Inspirational musician, Tosin Martins, admits that Nigerian music had become more lucrative with the new generation of artiste but insists that standards and content must not be sacrificed.
Speaking on Rubbin’ Minds on Channels Television, the ‘Oloo Mi’ crooner admitted that he had sometimes wished his career emerged during the current era of big money deals in the music industry but would not compromise on certain standards.
While speaking on the need to pay attention to playing good music with a sense of sending a message, he said that music, for him, was about the arts and not the money or the classification of his genre, as he was asked if he was a gospel artiste or not.
“I sing love songs because I’m a man in love, I share my faith through my music because I believe in a person called Jesus and I follow him to the best of my ability. I’m an avid follower of current affairs with what’s happening in my nation – developmental issues, so I would talk about that; I would sing about Lagos, Nigeria, issues going on.
“I don’t know how to be labelled but maybe because people know you to be a Christian, the easiest category to put you under is gospel. I have no quarrels with what they call it but I’m an artiste, that’s what I know”, he explained.
Tosin Martins, at some point in his career, was signed to Storm Records but has since moved on and he admitted that although there were issues that necessitated a separation in the business relationship, they would remain as family.
He refused to give details of the circumstances that led to the breakup in his business arrangement with the record label but gave a hint that his music might have been too classic or vintage for Storm Records, adding that there was need for them to understand that “there is a market for every form of art.”
“My kind of music cannot be pushed or promoted the way you promote a Naeto-C for example and I have no quarrel with that. Anybody who is doing business and you feel that this is what is popping and this is what you need to push, it OK”, he said.
Tosin also spoke about the ‘Peace Concert’ his collaboration with music diva, Onyeka Onwenu.
He revealed that the project which was done in commemoration of Nigeria’s centenary celebration was done from his conscience, as he believed that Nigeria being together after 100 years, during which it fought wars, was a miracle which portends the possibilities of some benefits for the country.
“There’s more to lose than to gain in division…anything that’s positive, whoever is doing it, I’ll be part of it and I’ll honour relationships.
“If you call me to come and do something and I think it’s a decent thing to do, it does not in any way fall below a good name, I’ll do it.
“I have no personal contact or relationship with Government or any political association”, he said.
He, however, shared his opinion about making songs for politicians, political parties and campaigns.
“Whether by foresight or by accident, if you believe in something be open about it, be bold about it. Jay-Z came out to let you know he believed in Obama. If I can vote for somebody, I can as well sing for the person.
“I don’t have a problem (with it) as long as I’m not in any way going to compromise my standards, my values and the ideals I believe in. Any candidate who is short of that, no”, he stated.
Tosin Martins has an album slated for release at the end of July 2014. The album, according to him features a lot of major artistes like Tiwa Savage, Waje, Vector and two other big names he would not like to reveal until the album hits the market.
The Director General, National Centre For Women Development, Onyeka Onwenu, on Monday called on citizens of Nigeria to engage the government in constructive criticism over the abduction of 234 schoolgirls in government school Chibok, Borno State, adding that no government is perfect.
Onwenu made the call while speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily.
“This Boko Haram issue has been politicised for a long time and I think we ought to be very careful about that,” she said, maintaining that there should be no name calling at this stage.
“This is the time to rally support and come together,” she said.
Series of protests, online and on the streets, have been staged in different parts of the world, most especially in Nigeria, as concerned groups and individuals call on the government to #BringBackOurGirls.
Onwenu commended the effort, stating that it had helped the nation to focus attention on the event, but insisted that “this is the time to come together.”
When went further to say that those who accused the government as well as the First Lady, Patience Jonathan, of being slow to act were wrong as they had been working behind the scenes. “I don’t think any government will come out to give the nitty gritty of their operation,” she said.
She admitted that all tiers of government involved in the situation, the Federal Government, Borno State government and the local government where Chibok is located, had made mistakes in their handling the situation.
However, she raised some issues concerning events preceding the abduction and called on the Federal Government to carry out a thorough investigation into the matter.
According to Onwenu, some things did not add up, including the list of students presented by school principal which had 60-year old students. She claimed that some imposters had posed as mothers of the missing school girls, during the protests.
In January 2007, Chimamanda Adichie released her novel, ‘Half Of A Yellow Sun’ which went on, that same year, to win the orange prize for fiction. The award is given annually for the best original full-length novel written by a woman in English; Adichie’s prize amounted to £30 000.
In 2013, UK based novelist and playwright, Biyi Bandele directed the adaptation of half of a yellow sun into a drama film. The film is a love story that follows two sisters who are caught up in the outbreak of the Nigerian civil war.
The movie which starred Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton, Onyeka Onwenu, Genevieve Nnaji and OC Ukeje, first premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. On Saturday, 12th of April, 2014, the movie premiered to the excitement of both the entertainment and literati communities in Lagos.
In this edition of the programme, Reginald Ofodili, who featured in the movie and who is also the author of the novel titled, ‘Thou Shalt Not’, discussed the Half of A Yellow Sun movie, novel, Chimamanda Adichie, Biyi Bandele and related things.
Also, we featured an interview with 15 year old Nigerian writer, author and singer, Precious Udo.
Icons in Nigeria’s entertainment industry gathered at the Intercontinental Hotels Lagos on Sunday, 17 November to pay tribute to the late Lady of Songs; Christy Essien Igokwe, as her family launched her 11th and final album.
Present at the event were representative of Governor Raji Fashola; Commissioner Mike Ogbiadombe and the representative of Governor Godswill Akpabio; Umana Aniekan. Special Guests also included Onyeka Onwenu, Sonny Irabor, Timi Dakolo, Niyola, Yemi Alade, among others.
Giving the opening speech, Onyeka Onwenu described the late icon: “Christy was an amazing woman, a colleague and a friend. Make no mistake, we were competitors but it brought out the best in us.”
The event had dance performances to songs of the late legend and stage performances of one of her most popular works on TV – New Masquerade by PAWS. A fashion show showcasing clothes worn by the Late Lady of Songs on stage was part of the activities for the night as well as musical performances by Timi Dakolo, Yemi Alade, Victor Essien (Sleeky) and The Soul Train band.
Speaking at the event, the late singer’s son, Kaka Igbokwe said: “We are so happy to celebrate her art, her style and her heart. She was an amazing woman who touched the nation through her music, her acting and passion for children. We are excited that these distinguished Nigerians took time out to attend to honour her.”
About Christy Essien-Igbokwe
Christy Uduak Essien-Igbokwe MFR, also known as Nigeria’s Lady of Songs, was born on November 11 in 1960.
She was the first female president of the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN) and the chairman and managing director of Soul Train Entertainment Limited.
Although she was not Yoruba, most of her hit songs were sung in the western Nigerian language, and drew heavily on the culture and tradition.
Essien’s fluency in Yoruba, English, Igbo and her native Ibibio earned her an appeal which cut across tribal lines and thousands of fans will remember her for the song titled ‘Seun Rere.’
Veteran musician cum politician, Onyeka Onwenu, has called for the election of the first female national party chairman in Nigeria’s political history.
The award winning actress also blamed the de-socialisation of women for the minimal number of female participants in governance, politics and policy making positions in Nigeria.
“For example the big parties when they are electing officials of the party, there is always a woman’s wing, I hate that thing……… It is not fair to limit us to the women’s wing. There should be a woman chairman. There are some parties that have done better than others, but I don’t want to mention names because my party has not done too well”.
Onyeka Onwenu, who was a guest on Channels Television’s Google Hangout, said “The society says you are to be seen not to be heard, your place is in the kitchen. Women in the church the same thing, Catholic church with the election of the new pope, there has been a lot of talk about the fact that there was no single woman amongst those who voted the new pope and the fact that their roles are limited’’.
She further said such de-socialisation has made women to regard themselves as disadvantaged members of the society. She encouraged women, usually referred to as the weaker sex, to be more aggressive and take their place in the scheme of things in the society.
She also talked about the struggle the ordinary woman goes through when trying to carve a niche in the society, entertainment industry and politics especially in Nigeria.
She further said women should be admitted into top policy making positions and view the positive results they will bring to the society.
Join us for yet another online hangout with superstar singer, actress and politician Onyeka Onwenu on March 15, 2013 at 2pm (WAT). Follow our Google+ Page now www.google.com/+ChannelsTelevision and get a chance to meet and chat with Onyeka.
This is an opportunity for you to ask the question(s) you have been desiring to get answers to from the singer.
Ace musician Onyeka Owenu has released the video to her single track “Falling in Love which was earlier released this year.
The song was taken from her forth coming album “The Legend’ and was produced and directed by Tolucci.
The song is centered on showing love and how to love.
The song also centers on God’s love for humanity.
The ace musician is also an actress and a politician. In 2006 she won the African Movie Academy Award for Best Actress in a supporting role. She is currently the chairperson of the Imo State Council for Arts and Culture.