I'M THE NEW KING OF MUSIC —SOUL E
Emmanuel Okose a.k.a. Soul E spoke with us about his career, why he fell apart with Colossal Records and Pastor Kris Okotie's Household of God Church, Oregun
What's up, Soul E?
A: I am working on my second album and I intend to have about 14 songs in it. I have recorded six songs already and very soon, the album will be released.
Q: What is the title of the album?
A: The title is 'The Ambassador.' I believe that Soul E is the god of music in this generation and I don't have any apology for saying that. That is why I want to brand myself as an ambassador that represents Nigeria properly.
Sometime ago, I wrote a song entitled 'I Love Naija,' which depicted Nigeria as a great country where we have fantastic writers, great producers, singers, lovely women, creative journalists and others. Obviously, it shows that I am a good ambassador of music and that is why my album will be named: 'The Ambassador.”
Q: What makes you think that you are the god of music for the new generation?
A: My wife calls me god of music. And anything a woman proclaims comes to pass, so I accept it.
Q: But people call you an ordinary hip hop artiste...
A: (Cuts in) Sincerely, I don't know the name to call my music because it depends on my mood. I do hip hop, Rhythm and Blues (R 'n' B), highlife, makossa and other types of music, but I can only tell you that I do good music.
Q: After your hit track, Soul E Baba, you faded away. What really happened to you?
A: I did not fade away because the song was still being played on the radio. But, I had a problem with my record label and that made people believe that I was no longer gaining prominence. So, I had to forget about what they had been saying and focus on this new album. My first singles is on air.
Q: What kind of contract did you have with your former record label?
A: It was a normal contract that any artiste should have but I terminated it because they were not keeping to the terms of the contract. My lawyers sent them a letter and it has been terminated but they are not even talking about that, rather they are busy spreading news about in all media houses and almost everyday, I receive calls from my friends like DJ Humility. I heard that they (Colossal Records), stopped radio and television stations from airing my songs. Now I want to correct that impression and want to let people know that I have terminated my contract with them.
I am no more with Colossal Records but under 'The Soul E Entertainment' label.
Q: How many years contract and number of albums did you sign with them?
A: I had six years-six album contract with them which is outrageous. But that is not the big thing because I signed the contract for Christ's sake. And normally, if I signed a contract with you, it apparently means 50-50 after expenses and not once. Let them come an challenge me because I have proofs that I have not been paid even once. If I asked for my money, Simpes Amusa and Biodun Akinewe, some of the directors would ask me what I needed money for.
Q: Did you contribute financially to the album?
A: The record label brings the assets and artiste. And the artiste in this case, is the god in that contract because what they offer can be gotten anywhere but what the artiste offers can not be found just anywhere and that makes it a major commodity. What the contract between artistes and record label is all about is bringing the talent as the artiste, while the record label provides the funds. At the end of the day, both parties are supposed to analyse what was sold and what is left for us to share. But colossal records, did not at any point, adhere to that aspect of the contract. When we presented the case to my legal adviser, he was the one who suggested that I should terminate the contract.
Q: Have you been given a release letter to that effect?
A: I don't need any letter. I terminated the contract because they were not keeping to our terms of agreement. I am educated and expect everybody involved to be mature. I think they are just confused.
Q: So, what are you trying to introduce in your new album since you've decided to forge ahead with your career?
A: As far as I am concerned, I am only trying to do my best by writing good songs. I am not in for competitions.
I am simply having fun because I was born to sing. For God's sake, I am a graduate of Banking and Finance and I have every opportunity to work in a bank, but from my childhood days, I have always wanted to sing to affect people's lives positively. And Colossal Entertainment cannot stand on my way to stop that.
Q: But how did you meet Colossal Entertainment in the first place?
A: Through GT, the guitarist who is under Storm Records. GT was always telling me to join a record label because of my talent. I was reluctant but when I travelled to Ghana to perform in a show with my old group called “The Soul Brodaz” and now, Colossal Records is going about telling people that they gave me the name, Soul E. In 'Soul Brodaz' there was 'Soul E,' 'Soul T' and 'Soul D.' 'Soul T' is Tope, a Yoruba guy and Dapo, 'Soul D,' while I was the only Igbo guy in the group. And there is evidence because we have had a performance with NTA long before I met Colossal.
Q: Did you register that name?
A: Now, let me talk about that. When they started having problems with Soul E, they wanted to go and register the brand name, while we had gone to register the name 'Soul E' and 'Soul E Baba.' Colossal is only doing an identity theft because they have no right to be the record label and the same time, the artiste. Nobody in this country knew Colossal Records from Adam. But Soul E made Colossal Records and they had never managed an artiste before Soul E came on board and even because of Soul E's talent, Starcomms partnered Colossal for a show tagged 'Soul E Live At The Vault'. Due to the success of that show, Starcomms still gave them another contract this year, because of Soul E. So, tell me, who made who? It is Soul E that made Colossal Records.
Q: Why did you fall apart with your former group?
A: We fell apart because they were not keeping to terms with the contract and because I went to school, I could easily fall out of any contract where other two parties were not keeping to their obligations.
Q: Why did you leave Household of God Church?
A: I don't want to talk about that because it is personal. I respect Pastor Kris Okotie but I am no longer worshipping in his church.