- Gospel Juju Singer, Prince ABEL DOSUNMU
The name Mega 9’9 is big in Juju music. Over the last few years, this young dude whose real name is Prince Abel Dosunmu has taken over the Juju music scene and he enjoys the confidence and support of all the elders in the industry like Queen Ayo Balogun, the AJUMNS President and King Sunny Ade.
Like most other successful musicians, Mega 9’9 started music as a choir member in the church. His late father was a big man in the Celestial Church in Oshodi and it was from there that Mega 9’9 started music. On Sunday 8th July, 2018 at Havannah Hotel & Suite inside Gowon Estate, Egbeda, Prince Abel Dosunmu will be having his album release party to be hosted by City People Entertainment.
The new album is entitled Appreciation. Last week, Prince Dosunmu stormed City People office to talk about his life and career.
What have you been up to since the beginning of this year in terms of activities and performance?
I have been busy and I thank God for that. There is no weekend that we don’t go for at least a show. I have also decided to wax an album to the delight of my precious fans. I always release 2 album every year, one is yearly supplication and the second one is Juju.
I always release yearly supplication every December at Imeko because I am charged with the responsibility of singing inspirational songs and that is why I decided to dedicate the album towards the event, especially for my celestial and non celestial fans.
What have you done so far this year?
The Juju album is coming out now titled “Appreciation’. We praise our fans. Appreciate God and our fans for their support.
Then later this year by the Grace of God “yearly supplication” will come out.
Tell us about Appreciation what is the inspiration behind it and who are you appreciating?
God. I decided to thank God because of His Mercy. I am nobody but He made me to become somebody in life “O kan Saanu Mi Sha”. In my family we had nothing and I never expected to be somebody in life but God has favoured me. Though I was given a prophetic message when I was small that I will be a great musician. My father built a Celestial Church for God, the church is in Oshodi. I was told at the age of 4 but I started singing at the age of 5. So I want to thank God with that album for what he has done, for what he’s doing and for what he will do in my life.
You started as a choir member in your Celestial Church, how did that evolve into you being a gospel musician?
In 1994, I decided to form my own band. When we started we couldn’t do any album because nobody was ready to listen to us. But whenever we see people gathered, celebrating, and they are not playing music with radio or DJ, we would just go there and ask them to give us chance to perform for them and once they allow us we would bring our Shakara, Sekere and Omele and we would start singing for them. From there people started encouraging me to keep it up that I’m going to be a great musician in life.
In 1994 I started my own band. We were 6 in number and in 1998 I waxed an album titled “My Mother”. My mother and I listened to that album and we sold just 9 or 10 copies (laughs), that was my first album. In 2003 I decided to wax another one titled “Prayer”. I did not praise anybody I just praised God and our Church members out of pity bought 18 copies (laugh) so we eventually sold about 20 copies out of that one too. I was perplexed, I was sad, I wasn’t happy. Then I started praying to God that you said you will help me and lift me up, then why am I lagging behind?
Then God now gave me a Unique song that I titled “Money” and that was the song that brought me into limelight. When I waxed the album I couldn’t get any promoter. Nobody was ready to promote me until I went to Mr. Taiwo Akinsola, a broadcaster and presenter to give him my song.
He initially rejected it saying he’s not a promoter, why am I giving him my master! I said to him that I have searched for promoters and they didn’t collect it from me. He also rejected it and I went back to my house. The next day I went back to him that my mind insisted that I should give this CD to him. He now collected it from me and before I knew it he started playing the song on Air and people started commenting positively that the song is good, it is well arranged and so on. But whenever they see me they would say are you sure you are the owner of this song. Some even said I wasn’t the one that sang the song because I looked so haggard (laughs). A guy walked up to me and said the song is bigger than you, go and shoot another video. So I had to go and reshoot the video but this time around I had gained little flesh. So that was how the song “Money” brought me into limelight.
How did you come about the name Mega 9’9?
Mega means Great, while the 9’9 belongs to my dad. When he was alive and they newly brought celestial from Ajashe to Nigeria, he was one of the pioneers in that parish.
They loved him so much. He was the only one selling bazaar. If you want to do your harvest you must invite my dad to coordinate the bazaar aspect of that event because my Dad knows how to do it perfectly.
He knew how to do it very well and so many people respect him for that. Oshoffa doesn’t joke with my dad, he would send someone all the way from Ketu to go and call my dad because there was no phone then. When my father was alive he loved serving God. He would conduct service from 9am to 9pm so they gave him the name Baba 9’9. So I don’t want that name to just die like that so I added mega to 9’9. That was how the name became popular. Our old members whenever they hear my name, they quickly relate it with my father.
Tell us about your relationship with King Sunny Ade?
When City People Magazine organised the launching of my album “Weep Not” I went to his office to invite him but they did not allow me to see him, as God would have it he was on his way out when he saw me and he said, this is Mega 9’9, who asked him to stay here? Mega 9’9 what are you doing here and I said Daddy I came to see you but they didn’t allow me. He asked what I came to see him for then I gave him the invitation card and he promised to come. I did not believe him until he showed up and I was so overjoyed, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw him and that was how the relationship started. He has told me severally how much he appreciates my uniqueness.
The Juju music industry has not been booming recently. From your own side, what are you doing to make things work again, to make sure that Juju music doesn’t die?
I’m releasing a single that will feature hip-hop artists. The problem Juju music is facing is that we don’t update and upgrade ourselves. Though I don’t want somebody that will chase me out of business yet we still need to embrace each other’s work and learn from each other. Then we must make sure that we release quality job that can stand any competition in the market. We need to put more efforts. I want to compete with you, I want to listen to you and learn from your songs.
I want your song to inspire me. I want you to challenge me with your song and video quality. I spent a fortune on my modern instruments because I want the best. I realized that hardwork and determination leads to success.
What really informed your Uniqueness?
When I started I used to sound like Obey, from Obey to Sunny then to Sir Shina Peter. But I later discovered that I need to have my own logo, my own brand.
For you to standout you need to have your own song and you should be creative. Not that I don’t pick from them, I still do. But what I do is to pick their lyrics and fine tune it to my own taste that suits my brand by picking their messages not their tune.
What’s your message to your fans out there?
They always tell me how much they appreciate my Uniqueness, they should expect more from me. Appreciation is coming out, they should get their copies, and they should stay out of trouble because their best days are still ahead of them.