STORIES BY CHUKS NWANNE
THOUGH he had been in the entertainment industry right from his days at the Lagos State University (LASU), his big break came on the day he got just five minutes out of comedian Gbenga Adeyinka’s slot, to entertain viewers during a programme. Five minutes seems so small to make an impact, but for Jedi Ayo, that short period was a big turn-around in his life as an entertainer.
Today, Jedi fondly known as ‘the well-fed comedian of the Federal Republic,’ has risen through the ranks to be one of the frontline comedians in the country, with his personal shows to speak for it. Aside his comedy, Jedi’s fashion sense seems to be working for him; his dressing has earned him several jobs from corporate organisation.
Having made his mark in comedy, the Microbiology graduate has branched into another field –– music. His 12-track debut album, G-Pikin Project (God’s Pikin), which he described as a testimony of God’s grace in his life, is expected to hit music shelves around the country this month, with an official release party underway.
“I just thought I should do something that represents me as a child of God; I’m not ashamed to say that I’m a child of God because I have a personal relationship with him. For four years now, I’ve been working on this album; it’s like a Degree programme. And it’s with great joy that I bring it out to the public,” he says at a media parley held recently in Lagos.
The work features songs such as Proudly Nigerian, Dance and Jehovah, which has been on air across the country for quite some time now.
“Jehovah was the first track I did on the album in 2006, but we ended up not putting it in the album. After we did the remix of the song, which is actually the one playing on air right now, my producer (Flo) decided we remove the old Jehovah due to the popularity of the remix.”
Call it a gospel album; Jedi is not bothered at all. For the comedian, singing of God’s glory gives him satisfaction.
“If you say I’m a gospel artistes, it’s ok. But there’s also a love song called Kolo; I believe that as a child of God, I can express myself in love because I will definitely get married someday.”
Jedi also dedicated one of the tracts to Nigeria, urging other artistes to always see something good about the country, especially in their music.
“People are always bringing out songs that don’t say good things about Nigeria. We always complain about this and that, but we forget that some things are changing for the better in the country. Who would have thought of a blackberry phone coming to Nigeria today? In fact, there was a time we had to queue to make call at NITEL, but today, almost everybody owns a mobile phone; that’s a good news about Nigeria. Yes, we have a Farouk, who wanted to blow American plane, but does that make all of us bad? No!”
Are you condemning artistes that take on topical issues affecting the country?
“In the midst of the issues, we should also look at the positive side of this country; that’s what I did. I’m not saying that people shouldn’t complain about issues in Nigeria, but there are things that are working here, too. Of course, music is a platform with which information can be passed across to the whole world. Countries such as America have issues, but hardly can you hear such issues in their music.”
Asked if he’s leaving comedy for music, the comedian says, “I’m happy that today in Nigeria if you mention 20 comedians, my name must come up. So, I am not leaving comedy for music because I’m not successful; I’m rather exploring other talents. Music is something that I’ve always wanted to do and this is the right time for it. I will always do my comedy.”
Valentine show @ the Coliseum
The Niteshift Coliseum, a leading celebrity hangout in Lagos will host a Special Valentine Night on Sunday, February 14, at The Coliseum Arena, located at Opebi, Ikeja, Lagos. A statement from the outfit says, this year’s Valentine’s Day has been designed to be special for the club’s patrons and other couples.
“Guests will experience special touch synonymous with the club. There will be special R&B, Disco segment and other side attractions,” the club’s Guv’nor, Mr. Ken-Caleb Olumese boasts.
Though the list has not been made public, there are indications that some top Nigerian artistes will feature at the event. The show will also feature a raffle draw, with lots of prizes for grabs.
The show, which will kick off from 8pm till dawn is strictly by invitation.
Mo’ Hits targets 4 albums this year
Though it was recently reported that cracks were begining to emerge in the fold of the Mo’ Hits artistes, the producer of the label, Don Jazzy, has informed that the outfit would be releasing at least four albums this year. Jazzy, who according to media reports, has mended fence with his artistes, Wande Coal after a disagreement over royalties, informed that the albums will come from actor Justus Esiri’s son, Dr. Sid; one time Storm 360 artiste, Ikechukwu; D’prince and Koko Master, D’banj. According to an insider, Dr. SID’s Turning Point will be the first to hit music shelves. It would be recalled that he recently abandoned his trademark rapping, to experiment on just singing, which he intends to make public in his yet-to-be-released work. Already, one of the singles from the album is on air. Rap artiste, Ikechukwu, who just buried his dad, will follow with The Alliance. There have been speculations that owing to the death of the rapper’s dad, the album might be put on hold. But it has been confirmed that the work will be released as planned.
Surprisingly, D’banj’s younger brother, K-Switch, seems to be the artiste with less visibility in the Mo Hits family; he has no single album to his credit since joining the team. We are waiting!
Jim Iyke in fresh palava
Publicist of the actor turned rapper, Jim Iyke, recently disclosed that an Abuja-based lady was trying to blackmail him by speaking to the press on how he allegedly beat her up and tried to strangle her. The statement, which was made available to the press, claimed that the ‘desperate’ lady, who goes by the nickname, Tutu, has threatened to scandalise Jim’s name in the media and on the Internet, for walking out on her and refusing the pregnancy “ she was trying to force on him... She is said to have fabricated lies and documents that our client tried to strangle her; we are denying the accusation and are ready to defend Jim with all we’ve got. Yes, Jim had a thing to do with her, but he never physically attacked her. Her ploy is to make Jim run back to her.” The lady in question, Hauwa Tutupie Sherrif has come out to say that she knew Jim would claim she was trying to blackmail him, but she has many evidence including a medical reports to support her claims. Meanwhile, indications have emerged that Tutu had dated four music stars and they’ve all dumped her.
“She is obsessed with stars and wants to use them to achieve her selfish aim. Our client refused to be so used,” Jim’s publicist insists.
Stingomania MVP Camp produces 19 videos in 10 days
Stingomania Records has made history. Between January 17 and 27, after a 10-day Musical Video Production Camp (MVP Camp) with their artistes. The outfit succeeded in coming out with 19 new music videos within such short period.
t The shooting, which took place at an exclusive location in Lekki, produced videos for Trybson’s songs such as Dudukoko, Alepo, Stingo Girl, Koto and Reasons for Trybson. Video of Kolo and Kainje, by Big Brother Nigeria’s Aydu Amah, were part of the newly shot works. Love Wan Tin Tin by EMX, 2ICE as Nice by Baba Nee, Pay the Money, Overnight, In my life and Ko Ye Mi O by Ovis Tee are also inclusive. Eazy Lizy’s Show your Logo, with levelz’s Shimpaka and Obesere’s Wind E, also saw the light of the day through the initiative.
Speaking on the project, the CEO of the record label, Ope Banwo said, “solving the problem of high cost video production was a life or death problem for the record. We had to choose between spending over N20m on videos for our artistes or watch the label go quietly into oblivion; both options we definitely could not afford. So, we had to come up with the concept of the MVP camp.”
Valentine groove with Storm, Samsung
STORM 360, a leading entertainment company in partnership with Samsung Mobile, will host a special valentine concert on Feb 13 at the Landmark Village Lekki, Lagos.
Billed to perform at the event is the award winning Naeto C. The suave ‘tastemaker’, as he is fondly called, will be previewing selected tracks from his new album Super C Season and songs from his debut album. The list of performers also includes 2009 Channel O Best Female Artiste in Africa, Sasha, Sauce Kid, GT Da Guitarman, General Pype and YQ. Olomi crooner, Tosin Martins, Banky W and Timi Dakolo and J Martins are also lined up for the event.
According to Peter Lee, Director, Samsung Mobile Nigeria: “We are proud to have partnered with Storm for this event. They not only have a good stable of artists but also good event handling. And of course, we know them to be one of the top Tv production companies in this part of Africa. Samsung is building strong partnerships with Nigeria companies to invest in long-term relationships.
“We know that Nigerians would much prefer home grown talent. What better way than to use good homegrown brands like Storm, especially with world-class talent such as Naeto C, Sasha, Banky W and so many others.