Popular hip hop singer, Abolore Adegbola Adigun, popularly called 9ice, was on City People Instagram Live TV a few days back with Publisher, SEYE KEHINDE, where he opened up on how he has coped with Covid-19 Lockdown, and what he’s currently working on, musically. Below are excerpts of the conversations.
How has the last two months been? How have you seen the lockdown?
The lockdown has been rough, though a whole lot of us didn’t expect it to get to Nigeria. But for someone who is creative you would have more time for yourself; record more songs because it is already clear that we can’t organize parties and we can’t attend a party to perform.
Have you been trying to come up with new songs to blow our mind with?
Not even coming up with songs but album now, because it’s almost 2 months now that people have been locked down. I mean even if you have music block that block would have been unblocked so you have enough time to record and all. After the lockdown, you will see a whole lot of artistes coming up with albums because they have had a lot of time to do music.
What have you learnt from these 2 months of staying home and not going out?
Save more and don’t buy that Gucci bag and Prada bag. It taught us how to save more. Imagine before the lockdown people buying expensive things for themselves and the next week you are asked to stay at home, you thought it was a one-week thing and as life went on they kept increasing the time so it just shows that we need to save more for the rainy days.
How did you receive the news; where were you when the news got to you?
I thank God I was at home when they said that from Monday no one was going out and luckily for me I was at home.
Were you scared or afraid of the virus?
If I should tell you the amount of Garlic, Ginger, Lime and honey that I have been taking. In fact, one tiny lemon now costs 200 naira. The things that people do not even buy back then but now when you step in to buy, all you hear is it has finished, come back. I don’t even drink cold water anymore. Sometimes, I go inside my car that I have locked up for a while sit inside and close the door because we were told that the virus doesn’t like heat, so I will just stay there for like 20 minutes and come out again. It’s really been troublesome mentally.
What is your message to your fans?
I can understand when people say I want to go out, I want to work. I am hungry. I am tired of staying at home and everything. I really can understand. If you say you are rich then look beside you there are several millions of people that have nothing in their bank accounts to keep up even for a day. Let’s even be alive first then we think of the rest because if hunger doesn’t kill us the virus will kill us.
But looking back at the business, how much has the lockdown affected you?
Before the lockdown I think I had about 10 to 15 shows, most of them paid for and the rest of them were like 50 per cent paid for. In fact, City People Awards was one of them then. All of sudden everything changed and till now no one has been able to fix another date. Now we are in the aftermath of Corona so we don’t know how long this is going to take. A few days ago, someone called me saying his dad was celebrating his 80th birthday and they want me to perform on zoom so their grand Pa can be watching from home. So this thing has made us to look elsewhere alternatively. Okay, what else can I do? How else can I make money? So it has created alternative ways of making cool money.
What will you like to say to your fans?
Well, to all the fans out there I will say it has been incredible being a Nigerian, but let’s all try and stay safe and listen to all the instructions from the government. And I wish them well. To all the Muslims out there Ramadan Mubarak.
Each time you sit down to think about your career how does it make you feel?
Well, it has been a long time and this year will make it 20 years. When I look back there are a lot of things I will like to correct and they are a lot that was well done but that is life, you just can’t eat your cake and have it. You win some and you lose some. Allamadulliah
So how have you been able to manage the way music has been moving around for the past 20 years?
Well, there is nothing I have not done before. The past musicians have done all these things, what changes in music most often is tempo, melody and rhythm. Take, for instance, water e no get enemy then Omi Oni Ota oh. One young boy can pick up the same lyric and rhythm and say water e no get enemy with more energy and people will love it more and it will sound new like no one has ever said that before.
In terms of the Yoruba flavour are you planning on retaining that or planning to add more flavour?
One thing I know about Nigerians is, once they love one thing they don’t like to change it so I am not ready to change right now and I will just continue on the same format and probably the only difference will be the tempo, rhythm and melody.