Soundcity can't pay me now —Deji Falope
He was the face and the voice that thrilled viewers of entertainment station, Soundcity before he left under unclear circumstances but Deji Falope profile seems to be soaring since he chose to call it quits with Soundcity. With juicy jobs like being the anchor person of the Dance competitive show, Malta Guinness Street Dance and also being paid to produce content in his new place of employment, Deji says he is just getting warmed up. In this chat, he opens up on how he has been able to handle the tide after he quit Soundcity.
Life after Soundcity.
I looked at show business, particularly the business side, which I took out time to understand and packaged a quality concept for the Nigerian viewing and listening audience. Right now, people watch just about any programme on TV and we don't have TV addicts anymore because there are little or no quality and creative programmes. This is probably why some people outside the country do not have regard for our content. If you notice when programmes are taken to DSTV or any cable channel, they reject them or complain about the quality. But if the same programme is coming from America or even Dubai, they are not bothered about the quality and the only thing they worry over is if it fits into the African society or how to make it fit. As a businessman and an entertainer, I decided to go back to the books and bring out creative and quality programmes that would wow the audience. That's what I have been doing.
Reason for leaving Soundcity.
I have to put the record straight here. I left Soundcity because I wasn't getting what I deserved. I was earning my basic salary and wasn't given any percentage for the concept and ideas that I developed and this was contrary to the agreement and terms that we had when I got the job. I was not happy but I was consistent in what I was doing because I was learning more and improving my abilities while my talent grew. I was the only one that wasn't sacked when all the other VJs were sacked at a point. If you remember, I was combining some other Vjs' work with mine. I worked for two years all round without repeating my programmes and Tajudeen Adepetu (the boss at Soundcity) loved me for it. Many thought I couldn't leave because they felt I was somehow tied to Soundcity. When I couldn't take it anymore, I simply quit. I was certain of what I was going to do though. I met with some creative and wonderful personalities, who got me working at BatesCosse a few months after I left Soundcity.
Job right now
What I do is a contract job but when I have something to deliver, I do that on time and it with all my heart. You'd find out that if you are into creativity, you'd not want to be bound by rules, so, I couldn't be a regular nine to five guy because I won't be able to think. My card says concept development and business management. I work with a couple of teams. I work with the media team and other teams to develop TV concepts like Idols West Africa. I also work with another department to develop strategy. Because of the economic crises, a lot of people have slashed their budget, so what we do here is give you twice the value for half the budget. This is basically what I do but it is teamwork that involves everybody at BatesCosse. I was employed because I specialise in providing TV, radio and experiential material.
Challenges after Soundcity
It was quite challenging when I left Soundcity, but I can confidently tell you that Soundcity can't afford to pay me right now. I have my own apartment now on Opebi and it sure cost a lot! All I'm going to tell you is that life after Soundcity is fantastic because the house affords me the comfort to think better and be more creative.
Assessment of the Nigerian entertainment scene
For me, I would say the entertainment industry is growing so fast and many people are not only becoming smart but have started waking up to the business side of the industry. But there is still a large gap between getting quality and just doing a job. I think the problem we have is the monopoly of some aspect of the industry. We have a substantial amount of people who have good ideas but have no way to execute them.
Raising the standards
That is what I am trying to say; I am doing all I can to bridge that gap between the people who can project the ideas and the originator of the ideas. If you have got any ideas, meet me and let's talk about it. What I would do basically is create an avenue and meeting between those that have the ideas and the premium investors.
I would be involved in a lot of partnerships first and I have been talking to a lot of people. I'm sure I would make money but I intend to sustain that wealth and as such, I would go into partnership with other people while I produce qualitative and innovative concepts for the listening and viewing audience.
What is the source of the energy you seem to exude always?
I don't know. Actually, I'm trying to think about it now but I can't just place it. I don't smoke or do anything like that. The love for what I do really urges me to do more and be different at all times.
On the road with Malta Guinness Street Dance Africa Yes, I travel when the need arises like we did for Malta Guinness Street Dance Africa and I am always very busy, thinking and getting ideas from the youths around. My wife is present in most of the cities I travel to and in cities where she wouldn't be; it won't be that hard being myself.
I am engaged at the moment to a beautiful and loving lady. I would start by saying this, a certain lady sent me a text some days back telling me that she's 21 and likes me a lot and would want me to deflower her. It's sometimes absurd with ladies. I appreciate and love them as people who appreciate my creativity and talent as regards what they see on TV and listen to on radio and eventually we became friends. But this text is just not it.