Olamide Didn’t Chase Me Out Of The Industry—Lord Of Ajasa
Singer, songwriter and record producer, Innocent Ujah Idibia better known by his stage name Tuface Idibia, is one of the most decorated and successful artistes in Africa. He has received one MTV Europe Music Award, one World Music Award, four Channel O Music Video awards and many other nominations. He spoke to VANESSA OKWARA on how he has stayed relevant in the Nigeria entertainment industry
Looking at your career, you've come a long way. You have changed your name from Tuface to Tubaba. Why is that?
Well, I cannot turn away from Tuface. That one is inevitable. I just wanted to re-band my name to reflect my African background. Tuface was beginning to sound too western to my ears, so I wanted to come down to my African roots. It's my way of going to another level and phase in my music career. Definitely, my sound is going to confirm it. The new sounds that are going to be coming out from me will definitely be African.
You have stayed relevant in the industry. How have you managed to do this?
For me, it is all about the music. I am not afraid to experiment on some sounds. I like being bold enough to do things that are not the common sounds you hear every time.
You are already on top of your game. What other things do you have in stock for the future?
For me, I just want to live a very peaceful and content life. I am going to do music for a long time. But definitely I am still going do other businesses. Anything that I feel comfortable doing, I will go into it. I wouldn't say I want to be rich as the likes of Dangote, but I want to be able to provide for my family.
What is your take on your colleagues who have taken to politics?
They are authentic Nigerians and they have a right to contest and to serve their country in any capacity.
You recently signed up for no violence to vote. Do you have a voter's card?
The last time the exercise was held, I was not in Nigeria, but this time around, I will definitely get one.
Are you interested in coming out to contest in the nearest future?
For now, I'm not interested in vying for office. I am only interested in the process and for us to have a peaceful election. I am interested in encouraging young Nigerians to get involved. I am interested in telling those who have good intentions for this country to be courageous and stand up to their right to contest.
Your all-time hit was African Queen. Are we going to see another great hit like that coming from you?
What happens with this kind of music is that, it is you the artiste that used your hand to set yourself up. Every song I do, people will always compare it with African Queen. That is always the problem when you have a multi-hit song. People are even expecting that perhaps in your next song, you will even have angels singing along with you. So the standard is already high and you are left to break your own record.
Describe your style?
My fashion style is simple. I am not really a fashionista, so I just like to keep my look just plain and simple. I like the black colour a lot. You will see me in a lot of black outfits most of the time.
What are the fashion items you like so much and can't do without?
I like good things no doubt but I am not crazy over jewels and all other fashion stuff. I am not a fashion fanatic. If I am to choose between buying a diamond chain and a land, I will definitely go for the land.
What do you say to the youths who admire and want to be like you?
I hope it is the good side of me they want to emulate. This is because there are some rugged sides of me that I will not encourage any young man to follow. They should just allow me to carry my own cross on that side. On the serious side, I will encourage them to know that music is a challenging business. If it is possible, you can do it hand in hand if you don't let things get into your head too much and avoid distraction. I wouldn't advise anybody to stop school because of a music career.
With the money you make in your music career, how are you investing?
I will answer this question in an open-ended manner. Apart from music, I am into entertainment business such as 960 Music Group, Hypertek Digital and Entertainment Company. I am into a little bit of real estate. I am also into the hospitality business such clubs and hotels. The one that takes a lot of my time is the Hypertek side of the business.
How do you get your muse?
My inspiration comes from things that happen around me, life in general. Sometimes, I just wake up and a song will be ringing in my head. Sometimes, I just write it as a poem and after that translate it into sound. With time, I create the beats and song together and then go to the studio to program the beats.
If you were not doing music, what other career would you have chosen?
I would have been a goal keeper. I love football but I am not a fanatic. It took me so long before I choose a club but now I am a Chelsea fan.
What is your passion?
My passion has always been music. There is nothing in this life that I am really crazy about except music.
What would you say marriage has done for you?
I'll say it has made me to calm down a little. Some kin waka wey I do before, I no fit do am again. It has also helped to balance my life and make me to be more focused.
As are a married man, how do you handle female fans and their attractions?
I just greet them from a distance. I'm on 'Hello' basis with them. For the persistent ones, I will gently tell them that whatever they are looking for from me will not be possible.
How do you relax?
I used to read books a lot. I love reading John Grisham books and encyclopedias, but lately, I have taken a love to movies, Television, Discovery Channel, Crime and investigation. I am simply a TV addict. I get inspiration from watching them.
What's your greatest heart desire?
I would be very happy if they could just show me or assure me that my name is in the book of life.