We were rejected by other bands –The Beat, Star Quest 2011 winners

Source: ’Nonye Ben-Nwankwo’ - Nigeriafilms.com

No one wanted them in their bands in the just-concluded music talent hunt show, Star Quest. So, the rejects, as they were, formed their own band, The Beat, which eventually won the competition. The six band members, in an interview, tell 'Nonye Ben-Nwankwo' about it and more

Six young guys and ladies – Samuel Tochux, Charity Adubi, Beauty Aghedo, Enid Eyube, Etetobor and Justice Adigho – were total strangers until they made it, individually, into the music talent hunt show, Star Quest. Among the thousands wannabes that were auditioned for the show, they were lucky to make to the Fame Land.

And at the Fameland, these young people came together and formed a band, which they called The Beat. They banded and stayed focused in their quest to make a difference in the competition.

Their determination paid off last Saturday night as the group emerged the winner of the 2011 edition of Star Quest. From obscurity, they have suddenly hit the limelight.

Not only are they N3.6m richer, they also got a recording deal worth N7m, a posh apartment in Lagos and a brand new car. No wonder they almost hit the roof when they were announced the winner of the talent hunt show.

Their story could be said to be a case of 'the first shall be the last.' The members of The Beat were guys the other people in Fameland didn't want to touch during the band formation process in the house.

They were the remnants who didn't have any choice, but to come together and become a team since it was a rule that every band must have six people.

One of the band members, Enid Eyube, told SATURDAY PUNCH that she was so downcast when she was rejected by one of the other bands in the house.

She says, “It wasn't easy. Before I joined The Beat, I was nowhere. I was just roaming. One guy from Storm band asked me to join his band. Somehow, we became seven in the band. One other girl came to join the band. I was there before the other girl. But they never added me, they left me alone. They told me they were complete. I felt rejected. I didn't know what to do again. That was when I met Beauty crying. She was rejected as well.”

Beauty says she was 'floating' in the house and was just thinking if any band would ever accept her. She says she was a very blunt person in the house and she believed that the trait would have worked against her during the band formation since nobody wanted her in their group.

“I guess they didn't choose me because I was open minded. I always express my mind. They didn't like that. They weren't comfortable. They wanted people who would dance to their tune,” she recalls.

But they were not the only ones who were 'bandless.' Justice says he was booted out from his band.

“I was rejected by DXP. I am a cool, calm person. The band leader wanted to call the shots in the whole thing. We were always clashing. I don't want anybody to kill my ideas,” he adds.

And that was how, Samuel Tochux, who already had two others in his band, didn't have any other choice but absorb those rejected by the other bands in the house.

Tochux, who is also the band leader, said he was sceptical at first. He didn't know what he would be doing with three females in his band.

He says, “This is the first time such is happening in Star Quest. There were songs by males we had to do, like that of D'banj and Lucky Dube. I was wondering how we would sing those songs with females. Eventually, I found out I had the best in my band members. We were determined to make it work.”

Even with their determination, Tochux says the band felt threatened by some other bands in Fameland.

“Before the eviction, there was DXB. The band was a threat to everybody. They had so much energy on stage. They were awesome. I don't really know why they were evicted. After the eviction, Harmonics was another threat. But the other bands were also good as well,” Tochux says.

But Charity feels that they had an edge over every other band because they were different.

“The other bands had good people. The only thing that kept us going was that we had what the other bands didn't have. The other bands had one female each, while we are three girls. But somehow, we were scared. I thought we might get to the final, but I never believed we would get to the top.”

Now that they have emerged the winners, The Beat believe that the main thing in show business has started.

“We are going for Star Trek and other star concerts. But we also have to come out with an album. We have to come up with an album that will make a difference,” they says.

But how will they be different from the past winners of Star Quest, who have not really made much impact in the entertainment sector after the normal one year reign?

They are optimistic that they will be an exception by becoming commercially successful even after their reign.

“The Beat is going to be different. We pray to God for that. God will help us because we can't do it alone. We already have plans. We have our individual projects, we will still do them. It is not going to be easy for us to be together. We are all different people from different backgrounds. But God will take control,” says Tuchux.

Now that they are meant to be living under one roof, the band members believe that it will not affect the relationship they have outside the house.

“My boyfriend was the one that encouraged me and supported me for the auditioning. He doesn't have to feel any how now that I am in the eye of the public or living with other guys in a house. I know every human being has an atom of jealousy. But he trusts me and I trust him as well. I am not going to leave him, no matter the stardom I attain,” Charity says.

Her views are not different from Tochux's, who says he is in a serious relationship back home in Cameroon.

“It might look like the equation is balanced since we are three guys and three babes. But nothing can happen among us. We are now like a family. Before coming, some of us were in solid relationships and it might be difficult to break the relationship because we are in a band,” he says.

Even as they are enjoying their new found stardom, the new stars will not forget in a hurry, the experiences they had when they were growing up. Virtually all of them says they had it rough growing up.

Charity says, “Growing up was good and bad. Other kids used to buy things for themselves. It wasn't like that for me. My parents could not afford to be giving me money like other kids' parents did.”

Tochux says he has experienced the bitter taste of poverty. “There was a point we never had where to sleep,” he recalls. “I went to school without shoes. There was a time you don't know when the next meal was coming from. We relocated to Cameroon when I was four years old. We had no relative at all. Things became so rough. But we thank God that it is different now.”

As for Beauty, she sees life as a wave. “It goes up and comes down. I almost dropped out of secondary school. I lost my dad at a young age. It was my mother that raised me. It wasn't easy since she had other kids. It made me stronger. It also made me to be independent,” Beauty says.

Enid says things got so bad in her family that they had to conjure a 'new' menu

“My dad was doing well at one point. But it came to a point that life was so rough. I don't know if you have ever tried eating garri with garri. We would fry some garri with oil and onions and we used it as sauce to eat garri. We all – including my dad and my mum, eight of us, their children – would eat from a small plate. My dad died in a motor accident. We are trying our best now,” Enid recalls.

Etetebor says, “Things were very nice when I was growing up. We had the best. I was clean. I was very fresh. But later in life, we stumbled down. My father left what he was doing and joined politics. He developed high blood pressure and he died some years later. I have seen a lot in life. God has made me stronger.”

Justice's case is slightly different as his parents are still alive. “Growing up wasn't too bad. I never knew poverty. My dad was working with Julius Berger. I enjoyed very well. But later, it was bad. I had to change school. But my parents instilled honesty in us. They made us stronger. I found out I enjoyed music. I turned it into a commercial thing and I started playing for some churches and earning money. I am still hustling,” he says.

With the humble background they have had before their talents got them to this stage, The Beat believe that nothing is going to drag them back. According to them, the sky is just a starting point and not their limit