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CAN you tell us something about your mum and your appearance on the Supermom Reality Show?
Everything I said about my mum in the Supermom Show is true. I was rascally while growing up. If anyone was told I will ever become anything good in our community, then, they will never believe. I was indeed very stubborn and troublesome. If I disagreed with anyone, I won’t be the only one to fight the person; other people will join me, but thank God for whom I am today.
My mum is a great mum. Some people disrespect their parents and carry other people’s parents with dignity and respect. I respect my mum. There is a saying that as people get older, they become kids in some dispositions. They say some things that do not go with our modern day experience; some cash in on this and disrespect their parents.
What about the remarkable things she did?
Remarkable things she did are too many to recollect. She just called me not too long ago to tell me of some things she was planning for me. I do not want her to die because she’s my guardian, apart from God. She does not want me to be put to shame.
You released an album for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; why that choice?
You know some people hold the impression that he prefers one fuji artiste to other but I asked them; have you done anything for him and he rejected it? So I decided to dedicate an album to him on his 60th birthday. For example, if no one knocks at your gate, will you open it if you are not going out?
He (Asiwaju) is accommodating. I remember in 2003 when he wanted to re-contest, he instructed his men to look for me all over the place for campaign purposes. They could not locate me on time. He was bent on seeing me. When his men eventually met me they asked; “what did you do to our master that he instructed us to be looking for you all over the place?
We reached an agreement and I said some other artistes should be included, including Wasiu Ayinde so that it won’t seem as if I collected money to sing his praise. I had a meeting at Marble Field about four months ago and told Wasiu Ayinde one on one that we are not enemies. I told him that I made Asiwaju to recognise his works; I told him I gave a directive for him to be included in Asiwaju’s campaign programme then.
I travel a lot, but now I’m fully back. As the national chairman of Fuji Musicians Association of Nigeria, I decided to clear the notion among our members that Asiwaju does not recognise them. I told them I will convince them by waxing an album for him. After the job, I went looking for him and he immediately called me in, despite the fact that he held a meeting over the night. He really appreciated the work and even directed that it should be distributed at his birthday.
Hope the album did not cause disaffection between you and Wasiu Ayinde?
But you know he alone can’t sing for him or his party in all locations at the same time, but the record will soon be out officially.
How about your football club?
I only need support. You know I am a busy person and if you delegate people sometime and you are not there to monitor the project, it may suffer. I need government support, I want to standardise it more than a community thing. We also organise annual competition for them where other clubs also participate. I love football; it’s about raising and exposing talented footballers.
What has been your experience on the Star Trek Show?
Star Trek gives you their policy; they will tell you what they want.
How about the security of artistes in Nigeria?
We need security more in Nigeria. They will only hail you abroad but some people just want to greet you with the bottle in their hand in Nigeria. We need better treatment here in Nigeria. Organisers of events should not just wait for the time they bring an artiste from abroad before providing the necessary security. They should not look down on us.
Do you plan to have any collaboration with any foreign artiste? You know that is what is in vogue now?
Well, it’s part of promotion, it’s part of publicity. There is nothing bad in that. We are working on that and we know it’s possible despite being a Fuji artiste.
You have shifted grounds in the quality of your lyrics since you became Alhaji, why?
I didn’t, but you graduate and change every year. If you want your work to be appreciated by all, you must produce what they will appreciate. And you know there is even no veteran that did not sing about all those things you’re insinuating during their times.
Is that not affecting your income?
Those old fans may not be buying again?
They are just sensitising themselves that Papa can sing anything you want.
How do you manage your brand for all requests?
That is professionalism, and that is why Star trek has continued to invite me. Not about me, but God. I am not proud, I want people to enjoy me, and I want to be real with them. I love to come out natural. If I go on stage with a Sun Shade, it will turn to my enemy in three minutes. Religion does not disturb me from singing anything; it is my job, it is about professionalism. I still sing some of those songs in concerts but in a party you have to be moderate except on request.
What is your opinion about the repackaging of Fuji into Hip hop?
Fuji is traditional no matter how you repackage it but when the world is changing you need to change. I can’t sing hip hop, it’s not my line. I’ve done collaboration with (Ice Prince, Timaya, Lord of Ajasa and so on. I can’t sing hip hop at a naming ceremony.
What influenced you into music?
Going into music wasn’t accidental because I am from the home of music. I started music with my schoolmates when I was in primary school. By the time I moved to secondary school, I realised that music was my calling and I deliberated on it to make it a career. Although, I tried to learn a trade while at school, I wanted to be a printer or electrician, but God had already mapped out His own plans for my life.
When did you hit the limelight?
Like I said earlier, it was a child’s play when I started in primary school, but I came out fully in 1989 with an ordinary cassette.
How did your parents react when you decided to go into music?
My father didn’t want me to go into music and at the same time didn’t want me to further my education. But God’s destiny prevailed because when he later learnt that I was into music, and a lot of people appreciated my music, he gave me his support. Also, some of my father’s friends persuaded him to support me. He eventually succumbed to pressures and gave his blessings.
Music and women are interwoven. How do you ward off female admirers?
I will let them realise that I appreciate them, that they deserve a lot of respect from not only me but all men. And I think men don’t have to run after everything in skirts. You can relate with them without having anything amorous to do with them. You can be acquainted with them; they can be your companion and your friend. That doesn’t mean you have to sleep with every woman.
How did you meet your wife?
I met my beautiful wife, Tola Qudus Akande Obesere, a graduate of the University of Ibadan in England . You know I am somebody with good taste; I can’t just go out with any lady. It was love at first sight the day I met my wife at a supermarket in England . When I saw her, I knew she was going to be my wife. I approached her and took her number. Initially, she didn’t know I was Obesere and by the time she found out she was surprised. That was how we started and eventually got married.
I am a very lucky man to have met her and I am happy that she didn’t marry me because of my name.
Do you feel intimidated by your wife’s educational background?
I have never felt intimidated because I went to school up to secondary level before I decided to embrace music. I can never be moved by my wife’s academic credentials. I have confidence and professionally, I am not doing badly. Don’t forget my wife is a very humble and homely woman.
You are a musician and also a Moslem. Are there chances of you taking another wife?
I don’t have such plan in mind and I can never be tempted. I am contented with my beautiful and supportive wife. You know one wife is eight problems, two wives 16 problems and it goes on like that. By the special grace of God, I am satisfied with only one wife.
Looking at you as a person, I am sure Obesere on stage is different from Obesere at home. How do you strike the balance?
Yes, it is true that I have two identities, when you see me on stage, you are seeing Obesere and when you see me off stage, you are seeing Abass Akande Adeniyi. While I am on stage I can do whatever I like to satisfy my fans. I can sing what my fans want to hear. And immediately I leave the stage, I am a complete gentleman, reliable and responsible family man.
You said you can do whatever you like on stage. And sometimes you can be wild?
Like I said earlier, I am a very versatile artiste. I don’t drink nor smoke. My inspiration comes when I see my fans and crowd.
I can be wild on stage to satisfy my fans and at the same time, that is what puts food on my table. I have been in this industry for 28 years, it has to do with my trust in God and hard work that has taken me this far and I am still forging ahead.Share