POPULAR music producer, Olumide Ogunade, a.k.a ID Cabasa is, a household name in the Nigerian music industry. The boss of Coded Tunes Productions opened up to ENCOMIUM Weekly at his Akoka, Yaba, Lagos office on Wednesday, August 18, 2010, where he bared his mind on his purported fall-out with 9ice, the secret behind Alapomeji Records and the truth about their contract.
You bear Olumide Ogunade, why the name ID Cabasa?
ID is Idowu, the third child after a twin. Then, the Cabasa is a musical instrument which plays a pivotal role in music. So, I’m like that, it’s a tiny instrument, but you can’t do without it in music. Take a look at me, I am not fat, but I know what I have to offer and I’m something you can’t do without by the grace of God.
You are instrumental to 9ice’s rise to stardom in the music industry. How did the journey began for both of you?
Now, we have to get something right here. It is only God that can lift a man. No man can say he can lift a man. I like the word that you used, you said I am instrumental. I could say I am privileged to be used by God as par his career. I met 9ice the same way I met almost every other person. He worked into Ajasa’s house way back then with a boy I used to know in my former church or let me say, one of these street boys that I actually know. He is also an artist, that is Minus 2. They both came as a group with one other guy. The guy is signed to 9ice’s label now, Segun (Snow). They said they wanted to sing. I produced two or three tracks for them, then the group broke up. Later, 9ice came to meet me that he would love to continue with the music thing. Despite the fact that he came with the other guy, he said they don’t really want to continue together. The guy looks so much like me, I like him, so I had to ask him to come over to my house. That has always been the relationship and I think that along the way we got so close that it went beyond just the producer thing. We became more of a family. When we became more of a family, it went even beyond that. We come to the studio, record a song and go. It now led to a situation where I have to step into some of his decisions and we were doing things together.
What can you say about the different reports that you are at loggerheads with 9ice?
Every publication you saw, anything they wrote about us, as I speak now except if 9ice comes out and says there is a problem, for me, no problem. I don’t have any issue, I have been hearing it. I was on TV on Tuesday, August 17, 2010. I was supposed to go there for a career interview and what everybody was asking me was about what is happening between me and 9ice. There is a Yoruba proverb that says, Ogun omode won o le sere fun ogun odun (twenty children cannot play for twenty years). That doesn’t mean that they will fight or they will die, but definitely sometimes work gets to move you away from yourselves. 9ice used to stay here before, but he does not stay at Akoka again, he stays at Abule Taylor along Abeokuta Expressway. That is where he stays now. But I stay here in Akoka. If there is any issue, 9ice should come out and tell people. But I won’t lie to you in all sincerity, I am not clamouring for anything from 9ice.
It was also reported that you produced his first two albums free without any proper documentation, why?
That is left between me, 9ice and God, let me just put it that way.
That you didn’t gain anything in his first two albums…
They say, I didn’t say, you said they say. The report said, I didn’t say. So, I should not be quoted wrongly.
So, what do you want to be quoted for now?
Leave that aspect to me, God and 9ice. It is our business.
So, what can you say really prompted him to leave Coded Tunes?
This is the question I want you to ask him. People should ask 9ice, not me. I am not 9ice’s spokesman.
Maybe something might have happened between you and 9ice that leaked to some insiders…
Then, there is something I really want to point out here, I don’t think 9ice have said anything about any of these things. Has he ever come out to tell anybody that he has left Coded Tunes? Alapomeji is a record label which in our own little way we helped to start. I set up the studio Alapomeji is using today in 9ice’s house. That was where I did some of the tracks in the new album. So, I’m quite aware of the fact that some people around us are talking, they are saying jack and rubbish, but I think I’m matured enough to know when I’m talking and when I’m not. So, Alapomeji is not a child of circumstance that has to come because 9ice left Coded Tunes. Inside his last album which was a rich one, Tradition, you heard when he said, Coded Tunes still exists. The intro of Gbamu Gbamu says, ‘Adigun singing, Cabasa producing, Coded Tunes supercede, Alapomeji is distinct.’ So, you could see that there is a relationship between the two. So, people should stop it. It gets to us. Like they also carried the 13 track news. When you sit down, people sit down and pick up news. They just want to generate news just to sell, I don’t like it. What I’m saying in essence is that, there has never been an official declaration that he has left Coded Tunes. And for your information, 9ice is funding Alapomeji Records which he owns and runs, which none of us is against. We have all agreed with that fact that he has to have his own, which is what any other leader will pray for, that his subordinate should progress. If you are a leader and don’t have a successor, you are a failure as far as I am concerned. So, Coded Tunes is meant to empower each and every one of us to help us get to our Canaan. That is our business. That is what we are all about.
So, what do you think insinuated what is been said that you and 9ice are at loggerheads?
I think some of the things that may be militating that is this: people have not really being seeing 9ice outside nowadays and they have not been seeing too much of me either. That was how they carried the story about Don Jazzy and D’Banj, that they were fighting. At least you have seen the Endowed, did you see any iota of fight in it? Secondly, in times past, we all roam together, we did stuff together. People always see us in the same place, but like I said we cannot be together forever. It got to a point that 9ice got so deep, is not the 9ice that all of us use to know. No shows, nothing. But now, he has shows, he has a record label to run, he has his business too to run and that is why it became different. But that does not make us enemies. He’s kind of busy. Busy is what all of us have been praying for over the years. That God, make us busy to be making money.
Another thing is that probably maybe people have been hearing 9ice new jobs, which I am not the one that produced. I should say it clear here, I didn’t sign a contract with 9ice to produce him for life, nor did he sign a contract with me that he will be the only person I will produce for life. I produce different artists. So, I think 9ice has that free chance to work with different producers. So, whoever he chooses to work with, he is an adult and I think he should be able to make that decision.
What about the report that he gave you N3m and bought a house for you?
Like I said, it is a business and personal thing between 9ice, myself and God.
So, how many artists are currently under the label of Coded Tunes?
We have just three now.
And they are…
Olamide, Ad (Sugar Boy) and D’Ranks.
What are you working on currently?
Olamide’s project. We are focusing almost everything on this. The other projects are gradual.
These guys have been associating themselves with Coded Tunes before, where are they now, we mean Seriki, Kayefi, 2Phat and Jah Bless?
Jah Bless is here, Ajasa is still here, 2Phat was the person you saw then in the studio. Seriki is signed onto Alapomeji Records, so also Kayefi. The relationship there is just okay. In this set-up, we discover talents, Alapomeji takes it up from there. We have so many with Alapomeji. You know we will kill 9ice if we…he is an artist. We would definitely kill him if we put all the burden on him. Though, most of the burden had actually been carried by me, by making sure that anyone that is ready for recording, I record his album and make the product ready.
So, it’s like we are breaking it into two now, Seriki and Kayefi are with Alapomeji Records and they are doing well and the other three guys we are pushing money into whatever they are on now.
Where do you see Coded Tunes in the next three years?
We don’t have a three-year plan, we have a five-year blueprint. We have from 2010-2015, by 2011, it will be 2011-2016. Basically, our major dream is to be ahead in terms of music production, giving people the kind of music, not just the kind of music they want, but we want to give them the kind of music that we think they need by the help of God. Then, putting Nigeria in the world map of people that produce great music, that is, exporting what we have here. And at the same time being an agent of blessing to a lot of young and upcoming artists.
This story was first published in Encomium Weekly on Tuesday, August 24, 2010