MTN Season 5, Marvelous Odiete Joins Nollywood
If I'd disappointed anybody, I'm sorry! – Marvelous Odiete (1st Runner-up, MTN Project Fame 5)
He was known for his charisma, courage, stagemanship, scintillating voice and captivating performance on the stage.
He stole many peoples' hearts whenever he handled the microphone as many can't but danced to his musical dispositions and nodded affirmatively to his lyrical dexterity during his days as a contestant at the MTN Project Fame.
The charming guy, Marvelous Odiete, the first runner-up of the most watched music reality show MTNPF Season 5, whose many of his fans thought has lost focus, courage and much celebrated charisma that woo many of them to his side in those days.
Marvelous was believed to have gone into oblivion because his much anticipated magical emergence into the music industry hasn't gone beyond his charming displays during the competition.
Has he abandoned music or was he disappointed for being pronounced the first runner-up of the edition?
In a bid to get in touch with Marvelous and bring him back to his fans, I went through my phone logs, called some of his colleagues during the competition and at last, Adetoun bailed me out and suddenly I was his office, Blueprint Pictures, located on Ogunlana Drive, Surulere and the guy in his usual smiles welcomed me into his beautiful office that can be qualified as Marvelous world.
After the much gist about his silence, wife and beautiful daughter, he opened-up to me, Bolatito Adebola, on what life has taught him and his answers to many unasked questions.
How has life been treating you?
Life has been very sweet. After Project Fame, I got married and I've been doing videos, musical concerts. Life has been very good.
After MTN Project Fame, a lot of people complained that you have abandoned music and even said goodbye to entertainment industry because you were disappointed for being the first-runner up of Season 5. What's wrong?
No, I haven't abandoned music and let me correct this impression that after Project Fame I abandoned music because I did not come first. Number one, I am very glad to come out with the position of first runner-up in the competition; I didn't feel discouraged and my confidence is still intact.
After the show, I went into the studio and recorded a single, and I'm still recording more, to be packaged in a way my fans will love. Secondly, my fans will soon hear from me, good music, and nice lyrics in an album that will beat their imaginations. I'm still in the entertainment industry and everyone that has been supporting me from the beginning will get something back for his or her undying support.
Assuming you were the winner of the Project Fame 5, would it have taken you this long to release your banger?
I don't want to use that word 'abandon'. It's a very big word so that it won't hurt the feeling of my fans. If you follow the trend of all previous Project Fame winners, they are entitled to a recording deal and lots more. If I had won, I would have been very busy doing all that but I am not and really, I have had ample time for my business. I would have loved to win but if you go back to my diary session, a day or two before the end of the session, they asked me a question if I am expecting myself to be a winner and I answered 'No' because the truth is I was at that time thinking of other things like being the oldest in the house and truly yes, I know I want to do music but I wanted to do some other things as well.
Being a winner will restrict me but one thing I am always thankful for is the fact that I got to the final and was the first runner-up. I'm very thankful to God for that opportunity and I will forever be grateful for the platform. That alone, for me, is more than being the first. So if I were to be the first, I will be too occupied to think of marriage and settling down as at the time I did and I won't be able to venture into my own business. Can you now imagine? I like it as it is; it's working out for me perfectly.
Many of your female fans were shocked to the bone when they heard of your wedding few days after the reality show? Was this in the pipeline before or during your stay in the house of Project Fame?
Well, I didn't disappoint anybody by being married nor did I promise any lady marriage after Project Fame. I have lost contact with my wife for over 25 years and somehow fate brought us together. I saw her again and it just happened and we got married. So for the people, who are heartbroken, I am sorry! The most important thing is that Marvelous has not left the scene; I'm still in the industry working and soon they will hear from me.
Before you decided to put in for Project Fame, what did you have in mind that after the show, 'I will be doing'?
One of the reasons why I went for Project Fame was because I was losing confidence in myself and I needed to be sure if I was still a performer, so I said, 'Let me try maybe people will get to see me and judge If I'm really a good performer.' It was a good platform to help my ability as a musician.
After you leave the academy and went into the main industry with the platform MTN Project Fame gave you, which has already established your name and your face in the entertainment scene; why have you decided not to do music despite the fame and fortune?
No…, I didn't decide to leave music. At least, I still perform in some gigs and other events like that.
But people don't get much of you at any events?
Yes I know! I still perform, even when I'm online, people chatting with me ask, 'When is your album coming out?' and what I keep telling them is, 'I'm working on it … you will hear from me soon.'
I want to use this medium to tell everybody out there that Marvelous did not abandon them. I'm coming out with something very soon.
But if you are going to define music in your own way, how will you define music?
Music is a sweet sound, all sorts of music genre; we have Rock and Roll, Rhythm and Blues, Hip Hop, Jazz and others. It's all sweet sound that appeals to your inner self that's called music. It motivates and inspires.
Why did you choose music?
I grew up in a family where music is adorned. My dad is a Bishop and also a musician; he has four albums to his credit. I have watched my dad sang several times and I have seen my parents perform in church. My passion for music is inherited from the family.
Though, I started out in the children choir in the church and graduated to the adult choir. I started doing music by playing instruments. I have been in a music circle for a very long time.
Starting your musical background from church to the general music, what type of music do you want to do?
Starting my musical background as a church choir doesn't change my perspective on my choice of music; I went into the reality show, Project Fame to be seen, to be heard, to get the name and brand for my musical career.
Choosing the type of music I will love to do from the different genres of music; I will like to focus more on gospel music, because I think it hasn't been really explored. It hasn't been active as it ought to be. My definite route will be to explore gospel music.
Was the single you recorded a gospel?
No, it's not a gospel song; it's a general song.
But why; since you chose to be a gospel singer?
'The Lady' is not a gospel music. One thing we must understand is what the word "Gospel" really means? It means good news. So if you are preaching message of love, that's good news. You are not preaching or promoting drugs, nakedness, or alcoholism. If you are preaching kindness, that's good news, so when you say gospel, it does not at all time need to be Jesus, God, Father, or Holy Spirit come down. No, that's just one side of the gospel, even Jesus Christ preached about love. He said, 'It's the greatest gift of all.' The single I dropped, 'Lady', was talking about celebrating the women. Every man should celebrate his wife because the secret behind every successful man, if you dig down, is the woman. So I decided to celebrate the wife I have not married then.
Did you dedicate the single to her or what?
No, I wrote that song like three years ago and I wasn't even in love with anybody then. I just did it; looking at my parents – the way they live, how my mum loves my dad, how my dad loves my mum and how they appreciate each other. Things like that inspired me to write that song.
How have you been coping with marriage?
In every relationship; marriage, work, or business, there are challenges, there are ups and down, it's just how you get to learn more of each other that builds your understanding and helps you overcome the challenges. If you are told, 'For better, for worse,' and your experience tends towards worse than better; what are you going to do, are you going to kill yourself? Is she going to suffocate you in bed? Will she disrespect you? Are you going to divorce her? Your wife is your help meet, that's what the Bible says, you should be there for each other, support each other, you must not always agree on everything but there should always be a point where you will likely compromise sometimes. That's what marriage is all about. It's an interesting thing. Marriage is a school you cannot graduate from, you just keep learning and learning and gaining more experience.
How much do you love your wife?
Oh, I love my wife so much. I've loved her since I was 9 years old when I we first met. That time, we just came to Lagos. I just loved her from inception. We were family friends. My dad came one day and it was like, 'Oh let's go to my friend's house,' and that was the second time we met again and I just liked her.
Considering your diversification from music; what type of business are you doing now and for how long have you been doing it?
The business has been around for a while; my wife and I are working together. We distribute movies and there is also an entertainment side of the company. The company is called Blueprint Pictures, and the entertainment aspect of the company is a digital recording studio with which we plan to venture into artistes' management and promotion.
What type of distribution do you do?
We distribute foreign music and movies. We also take time to work with those movie producers who stand out. We don't work with producers that produce movies every week. We work with people with unmatched track records of excellence. We have distributed the award winning movies like Jenifa of Funke Akindele and Kunle Afolayan's Phone Swap.
We encourage excellence. Many people come here with all sorts of movies and after we censored them, they don't live up to standard. Though the movie industry is growing rapidly but we need to up the game in order to meet up with an international standard.
Being a distributor; is it like marketing and have you ever thought of piracy before going into it?
Like I always say to people in the movie industry. Piracy is a child of the industry, there is nothing anybody can do about it for now. We try as much as possible to kick against piracy but we couldn't make it. Even if we overwhelm piracy, we can't eradicate it. I believe it is very hard to control from only one angle; for example, if you capture certain scenes as a witness or crew member during a recording session in a movie or if anyone is found recording in a cinema, that is piracy but if you catch anyone selling on the street, how do you tag him or her with piracy? I believe there are some bodies that have been empowered to tackle piracy, like the anti-piracy body and censor board.
How do you feel with the platform MTN Project Fame gave you?
Oh! Thank you for that question. They invested so much money in discovering latent talents, just roaming about the streets. I want to thank MTN project fame for giving me that rare opportunity.
What's your notion about the entertainment industry?
We can do better in the industry. I'm looking forward to when Nigeria musicians will be picking up Grammys. I am looking forward to that day because right now we are on the map but we can do better, and so we should keep working harder.