Hit Song Is Divine-Solek a.k.a D’Wonder Boy
Adesoji Adebayo artistically known as Mr. Solek but prefer to be address as D'Wonder Boy, born in London by Nigerian parent has done great things with his Tungba music in the Queensland. He relocated to his country-home in Ibadan when he was three-years-old and spent 18 years before he returned to London.
The popular Tungba singer is one of the top musicians making waves in Europe and America even as he plans to win the hearts of many fans in Nigeria and become a household name in the entertainment industry. In this interview with The Premier's BOLATITO ADEBOLA, the self-claimed 'D' Wonder Boy' disclosed how he started his music, his relationship with Don Jazzy and JJC, challenges and his new album, Ayaba. Excerpts…
How did you meet Don Jazzy?
Actually, I met Don jazzy at a show, he was playing bass guitar for Seun, a musician in UK in 2011, I gave them a lift and left together for another show. After that he came to my house and saw that I have keyboard and other musical instruments, he actually asked me to show him how to make beat on my keyboard which I did; since then he started making beat on my keyboard. At a point, he was even staying in my house then I used stay with a man called Mike Attor who sings highlife who also taught me how to sing and play saxophone. He encouraged me to sing and we later formed Solek Crew and Don Jazzy played keyboard and the beat with another guy called Michael. So that was how I met Don Jazzy and we used to be together for like four years.
So what happened?
I think he wanted to do Nigeria's hip-hop because he was rolling with JJC. It was KAS that took him to JJC. Although there was a little misunderstanding which is normal, eventually he joined the hip-hop people so that was what happened. After we fell out; some people came to me that I should take him back, he came back and I don't know what happened again and he went on hip-hop. After then; he did a beat for me in 2006 for a song with Ruggedman, while he was with D'Banj because we still communicate but I think when a whole thing picked up with him was when the relationship stopped. When we see each other, we exchange greetings but I have a policy; if you don't want me I don't want you, I can't force myself on anybody not that we are fighting, if he wants to be my friend, he knows how to reach me and if I want to be his friend; I know how to reach him, I don't need to force myself on people especially when they are there.
What is the level of your relationship with other music artistes?
It is very cordial; I would love to have a relationship with every musician that I have not had the opportunity of meeting, because there is nothing gratifying in keeping enmity. But I believe the people around me are my friends but what I don't really like is people embarrassing me, it spoils my day.
How did you embrace music?
Music has been part of me for years.
Music is a career or job to you and what inspires you?
Music is my career; it's my everything and it comes before any other thing in my life, I love music to the core; forget about the money. I love what I do and I enjoy it and thank God it pays my bills because if it wasn't I would have found something else doing. Music is my career and I'm not ready to retire.
Lots of things inspire me sometimes; I get songs from my dream, if I'm not too lazy I put it in my phone. I can be inspired by you people, as musician you have to be open to creativity and I am an open minded person.
You said music is your life, why didn't you study music in school?
My parent did not allow me.
As an accountant and a musician, how did you find it so easy?
I just did accountancy for doing sake, all I wanted to do is music, and I had to do the accountancy just to satisfy my parent and educational demands.
What really encouraged you to go into music?
I love to listen to good music, I don't care who sang it even the person might be my worst enemy but so far his or her song is good; I listen to it. Every good music encourages me because every music I like, I sing it. Along the line; a lot of musicians have encouraged me but I respect Evangelist Ebenezer Obey a lot, I grew up listening to his music and I love it.
What differentiates old generation and new generation of musicians. is it because the old ones are not celebrated as the new ones?
The first thing is technology, I can sit down anywhere with internet and release a song and within a minute someone in US will be able to listen to it. Back in the days; it was a well-arranged system and for you to even get into the industry, it is very difficult. The few that were involved then were well celebrated but now anybody can do music. 40% of people doing music now are not born musicians; they don't know how to sing but because of technology many delved into music but back in the days, it was not like that and another thing is that people are appreciating African music more now than before because some of the American superstars are coming in to do collaborations with our musicians. Another thing that makes many people go into music is because there is no job and music is a career that is easy to delve into whether you are going to make it, is another thing.
What is the difference between a musician and an artiste, what does it take to be a good musician?
One thing is that music comes in different forms, as you know there is live play and there is an album. But music is about sending a message and it depends on how people transcribe it and it depends on whichever ways it comes. So musician and artiste are the same because they are both sending message either live or album. The end point is the most important thing, whoever practices is the most brilliant one. Some songs will come out at initial stage and people will not accept it but when the airplay is high; it becomes acceptable because some music that is bad turns out to be good while good music may not even go places. So whatever comes out and people is what I can call good music as far as I'm concerned, even it might be rubbish but so far it is acceptable.
If you are to go by this, why do people have hit songs?
Hit is divine, it's like lots of ants falling on the floor and you just pick one out of them, so it is divine. If God just decides to speak to you through music then the music is hit song. Some people will struggle hard and they won't make it while some will not even do much and they will make it.
Can you tell us in one word, your own genre of music?
I think Tungba because I can stand for four hours, singing tungba, diving into fuji, hip-hop and the likes of other music, although people have been asking for it but since I will be singing for long time, I prefer mixing music to give a unique tune entirely and now I have seen people start to imitate my music.
Why did you choose Tungba?
That is what I love doing, which is what I have been doing and am still doing it.
Why the name D'Wonder Boy and what is behind the name?
I gave myself the name because I can perform anywhere at any time, I can be in London today and in Nigeria tomorrow and the next day in America performing as well I have to be a D' Wonder Boyto be able to do that.
How did you come about the name Solek?
My years in the polytechnic, I had a friend; his name is Leke; we both formed a group called SOLEK from out of our names, after I left for London and I was going about with the name after seven years, Leke too came to London but decided to form his own band but everybody has known me with the name. It was difficult to change the name.
How long have you been doing music professionally and what are the challenges so far?
I've been doing music professionally for 12 years and talking about challenges; every profession has it challenging part, but I try to live above challenges, because the job involves lots of things and once it's your calling; you will raise above all the challenges.
Tell us about your new album; Ayaba, what's different?
Basically, the way I've come out has confused a lot of people about me because I sing to satisfy my fans and to satisfy myself; I believe I can sing hip-hop, R&B, juju, fuji, I'm not limited to a particular type of music. So my new album 'AYABA' has 'juju' and I did collaboration with M'ocheda and Deebee Collabo. I also have another single that I did with Sauce kid titled "Yonke Yonke" and another one "Won ti gbowo mi de". But my genre of music is "Tungba Music" because if I'm standing on stage for four to five hours to sing, I sing all types of songs to satisfy my fans, because if I'm on the stage, I will have to satisfy lots of people, that's why I sing all genres of music.
How many albums do you have to your credit now?
Four albums, but the song that really brought me out is "Wole Jesu". It's a gospel song and "Fine fine baby"; these are the songs that people know me with, I'm still singing on and I don't have a regret.
Don't you think the musicians of today are trying to eradicate our culture?
Well, if the attitude of people changes, music changes as well, because you cannot expect people to sing the way they are singing before now, but whatever people sing the most important thing is not to eradicate the Nigerian tradition at least there should be an element of our culture in it. Things cannot be stagnant; it has to move on, just like fashion.
What have been the pains and gains of being a musician?
The gains are getting recognition from people who love good music and what am doing, music has opened doors for me, I can say, no much pain, everything comes out with ease and we thank God for the gains.
Are you interested in signing any artiste to Solek record label?
Not at the moment, and the fact that I'm not based here makes it difficult to have anyone on the label but we are looking towards that.
What can you say about the issue of piracy?
Piracy is not good because its other people's hard work, it's hard to stop because of technology, for now its will be difficult to curb but with time all that will be solved and there will be a lasting solution to it.
What do you think Nigerians should do to promote our music industry?
We have to try and make musicians make money that's one, because they need money and they are young artistes you have to encourage them to do good music.
How do you relax?
I relax by watching TV, once in a while.
How do watch over your family?
I am like a normal dad that goes to work in the morning and comes back in the evening.
How do you attend to the female admirers?
Well they know that am married so they don't go beyond their boundaries to make advances at me.
How was your growing up like?
I grew up in Ibadan, though I was born in London, I went to Alaafia Nursery and Primary School, Trinity Secondary School and Osun State Polytechnic and I left Nigeria in 1995 and I did enjoy my growing up, I'm qualified accountant and I got qualified in year 2000, ever since then have been enjoying my existence in music scene.