RETURN HOME? NEVER! I’M MAKING MILLIONS IN LONDON
For London-based music crooner; Adesoji Adebayo a.k.a Mr. Solek, the best decision of his life is dumping accountancy for music. Unlike most musicians who either neglect or refuse to prioritize education, Solek's background as a chartered accountant has done a lot of good to his musical career.
In no small measure, Solek's education has contributed positively to his uniqueness on and off stage, reflecting in his delivery, concept and general package. Indeed, he is a delight to watch at clubs and restaurants like Twilight, Canning Town, Tasty, Hideout and Meantime where he plays regularly in London.
Before leaving for the United Kingdom in 1995, Solek, who attended Loyola College, Ibadan made sure he got his National Diploma at the Osun State Polytechnic, Ire. While in London, he attended Thames Valley University where he gained a certificate in Business & Finance. And as if that was not enough, this multi-talented artiste rose to become a chattered accountant through the Institute of Management Accounts (CIMA) in May, 2000.
Born in UK as a second child of a family of five children, Solek's musical sojourn dated back to 1981 from the church like most artistes of today, and since then, he has not looked back. He came back to Nigeria in 2000 and teamed up with his childhood friend, Leke to form a group popularly known as SOLEK Crew - a name coined out of both Soji and Leke. They released an album under the supervision of Kayode Aduroja.
Returning to UK without his friend Leke, Solek released a single entitled "Ile Jesu" in 2002. He formed another group which included Micheal Enebeli a.k.a DonJazzy, who later produced D'banj's debut and Micheal O.
Shooting into limelight with a solo album, "Your Number", Solek has steadily climbed the ladder of success, albeit with hard work, creativity and focus.
In this interview with Blockbuster, Solek, who is in town for the launch of his new album "Why Worry" come December 24 at the Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos, opens up on his music, challenges and sundry other issues. Excerpts:
Kind of music
I play a fusion of different genres of music including, rap, highlife, R&B, fuji, Juju and hip-hop etc. I have always done what I'm doing now; mixing hip-hop, juju and fuji. When I perform live, I do more of juju and fuji, and a bit of hip-hop, almost four times every week. Every December in Nigeria, I perform 25 days out of the 31 days of the month.
I am very relevant because what I do is very unique, I'm more or less the only person that does what I'm doing. Then, if you come to where I'm performing its more of an entertainment than to just sing, you enjoy yourself, get carried away, nursing the excitement. I do stuff like dancing, demonstration, gesticulation, catching your attraction.
Why I'll continue to live in London
Music is the only thing I do, I'm comfortable in London and I don't see myself coming to stay permanently in Nigeria like other musicians. I may not be making a lot of money as insinuated, but I'm working very hard and I kind of structure my music. If I wouldn't make it or sustain myself through music, I would have been doing some other things alongside it, but the way I planned it, music is sustaining me by God's grace.
I can't quit London for anything. No, at least not now,. the reason why most Nigerian artistes are not making money in the UK is the kind of music they play. They can't do hip-hop, R&B or rap better than the whites over there, but I do all kinds of music and I am making more money than other artistes Laughter).Look, they are not doing what I do, apart from the fact that I sing Naija hip-hop, I sing for people at parties, weddings, naming ceremonies, I sing for five or six hours non-stop, people spray me money. So, I am okay. So, its better for me to stay there in the UK.
Challenges faced by Nigerian artistes in London
There is no Omo Onile or Area Boys in London to compete with, we play for our people and you only have fellow Nigerian artistes to compete with, The only challenges we face are that of venue limitation. We don't have enough space to perform, its indeed a big challenge.
My album launch
Well, what will make it very unique is the fact that I'm bringing together the best of Nigerian artistes under the same roof, including Olu Maintain, Tony Tetuila, Bouqui, Nomoreloss, Lamborgini, Lord of Ajasa, 9ICE, Maxim and Dynamite 007, while Jedi and Omobaba are anchors for the day. I am also going to perform at the launch. I am presenting myself in a big way, not just album launch, and at the same time getting people to know about my new album. Over N4 million has been expended so far on the project, yet, we are still spending, we thank God.
I'm using this medium to invite all music lovers to the Muson Centre on Monday, December 24, the C hristmas eve. It's going to be an explosive show.