals to take you where you want to be, so that when people listen to you or see your band, they know that they are getting what they have paid for and it’s worth it. Lots of things are involved. Most times when we go for events, as a band you have to arrive first. Set your instruments ready, your vehicles have to be there, everything has to be error free.
At the end of the day, you have to make sure that you keep your clients and guests on the dance floor. You need to know the next song to play, so they don’t get bored, you need to keep guests dancing because music is one of the strong and major factors at parties. If the music is very good, the party rocks and if the music is not good the party doesn’t rock. So, we try to make sure we are always on point, in all aspect and all the departments of the band, from the sound engineers to the road manager, co-ordinators, even the musicians themselves.
The gains are not yet there, we are still working on it. I strongly believe that we would get there soon by the grace of God. It’s all about the desire to do the job now, but, I believe in the nearest future, live bands in the entrainment industry will be reckoned with. Then we can start counting the gains and also have multinationals that are endorsing bands. So, we are expecting gains on boards. For now, it’s more of desire and what you really want to do.
What stands your band out from other bands?
Basically it’s all about our uniqueness. In this live band sector of entertainment, it’s more about representing other people’s songs in our own style. Most of this bands will have the same songs but we have the style of doing each popular song you hear. As for Sharp Band, it’s the way we present the song, our packaging and our style.
How did you bring these great talents together considering their different backgrounds?
First, you have to know what you want, and then you will know what to get. It is about understanding and patience. They are of different backgrounds just as you said and they will have different understanding and different beliefs. You will have to know what you want so that you will know how to get what you want from them.
As the saying, if you want to catch a monkey, you will have to behave like one. It is about being able to use what you have to get what you want. We all have our different beliefs and different cultures. But knowing how to put them together and how to work with them and get good results at the end of the day is the bottom line. It is about knowing how to get what you want from what you have.
Has there been any shake ups and how did you handle it?
Yes, I’ve been through like three shake ups. I have had events where key players in the band decide to walk out unnoticed. And when that happens, that is when you know if you are strong enough to pull it together. I’ve had three shake ups like I said.
The first one happened when 80 percent of the band left to form another band. Another happened when 50 percent of the band left to form their own band. Another one happened again when like 30, 40 percent of the band members left at the same time to form their own band. And so far, I wish them well because they are all doing well. And I am proud to say that Sharp Band Nigeria has developed some other bands in the country today. It is just one of those things, you don’t have to be together forever. It is just the manner they left that’s not decent. It is like when a group of people decide to come together to plan a coup. They just put all the materials and hard work you have inculcated in them together to start up a band somewhere. So, you are left with little or nothing. You start working with new and fresh hands. Those are the challenges, but it is alright, I have gone through it like thrice and it doesn’t bother me anymore. When it comes, I always overcome.
The band is very busy, how do you manage its tight schedules?
It is very easy and not that easy. You just have to schedule yourself according to what you have in your chart. It is just like drawing out a template for your schedules. The band starts its weekly gig from Wednesday through Sunday. Mondays and Tuesdays are off-days. We even do our rehearsals on Tuesday, so we are left with Monday. It is okay because we already have a template for the band where we do our follow-up. It is about scheduling.
What brought about the idea of Sharp Band Vs Sharp Band show that you organized at Bay Lounge?
Sharpband vs Sharpband (a style not a competition) 2 in 1 band, 1 stage, 1 sound, 2 presentations and 2 interpretations simultaneously. This is the future. It is a long time dream of mine. I have always wanted to do a show, not the regular event where we will bring together people from all walks of life, host people, showcase our art for people to see what we are capable of. So, it is a dream come true. It is something that I have always loved to do. I have had this idea long time ago.
This happens to be the right time. It was actually scheduled for October 9, but it got disrupted due to unforeseen circumstances.
It has never been done in this part of the world before. That is just it. It is our own event where we do our own thing, packaged by us and organized by us.
That is when you see the true Sharp Band. It is going to be an annual event. It is designed to take place in an open air setting. We thank God for the very huge success. Sharp Band Vs Sharp Band is new in this part of the world. This is the first of its kind.