Here’s the first official interview with 2face Idibia since his much celebrated wedding to actress Annie Uwana Macaulay. The conversation is between Pop icon, 2face Idibia and the editorial board of Nigerian Entertainment, during the musician’s visit.
What is your impression of NET? Wow, first and foremost, I’ll like to say theNETng is automatically becoming one of my favourite news outlets right now. Why I say so is because of the intelligence that comes into all the write-ups that I read and all the things that come up here. For me, I think it’s very refreshing to see journalists that actually take their time to do research before they write stuff.
How would you describe the success of your last album, ‘Away and Beyond’?
‘Away and Beyond’ has done quite well. A couple of the songs have topped the charts. I just got nominated for the BET Awards. ‘Plenty things don happen’. A lot has come off the ‘Away and Beyond’ rave. I think it has done pretty well. SEE MORE AFTER THE CUT>>>
Compared to your other albums, where do you place ‘Away and Beyond’?
I think I will place Away and Beyond as my second most successful album.
Which is your favourite album?
My favourite album. That’s a hard one. As I speak to you I can’t say which one. Maybe it’s ‘Away and Beyond‘.
You finally got Hypertek Records rolling on a major scale, with artistes Rocksteady and Dammy Krane. What is it like handling a record label from the managerial aspect to making executive decisions for these artistes as well as yourself?
I am more of an artiste than an administrative person. It is not easy. It is not something that anybody can just pick up and start doing. That’s why all this while I really wanted to get some right people in place before going all out to do it. Now I have gotten a couple of them in place and I am ready to do it. Record label owners in Nigeria get really criticized more often than being praised. Why I say so is many times the artistes always feel that they are ripping them off. But many times, you find out that the record labels are losing and they are not making anything back. At the end of the day, it sometimes feels like a charity organization.
Talking about artistes and record labels, recently there’s been a lot of fall out between record label owners and their artistes, what is your opinion about this trend?
I think the problem is both ways. Why I say both ways is that I don’t know the story behind whoever left his label or which label dropped who, so I can’t pin-point where exactly the problem is. On the artiste’s part, he may be listening to advice from outsiders without really settling down to really cross-check to know the kind of work the label is actually putting into his career. And then, sometimes, the labels actually just make promises to the artistes and they don’t actually keep it. So, it depends on the scenario.
As a veteran artiste, how would you rate the growth of the Nigerian Entertainment Industry?
Over the last couple of years, I have seen at least some progress in some areas. A lot of people are becoming more interested in the industry now, in terms of artiste managers, PR people, entertainment lawyers, A&R people and all those ‘know-hows’ that many people did not care about before. Also, in terms of quality of the music, and quality of the videos, those areas have really improved. In terms of piracy and the regulation of the music laws and intellectual property laws and all that, it is still a serious problem.
So you have bagged another BET award nomination, having been there before, do you feel ecstatic about it?
I appreciate it, but I want more. I want to be able to collect my award on the stage not behind the scene.
In other words, you want Africans to be more respected and all that?
I remember when we got to Barbados in 2007, they were either playing African Queen or True love on the radio. At what point do you think that breakthrough happened for you and what do you think was responsible for it?
I think when my first solo album came out, the combination of me, my talent and Kennis Music at that time was explosive. So once that album came out, there was no going back. It was just explosive. Then after the MTV Europe Music Awards and the arrival of MTV in Africa, plus a lot of other factors, I think it just skyrocketed.
The style and the crossover ability of your music, there is this depth that people don’t expect from pop music. What exactly inspires your lyrics?
It’s everyday realities of life. It might be fictional, it might have happened to me or somebody that I know but it’s everyday realities of life. I like to just have a little bit of sense, a little humour inside seriousness and then put it in a way that people will be able to relate to it and they will be like, how e take think to talk this same thing wey I go like to talk but see the way wey e take talk am, people go just laugh. I like to be creative in the way I place my lyrics.
What kind of creative support do you have? Do you have a creative team?
Right now, it’s me. I write most of my materials myself but a couple of times, you know, like the Plantashun Boiz, Blackface, we used to write most of the songs together. Over the years, if I am working with anybody, we write together. Sometimes, if I and Efe Omorogbe are in the studio, and he sees that I’m trying to write something and it’s not okay, he will just give me some point and one will just click like, yes that’s what I want.
When you won, you won side by side with D’Banj; when Wizkid won, he won side by side with Sarkodie. Do you think they should stop sharing the awards and should just give it to one person?
Exactly, you understand what I am saying.
You won one of your first International awards in 2005 in Portugal as the Best African Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards, do you think it had any remarkable impact on your career as a pop-artist as at that time.
Definitely, it opened many doors. It wasn’t an easy thing at the time.
I remember seeing you on the cover of the Guardian in Nigeria then, it was the first time any contemporary artist will be on the cover of a newspaper. Do you think these awards still have that kind of impact?
Yes. I mean, if somebody gets it now, he will still have the impact. It depends on how the artist manages it. It will still be a big deal but my thought is that, if you are nominating us for your awards and you invite us, then you should award us properly and let us feel the glory as you do your own artistes.
Do you think awards should determine the respect an artiste gets or that artists should take awards as seriously as they do?
Nah, I don’t think they should take it as seriously as they do, but you know in saying that, it is two things; awards don’t determine the artist but they command respect, appreciation and recognition. Some of the most successful artists in the world have not collected awards as much as others. In as much as awards are good for recognition and all, it shouldn’t be what will let you down if you don’t win. You should not live for awards.
Have you ever been in a situation that you were at an award show, expecting to win a particular award and they mention the winner and it’s not you?
Yes, I think I have been in one or two awards that I didn’t win
Is there any notable one?
I remember the MTV Awards in Abuja. I wasn’t there actually, and I didn’t win any award. Even the one in Kenya, there were some categories that my name was mentioned but I didn’t win. There were also some instances at the Channel O awards and others.
When you remember the days when you didn’t have money, food or a roof over your head and all that, what comes to your mind?
Back then, we were on the ground already so there was no fear of losing anything so what we were doing was hoping that it will work out. There was no fear of ‘what if e no work out. Nothing dey work out already so we no fear whether something no dey work out’. ‘It was ahead-ahead, we go follow this thing up, if e click, fine; if e no click, we go look for another work do’. But for me, I had never ever at any point in my life thought of doing anything else so it was no going back. This is me, this is my life, this is what I want to do. I never ever dreamt of anything else in my life. So, back then, it was just about doing it to the end.
In the contemporary times, you are unarguably the only one that we can describe as a pop icon. When you left IMT (Institute of Managment Technology), did you think that one day you were going to blow up and achieve this iconic status?
I hoped for it, tried to work towards it. I’m still working towards it (laughs)
At what point in your own books do you think you would have achieved an iconic status if you don’t think you have achieved that now?
That would be the time when I would wake up and not need to work again (laughs). That time wey I fit just fall into China go charge phone.
Would you ever work with him in the nearest future if you’re dropping a few other albums?
Yes, there’s something I’m doing with him now.
Are you on a new album or just a single?
No, I’m on a new project.
Culled from thenet.ng