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Saturday, October 18, 2014

JAYWON CELEBRATES WITH NEW KING OF EGBE, KOGI STATE

@JAYWONJUWONLO @JAYWONJUWONLO


Fans of Jaywon were thrilled as the singer showed up at the coronation of the new king – Oba Ayodele Irukera, the Elegbe of Egbe Land, in Kogi State. The singer who just returned from Ogbomosho, where he went to support Abolore Akande (9ice) was specially invited by Senator Smart Adeyemi, who also hosted guests after the coronation ceremony. The event took place on Saturday, October 11 and was described as ‘home coming’ for several indigenes of the State.


Jaywon performed some of his hit songs, including “This Year” and “Madantin”. The singer also got the privilege to entertain the deputy governor of the State, Architect Yomi Awoniyi, and other influential people like billionaire – Otunba Jide Omokore, General Jembewon, and Honourable Karimi.


In a chat Entertainment Rave, Jaywon revealed that it’s the first time he is performing to a crowd in his hometown. In his word, “It feels good to be home, entertaining and relating with my people. I had a good time, and I’m grateful to senator Smart Adeyemi for giving me the privilege to be a part of such an elaborate event.”



JAYWON CELEBRATES WITH NEW KING OF EGBE, KOGI STATE

Friday, October 17, 2014

JARMZONE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: EVAEZI

EVAEZI


EVAEZI started her career, as a singer. Some would refer to her as the artist who was always mixed up with Eva – the rapper. Although her music career is yet to hit the bull’s eye, she is already spreading her tentacles to movies and theatre. In this interview with THE JARMZONE, Evaezi opens up on her artistry and alleged relationship with singer/producer, Zdon Paporella. Enjoy the excerpt.


 


We see you’ve been doing a lot of acting lately. Tell us about it?


Well, acting has always been my dream, since University (UNILAG) days. I took my minor courses from Theatre Arts. It was awesome. When I started my music career under my uncle, Kingsley Ogoro, I always gave him a hint, that when I gain some momentum in music, I would cross over to movies. I used to nag him so much (laugh), but you know how it is. A prophet is never honored in his own town.


In 2011, Charles Novia approached me with a script called ‘Alan Poza’. He wanted me to play a young talent that was discovered by some top shot music executives. I thought I was just going to sing and that would be the end of it, but when I got the script, I saw that I had about five scenes with lines. After that project, I heard about the auditions for MTV SHUGA and went for it. I was later called to play a role. Not long after that, Emem Isong called me for a role in her musical movie “Knocking on Heaven’s Door”. It was that movie that launched me into ‘Movie Scoring’. Every song you hear in that movie was done by me. From there, Desmond Elliot gave me a call to score a movie he shot in Sierra Leone. After that, a woman from the UK called through Desmond to score her own movie. Directors and Producers started calling me to take up different roles, including my most recent role on ‘The Wives’, a stage play by the extraordinary duo of Kenneth and Brenda Uphopho of Performing Arts Workshop and Studio (PAWS). Currently I have been commissioned to write a script for a movie which I am about rounding up… What can I say? The world of Movies and plays calls to me.


 


How many movie or drama projects have you worked on so far?


I’ve done about eight so far. They are – ‘Alan Poza’ by Charles Novia, MTV Shuga, ‘Knocking on Heaven’s Door’ by Emem Isong and Ini Edo, ‘10:10’ and ‘Slipping Through The Crack’ by Gbenga Salu. I was also on ‘President For A Day’ by Afriwood, ‘Easy Access’ by Muyiwa Ojo (Multichoice), ‘Tomorrow is Now’ (a tv series), ‘Reflections’ by Desmond Elliot, and ‘The Wives’ (Stage play produced by PAWS).


 


You seem to have a passion for acting. If you have to choose between acting and music, which would you drop for the other?


(Laughs) That’s like asking a woman to choose between her husband and her children. No way. For me, they work hand in hand to create the brand called EVAEZI. Naturally, I am theatrical. My storytelling, can be very animated. It’s the same thing when I am singing. That is what makes my performances, unique and exciting every time. So you see – EVAEZI cannot do without acting and singing.


 


You changed your stage name from Eva D’ Diva, to Evaezi in 2011, what impacts would you say it has made in your music career?


If I have to be honest, the change of name set me back a whole lot. It was like starting all over again. People kept asking me if I had travelled. I would send my songs to radio DJs and OAPs and they won’t play my music because they didn’t know it was me, till I went there in person. It was really demoralizing and frustrating at first, but the rebrand was a necessary inconvenience. II realized that I would love to take my music beyond the shores of Nigeria and even Africa, and to do that I have to be unique. I also realized that there were so many EVAs out there, including soaps, wines, water, American actresses, and models. One can easily get lost in all that; so, I did what I had to do. I reverted to my real name – EVAEZI (which means ‘A Pure Heart’)


 


You became more vocal, daring and expressive after you rebranded; does it mean that you were holding back as Eva D’Diva?


Well, I guess I was. I was new in the industry and it seemed like everyone had their idea of who they wanted me to be. I was the only one who didn’t have an idea about who I wanted to be. So I sucked it up and just played ball, but when I realized that it was my career, my risks, my success/failure, I took the reins and decided to do things my way. So yeah, when I rebranded to EVAEZI, I felt there was no going back; I told myself – “They may love you, they may hate you, but that’s their problem, not yours. You must make them respect you”.


 


You’ve only released an EP since you rebranded, when are you likely to release an album as Evaezi?


Yes, I released an EP called ‘Whispers: Love and Other Thing’. I got tired of the pressure of needing to do commercial music to ‘blow’ in Nigeria. I wanted to make music that I would love to listen to. So, I put together. A 7-track EP, and indulged Wana Udobang to do two spoken word pieces on it. My intension was to make a statement and I’m just getting started. Concerning my album, I’ll say, my acting career has been quite busy lately, but my team and I have drawn up a schedule, where I start working on my album in November. So it should be out 1st quarter of 2015 by God’s special grace. I am going to really pour myself into every song. People better get ready.


 


I’m sure you will agree that your music does not appeal to listeners across the board; tell us about your target audience and how encouraging has the response been, financially?


O yes, my music really doesn’t appeal to listeners across the board, but then again, these are the same people that listen to John Legend, Sam Smith, Enya, Asa, Alicia Keys… I mean intellectual, alternative music. It is a myth of sorts that a huge chunk of Nigerians don’t listen to, or appreciate alternative music. Just the other day I heard a spare-parts dealer in Ojuelegba singing John legend’s “All of Me”, even with his poor command of English; it was really weird. The truth is, people are willing to listen, and they just need to have access to the music. This is where I was lacking in the past. I gave into that myth about target audience segregation and I allowed it frighten me into not getting my music way out there. So basically, I had been robbing myself. I started noticing that every time I perform, even to ‘across the board’ audience, the feedback, reactions, and the acceptance went through the roof. It’s actually amazing that I would sell my EP for as much as N1500 per CD after my performance and it would sell out. I just realized that one just has to do the work of getting out there. The hustle is real o, this one no be just talent alone. You have to get into the business of the industry and part of it is giving people a chance to see and hear what you’ve got. Times have changed. Financially speaking, it is becoming a whole lot more encouraging.


 


Outside music and movies, who is Evaezi?


Wow! EVAEZI outside music and movie is a simple lady, who doesn’t drink, smoke or go clubbing. She believes in God, Family, the goodness of humanity and true Love. That’s pretty much my life.


 


Is it true that you are an item with Zdon Paporella? Tell us more about your relationship.


(Laughs) Well, Zdon is a great looking man, so it won’t be out of the ordinary if there was a relationship, but you know what? I won’t comment on the ‘ME dating Zdon’ rumor. I will tell you that Zdon is a dear friend and brother. He is the closest friend I have in this music industry and among the extremely few I can trust. He is a deep, highly intellectual and God fearing man. He stood by me at my lowest moments – when I was about giving up on the entertainment industry. He is also my biggest fan and one of my strongest support systems. We know each other reach house. He happens to be one of the talented producers I work with. We hang out a lot, and are really close. That’s all I’m going to say on the matter.


 


You’ve been in the entertainment industry for about 6-7 years now if I’m not wrong; what has been the motivating element that has kept you here for that long?


The motivating elements? Hmm… Belief in the many talents God gave me. I can’t just let my talents go to waste. One day, I want to look back on my life and know that I squeezed out every drop of creativity to the benefit of the generations coming after me. They would hear my story and know that nothing in Life is impossible, unless you give it the power to be so. I don’t want to give the amazing people God has surrounded me with, who believe in me, including the fans who support and look up to me an excuse for quitting. That would make me a coward… Oh, and finally, that glorious day when I meet my maker, I will say “I did it Daddy; I put it out there… All of it”. Those are my motivations. (Smiles).



JARMZONE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: EVAEZI

THE ARTIST, THE MUSIC AND THE BRAND

@DONJAZZY @DONJAZZY


Over the years, people have tried to understand and explain how and why some artists have faded off so easily, regardless of how ‘hot’ they may have been at a point in time. While this article may not directly solve the puzzle, it could open your mind to another possibility or align with your perception.


I’m sure we’ll lose count if we try to count the number of adverts or campaigns brands like Coca-Cola, Star, Guinness Stout, Omo, Maclean and CloseUp (to mention a few), have pushed over the years. The key motive of these adverts or campaigns is to sustain the brand/product and its affinity with the consumers. The interesting thing, is that, we may not remember all the songs or jingles these companies have pushed, but we know these brands or products.


What am I saying?


A lot of artists/musicians today, are more desperate to make a hit song, as this is supposed to open the doors to countless shows/concerts and wealth for them. I think the hustle is realer for the fresh entrants, who come into the game with that perception. A chat with some fairly known artists, will clearly tell you that everybody wants to be on that P-Square, 2Face, Banky W, Don Jazzy, D’Banj level. Half of them don’t even have an idea of what it actually takes to be on that level. A lot of them jump from one producer to the other in search of that ‘hit song’. Interestingly, some get the hit song, but, the approximate life span of a ‘hit song’, is between three and six months. It takes time for music to spread and get expected acceptance. You will run around radio stations and be very privileged to get reasonable rotation on one station and it’s another thing, to enjoy equal attention across three to four stations in Lagos alone. Let’s not forget other states in the country. A promotion budget doesn’t even come cheap for established artists, not to talk of the new ones, yet, scoring a hit is not all dependent on frequency of airplay.


It is easy for a lot of people to call an artist like Sound Sultan an underrated artist, yet, his career has spanned over a dozen years and is still flourishing. He has six albums, numerous hit songs, and great music videos. Outside music, he is an actor, public speaker, mentor, as well as a brand and UN Peace ambassador. Sultan may not have that Wizkid crowd, but he has been able to position himself as a brand and force to reckon with.


I dare say, that the “brand” status is not just about being talented, it is also about persistence, consistence, patience, strategy and luck. I mean, there are so many artists that have come and gone. They are probably not gone in that sense, but they have just been relegated to the same list as the upcoming ones. The consolatory term you use for some of them sometimes, is ‘veterans’. It makes them feel good, and that’s fine. However, veterans are old timers. In my opinion, if an artist is less than 40 years of age, and did not make a memorable impact in the mainstream, he or she cannot be labeled – A Veteran. Such artists have or had a dead career.


Artists are like products in the market. Their music or songs are the jingles they play to promote their brand. The songs, just like jingles, regardless of how funny or ‘sweet’ they sound, will fade out after some time. This is why product owners also indulge in event sponsorship to reposition their brands and maintain the love of the consumers.


Don Jazzy for instance, is a great producer, but it doesn’t automatically make him the best in Nigeria, but he has been able to position himself as a brand to affiliate with. Over the years, he has knowingly or unknowingly, built or made himself a human dynamo and his wrapped personality keeps the fans yearning for more. His ability to communicate and interact on various social media platforms has also given him a huge and interesting followership.


If you mention Madonna today, most people may not even remember any of her songs, but she has remained relevant and timely like a true brand that she is. Some rap or Hip-hop heads are probably still waiting for Dr. Dre’s ‘Detox’… well, enjoy the wait. He has even scrapped that title. He’ll probably call it ‘The Billionaire’ or something close… that is, if he desperately wants to release another album.


Product or brand managers look out for artists with good behaviours and characters before they consider them for brand endorsement. It goes beyond fans and followership, you have to be marketable. Nobody wants to be associated with ill-mannered artists/entertainers. Where is actor, Hanks Anuku, by the way?


It is one thing to be a great at what you do, it is another, to be able to translate that into respect, power, wealth and success. An artist needs a business manager to help with the positioning and marketing, especially when he or she starts getting public attention. The hit songs will come and go, but the product should remain relevant. It is not just about getting endorsement deals, it is also about creating an atmosphere for ‘returns.’


According to American rapper, 50 Cents, “Music has shifted to an era where you have to be conscious of brand extension”. Don’t carry all your eggs in one basket, start exploring other areas; that is how you can ensure your pension, when you retire.



THE ARTIST, THE MUSIC AND THE BRAND

Monday, October 13, 2014

VERVE LAUNCHES TRANSPARENT DEBIT CARD IN CONJUNCTION WITH WEMA BANK

Transparent Debit Card


Verve, Africa’s foremost payment card, today announced the launch of its new transparent debit card in partnership with Wema Bank.


The Verve transparent debit card is a lifestyle card targeted at consumers desirous of retaining the full benefits of the payment card, while adopting a trendy new translucent look.


Country Manager, Verve International, Oremeyi Akah said, “The Verve transparent debit card is a lifestyle card, offering the same benefits and rewards consumers have always associated with the Verve card.”


“Consumers can still transfer and receive money from family and friends, update subscriptions, pay bills, make withdrawals and so much more with the transparent debit card.”


Wema Bank is the first Nigerian bank to utilize the transparent material for a Verve card, we also expect other banks to issue the card shortly,” she added.



VERVE LAUNCHES TRANSPARENT DEBIT CARD IN CONJUNCTION WITH WEMA BANK

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

SOUND SULTAN, ALI BABA, JULIUS AGWU, OTHERS INSPIRE GUESTS AT THE NETWORK CONFERENCE

@abinibi @abinibi


Multiple award winning singer, Sound Sultan, alongside top industry leaders such as, Ali Baba, Julius Agwu, Ayeni Adekunle, Don Barber, Kunle Afolayan and Suleman Momoh came together to share their career experiences and knowledge with budding and practicing creative minds.


The event, which held yesterday, Tuesday, October 7, 2014, had hundreds of young people from various creative sectors in attendance. The venue of the conference was the Royal Events Center, Ikeja. It was a motivational and inspiring session indeed. Each speaker, held nothing behind, as they motivated and challenged attendees to dare to be professionals and better at what they do.


According to the convener of the Conference, James ‘Abinibi’ Alabi, “the Network is a platform that converges creative practitioners from graphics, animation, advertisement, makeup, fashion, web design, photography and printing sub industries. It also serves as a level ground for them to exhibit, discuss their portfolios and network without socioeconomic barriers”.


In addition, Abinibi said, “Those that missed the event, can catch up on Twitter, searching for the hashtag #theNetworkNigeria.


The Network Conference 2014 is powered by Abinibi Multimedia in conjunction with Prodygies and supported by Smile, Reel Laif, BHM, Shola Animashaun Photography, Olorisupergal, Giks, Printivo and Yommy water.



SOUND SULTAN, ALI BABA, JULIUS AGWU, OTHERS INSPIRE GUESTS AT THE NETWORK CONFERENCE
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