Five Star Music boss and singer KCEE explains in this interview with OREOLUWA FILANI why he loves to stir up controversy, his career, family and others issues.
WHAT sustains your passion as a musician?
The excitement and happiness I bring to people. By the work we do, which is entertaining people, and making them happy. We also impart knowledge through music and pass message through the music we do. Above all, I’m also a positive role model to a lot of young ones growing up and making them believe they can be who they want to be despite the situation in the country.
What has been a seminar experience for you?
I’m just gifted, and in everything I do, I try to be outstanding. I try to be different, I try to be unique. Everything that I say or do is a gift and I always pay attention to the innermost ear before I take my decisions.
How has your practice of music changed overtime?
[Sigh]If I follow my musical career from the beginning, I will say every time that I change my style of music; even this morning, I was thinking of moving to some new direction. I think that has been part of my staying power for 17 years. I think the ability to change my sounds and style and even my looks and all that keep me going. It’s always important to diversify. Was there any real-life experience that inspired your music?
I think we go through a lot every day, and for me, what really gives me energy are challenges, and when people try to underestimate me or try to look down at me, those are the moments I love in my life because they trigger me to get to the next level. Recently, somebody told me: look you can’t make it anymore. I think you have gotten to your peak. And I said to him; are you serious! Are you God? Since then, I have been working round the clock to make sure that I prove to that person that God has the final say.
How do you react to controversies about you?
Well, angry comments from fans are what we are used to, and it is part of the business. So, for me, I’m the least among the rest that will ever get angry with what anybody says, because what they say doesn’t matter; it doesn’t count. What counts is what I say and what I do. However, most of the things you see on my social media are strategic; majority of them are planned, because you need that feedback, you need people to talk about you, like the journalist will say; the negative press is always the best. It’s good for the career.
I don’t take anything to heart. I don’t take anything too seriously, because I know where I’m going, Some angry fans are sensible, some of them are strategic with their criticisms, some of them are not hating, but they are analysing genuinely. Unfortunately, social media are not being used the right way anymore; they now use it to abuse everybody.
Recently, you mentioned Harrysong when advising artistes about contracts; what do you have to say to this?
Well, I never mentioned anybody, I never mentioned Harry. I think I was just talking to artistes generally, as far as I’m concerned, this business has been here for a while, and I have grown from being a signee and I started signing people and people signed me also. I did four years with Kennies music, I did two years with another record label DKL, and I had my own record company with my formal partner, from KP record to Glitz record finally Fivestar music.
I think I have a lot of experiences, and a lot of things to say about it . That was why I said they should learn how to keep to their promises and their agreement and their contract and also the record company should also make sure that the artists are aware of what they are signing because they are always hungry. And when I mean HUNGRY, I’m talking about the hunger and taste for that fame, that high level of getting their dreams come true. When they get it, they forget where they are coming from, they forget they signed the contract, they forget there is something called law binding the business, they forget there is something called karma.
So I was just trying to cry out to the record companies to help the younger ones to put their eyes straight to the contract because at the end of the day, when you were about to help them, you didn’t see their parents, friends, you didn’t see anybody but when they get the light, you see them trying to tell people they have people behind them. Thus, if the record label takes the issue of breach of contract seriously, and try to follow the law, a lot of them will end their career in jail. So, they just need to be careful and that was just what I was trying to say. I wasn’t actually pointing finger.
Do you see yourself quitting music?
I don’t think so. Except if God says so. King Sunny Ade has been doing music for long and at this age, who am I? If there are some challenges that are beyond my control other than that, I think I’m still ready to keep doing this.
Do you see yourself leaving FIVE STAR music having been in many groups in the past?
Fivestar is my company, Fivestar is like my home, my record label, it belongs to me and my brother. Anything that will make me leave Fivestar will be, maybe an international deal that is worth it, I’m looking forward to better days; maybe getting a foreign deal, apart from that, I don’t see me signing any other record deal in Nigeria., I don’t think that will be possible, instead, I’m going to make Fivestar one of the biggest on the desk for anyone to come to sign.
Any advice for your fans and upcoming artistes?
Just be yourself, stay positive, and pray. Don’t get carried away with the whole drama on social media because a lot of people lie and when you see them, you think they are larger than life. If you don’t have the talent at all, and you know you can study, face it and go to school.
Grab something and you know what you can do. Don’t come into entertainment or you want to play soccer or do this because XYZ is doing it. Be truthful to yourself; a lot of musicians are on the street of Lagos because Davido is balling, P-square is living in mansion, Kcee is buying numerous cars and travelling around the globe, then everybody wants to sing,. You are wrong.