BY OPEOLUWANI OGUNJIMI
Annie used to sit under the tree to cry for 2face’s love …
After a failed album, Originality, he took a long break from the music scene, only to re-surface with Re-Fazed, an album which opens a new side to the dreadlocks wearing Faze. But this time, the dreads are gone- here comes the ‘new born’ Faze. Read on.
What have you been working on?
I’m working on my new album titled Re-Fazed. It contains a number of tracks with the videos already shot. We are putting finishing touches to the album, and I have already started the album promotion, shot videos and granting radio interviews. A lot of things have been going on. I’ve changed my management, a lot of things have been re-Fazed.
What’s ‘Re-Fazed’ all about?
It’s about me and everything around me. Basically, everything that has to do with my music has changed. It’s not like I’m not the same Faze but my music has changed because the environment is changing. My dreadlocks have been shaved. The kind of music I do right now is that which people have to dance to, and my management has changed too.
Why did you change your management?
I feel it’s better for me to be doing most of my stuff. I’m a very funny person. I like getting involved in my own project.
How many tracks are contained in your new album?
It has 17 tracks in all. I have songs like Good Wife, Nkem and some new ones we’ve just done.
Who’s the producer?
I worked with new people because I don’t always like old hands. When I meet new hands, I try my best working with them because I believe challenging them will get me challenged too. I worked with a guy called Pig Mixed, Rhyno, Kelly among others.
What about doing collaborations?
I’ll do collabos but not now. It will be after releasing the album.
After dropping the last single, Originality, you went off the stage, what happened?
I didn’t go off the stage. I only took my time to do some research because when I dropped my last single and it didn’t fly the way I expected, I quickly carried out a research. That’s why every artiste is scared to release singles because of the fear that fans may not like it. If you see an artiste daring to bring out an album, it means he has confidence in himself because releasing an album is the greatest fear of any artiste.
We are not scared and that’s why we do the best we can, we experiment our performances with people and they tell us what they think about us. That’s why it’s not good to ask your friends to judge your music because they’ll always tell you it’s good. They don’t want to offend you. But when critics descend our music, you don’t need to be told to buckle up.
When is the album dropping?
It’s out already but the problem is that people don’t know it has been released. What we are doing at the moment is to include other songs in the album and then, plan a proper launch. That’s where I had a problem with my former managers. I don’t want to talk about it now. I’m working with a new team and we are trying our best to do something new with it. I’m trying to re-package the album and make noise with it. I’m also trying to organize a concert starting from next month. It’s going to be a U.S tour.
Are you saying that your former manager was not good?
No, it’s not like that. We had an agreement that we should go our different ways because I felt the way I used to run my business is different from the way they are used to doing it. We can’t work together because my style of doing things is different from theirs.
What was the reaction you got from fans after you cut your dreadlocks?
I was scared which was normal because I didn’t know what fans would say. People have always loved and known me with my dreadlocks. But I was surprised because they were impressed. And when they saw me cut my dreads, they actually knew that something new will come out of it. At the end of the day, it’s the fans’ reaction that will determine whether your songs and looks are good or not. And I got positive reactions which I think is good for me.
Why do you think you had to change your kind of music in order to stage a comeback?
It’s not like it’s changed. There’s a little of me that is contained in my new song because everybody wants to dance. Even if you give birth to a child today, she wants to dance. It’s not everybody that loves mid-tempo songs. So, I had to mix it with dancing songs then, they can go through the album and appreciate others.
Taking you back, what was growing up like?
My parents were never poor. They cared of me and my siblings very well and that’s why I’m trying to do same very soon. I attended Nazareth Primary school and Festac Grammar School. I did ATS 1 & 2 in Ilaro and later had my degree in International Relations and Diplomatic Studies. Then I went into music.
Why didn’t you practice what you studied?
Black Face told me some time ago that if I knew I wanted to do music, I had to leave every other thing and face it. It did work out for me. God has a calling for everyone, and I think music is my calling.
What do you mean by ‘leaving everything’?
That is I had to relocate from where I was living because we weren’t living together at that time. I went to live with 2face and Blackface to enable us form the Plantashun Boiz. Even there was a movie I featured in, titled Alero’s Symphony. I insisted that I would be coming to location from my home but the producers disagreed with me because they wanted me to get used to the environment. So, I was on location for about three months and that was what delayed my album.
You have a degree, 2face doesn’t, and I don’t think Black Face does…
No, Black Face has a degree. What Black Face just told me was that if I wanted to cope with Plantashun Boiz, I should forget about this because I don’t like talking about the past. As young boys, in the Plantashun Boiz, we were always back up to each other. If 2face wasn’t singing, I could take his part because we have similar voices. And Black Face raps and sings at the same time.
So, two heads are better then one. Then, as the baby of Plantashun Boiz, I listened to whatever Black Face said, and I never see anything wrong with that because it worked out for me. Who knows, if I wasn’t part of the group, I might be struggling with other groups to come up today. I attempted it and it worked but if I tried and it didn’t work out, maybe I would have done something else.
How do you feel today that 2face is a superstar as well as yourself, but Black Face is yet to hit the mark?
Black Face is also going to be big. Everybody seems to be supporting him financially, and it takes a lot for people to believe in you. Black Face wrote almost all the songs we had in our first album, so, he has potentials. He has management challenges and people that believe in him. We must be frank, we have some junk music in the industry but they sell because they have financial backups to pay for publicity and other things. These days, if you are bringing out an album, it has to be well packaged, it has to generate noise. I’m working on something with him to make sure he bounces back.
Since you know his problem, why didn’t you…?
He’s going to be big. Everybody has his time
But don’t you think it’s getting too late?
Nothing is too late. He just needs a single and I’m working with him on his album because he was involved in my career. I remember when I wanted to go for a singing competition. I was young and scared of the unexpected because there were so many ladies there that could sing well. I didn’t want to involve myself because I noticed judges were usually partial when it comes to ladies.
It was a live performance but Black Face encouraged me to go ahead. He accompanied me to the competition and I won at the end of the day. So, it’s the same spirit that I’m trying to give back to him. Whenever, we sit and write songs together, he writes in a different dimension. I think the only thing he needs to do is take his time and not to be in a hurry.
It appears you are more passionate about Black Face than 2face?
No, it’s not like that. 2Face is already big and Black Face will still grow. Most of the times when he’s down, I sit with him because I know his kind of person. He has talent and he has his fans. What is left is for him to give his fans the right music to listen to and enjoy.
He made me grow, and I don’t want to say I don’t care about anybody but I’m a kind of person that I don’t forget my benefactors. Sometimes, God directs me to give to people and I do it because I know there’s blessing behind it. It was Black Face who made me join Plantashun Boiz and that’s why I’m known today.
So why didn’t you speak with 2face to lend him a support?
What he needs isn’t financial support. We are working together to bring out the right songs.
What’s 2face doing about it?
I’m sure both of them meet to discuss on their own, you know they are from the same area. I can only speak for myself that whatever I do for Black Face, I’m not helping myself, he’s helping me. I’m still going to do one or two songs with 2face in future. But I’m doing everything to make sure things work out well for Black Face. We are all looking for money to take care of our responsibilities. The highest we can do is work together and make more money. Black Face has been helpful to me even financially so, it’s on both sides.
Why were you and Black Face absent at Tuface’s Dubai wedding?
I was in Dubai but got to the venue very late. I had other functions I was attending to. People saw me because we were together at the club. Black Face has his own reason he didn’t make it.
But you are his friend and you should know better
He must have his reasons.
Maybe, he didn’t have money for the ticket…?
It’s not about the money because tickets don’t cost that much. He must have his own reasons. Tuface had his reasons he didn’t invite him too. After all, when Black Face did his wedding, none of us was there.
Now, that 2face and Black Face are married, what are you waiting for?
I’ll do that very soon.
I thought you said you had a girl you were dating for years and you’d get married to?
I’ve never dated any girl for years in my whole life. Besides, I don’t have to date anybody for years before knowing who she is. That’s why I wrote a song called Good Wife. I know the qualities of a good wife, and it’s only God that can show you who a good wife is because you know most of our young ladies pretend only to change after the wedding. I know my wife. It’s not that I’m perfect.
Meaning that someone is in your life…
Yes, I don’t play with that. But what if I want to marry her but she isn’t ready for it? Both of us have our lives to live but what matters is that we love each other. I didn’t say I have another girl. She’s a wife to be by God’s grace. It’s not that my mum has to approve her. It’s just for her to pray because God determines everything we do in life. I do things at my own time and make sure that person is ready to do it too.
So when is your time?
I won’t say anything now but it’ll happen at the right time.
How come you and Black Face are reserved with girls but 2face isn’t?
Tuface is also a cool headed person. The girls who got pregnant for him knew what to do to avoid pregnancy but they didn’t. That means they wanted the babies.
They wanted him to marry them?
It’s all about choice when he decided to marry Annie. I’ve known Annie for years and I think she’s perfect for him. There were times she would sit under the tree, crying and asking me if 2face really loved her. Even when 2face was dating Annie, Black Face and I were equally dating two of Annie’s friends. But we didn’t marry those girls but 2face and Annie eventually got married. That’s life for you.
How do you cope with girls?
It’s not easy. They come, want to get very intimate and ready to do anything. Some of them already have boyfriends, and some are even married but I know the rules. So, what I do is to invite them to my shows and they see me. Some of them just wants their parents to see me. There was a girl that her mother always calls me and prays for me over the phone. So, considering all the prayers I get from mostly elderly people, I don’t think any evil can happen to me in this life.
So since you are still single…
No, I’m not single. I have a fiancee and I’m marrying her by God’s grace.
How does your fiancee cope at your shows?
No she can’t go to my shows because it’s not right. I’m not a public person and I can never take my wife to-be to my events. And that’s why I can’t marry an entertainment person because we can’t be doing the same thing.
Maybe, you don’t want her to get jealous
She can’t get jealous because she’s a matured person. I don’t go out with kids and I can’t date a girl that’s not intelligent because it’s going to affect my career, and even our kids will be dull. I like a lady who can help organize my life.
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