By LoladeÂ Sowolu
We know how quickly artistes move from releasing one albumÂ to the next these days. The average life span of a Nigerian released album is perhas 15Â to 18 months beforeÂ a new one breaks out.
Now, this is regardless of the listing of the artiste: A list, A plus, B plus plus… Here Bankole Wellington aka Mr Capable, explains that an album is not worth more than a business card in the Nigerian system.
How do you come about your songs?
The way I work when Iâ€™m making albums is simply to tell the experiences that I have been through and to tell whatever is on my mind and heart at that time. InÂ Mr. Capable,Â I had to pick from over 20 songs that I had at that time. I had to figure out what fits into the content of the album.
So why do you have to write new songs for your new album. Why donâ€™t you just simply pick the left over songs and record?
That is the problem with being an artiste. Yes, I do have a lot of songs Nigerians havenâ€™t heard but then you keep going through new experiences that you want to talk about.
Thereâ€™s always something fresh- a new song, idea, story… So, at the end of the day, maybe itâ€™s just one or two of the earlier written ones that one feels is strong enough to make the new album. Right now, Iâ€™m just focused on getting the new music in my head out. Plus, music changes just like sound changes and who you are as an artiste and a person evolves. So, Iâ€™d want to put out a new version of me.
How commercially successful was â€˜Mr Capableâ€™?
It did pretty well. Iâ€™m grateful for the success. It was a challenge at first because people just assumed I was aboutÂ re-mix but gradually with â€˜Capableâ€™ and â€˜Capable re-mixâ€™, â€˜Donâ€™t break My Heartâ€™, â€˜My regretâ€™, â€˜Till my dying dayâ€™ and other songs in the album, I literarily worked the album and with each video and each performance, I kind of showed people more and more of myself to the point where it (the album) became one of the must-have albums that year, which I am grateful for.
I pray that I donâ€™t ever let peopleâ€™s expectations down but just continue to rise above their expectations. The W Experience will surpass everything that â€˜Mr Capableâ€™ was.
Have you recovered financially from the album?
In Nigeria, the cost of shooting an average video is about a million naira. So, you spend six to seven million naira to shoot 4 -5 videos. No marketer will give you N10m on your first album. So, you donâ€™t make that kind of money from your album sale because you only make about N10 per CD.
However, what having an album does for you is that it gives you a platform to do endorsement deals or to get shows, make tours or travel round the country and recover the money youâ€™ve spent. In Nigeria, an album tends to be more like a business card. So, itâ€™s like â€˜this is what I do. If you like this, call the number here and tell me to come and do this (the song) at your show or for your companyâ€™ and thatâ€™s the way you work.
Are you surprised at the pace at which your career has moved?
Iâ€™m actually very humbled by where God has brought me and Iâ€™m very appreciative of the position Iâ€™m in. But I think for anyone doing something like this, you have to have the ability to dream big. I was raised to believe that it is possible to be the best. So, I did expect to be big.