BY DAMILOLA SHOLOLA
It is not news anymore that popular hip-hop star, Jaywon, who was under the record label of Kennis Music has parted ways with the premier record label after buying out his contract. But the otherwise peaceful separation has left more questions than answers, with music lovers wanting to know why.
Though Jaywon refused to state why, saying “Controversy never works for me”. But in this exclusive interview with Weekend Groove, the artiste gives enough clues and opens up on life after Kennis Mucis. Excerpts:
What have you been up to lately?
We’ve been going in and out of Lagos for a couple of events and it’s a new team and it’s like a new Jaywon right now. We’re just trying to see how we could get new materials out there. I have Tan Na Wole which is more of a freestyle and I have Madantin remix featuring Phyno, Olamide and May D.
Have you released any album this year?
For close to three years now I have not dropped any album but I’m presently working on a collabo album with a friend of mine which is probably going to be out before my own album. But right now, you’re going to be getting a lot of singles back to back from Jaywon
The whole controversy with Kennis music, what started it?
It’s something I really wouldn’t like to talk about. The main thing right now is I’m not with Kennis Music anymore; I’m on my own now. I wouldn’t want to talk about anything that happened. That’s in the past and I don’t want to talk about it. Controversy is not my thing, it never works for me so I just want to do my work and get the songs out to the people. I’m not ready for controversy. I just want to do my thing
Are there any legal issues?
There’s no legal issue, I’m on my own and I run my own team. I’m not having any issue with Kennis Music- my contract expired.
You say you are now with your own record label. What’s the name?
We have a name already registered but I’m not ready to put it out yet. It’s just me and my team and you guys would get to hear more.
Do you think that record labels in Nigerian tend to exploit artistes?
What I think the record labels should know and understand better is that signing an artiste is a partnership. Once you sign an artiste, there should be more of partnership because if both parties are not happy, it won’t work.
Nigerian record labels are trying and I won’t lie to you, without the likes of Kennis Music in this industry, there possibly won’t be much of these other record labels because Kennis Music is like an inspiration to every other record label. Big But for me personally, I think record labels should know tha signing an artiste is a partnership and ideas should be shared. It shouldn’t be one-sided because when it’s one-sided, there will always be issues.
What’s your view of the Nigerian music Industry?
The music industry keeps getting better. What we need more right about now is that unity. Let’s just come to realise we are into this business together, we’re in the same race. It’s our industry and if we don’t treat it well, if we don’t love ourselves, we would keep having issues. So I think we just need to love ourselves more, come together and be who we are and let’s not just fake anything.
There are so many artistes out there who fake everything; their status, their personality and their image. Some feel too big for their shoes and unjustly discriminate and snub others. For someone like me,I work with everybody. It’s only when I get attitude from someone that I just say ok, I’d rather be on my own because I don’t take that for anything. Apart from all those attitude things, we are doing great. The industry is 3rd biggest industry in the world. We are good
How was it like working with Olamide, Phyno and May D on Madantin remix?
Good people, I would say. I watched them grow from when they started and they are all big now and I appreciate the fact that when I call them, they never said ‘no’, so I appreciate them. They didn’t give any issues at all. As a matter of fact, May D recorded his part the same day Olamide and Phyno did theirs.
Who else do you look forward to working with?
Everybody knows me to be that guy that always works with a lot of people. I’ve worked with Tiwa Savage, Olamide, May D, Phyno, Flavour N’abania. I have a new song coming out featuring Storm Rex. Storm Rex is one of the biggest female artistes out of Enugu and from the eastern part of Nigeria. I’m working on different videos.
I have a 3 video projects I’m working on, so 2014 is a great year already but it’s going to be greater because we’re just getting started and my team is working endlessly to make sure we get the materials out there.
Have you won any awards?
We have a couple of awards. My single Odun Yi won ‘Best Recording of the Year’ at the last Headies awards. We have a couple more of them
Who inspired you to go into music?
The people I listened to while growing up; the likes of King Sunny Ade and Evangelist Ebenezer Obey. I have a lot of their CDs at home and I still listen to almost all the time.