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Sunday, August 31, 2014

ONE ON ONE WITH WACONZY

@Waconzy @Waconzy


Singer, Kelvin Obinna Kenneth, popularly known as Waconzy rose to fame with his hit single, “I Celebrate” in 2010. James Silas interviewed him recently for Thisday Newspaper… Here is the excerpt.


Your music career made a fast rise when your song, “I Celebrate” hit the Lagos music scene in 2010; so when did you realize that you had broken into the mainstream?


Frankly speaking, I didn’t realize that I had broken into the mainstream early enough because I was very busy promoting my songs at that time. I felt I had a lot more work to do. I didn’t even know that my song had already started trending worldwide. Maybe because I was far away in Port Harcourt. I started performing outside the country from the following year (2011) and I was amazed to see the large number of People that came out for my concert. That was when I realized that my hard work had started paying off.


You marked your 31st birthday recently and, you mentioned that your second album was your favourite. Why would you pick your second album over the first that actually made you?


My second album ‘MONEY BACK GUARANTEE’ to me, is my best Afrobeat album of all time. The album (produced by Chimaga) took me about two years to finalize. I think the album also shows my unlimited abilities as a versatile artist. Am sure when generations to come play that album, it will still sound as fresh as today. The album is classic and matured.


You have taken up some charity projects in recent time; tell us about them and what inspired the move?


What is the essence of riches when you can’t help others? Even the good book urges us to give to the poor, moreover, there are a lot of blessings attached to it. Like the saying goes “Givers never lack”. For me, it’s also an opportunity to make myself happy because when I see people happy, it gives me great joy.


I currently have lots of primary school pupils all over Nigeria on my scholarship. In the past, my Silver Spoon Foundation fed over one thousand destitute in a day. Last year we kicked off the Waconzy versus Malaria campaign, with the aim of eradicating malaria in Nigeria. We are also using this medium to call on Nigerians to partner with us so we can touch more lives and make Nigeria a better place.


You also mentioned that you recorded a song with Timaya, but didn’t release it. Why?


After recording the song we both thought it didn’t have the complete ingredients we needed so we decided to scrap it.


A few entertainers like Julius Agwu and 9ice have declared their intentions to run for office in 2015, what do you think about that?


If they feel they have all it takes to be leaders, then I wish them good luck


Do you see yourself going into politics in the near future?


Yes I do and I will, because Politics is for people like myself.


What is your definition of good music?


For me, good music is the end product of every good and creative musician. Good music is music with great content and instrumentation. Every good music should solve a problem. It’s either it solves the problem of people who want to dance, people who want to praise God, people who need to be inspired or whatever. It just needs to talk to someone. It needs to pass some sort of message to the listeners and of course there must be a sweet relationship between the instrumentation, lyrics and melody. Everything must flow in one accord. Good music is life.


How have you been dealing with the recent outbreak of Ebola in the country?


All I want to say is that everybody should remain in prayers because these are the signs. We all live by the grace of God. If you’re scared of Ebola, Boko Haram, armed robbers, H.I.V, Plane crash, road accidents, Cancer and so on, how would you live? Washing your hands regularly with sanitizers is a great way to prevent Ebola.


Do you think the Ebola outbreak will affect the entertainment business in Nigeria?


Yes, it will affect the entertainers negatively if not managed properly. When we had the militancy problems in Port Harcourt, the entertainment industry in Port Harcourt was virtually shut down because people were scared to come out. If the fans are scared to come out and socialize, how can the musicians entertain them and get paid?


What has been the highlight of your career so far?


The highlight of my career has been my ascension from a musician to a public figure.


Looking back at your past life, if you had to do one thing differently, what would it be?  


I wouldn’t have sold for cheap at the beginning of my career. I would not have made random decisions without proper thoughts and finally I should have put myself in the position that everybody can easily relate with.


How did you spend your birthday this year?


This year I spent my birthday in the presence of the father, the son and the Holy Ghost at the redeemed Christian church of God camp Lagos with my pastor Adeola and the General overseer Pastor E.A Adeboye. It was a day for me to reflect on my life and thank my father, my creator for the journey so far. It was a blissful day.


Tell us about your “Ekpo” dance competition; why is it taking too long to come up with a winner?


“Ekpoh” is the name of my new single.  As part of the promotions, I and my Dv8 team decided to positively impact the society by giving away cash prizes to five lucky fans who can perform the perfect ‘Ekpoh Dance’. The winners will now be announced on October 1st.



ONE ON ONE WITH WACONZY

GULDER CLUB ULTIMATE TO HOLD IN LAGOS AGAIN!

@darey @darey


We hear Gulder Club Ultimate will hit Lagos again. The ‘Ultimate clubbing experience’, which attracts an array of stars, is one of Gulder’s thrilling innovations. The party also features magic displays, aerial dancers and DJ battles, it’s usually a scene of wonder.


The initiative, which debuted in Port Harcourt in July 2013, has become a favourite amongst fun lovers. Lagos played host to the second edition in December 2013. It was a two-day event which saw dozens of guests from different parts of the country. Matter of fact, it was at the Lagos edition that award-winning actress, Genevieve Nnaji was seen in the company of D’banj – sparking all those relationship reports.


We actually don’t know what the organizers have up their sleeves this time around; perhaps, it’s still a big secret. However, rumor has it that Darey ‘Art’ Alade will be hosting the event. We’re not sure, but we’ll just keep our fingers crossed.



GULDER CLUB ULTIMATE TO HOLD IN LAGOS AGAIN!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

THE COAL CITY EXPERIENCES “THE RUSH”, BY AMSTEL MALTA FEATURING PHYNO, SOUND SULTAN, GORDONS AND OTHERS.

Mentor and Judge, @SoundSultan, Brand Manager Amstel Malta, Hannatu Ageni-Yusuf Assistant Brand Manager, Phoebe Larry-Izamoje and Art Director Ice Nweke Mentor and Judge, @SoundSultan, Brand Manager Amstel Malta, Hannatu Ageni-Yusuf Assistant Brand Manager, Phoebe Larry-Izamoje and Art Director Ice Nweke


Renowned and popular Nigerian entertainers, Phyno, Sound Sultan, Gordons, and a host of other entertainers brought down the roof of Golden Royale hall in the coal city yesterday with their super electrifying performances.


The stars featured in Amstel Malta Showtime concert drama directed by Ice Nweke tagged – “The Rush”, which was a fusion of various artistic displays by ballerinas, jugglers, singers, actors, dancers, fire eaters, instrumentalists, comedians and more together, to tell the story of a young man’s journey to success in an exceptional theatrical piece.


Also performing with these stars were five young talents selected via auditions; a harmonica player, a dancer, a singer/voice-over artist, a guitarist and a drama group of six.


Commenting on the event, Phyno says, “I’m very glad to be a part of this, and I have never seen such outstanding display of art in this country. The young talents that featured in the drama also put in their best within a very short rehearsal period. Really, everyone should try their best to make it for the Lagos show, this is going to blow your minds away”.


Amstel Malta Brand Manager, Hannatu Ageni-Yusuf, also expressed Amstel Malta’s commitment to encouraging these young talents in every way possible. “The coal city marvelled us with its very warm reception and a lot of brilliant talents came out for the auditions making us very pleased at the level of enthusiasm displayed. Amstel Malta is a brand that believes you should never give up on your journey to success and will keep encouraging young Nigerians to be the best they can be in every way possible, which is why we have given these talents the rare opportunity to be mentored directly by celebrated Nigerian artists who are at the top of their games” she said.


The concluding leg of the event will hold in Lagos on Thursday, September 18, 2014, at the Unilag Sports Centre, while the auditions will hold on the September 14 and 15, at the Unilag Main Auditorium. The audition will pick five talents, who will star alongside Sound Sultan, Phyno, Gordons, Ice Nweke and others.



THE COAL CITY EXPERIENCES “THE RUSH”, BY AMSTEL MALTA FEATURING PHYNO, SOUND SULTAN, GORDONS AND OTHERS.

Friday, August 29, 2014

INTERVIEW: ONE ON ONE WITH SKALES

@youngskales @youngskales


John Raul Njeng-Njeng, popularly known as Skales started his music career with Swit Noiz Records, where he also released his first single, titled “Heading For A Grammy” in 2009. After moving to E.M.E in 2010, he released two songs “Mukulu” and “Keresimesi”, surprising fans with a totally new kind of vibe. Amidst the criticism, his sound keeps changing, even till date. In this interview with James Silas for Thisday Newspaper (Friday, August 29, 2014), Skales talks about leaving E.M.E, his new label, new songs and his upcoming debut album. Enjoy it.


We can’t talk about Skales and not mention E.M.E; tell us about your exit from E.M.E


I signed with E.M.E in 2010. It was a four-year contract, which expired in February 2014 or thereabout; after that, we had a mutual agreement to go our separate ways.


In four years, one would expect that you should have released an album to show for your time with the label; why is this not so?


That’s something that is not explainable; and I guess that’s part of the reasons why everything happened too. Like the delay, not understanding the sound… so basically, we had to make that move.


Did E.M.E influence your sound?


No, they never did, but you know how you’re under people and they tell you this is what you let out and this is what you can’t let out.


Talking about influencing your music, I know you started as a rapper, but it appeared like you became more of a singer than a rapper with E.M.E, even till date.


The funny thing is that I actually started singing before rapping; I was singing and rapping long before the likes of Drake started doing it.


How beneficial was your time with E.M.E?


First of all, I appreciate the fact that they gave me a platform, and exposure; then I got to understand the music business better and my music got better and I’m still getting better till now.


I know you’re working on your first album, but do you still have a right to release the songs you recorded while with E.M.E?


Yes, and definitely’ve started hearing them already, like “Shake Body” and “Obi” were recorded while I was still with E.M.E and there’s “Give it to me” that I just dropped recently. Basically, I have a right to all my songs, because they were recorded in my studio except for the ones that are already released on E.M.E.


Tell us about OHK Entertainment.


OHK Entertainment is something I started after E.M.E. I believe in being independent and when it’s business, you make it official. So I started it myself, alongside some other people. I have Drey as a producer and engineer on it, I also have some other people on it including a video crew.


Tell us about your deal with Baseline Music; how true are the figures and what’s the duration of the contract?


Ok, last month, I signed a recording deal with Baseline to be a performing a recording artist under them. So definitely my debut album will be released under Baseline. However, the details of the contract, is something I’ll rather not talk about.


How did you meet the guys at Baseline Music?


I went for an interview somewhere after I dropped “Shake Body”, and I met Howie T. He knew that E.M.E and I had gone our separate ways. We fixed an appointment and had a meeting; he told me his plans and I told them mine and from there we decided to merge our plans together. Obviously, they’re trying to make everything big. Right now, I’m trying to make my career go to the next level, and they share the same dream with me.


We know you’re working on your first album, but what other plans do you have in stock?


Yeah, there are more singles coming out. I have a song with Davido that I might be dropping next. There are so many songs, that we don’t even know which ones to drop. I am also shooting a video for the new song I just dropped, and probably, an international collaboration, and most definitely the album will drop this year.


Singles are released for promotional purpose. You’ve been around and a good number of people know you and your songs already; why do you want to keep releasing singles instead of an album?


The thing is, the wait is not long anymore. Maybe after one more single, the album will be out. There are so many songs to make an album already, but I still have to sit with my team, because whatever decision I make is always made with my team, even though I have the final say.


What direction are you considering for the album?


There’s no particular direction. I am a musician and I have the ability to explore everything as a talented person. If you check since I left E.M.E, my sound has changed from every song I’ve released.


I’m sure you’ve heard some of your Hip-hop/Rap fans say, you ‘sold out’; how do you react to this?


Well, if you’ve heard my rap verses of late, you’ll know that the rap thing is still strong. I just feel like if you’re doing rap, it doesn’t have to be something people will just listen to; it should be should be an anthem. I’m not trying to brag, but my verse on “Emergency” is like an anthem; even people that don’t like Rap music sing along. Shout out to M.I, he did the same thing on his first album. Trust me, my album will surprise people. I’m sure my album has the hottest Hip-hop and every other kind of music in this country


You’ve mentioned Davido, but which other artistes should we expect on the album?


I also have Timaya, Wizkid, Banky W, Ice Prince, Olamide, Phyno and so on. These are songs we’ve recorded a long time ago, but they are timeless. I might not have all of them on the album, but we’ll select and come up with something.


What about producers?


I’ve been working with a lot of producers and these days they don’t pick my calls anymore because I disturb them. I’ve worked with Spellz, JPizzle, Drey beatz, Kenny Wonder, Sarz, Otino, Bobby Combs… a lot of them.


So how many tracks are you looking at releasing on the album?


I don’t want to do more than 15 tracks; then after that, I’ll move on to the next album.


Let’s look at the concept of record labels in Nigeria; do you think we really have record labels in the actual sense of it?


To me, I think we just have potential record labels. Probably because I have traveled out to other countries, and I’ve seen how record labels are run. I feel bad for our own industry even though we are actually trying. Our industry is booming right now, even Americans know about us, because they check; they know that we’re hot right now. Honestly, if you take all the record labels in Nigeria to America, they will label them as independent labels, because they’re like one man businesses. We see a situation where they sign a lot of artistes, but push them one after the other. Record labels don’t do that, because that means you’re putting one person’s career on hold for the other and that’s not right. Hopefully, as time goes on, it will get better.


Your new song is actually Highlife, and it’s quite different from all other materials you’ve released in the past. What inspired it?


I like to experiment. I heard that song, “Eddie Quansa” (by Dan Orji and the Peacock Band), and I started singing on top of the beat and that’s how we got the chorus. I called my producer, Kenny Wonder and sang the chorus to him and he made the beat and that’s it.


Which do you prefer: to play live or with a performance CD?


I love to play live. That way you can do what you want to do, but with a CD, you do what’s on the CD.


Can you play any music instrument?


I am learning the keyboard and I’m getting better by the day.


If you look back from where you started to where you are today, what’s one thing, you would like to change?


I would push myself and not listen to what anybody has to say. I let people’s opinion affect me back then.


So what’s that thing that you really wish people knew about you, that don’t know?


I wish they knew that I’m an amazing artiste (laughs). I am a genius and I do my best to make everybody happy.


So tell us which Nigerian artiste that you’re yet to work with, but would love to work with?


That will be Don Jazzy.


The Ebola Hemorrhage Fever is probably tops on the trending topics in Nigeria today. Do you think it is affecting nightlife and entertainment in any way?


People love fun, so I don’t think it will affect as such. Nigerians will risk anything; I mean you go to the club and it still gets full and packed. Thankfully, there are precautionary measures like the sanitizers and the rest.



INTERVIEW: ONE ON ONE WITH SKALES

GUS REVEALS TOP 30 CONTESTANTS FOR ELEVENTH EDITION

 


GUS 11 GUS 11


Nigeria’s biggest reality TV show, Gulder Ultimate Search, has announced the top thirty contestants to go to Sea School.


The ‘triumphant thirty’ already at the Sea School, Apapa for more drilling to test their readiness for the highly entertaining brawn and brain show.


They overcame the physical hurdles, which came as a surprise to many who were expecting a test of stamina reminiscent of past editions. They swam against other able bodied contestants to surface victorious, and were able to support this show of skill and endurance with personality and intelligence at the interview stage.


Just in case you missed it, here are the top thirty GUS 11 hopefuls, who have so far shown qualities that Gulder Ultimate Search seeks to applaud:


1.   Iroh Noela

2.   Iwuoha Ikenna

3.   Ezenwajiaku Ifyness Ifeoma

4.   Nwagboso Joshua

5.   Emedike Ikenna

6.   Efuribe Tochi Enyinneya

7.   Arinyedokiari Obeleye Tubonimi

8.   Johnson Dennis

9.   Nne Cosy Joe

10. Appi Samantha

11.  Macauley Jennifer

12.  Anoliefo Izuchukwu

13.  Erijakpor Loretta

14.  Robinson Sharon

15.  Eriata Blessing Ese

16.  Udeh Victoria

17.  Onolememen Odiase

18.  Iheasi Ernest

19.  Ayo Mene-ejegi

20.  Aghogho Umusu

21.  Oluwafemi Ogunrinde

22.  Addoh Evi

23.  Ubachukwu Chinedu

24.  Otto Canon Chimenem

25.  Foresythe Mosunmola Roseline

26.  Osigweh Paul Chigozie

27.  Nwagbagiro Sandra

28. Okhabu Philipa

29. Afolabi Emmanuel Olusegun

30. Ojiako Chiagozie Obinna



GUS REVEALS TOP 30 CONTESTANTS FOR ELEVENTH EDITION
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