Saturday, July 05, 2008

SATURDAY INTERVIEWS - 9ice

Every Saturday, Nigerian newspapers particularly The Punch, Vanguard and The Sun feature some pretty interesting interviews. I know not all of you peruse the Nigerian newspapers so thought it would be a great idea to share (while giving full credit to the interviewers as always). So enjoy! First up - 9ice courtesy of The Vanguard Nigeria
Interview by Ogbonna Amadi


My poverty days are over — 9ice
9Nice the Gonga Aso singer opened up to Entertainment Editor, Ogbonna Amadi on his travails as a man driven by a compassion to survive hunger and to succeed life.

He also spoke on his failed contract with Nigerian Breweries, his performance at the last Friday heldImage concert for Mandela concert in London and more. It’s a must read.
Excerpts;


It’s nice to have you back in the country, when did you travel?

We travelled on Monday 23rd June on board Virgin Atlantic airline.

And where and when did the concert hold?

It was held on a Friday night, 27th June in London.

How would you describe your experience?

We arrived London on the 23rd and had our rehearsals on the 24th and 25th. It was actually a live band rehearsal and when I noticed some flaws, I decided to get some back up singers. I knew my song wouldn’t come out very well without back up singers.

So I went in search of back singers amongst Nigerians living in London and who could understand my song. After our rehearsal I requested for passes for them to come on stage with me, but the stage manager said he couldn’t offer anymore passes because he was done with it.

And that was how I ended up rehearsing that same day with the Soweto group. I taught them the notes of the song and they understood it. They were able to back me up

What was the feeling like?

The feeling was enormous and great because a lot of things that happened back stage which people didn’t get to see. At the back stage, the artists had a room to himself. The room is movable, it’s fully air conditioned and it’s stacked with food, drinks and gym.

We also had make-up artistes attached to the rooms and so if you have need to change it was at your beck and call. I must say it was a really great experience and it was very different from what is obtained here in Nigeria.

How did you feel on stage?

When I got on stage I was a little nervous because half the crowd were white. But when I started I got encouraged by the whites.

On stage when I got hold of the microphone and shouted, ‘people are you ready’ they screamed Yes, it was all the encouragement I needed to begin my performance. I felt great having to perform with all those other artists from all over the world and having almost 100,000 people to perform for.

So how did the people react to your performance?

As soon as I asked if they were ready and I got a positive response, I let go my music. As I wasImage singing, I noticed that six white girls in front of the crowd went horse riding on the shoulders of their boyfriends to hail my performance. I focused only on those girls throughout my performance.

What song did you come on stage with?

All the African musicians that came were given the opportunity to do only a song. I performed my favourite song Gonga Aso and after the performance the band I rehearsed with said it was the most challenging song they did amongst all other African artistes that came because most of those other artistes had foreign spices in their music.

After the concert, what was it like outside stage?

After the concert, I had the privilege of walking in the midst of the white people and with the team that took us from Nigeria to UK. While in the crowd, I was noticed and as soon as this happened, the crowd momentarily shifted focus from the Ugandan who was performing on stage to hug and shake hands with me.

They were all commending me that it was a good performance.

While you were in the UK, you were also supposed to perform for the Nigeria Breweries company, what went wrong?

Yes I was to perform for Nigeria Breweries. The performance was earlier scheduled for 23rd in Awka but for some reasons it was shifted for June 25th .

And when this happened I went to the EXP, the people in charge of the event and asked if there was anything possible to change the date of my performance. They told me there was nothing they could do.

So I wrote a letter to them telling them how important it was for me to attend the Mandela concert because I had committed myself into it.

Where you paid for the Nigeria Breweries deal?

Yes.

So what will you do now?

My manager has gone to see the EXP people and he was told that the person in charge was out of town. So we are waiting for the guy to return and until then our fate is in his hands.

How has your new found fame affected you?

It has affected me in so many positive ways because for a guy coming from a ‘lower class’ background, I have been able to convince people that good things still come out of the ghetto. I have been able to understand that if you have a dream and you are focused and disciplined, you will achieve whatever you want no matter where you are coming from.

I’ve also learnt so many things in life. At a time I was home for four years after my secondary education because I wanted to go the university. And within this period, I tried my hands on so many things.

We were poor and the poverty was so much that I thought there was nothing more to do than to hate God. I am a man gifted in so many ways. I was once a boxer, footballer and a writer.

But I also knew I was intelligent enough to go to university because I had friend who were in 200/300 levels in the university who will bring their assignment for me to solve and I did.

So virtually all the things I touched in the past went wrong except for music.

When I first started off in the music industry I didn’t want to be singer. I just loved writing songs for people to sing but as God will have it, I’m into music full time now.

And your neighbourhood...?

The neighbourhood I came out from is one which I can never leave. I still go to my daddy’s house even though I moved to my own house. I did that because I needed to concentrate more on my music and also for security reasons.

Daddy and I

Relationship with my dad was like that of cat and dog until my dad went to a place where he was told that I ‘m destined to be great. He was warned to leave me alone and he did that.

How do your parents feel about you so today.?

Everything is okay now. I’ve been able to change their living style.

Artiste Fee

When I started fully as a performing artiste I started off by getting paid within the range of N100 to N200, 000. But all that change when Gongo Aso became a hit. The song became a hit because I promoted it my self.

And since the album was released during the festive period (December), I thought it wasn’t time to bother people with politics, crime. It was celebration time so I had to look for something to go with the season. And that’s why I left Street Credibility and focused on Congo Aso.

How true is it that a girlfriend outside your regular woman is pregnant for you?

Let me correct that notion. As far as I’m concerned, nobody is pregnant for me and no one is carrying my baby anywhere. I know that my girlfriend is not pregnant.

Stardom

Of course stardom is something that brings about a whole lot of things, a whole lot of people close to you. You see people that will just like you just like that and you don’t really know what they want from you.

They just continue to attach themselves to you and sometimes you get confused about those that like you genuinely and those who do not. For me I believe I’m yet to get to where I’m going to and I wouldn’t want all these things to pull me down. And I see this as a challenge that I’ve been able to conquer.

Do you have any collabos?

Definitely. I’ll be doing more collabos. Before now I’d done more than thirty collabos and I’m also trying to do some on the international level.

Will you say you are now comfortable?

In Nigeria we are faced with a lot of challenges everyday, but now I’m comfortable because I can eat what I like and do what I want. From one square meal a day, I can now afford three square meals.

Yes there may be some aspects in life where you are lacking in your career but there are some areas where God blesses and you have to praise him for that.



30 comments:

Mo-Fuze said...

Really great interview --- he's so candid ... 9ice should really be an inspiration to many of us who want to challenge what our parents or any doubters say we should or should not pursue in this life.

Obviously, the sky's the limit now for him once he prepared so hard and capitalized on an huge opportunity live Mandela's birthday. Kudos!!

Anonymous said...

nigerian interviewrs turn the thing into a comedy show....lol...nice one though....

Bunz Babe said...

awww bless him o, i had such a big grin on my face reading this eyaaaaaaa.

Waffarian said...

eyaaaaaaaaa, we thank God.

and i agree with anonymous at 3:00...sometimes i no even know whether to laugh or cry...men!

Anonymous said...

So humble....

Anonymous said...

"I had the privilege of walking in the midst of the white people"
please some one explain how walking in the midst of white people is a "privilege"?
This is the slavery mentality that is killing our african nation.
9nice needs to get a grip on world relations

Anonymous said...

This interview and response be as e get.

IFY BELLO said...

I AM IFY BELLO FROM BANGKOK, THAILAND. I LOVE THAT GUY CALLED "9ICE". HE MAKES ME GET MAD ANYTIME, I LISTEN TO HIS HIT TRACKS (CONGA ASO, AND STREET CREDIBILITY). INFACT, I LOVE HIM AND I WOULD LOVE TO GET IN CONTACT/TOCUH WITH HIM BECAUSE I NEED TO INVITE HIM ON MY BIRTHDAY. IF ANYONE, HAS HIS(9ICE) CELLPHONE NUMBER, HE SHOULD SEND IT TO ME VIA EMAIL ON: ifecowestb@yahoo.com, OR SIMPLY CALL ME ON +668-5044-9514. I NEED HIS CONTACT URGENTLY AS I NEED TO INVITE HIM FOR MY BIRTHDAY CEREMONY NO MATTER WHAT IT COST ME. BELEIVE ME............ CHEERS TO YOU ALL...............

Anonymous said...

LMAO! Anonymous 2.29 AM hit the nail on the head mennnn. I love me some 9ice but pls what's with the retarded statement..."I had the privilege of walking in the midst of the white people"

Na wa o! So walking in the midst of white folks is a fab opportunity now?
This is disturbing!

shola pacheco said...

bella as usual nice post,i guess 9ice's statement must have been accessed wrongly,guess d guy didnt mean it the way it came across,it was a priviledge being the only nigerian performing at the mandela concert.nd come on guys when u have gone thru really rough times growin up,where ppl have looked down at u.cos of the niger mentality of if ur not in uni then ur future is bleak or in doubt.no human

Anonymous said...

He obviously meant 'working' and not 'walking' as was transcribed 4rm d interview. And bobo is humble, me likes!

shola pacheco said...

no human being has rights 2 anythin we get,we have priviledges,priviledges cos of Gods mercy... nd besides interviews can be a bit demanding.from 9ice's interview u can really sense d guys gratitude nd joy 4 where he has been nd where he is,trust me it takes one who has walked a mile in ur shoes 2 really feel wat ur talkin abt.so let sewhat he really means.so lets look beyond his flaws

shola pacheco said...

and celebrate him,he is humble nd i pray he continues 2 shine.....sorry bella blogging 4rm my phone...guess d typing error

Bella Naija said...

I am 100% sure that he didnt intend it that way.
9ice amongst all nigerian artistes is soooo proud of our culture. Consider it, he insists on singing in yoruba, not even mainstream yoruba but local dialect! he def does not have 'slave mentality'....

Anonymous said...

"We were poor and the poverty was so much that I thought there was nothing more to do than to hate God"

THAT HAS TO BE ONE OF THE DEEPEST THINGS I HAVE EVER READ...

misspumping said...

i am happy for him . God does not sleep. Even now that things have picked for nice he should not loose sight of the bad times.

Made In London said...

Nice interview. I read that with a smile on my face. For the people who are worrying about his statements, you have to read the guy's interview in context and also remember where he is coming from. With time, his speech and things will change but for now, it's just straight from the heart raw talk.

I have deep admiration for Toni Payne in all of this.

Anonymous said...

Alakpomeji

Anonymous said...

Very well .. as i was reading this i had a smile on my face as well and i am very proud of 9ice ... PLEASE HE DOES NOT HAVE A SLAVE MENTALITY... He has worked so hard and here are the results.. The gongo has spoken and its his turn to shine .. when its a man's turn everything turns around for him 360 degrees .. so fellaz be happy 4 him instead of castigating him ok .. one love 9ice ..."omo na turn by turn beg baba God make i reach ur turn" ... ALAPOMEJI ....

Tunji Sarumi Photography said...

Great artist

Anonymous said...

I am very proud of 9ice as an artist. I like the interview he gave, and I agree with Shola Pacheco that his statement was taken in a wrong context. He sings in his mother tongue and he made Nigeria as a nation proud. He is a very humble artist.

I see him getting a grammy soon.

Like he said, "taba ri erin ka so pe ari erin...."

Anonymous said...

just had to come back and comment again--
TONI PAYNE--u are a rare woman o,i gotta doff my hat to you.
been following your blog/career for a while and one would have expected you to date someone who was already established.cool(in the typical naija context)etc---but you were not afraid to think out of the box,see a young man with a vision and you stood with him--i can imagine that you and nice come from two different poles--yet look at what GOD is doing--if i had told my dad that i wanted to date a singer--i swear he would disown me,disinherit me,and literally curse me--
TONI PAYNE--naija girls need to learn a lesson from you--atimes it pays to stick with a vision and a bright future--
not every man in a designer three piece suit with a corporate job and money rolling it at the right time is husband material

AND TO YOU 9ICE--MA GBAGBE TONI NOW THAT EVERYTHING IS SWEET--I WANT TO HEAR YOU SHOUT OUT HER NAME WHEN YOU PICK UP THAT GRAMMY.SA FUN AWON OBIRIN IPARUN IKAN TI WON KAN FE JE ILE E TO THE GROUND--those women that will flock you have nothing to offer you--just look before you at examples of men who fell by the wayside due to plenti plenti woman-and they just wanna trap u with kids--na TONI we know o--any other woman na counterfeit--GBABESKI

LOVE YOU GUYS

Anonymous said...

i soooo agree with the last anonymous!
one of my friends was dating this wall street guy last year...total a-hole of a guy but he was high flyng. we had this discussion last year and she made it clear that it was i-banker, surgeon etc... or no deal. now contrast wit a dude like 9ice. nice guy wit talents and prospects....no accent/fone, not much cash (well, till Gongo Aso took off). God is good.

BTW as per my friend, credit crunch ooooo her wall street guy lost his job and has been job hunting for the past 4 months with hefty MBA debts to pay off!

Anonymous said...

why is toni payne being hailed any how? na she write gongo aso abi she sing am? She claims him, but his success is due to his own talent o, besides if you read into the code in his answer, he doesn't sound like he's claiming her at all.

shola pacheco said...

@anon 8:29,no man or woman can claim 2 be successful of their own effort alone...its not abt what ppl think....everyone plays a part from finance to companionship to most of all encouragement,which beats anything hands down...gongo aso became a hit if am correct december but this lady has been wit him 4 a couple of years...she didnt sing d song but she has been a fantastic promoter nd she deserves

shola pacheco said...

credit for it.i guess there are loads of interviews dat 9ice has granted one of which he said how much of an encouragement she has been,nd how proud he is of her,she could be anyone's ones sister.give her credit she deserves,if it was abt fame am sure there are a thousand and one she could choose from.btw just tot it was unfair,i dont know toni and i dont want any favours,

Anonymous said...

oh shut up! Yes, walking in the midst of white ppl could be a priviledge!

If u consider where he's been from and what he's been through....

(Not everyone has that priviledge).

The dude is soo humble!

Anonymous said...

@anon 8;29 pm

lets pray that people who exhibit the exact same trait you have exhibited here do not try and feed your dinner to the cats when the time comes for you to shine.

TONI might not have lent any vocals to 9ices' album.BUT LET US GIVE DUE TO A WOMAN WHO STANDS BY HER MAN--ESPECIALLY WHEN SHE OBVIOUSLY HAS SOO MANY OTHER CHOICES.
Didn't we start hearing of toni before we heard of 9ice?
are you trying to say that the way naija/yankee is,toni would not have met some "bigger" boy trying to get on her "levels",even some im sure might have told her "what is she doing with that ajota"? etc
abeggg....lets give unto caeser what is caesers--TONI YOU HAVE MY RESPECT--
as i am sitting here,i remember a certain singer songwriter/producer who has blown up now,was on my tips a few years back--i looked at myself--collection of degrees,good job etc--and he was all he was"STRUGGLING GLORIFIED POET"--i rebuffed him seriously and shamefully--
today his songs read like the who is who on the billboards etc.
Toni has something rare--which is foresight,belief,faith,and maturity--something lacking in a lot of us women.

TONI ONCE AGAIN--KUDOS TO YOU
AND NA DEM GET THEIR MOUTH--LET THEM SAY.
YOU AND 9ICE ROCK

Anonymous said...

The interview was pretty revealing. 9ice is someone that is coming from the slums and doesn't hide that. he is R.E.A.L.a great talent indeed and a true Nigerian brand. i Love his songs even though i don't understand some parts.

THE HOUSE OF STYLE said...

Great interview. I was proud to see him perform at the Mandela concert.
xx
Marian