I’d go back to Kennis Music if...
Eddy Remedy or Eddy Montana, whichever you prefer to call him, is the front-liner for the Remedies; that late 90s Hip Hop group famed for 'Shako Mo'.
Delta by origin and son of a late police man, Eddie grew up in the heart of Lagos barracks while
Eddy Montana,schooling at the famous Igbobi College and YabaTech, the latter which later became a reference place for his music career.
Controversial Eddy has managed to remain in the news for a number of reasons, long after the group's separation in 1999 which saw other group members Eedris Abdulkareem and Tony Tetuila going solo. Top among the reasons include his troubled marriage, attempted suicide and dwindled musical and financial fortune.
Now resuscitating his career hopefully with 'The Boss Is Back'- his first solo album- we caught up with the father of two, a day before his reception at O2 Nite club; where Star FM honoured him for topping their charts with his two-week old single 'Opa Eyin'.
In this no-holds barred chat with Lolade Sowoolu, Edward Asiedu-Brownie speaks on the group's upcoming reunion album, the travails of his marriage and separation, his new means of livelihood and his newly found lease of life. Surprisingly Eddie quips that he is still willing to work with Kennis Music; his first record label.
Present relationship among the trio
Oh! I still saw Eedris recently. I was with him three days ago too 'cos I was at O2 to watch him and Terry G play last week. We see almost everyday.
Tony just came back from Canada so he called me up three days ago. But we couldn't be together because he just came back.
We are in fact now tighter than before contrary to what people think. In fact, we've done four new songs of the eight in our reunion album and one of the songs is being promoted on Tony's album right now. It's called Unfinished Business.
Was going solo a collective decision? At what point was it agreed on?
Yes. That was in 1999 after the Rothmans Groove Tour. We decided that because everything was moving very fast. So as soon as we got to Lagos each man should continue with his own thing because I foresaw that there was going to be a lot of pressure on the group staying together.
Besides, I don't think I have said this before: Initially I did not want to form a group. I was discovered in YabaTech and I was asked to come and record a song. Already I had known there was going to be a music revolution in this country but I didn't know who was going to lead it.
I just kept having dreams and visions about it. I came in as Eddie Montana featuring Eedris Abdulkareem but when we got to Ray Power studios everybody welcomed it as a group so I just played along. So if you noticed, Tony wasn't exactly an integrated part of the group. He even said it in his solo, 'omode meta n'sere'. But many people didn't listen to the lyrics and they keep asking questions.
Looking back now, do you think going solo was a good decision?
I think it's lucrative for all of us right now so it must have been a good decision. We were supposed to keep the group and still do our solo things. Its more lucrative that way and that was the initial plan; except for the little controversies that came in between.
What's new with Eddie now?
Eddie's back with a bang. I'm even surprised at the kind of works I've done. It seems like all the challenges I've gone through have actually brought out the best in me. I never thought I could write the kind of music I have.
It's street-wise and already it looks like I hear the song on the streets even though it's not out yet. There's a full album with twelve tracks and it's titled The Boss Is Back. But right now I'm promoting the singles Opa Eyin and Idi ore mi.
It's just spent two weeks on air and its already on No.1 on Star FM. One of the selling points on the album will be the track I recorded with Seun Kuti titled Guess Who's Back; many people don't know he's a great rapper.
There's My Show, My People- a song for black people, and a re-recording of Idi ore mi which is going to feature 9ice. ID Cabasa is also going to re-create the jamz.
On whose records is it going to be released?
Remedy records is a new record company created by me to manage artistes and their works; and I'm starting with me. But there's a company called Good Feel Music trying to sign me on but we're still negotiating. Its co-owned by Kizito that once managed Daddy Fresh.
GoodFeel Music will be playing the role Kennis Music was playing before for Remedies just that this time it'll be on partnership basis with Remedy records. As I speak two videos are ready and will be hitting the airwaves soon.
There's a controversial one, I'm Not and then Opa Eyin. The album will be officially released on the 25th of this month with a press hearing.
How is Edwina and Kennedy?
They are wonderful. They are wonderful in my life (laughter).
How often do you see them?
I see them every weekend but I'll be going to see them in school because they're writing exams and I'm trying to monitor their academic progress. I pick them up from their mum every weekend and take them home. I miss them so much and I miss their mum too despite everything.
Having been separated for over a year now, what mistakes do you see when you look back?
When I look back, there are a lot of good things that we have done together and they are more than the bad things. And they were not even bad things, they were just challenges.
When I placed her on the same table with friends that I have all over the world, I found out that she has not even done half of what some friends have done to me and with whom I am still friends.
So on that note, I'm clearing everything in my heart and saying I love her and if I am given any opportunity by God— 'cos I don't think any human being can do anything about us.
You know God has a way of making things work so I'm just hoping and praying positively that things will work out. One, for the sake of the kids— they're lovely and wonderful kids that should not be toyed with and if I'm giving the chance I'll want to have all of them under the same roof in my house again. So looking back I'll say if I knew better then, I probably wouldn't have let this happen.
What is responsible for this change of heart and person?
It's the maturity that comes with the eye-opener of knowing God. If I had had God then as much as I have him now, I probably would have had more wisdom to handle things well. Yes, the challenges would have still been there but it would not have led to a separation. We both were just selfish; we were not thinking about the children.
The new Eddie has a better understanding of who God is. When you carry that along you find out that you're walking with Him (God) in a relationship and so there's a direction. I didn't have all that before.
You don't think stardom played any role in your marriage crash?
For me it wasn't about stardom. I had handled stardom in 1998. The thing was that there was too much pressure from the family. Anybody that tells you any other reason must be a liar.
Why is it usually so challenging for celebrities to keep their homes together?
It is so challenging especially when the husband and wife do the same things. Like in my case we both sing but I've read over and over in my Bible that God does not support divorce.
So if God does not support it I don't know what gives people the guts or confidence to say, 'I want to leave my wife'. God even placed a curse on the wife that does so.
In what ways has the separation affected you?
I almost died last year from emotional stress; I almost took my own life. Living life alone without my family since my wife left home with the kids, I felt like my whole life was already taken from me. I'm not a good drinker.
Even my friends know that, but one night I just drank carelessly out of frustration and then told God I was coming since I had lost everything. Before that time I had ever contemplated suicide.
This particular testimony on how God saved me, I have shared in five churches. I drove my car to the middle of the third mainland bridge and I was ready to jump when suddenly I just heard a car crash behind me.
That was a sign. It involved two cars and people were badly injured. I turned around and saw people fighting for life that I was just about to give away willingly and suddenly I found myself helping the victims into my car. I then drove to the nearest hospital I could think of; that was on the Island. I had to drive one-way that night. I didn't drop my name at the hospital but I think one or two people recognised me.
When I left the hospital, I started crying and thanking God for saving me because I knew that was a sign that God wasn't through with me. And from that point I began to have a different notion about life.
Has it crossed your mind for once that maybe if you had not mixed business with pleasure, you might be having a more successful music career now?
Yes. I have thought of it. And you know what, I do not regret it. My family is very important to me and it is worth sacrificing my career for. So if I have lost a thriving career because of my family so be it. Its worth it; besides I love my wife and my kids too. I love my family.
What efforts have you made at reconciliation?
I have been calling my wife and sending her text messages. I have called Keke (her brother) a couple of times but he doesn't pick my calls nor reply my text messages. And really I don't care anymore, it's God I care about because God is in control.
I used to care before but at this stage, I think he should be mature enough to take my calls and bury everything that happened between us. Because right now, I've set up my company and I don't want anything from anybody. God is taking care of me so there's nothing to scratch off each other anymore.
What's your relationship with your wife like at present?
We are talking now which is better than before. Before we weren't talking at all; I'd just come pick up the kids and that was all. It's not like the husband to wife relationship yet but I believe if she would just confront God about the whole thing, everything will be fine.
How did you feel when you heard in the press that your wife would rather be addressed as KSB now and no more her name in full?
What is KSB? She's just trying to deceive herself. When I heard, I only felt she was trying to hide from something but I wouldn't do that 'cos I am more matured.
Didn't you foresee that the wide financial gap between the two of you was going to cause trouble someday and wasn't her family showing disapproval before the marriage?
There wasn't much difference then because I was made too then. I had three cars and speaking of signs, there were. Looking back now, I remember the support I got from Keke was a cash gift of N25,000 in the face of all the expenses we had to make for the wedding.
On the morning of the wedding too I had to dash to Kesse Jabari to pick up my suits myself and on my way back, I had a car crash at Adeniyi Jones.
And it was with the Honda Civic I was going to present my wife for a wedding gift. I was late to the wedding reception and registry too. I mean there were signs all along but I loved the girl. And besides she was ripe.
What's your relationship with Kennis Music like now?
Nothing really but I don't bear any grudge against them. In fact, I will like to work with them if they are willing to work with me.
As a matter of fact, Remedies still owes them an album because the deal we signed with them in 1998 was a three year, two album deal; and we only produced one album. So if they are willing to come on board, the reunion album the group is working on can be rightfully theirs.