In 2009, singer Abolore Akande popularly known as 9ice released his sophomore album, ‘Gongo Aso’, and immediately he established himself as a major force within the Nigerian music industry. Although the follow up album, ‘Tradition’ was also recorded as successful, adherent fans continue to argue that it was short of the standard he created with ‘Gongo Aso’.
Now the multiple award winner has released two new albums, ‘Bashorun Gaa’ and ‘Versus’ simultaneously with hopes of returning the past glory. In this interview, he speaks on his new albums and his planned album launch concert for March 11, 2012.
DO YOU SEE YOURSELF AS AN ALREADY SUCCESSFUL ARTIST?
No. I still have dreams I am yet to achieve. Saying I am successful will mean I have seen it all or I am all I want to be, but in all honesty, I still have dreams and aspirations that I am yet to achieve. So I’ll say I am on the way to success, but I am not there yet.
IS IT THE DESIRE TO ACHIEVE THESE DREAMS THAT INSPIRES YOU NOW?
The inspiration for my music is from things that happen in my environments and things that I see from my day to day activities. And also God.
BUT YOU ARE ON MOST COUNTS, THE SUBJECT OF YOUR OWN SONGS…
I do a lot of self praise because I believe my life is an example for others to follow. However, sometimes, I just personalize other people’s story so that it can reach more people and also because I can’t reveal the true subjects of the issues. But to be honest, most of these experiences are not mine.
WHY DID YOU RELEASE TWO ALBUMS AT THE SAME TIME?
If you can recollect, there was a time that there was a particular trend in the Fuji Music genre which is releasing multiple albums in a year. I follow the growth of the different music genres in Nigeria very well, and I noticed that at times Pasuma will release three albums and people will love it and buy t hem. I am a fan and I have his albums; so I have decided to emulate him, hence the release of both albums at the same time.
While ‘Bashorun Gaa’ is a 9ice only album, it is the reverse for ‘Versus’. Every song on that album has at least a guest artist on it. My fans have been asking for collaboration with so many artists and I have decided to yield to their demand by going all out to have collaborations with many other artists including Tiwa Savage, P Square, Modenine, Tuface and others.
HAVING SO MUCH A GRADE SINGERS ON THE ALBUM MUST HAVE BEEN REALLY EXPENSIVE, ISN’T IT?
I can’t quote the exact figure but I will put it at N10 million. We used different producers, different sound engineers as well as different studios too. All this add to the cost of making the album.
WHAT MAKES THESE ALBUMS DIFFERENT FROM YOUR PREVIOUS ALBUMS?
I am an artist that has been blamed by some and appreciated by the others for being dynamic with my music. If you listen to my previous albums, you will agree with me that my first album is totally different from my second (Gongo Aso). You will also agree with me that my third album, (tradition) is totally different from the second, so these two albums are also unique in their own ways. I always want to do new things because if I can’t change who I am and my kind of dance, I shouldn’t bore my fans with the same kind of songs too. So even though I deliver my music in the same language, I strive hard to spice my music with different elements.
WITH A FULL COLLABORATION ALBUM WITH SELECTED ARTISTS, IS THERE STILL ANYONE OUT THERE THAT YOU HOPE TO WORK WITH THAT YOU HAVEN’T WORKED WITH?
I’ll love to work with Don Jazzy. I want to do a full album with him not even a track. I’ll also love to do a full album with Tuface Idibia as well as Cobhams Asuquo.
YOU HAVE AN ALBUM LAUNCH CONCERT COMING UP NEXT MONTH, WHAT SHOULD YOUR FANS EXPECT?
It’s been long since I had a live band performance, people should look forward to that. I will also have on stage with me some of the guest artists on my versus album, but the big surprise is I will be bringing King Sunny Ade and Kwam 1 on stage.
HOW DO YOU SPEND YOUR TIME WHEN YOU ARE NOT MAKING MUSIC?
I mostly, I remain in my room playing video games, watching movies or reading fictional novels.
By Bidemi Dairo