I'LL DO MORE R&B SONGS —PAUL PLAY
Paul Play I.K. Dairo, the singing son of the late I.K. Dairo, had seven nominations in the Hip Hop World Awards coming up tomorrow. He spoke to Entertainment Cafe on his expectations, and why he will continue to do more R & B songs
Q: You have seven nominations at the Hip Hop Awards. What are your expectations?
A: Well, I am really encouraged by the nominations and I see it as my duty to continue with my dad's legacy. But this R&B thing is not going to die. So, it is just a way of pulling my weight behind what I am doing now. I am glad that people appreciate it; that people want to listen to more of that. I am grateful that I got nominations.
Q: You did an R&B album which some people have been criticising. Will you now do more of R&B songs?
A: The album on its own is a great success in this country, everybody knows that and I have a fan line that has proven that. I have a lot of people out there. The success of the album shows that more people want to listen to R&B and I am glad I am doing it.
Q: Will you abandon “Owambe” for R &B now?
A: I am going to continue with everything I know how to do. Everything, whether R&B, hip hop or highlife, I'm still going to keep doing what I am doing. Because my fans are happy. Though some people said that I have deviated from my father's song, I am happy that I am carving an identity for myself. So, I am not really going to stop doing that, I am going to continue doing other songs with R&B.
Q: You have seven nominations, do you hope to win in all the categories or probably win some?
A: It depends on the judges. Even being nominated is an award in itself.
Q: What happens if you don't win any award with all the nominations?
A: I will still be myself. I am not really bothered. It will not make me lose interest in what I am doing right now.
Q: Aside from that, are you working on a new album?
A: Not really, but I am planning to release the international version of the album En Ville because the package that we have right now is only for Nigerian consumption and because of the low price of CDs in Nigeria, we are not able to package an album that can be marketed internationally. So, the next step is to get the album released.
Q: Have you been able to beat pirates to their game with the En Ville” album?
A: It is good to see your stuff in the shop, that means that people are still asking for it. If you don't sell it that means that people are not asking for it. The fact remains that pirates still make more money in Nigeria. And I think there is somebody there supporting them. If there is nobody supporting them, the issue of piracy would have been a forgotten issue. So, I can't really say that I am making money than the pirates. They are killing us.
Q: So, are you doing something on your own to fight piracy?
A: I am doing other things like being involved with distribution. I am also going into licensing in other countries and I am going into music production as well. So, I am not the only artiste suffering from this. Since PMAN is not doing anything, some stakeholders have come together to form a forum so that we can solve our problems.
Q: Do you have an association now apart from PMAN?
A: We don't have an association but we have a forum. I think Nigerian artistes are coming together now.
Q: What is the name of forum?
A: We don't have a name yet but musicians and other people are putting one in place. And we are finding ways to put a stop to the problem of pirates and another problems facing the music industry
Q: What steps have you taken to so far?
A: The first thing we discussed was the issue of high pricing of our CDs. I can't imagine somebody having hit songs in an album and is selling it for N150.
Q: But do you think you can make more money by increasing the price of CDs?
A: Well, Ghana is going through more stress than Nigeria and a CD sells for N700 in Ghana.
Q; So, what do you think is responsible for this?
A: Well, I think piracy is the problem, because pirates will want to sell at cheaper rates. Before CDs were going for N350, N250 but pirates were selling for N150. In order to beat piracy that is why most of the label owners decided to bring it down to N150. But right now it is very obvious, that artistes are not really making money from album sales.
Q: They are making money elsewhere?
A: Yes, they...
Q: (cuts in) making money from politicians?
A: Which politicians? I have not been very active in this political dispensation.
Q: Are you complaining?
A: No, I am not complaining. I could do a CD but I'll never go around campaigning for any political party.
Q: We have some fuji artistes campaigning for politicians, what do you think about this?
A: I think politics should not be seen as a way of expressing sentiments. People always believe that the poor people are the ones that suffer at the end of the day but most of these people you see at the rallies are poor people. You can't blame the artiste, because he is doing his job for a living. Even in America people like P.Diddy perform for democrats because they believe that, that is the way that people should go. They even liaise with other artistes to lobby for votes for the party they believe is the right party in America, that is the way it is. But in Nigeria, because people say ah! They are suffering the people that is why you should not join them but this same people that are suffering you'll find most of them at the rallies.
Would you contest one day or probably go into politics or will you advise artistes to contest for elective post?
Well, I don't know. Right now, I think the way things are going, it will take a long time before Nigerians can start considering an artiste. Since they don't accept a pastor, how much more artiste.