I SANG ‘ORUKA’ TO ENCOURAGE ROMANCE-----SUNNY NEJI
Since the release of his second album entitled, 'Mr. Fantastik' in 1997 Sunny Neji name has been a house-hold name in the Nigerian entertainment industry. Born in the mid 60s to a military man and a business woman, Sunny Neji grew up in Lagos and Ogoja his home town in Cross Rivers State.
In an exclusive interview with Taiwo Obatusin of www.nollywoodgists.com Sunny Neji spoke on how he got into music, the brand Sunny Neji and some other issues.
How did you get into the music industry?
Those days in the village, my father used to be the chief of various traditional dance groups. Basically I grew up in the midst of drumming and dancing and I was a member of the cultural troupe. After my primary school education, I came back to Lagos to live with my elder brother. He was a music collector and music lover. He listened to every good music. Living with him exposed me to contemporary music and I got to know a lot of artistes and their works. This made me interested in music. By the time I was in the secondary school, I started writing my own songs. After my secondary school education I started writing my own songs. After my secondary school education I tried recording on demonstration tapes. By the time I gained admission into Yaba Colloge of Technology to study fashion designing I had started recording on master tapes and going from one recording company to see if I could be signed on. Eventually I was signed on by EMI Nigeria and the recording company released my debut album entiled 'Captain' in 1991.
Tell us about the brand Sunny Neji and why you branded yourself
Sunny Neji has been around for a while. The decision to brand myself was timely. I and my management team, Now Muzik realized there is a need to work with an agency which specializes in branding and its management. Hence we went into agreement with Abstract, a reputable public relations company. We felt Sunny Neji has come of age, paid his dues and it was time for him to be known and branded properly for bigger and greater things. The brand Sunny Neji was unveiled by Governor Donald Duke of Cross Rivers State in August 2006. It is interesting to know that the brand Sunny Neji is the face and icon of Obudu Cattle Ranch in Cross Rivers State where I shot the entire video of my latest album. The brand Sunny Neji has also been the face of some fruit drinks in the country.
One of your popular tracks 'Oruka' has continued to make waves despite the fact that it was released about three years ago. What do you think I responsible for this?
'Oruka' was a track in the album 'Unchained'. The track 'Oruka' has continued to play a significant role in the romantic view of Nigerians and a lot of people love the music to be played on their wedding day. Some people told me that they had to speed up their wedding plans because of 'Oruka'. Hitherto Nigerian women have been complaining that Nigerian men are not romantic. Hence I saw the need to do something about that and encourage the men, hence I wrote and composed 'Oruka'.
What is the reaction of your fans to your latest effort 'Off Da Hook'?
It has been interesting and mixed feelings feed backs. Some people are of the opinion that it is a drastic change from the style of Sunny Neji while some are of the opinion that it is really 'Off Da Hook'.
Basically, I respect everyone's view about the album and we are recording good sales.
How do you relax?
I relax when I am making music. I don't see music as work. It helps me to relax my nerves.
What is your best meal?
My best meal is pounded yam with afang soup.
What is your best colour?
I like all the colours of the rainbow. My choice of colours really depends on my mood.
Words for your fans
I like to thank my fans. They have been very supportive and have contributed immensely to my success. I thank God for their lives.