Friday, 16 August 2013

Actually Marriage Was Not As Scary As I thought-----2FACE

FROM the days of Plantazhun Boiz, Innocent Idibia otherwise called Tuface in the music industry showed sparks of creativity; he was the soul of the music group that took the industry like a storm. By the time he went solo under Kennis Music, the Benue native shone like a million star and became the most successful contemporary music artiste in the country, with many awards to go with it. Today, he’s the role model to many up coming artistes, who see him as an achiever.
      For any Nigerian artiste, who has greatly achieved in the industry, building high walls around him is usually expected. But for Idibia, humility is the way to go; he’s always reachable and ready to give listening ears to younger artistes.
     “I just do my music for passion sake; I don’t really sing for money. Again, I’m humble because I see myself as a work in progress. I like to be as simple as I can be,” he said.

     With six kids from different women, many had expected Idibia’s career to go down, especially with media reports on his escapades with his multiple lovers. In fact, at a point, his romance became a useful material for comedians, who would tear the African Queen crooner into pieces on stage, in the name of cracking jokes. But Idibia kept his cool, reeling out hits after hits that made people love him even more. As for his kids, he showers them with fatherly care.
    “It’s not easy. Sometimes, it is painful, especially when you don’t get to see them as often as you would wish to because of work. Today I’m here, tomorrow, I’m there; sometimes for weeks, months, plus the fact that they have different mothers… I didn’t plan for it this way, but it happened and I have accepted it, no shaking. My plan was to have a wife and then have children. Something happened along the line, but I didn’t run away from it,” he said.
     By the time Idibia announced plans to wed his long time heartthrob Annie, the whole country went frenzy with the news, though many expected some drama from the other ladies. Their traditional marriage in Akwa Ibom was the talk of town, with dignitaries and top celebrities in attendance. 
   However, the choice of Dubai for the white wedding was a big issue for his fans, who would have loved to be part of the groove. While Idibia was accused of sidelining his fans that contributed immensely to his success story in the industry, others were of the opinion that the father of six wanted a sizeable number of guests.
    “I think there is this spiritual connection to it, but I don’t want to disclose it now. Let’s just say that we love Dubai and we also discovered that it was a perfect venue for us. I don’t know about crowd control; we just wanted to have the best of the moment and make sure things go rightly. There is nothing more to it. It does not have to do with controlling the people or anything. The fact is that you can’t run away from the people. Anywhere you go, you will meet people and these people have come to celebrate with us.”
    From his tone and body language, Tuface seems to be enjoying married life.
    “Actually, married life is not as scary as I thought; everything is cool. Yes, my life is not the same, but I’m still myself.”
     On the challenges of the Nigerian music industry, Idibia observed that the many divisions in the artistes body, is a major factor.  
     “That’s as a result of the disorganised nature of the music industry in Nigeria; we’ve never had a solid music body. Yes, PMAN has always been there, but there’s always crisis and struggles. So, the musicians have not been to organise themselves to be able to attract government funding; who dem wan give the money? But in terms of quality music and what the artistes are putting up, we’ve gone far.”
    Though a card-carrying member of PMAN, Idibia seems to be far from the activities in the association.
    “I’m a registered member of PMAN, but I can’t really say what’s happening with the body. Over the years, PMAN has not really done anything for any artiste. But if all artistes decide to come together and put their eyes on the matter, I believe things would happen,” he said.
    On why the younger artistes are not keen on PMAN’s activities and membership, the award-winning singer observed that, “many of these young artistes don’t even believe in PMAN; most people there don’t really know about music. If you have the real musicians running PMAN, you will see that all the artistes will come out. Right now, a lot of artistes are trying to blend with PMAN, but communication is breaking down. However, COSON has come up strong to help the industry; NCC is also making some contributions towards that direction. But PMAN, you can’t really say.”
     The appointment of Questionmark boss, Kelvin Luciano, as an interim leader of PMAN was aimed at finding a lasting peace in the musicians’ body, but Tuface feels it’s not yet uhuru.  
    “There’s still problem; people are still threatening to go to court against him. I can’t really say what the problem is; I don’t even know how to explain it,” he quipped. 
    Do you see yourself acting someday?
  “Right now, I’m not looking towards acting, but if I get a good script, I wont turn it down.”
     What’s your opinion about reality TV show?  
    “Even if I wasn’t Tuface, I won’t have gone for any reality show. For me, it doesn’t really translate to success.” 
      It seems music has become an all comers affair, what’s your take on this?
   “Many young artistes look at music as something to do when you don’t have a job, forgetting that music is a serious business; it’s the same thing like working with the NNPC. For you to standout, you need to do something nobody has done before; that’s the only way. You need to look at the quality of your music; don’t follow the bandwagon.”
     As for artistes miming their songs, “Well, I can’t answer for people who don’t use live band, but performing live is the ultimate. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to be like that all the time; some artistes can’t really cope with live band.”
    So, at what point did you decide to go live?
   “From day one, I’ve always wanted to have a band, but you need to be able to pay the session men and maintain the group. So, I had to wait till the right time to set up my band.”
     During his wedding in Dubai, Tuface invited young saxophonist, TJ Sax to perform. The feeling is that both artistes may be up to something musically.
    “He’s a young chap, heavily talented. Definitely, I’m going to work with him,” Tuface said.
    On why fast tempo beats are gaining popularity in Nigeria, Idibia noted that, “we have a lot of Nigerians, who listen to a wide range of music in their homes, but when it comes to concert, people want to dance. We have so many problems in Nigeria, so people don’t want to come to a party and listen to slow beats; that’s why everybody is on a fast pace. Again, once somebody comes up with a fast tempo and it works, every other person wants to do the same. However, if you do something that is not really fast but good, people will still appreciate you. The record labels are also a factor; sometimes you have good music, but no push,” he concluded.

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