Tuesday, 25 August 2009

What the world will miss about Michael

One of the late Michael Jackson’s elder brothers, Marlon, recently paid a surprise visit to the MTN Project Fame Academy. Marlon opened up to Florence UTOR what he would miss most about Michael Jackson and what gave him the cutting edge over others…
Your impression about Nigeria
I think Nigeria is a nice place. This is my ninth time here. I really enjoyed it because it is a great place. It is a great experience and the people are very friendly and humble.

There is no doubt about it that the music culture of USA is quite different from what obtains here. What’s your view about Nigeria’s music culture?
I am a fan of both music, and all music across the globe. I don’t look at the difference because I know rap is not foreign in Nigeria. I like all kinds of music and don’t look at the difference. What I think the rap artiste could do is to stretch themselves a little bit, meaningfully taking the songs. I call it the groove and that would become their song. They are very creative.

We have lots of talents hunt in Nigeria to produce music icons like you, what are the ways to improve on that?
Music started here in Africa with the drumbeat and I don’t think they should get away from that. Don’t put America in front of you because you have great talents here too. Do what you like to do, and if you feel like going outside the bar, you can go outside the bar. Just make sure that it works. Many kids do not understand the structure or the balance of the America music; meaning that the melody and the rhythm work hand in hand. It is like a machine that works together, there has to be a merge that makes everything work together, which comes from understanding music and doing a lot of it.

How do you feel being a member of the Jackson family?
I have been a member of the Jackson’s family all my life. To me, I started doing music from six years. It is what we do and I have been in it all my life.

Since music is your life, what’s music to you? Do you classify it from the lyrical section or the message the artiste is trying to pass?
For me, the meaning of music is all what you have mentioned. I said that because they have deep and clear messages for our youths, today. I think they should look at the kids that are looking up to them as mentors. They need to set a good foundation and message for them to follow. They should look at the over all picture of what you are saying to see if it reflects this. The sound is also involved because both have to work hand in hand. If you look at the old school music, those songs have meaning and depth. They have very strong messages and as you get older you will begin to realise that those songs have played a part in your life.

For 45 years, your late brother, Michael, held the world spellbound with his music and a lot of youths would love to be like him. What is that depth or secret that made the difference in him? What’s the cutting edge?
I look at it as a totally different thing because we all started together. Our father insisted that we all must learn music, but as I grow older; I began to understand that he did it to keep us off from going astray or getting into bad things. But on top of that, we moved into Motown and formed the ‘Jackson 5’, then we had the Michael Jackson; when he started doing his own thing. Though I can’t answer the question whether there will be another Michael, or another creator like him, I encourage people to do the best they could do in all things. Do up to 20 per cent of what you can do and after you have done your best, you can’t do anything anymore. That’s it.

As a global music icon, you are one of the few artistes that have been able to build a strong brand and the youths are really looking up to artistes like you; so what is your key message to the contestants in the academy?
Actually, we started even before we realised that we had started building a brand with the name ‘Jackson’. We’ve been such a brand for many years now and it is international. But one thing I realise is that we did all we did because we enjoyed doing it and at a point we realised that we are making people happy. You have a special feeling inside you when you realise that a lot of people are enjoying what you are doing — bringing people together and making them happy. We always tell ourselves the truth and try to do the right things.

Fame and money have been the undoing of many artistes, what’s your take on that?
Fame and money are easy to control, but if you think deeply about them you will realise that you are not greater than any other person; and that you are not going to be judged by all that you have acquired on earth, but by the things you have done for others. If you keep that in mind, then everything will be fine. To me I look at what I do with my job and how I affect people’s lives. Remember that all you do or accumulate on earth will be the determining factor by which you will be judged when you die.

What then are the pitfalls aspiring artistes should guard against?
Don’t let your success get into your head, to make you think you are better than others. Appreciate your blessings you and don’t abuse them. Stay at the level ground with a level head, and everything else will fall on board. Don’t go over board.

We know the whole world missed Michael, but you as a brother, what will you miss most about him?
Michael and I are not far in age. When we were growing up, we were together all the time because we were the two youngest. To me, you won’t want to lose your loved ones or favourites. It is painful. What I will miss most, is realising that he won’t be there anymore when we come together as a family. That is the main thing.

What was your last moment with him like?
I will rather not elaborate on that because they are passionate. I keep it to my heart. It is between the two of us.

How is your mum?
She is doing great, although she is still mourning. Before I came here I spoke with her on some of the things we will be doing.

25 years on, the wonder rolls on for the Pasuma
AFTER 25 years of building his music career, which actually started on the streets of Mushin, Lagos, fuji star Wasiu Alabi Odetola (a.ka Pasuma Wonder) will feast friends, fans and family members to celebrate his success.
“The event is a big deal for me because I’m about to do something that no fuji artiste has ever done. It’s not going to be like the normal celebration people are used to; I have people I am working with on this.” The artiste, who started music in 1984, did not record any album until 1993, when he launched Recognition, says, “God has been faithful to me over the years. I made up my mind to be a fuji singer in 1984, when K1 De Ultimate dropped Talazo 84. So, music started for me at a very young age.” According to plans by his management company, AO21 Media, the celebration will start on Friday, October 9, with Club Papa’s @ K’S place hosting the fuji exponent, followed by a concert at Oniru Beach on Sunday, October 11. The Oniru beach concert packaged by PAPA’S entertainment and A021 Media will feature the artiste in a live concert with hip hop artistes such as 9ice, Lord of Ajasa, Art Quake, Spydaman, Remedies and others, he had worked with. “ I’ve always wanted to celebrate this achievement in a very big way and one of the things that can make it extra ordinary is by inviting some hip hop artistes to celebrate with me. Many of them have worked with me; and a few of them, I just have a good relationship with. Besides the names mentioned earlier, some of my friends such as DJ Zeez, Dee Bee, Gbenga Adeyinka, Omo Baba, Mc Abbey, Alariwo of Africa, Roof Top MC, Bouqui, Weird MC, Helen Paul and MI will also feature,” he says. AS part of the celebration, Pasuma will be paying visits to two charity homes in Lagos, while a football match will hold on Saturday, October 17, as part of the anniversary. City People Entertainment is expected to top up the celebration with a grand reception in honour of Pasuma. “The visit to the charity home is just a way of giving back to the society. Pasuma Fans club is organising the novelty match and I am very passionate about it, not only because I am crazy about football, but because some people out there are doing something great to celebrate me. In 2007, they celebrated my 40th birthday in a very remarkable way and I am sure this will be bigger and better than that,” Pasuma sings. In the words of Frank Okamigbo of Club Papa’s, “I have always wanted to work with Pasuma because he is a brand that readily appeals to not only the grassroots, but the elite. There are a lot of Igbo people who don’t understand what he is saying, but like his personality and I think that is working quite well for him. Looking back to when I first heard the name Pasuma, I can’t just believe that he has spent 25 years in the industry. He is a very humble man and we believe in him.” For Seye Kehinde, publisher of City People magazine “City People Entertainment has hosted him once and we are glad to be part of this again.”

You Don’t Know Qpidfyne
After taking a bold step to return to his fatherland to pursue his music career, Tony Fidelis, fondly called qpidfyne, has finished work on his album titled, You Don’t Know.

Born in Lagos, the Imo State native, developed interest in football as a student of Yaba College of Technology,Yaba, from where he got signed on to a second division football club in Switzerland in 2003.
Prior to his move to Switzerland, Qpidfyne had a hit single Gbemilebe, which was on music charts for long; the song was popular on MBI and Cool FM radio. While away, he managed to combine singing and playing football.
“Training was really hectic for me,” he quips.
Produced by OJB Jazreel, the ten-track album, according to the artiste, will be out towards the end of the year. Aside the title track, the album featured songs such as Gbemilebe, Dint I tell you, Park your load and others.
Having put enough effort on ground, Qpidfyne is optimistic that his music would make impact in the country’s music industry.
“I am not doing music for money, but the interest because it keeps me on; regardless of what surrounds me.”
Qpidfyne’s music has a blend of R&B and Reggae; Gbemilebe, for instance, has reggae background. Some of his inspirations came from artistes such as the late king of pop, Michael Jackson, Ne’yo, Usher, Omarion, Maquez Houston, Maxwell, and Music Soul Child among others.

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