*Says ‘Gongo Aso’, announced him as a musician
By BENJAMIN NJOKU
Abolore Akande, popularly known as 9ice has come a long way in the Nigerian music industry, having gained recognition in 2005, after releasing his first single, “Little Money”. Since then, the ‘Alakpomeji’ crooner’ has not slowed down in his quest to be on top of his game. Recently, he signed a new deal with Temple Management Company, TMC, which marked a new beginning in his musical career. But beyond this, 9ice craves for happiness in all ramifications. He believes that not having children from one woman can deprive him of his happiness. In this engaging interview , 9ice speaks about what gives him happiness, his music, new management and marriage.
You recently signed a deal with Temple Management Company, how are you enjoying the new experience?
Like you said, it’s a new experience for me. So far so good, I’m welcoming all the ideas and experiences. I’m loving it.
You once lamented the difficulties associated with an artiste managing himself. Now that you have a management in place, how far do you intend to go in your career?
An artiste will go far because he has all the time to creatively create a new sound. Now, he has people that monitor your image out there, book shows for you and ensure that you dress in a particular way. So, the artiste’s sole priority is to make music unlike before, where you have to be your own manager, your own booking agent and promoter. My sole priority now is to create good sounds.
When you were managing yourself, what was it like?
It was hectic but also, fun. This is because it was a new industry that was growing up then. So, to find myself in that situation at that time was new to me even though I was having fun.
What motivated you to go into politics?
We tried politicians, they failed us, the media failed us too. We have not tried pastors and entertainers. So, if a press man is qualified to be a politician, what stops me from going into politics. Am I not a Nigerian? I can vote and be voted for. So, what’s wrong with my going into politics?“
It’s unusual seeing a musician going into politics.
Well, to see a musician at my level going into politics is new in Nigeria. But we are being used by politicians as tools for their campaign. So, I will rather campaign for myself and do what I need to do because I know how to deliver and I have my name to protect. So, why do I need to campaign for another person.
“What was the experience like?
I learnt a lot of lessons and I can tell you that it will take God Almighty to reposition Nigeria. Yes, I can say that I would have won my primaries if they had allowed my Local Government to vote. In spite of that, I defeated about three sitting commissioners. I came second during the primaries, so, it was a wonderful experience for me. I don’t have any regrets, but going into politics taught me a lot of things. That’s why I said earlier that it would take God Almighty to reposition Nigeria.
Did you go into politics because music at the time wasn’t as challenging as it used to be?
Yes, it wasn’t and I said it loud and clear. Music wasn’t challenging any more, in terms of the drive, the motivation and the passion. Those days, you hear someone’s songs and you want to become a better singer. It wasn’t like that any more. People dance to the beats. We listen to music because we want to learn something, not because one wants to dance to the rhythm. That’s my school of thought. So, music wasn’t challenging to me at the time I went into politics. When I was coming up, it was challenging then.
What’s your greatest hit that each time you listen to it, you feel like remixing the song?
It’s the song I titled, “Any Time.” It talks about my life and experiences. While I was growing up, the things I experienced in my life; how I scaled through the hurdles of becoming a man. I am planning to do a remix of the song with Youssou N’Dour.
There’s a statement credited to you that you wished all your children came from the same mother. Are you regretting your marital life?
There are so many things anybody can wish himself in life. I can wish to be the governor of Lagos State. Need is different from want.
But does it mean that you have not been lucky, in terms of marriage?
I am very lucky and I am happy with what I have. Being married does not mean that you are going to be happy, unless we want to deceive ourselves.
Supposing your ex -wife, Toni comes back to you, will you give her another chance?
She’s with me and we are both happy. She’s living her life while I’m living my own life. Happiness is the most important thing. Don’t let your family push you into doing anything you don’t like. If you want to stay in marriage, all well and good. But if you think not getting married gives your happiness, don’t marry. It is not by force that one must marry. God is not going to punish anybody who refused to get married.
So, how do you run your home?
How I run my home is different from how you run your own home. I might not be the one running the home. It might be the mothers of my kids who are running the home in my absence and they are doing it perfectly well. And the glory will come to me. When it comes to marital issues, it is a game of luck. Nobody can come and tell me that I’m perfect that’s why I’m married. We all know how it’s being done. People have issues in marriage everyday. What I want in my life is happiness and I’m having it now. And I’m loving it. Marriage or no marriage, I am happy and I have my children. That’s the important thing to me. Another source of my happiness is my focus on my music. If you are happy, you can make the next person around you happy. What I want in life is happiness, whether I get in marriage or out of marriage, is irrelevant to me.
At what point did you start enjoying the reward of your sweat?
At the moment, I released “Gongo Aso”as a single, not as an album. When I released my first album there were many singles that were making it. But I can’t genuinely say I have arrived. But when I released “Gongo Aso”, as a single, it announced me. After which I released album after album.