Things Lagbaja & I did @ night –Ego
Petite singer, award winning vocalist and back-up singer for the mystery man on stage. Guess who that is? Of course, only one person –Ego Ogbaro (nee Ihenacho) of Lagbaja fame - parades those exact prefixes, and perhaps more.
What about her? You may begin to wonder.
Remember, sometimes last year, she joined the likes of Evi Edna, Kefe and Azeezat in the unregistered club of female singers that married their managers.
For Ego, best female vocalist, Hip-hop World Awards queen, Lagbaja girl, membership of the league began February last year when she married her manager, Niyi Ogbaro. Before then, she had dated him for one solid decade.
“I met him, we liked each other and we started going out. I married him because everything about him was attractive. He is my manager so it's a family business now. We tied the knot last year on February 23. Of course, it has its up and downs like when you were dating but it's been a fantastic experience. My husband is from Ondo State.”
Cornered for an interview last week in Lagos, Ego did not consider that a new angle to her being.
Believe it or not, Ego is a very intelligent lady. Never was she off guard throughout the duration of the interview. For instance, conscious of the yarn some years ago about her and Lagbaja having an affair, Ego would craftily dodge such areas in the interview with us.
But wait for this, what almost sounded like:“What Lagbaja and I did at night…”
Before then, she had lavishly told of: “Niyi and I”
According to her, they were old lovebirds that fell in love more than 10 years ago but due to certain factors, they were thrown apart. However, when they met five years later, they were sure they wanted to go the hog.
“We met over 10 years ago. We dated for a while then drifted apart but about five years ago, we came back together. Then we were very young. He is like my best friend, always there for me. We plan to have just two kids.”
Lessons from Lagbaja
According to Ego, after working with Lagbaja's band for 12 years and three months, the time had come for her to move on:
Said she: “ I met him (Lagbaja) through Sony Neji, that was in 1994. They wanted a female vocalist in their band and that was it. I was with him for 12 years and three months. I made money. It wasn't a bad experience. I learnt a lot. I learnt discipline, composure and what music is. I learnt to interact with people. I learnt to handle a band. I learnt discipline, comportment and passion for my vision. I learnt to believe in myself. I have my own band now called 'Indigo.'
“ There were so many touching moments with the band. Meeting artistes from different parts of the world and traveling. Working with Lagbaja was inspiring. The challenges were numerous. From working at night, doing night rehearsals and the stress of traveling but they were minor. It never got to a point where I had regrets.
“ Nothing made me leave. I had reached a point when I had to move to the next stage. I had always known that one of these days, I would have to do my own thing. It was time to move on.
“At first I was anxious. I was scared but I believed in myself and I have learnt a lot of lessons. Some people just talk and when its time for action, nothing happens. It's a challenge I am facing now. People that you don't expect are the ones coming to you. It's crazy but it's fun. I am my own boss now. I am into theatre now. I like acting. I am trying to explore other areas.”
According to Ego, despite the popularity of marijuana among musicians, Lagbaja forbade smoking it during rehearsals and before shows.
“Lagbaja never touched marijuana. There is no smoking or drinking during rehearsals or before shows. You may do it after the show but not during the show. Anyway, there was nobody smoking Indian hemp in the band. We had drinkers and smokers, not marijuana smokers.”
Given how intimate she was portrayed to be with Lagbaja, it was only naturally for people to think that she knew the masked musician 'inside-out'.
So, how does Lagbaja relax? Was the question.
The answer? Ego would stun you:
“I don't know, ask him!”
Ego close up
“ I am simple, down to earth and straight forward. I don't like complications in my life. I like straightforward and down to earth people around me. I am positive. I don't let things weigh me down and if they do, I don't remain gloomy for too long. I just snap out of it. I try to be happy.”
If there is one quality Ego has, it is her vocal prowess. She hits very high notes effortlessly. She demonstrated this in her award winning song written by Lagbaja, “ Wherever.”
“I don't have a particular secret. I was born with the voice but had to develop it, as I grew older. The music has always been there. In secondary school I started having interest in singing. In my family we are all singers but no one thought of going professional. We did it for family entertainment. It just happened like that and I found myself doing backup and jingles for friends. The music came from God. I have two brothers and two sisters. I am kid number four.”
“That was when I won my Hip hop world Award for Best Female Vocalist. Little things get me excited. The other was the first time our video was shown on TV.”
“I am working on my album now and I am hoping that it would come out soon. I want to project the Nubian queen image but without the 'ganja.' I am into theater also. We are doing a presentation later this month.”
Advise for wannabes
“Go for your dreams. Don't let anybody try to intimidate you. Upgrade yourself in any way you can and don't compromise yourself because you want to get there.”