I didn’t leave Nigeria out of frustration – Ras Kimono
Reggae singer, Ras Kimono, took the Nigerian music industry by storm in the early 90s with his chartbusters, Under Pressure 1&2. But just as reggae fans were asking for more, he vanished from the Nigerian music scene and his whereabouts became a matter of speculation. 'NONYE IWUAGWU, however, stumbled on his e-mail address and decided to throw some questions to him through that medium. He did not only disclose his whereabouts and what he has been doing since he left Nigeria, he also revealed his plan to launch a new album soon.
Why did you leave
As a musician, you need to get out sometimes to see what is happening at the other side of the world.
Are you still in music? What actually are you doing now?
I am still fully in music. That is what I have been doing since I have been here in America.
Do you intend to return to Nigeria?
I am coming back to Nigeria pretty soon to release an album I have been working on since last year.
You used to be the rave in the music industry in Nigeria. Do you feel bad that the younger ones have overtaken you?
No, I don't believe that any younger musician has overtaken me. The so called younger ones do not even play the kind of reggae music I play, so I don't feel threatened at all. I am still coming back with the same old reggae music and as the veteran that I am.
Do you think you can still attain the height that you reached before you left Nigeria?
Trust me, I am coming back as ever before because no Jupiter can hold or stop me this time around. Jah knows that.
How come none of your contemporaries are in music?
Every one of my contemporaries are still in music business–The Mandators, Majek Fashek, Alex Zitto, Orits Williki and so on.
Do you regret leaving Nigeria?
I don't regret leaving Nigeria, because I have learned more and known more about music business since I left.
Some people believe you left because you had nothing more to offer your fans...
I did not leave Nigeria out of frustration; I left out of my own volition. I still have a lot more to offer when it comes to music, because like I always say, who Jah bless, no man can curse. So I have come to stay and no idiot of a boy can run me down or out.
How did you get into music?
Jah blessed me with the gift of music, that is why I play.
Why did you choose reggae?
I chose to play reggae music because that is the only medium through which I can express myself properly about the goings on in the society.
Were you born with dreadlocks?
No, I was not born with dreadlocks. I decided to become a Rastafarian as I grew up.
How did your family take it when you chose to become a musician?
My family did not object to it.
What are your real names?
My name is what everybody calls me and knows me as, and that is Ras Kimono.
We learnt you are a vegetarian; was it by choice?
Yes, I choose to be a vegetarian.
Are you still as energetic on the dance floor as you used to be?
Yes baby, I am still as energetic as a Lion from Zion.
We learnt you come from a shanty town in Nigeria...
Everywhere is shanty in Africa, so that is where I come from.
What kind of childhood did you have?
My childhood is like that of every normal African child. I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth
How was life at the time your career was at its peak?
Before the peak of my career, my life was normal. And my life is still normal as at today
How were you able to cope with fans, especially female fans?
Without female fans in any musician's life, that musician is dead. So I cope well with my female fans and I respect them a lot too.
Are you performing in the US, and is your music accepted there?
Yes baby, I still perform over here always.
What do you hope to achieve in future?
I hope to leave a good legacy so that when I die people can and will always appreciate my works here on earth.