By DAMILOLA SHOLOLA
Douglas Jack Agu popularly known by the stage name Runtown has proven that he is not just a one-hit wonder like so many artistes of his time. His chart topping hit Gallardo featuring Davido got him an award for Best Collaboration of The Year 2014 at the NEA awards which held in New York earlier in the year. He has also released other hit songs like Domot, Party Like it’s 1980, to name a few. In this exciting chat with Showtime Celebrity, the fast rising star talks about his career, music and more…
It’s been great, everything’s been going great, the reception has been good, with a lot of air-play now. My songs have been doing well on the charts both in Nigeria and Africa; everything Runtown is on bangs well.
Do you do shows outside Nigeria?
Yeah, I have a show on 22nd in Nairobi, I have a show on the 28th in Malaysia and I have a show on 20th in Dubai, so it’s Runtown worldwide now
How do you come up with the lyrics of your songs?
I just hear the beats and then inspiration starts coming in. The beats inspire most of my lyrics
Who inspired you to go into music?
My love for music inspired me to go into music. I have a supreme passion for music
Do you make the beats of your songs?
I produced the beat for my new songs coming out soon. Even my popular song ‘Party Like It’s 1980’ I produced it. So Runtown is a producer too and I co-produce
Have you faced any challenges so far?
Our major challenge back in the day was getting to promote our songs. The media then, weren’t giving us as much airplay as much as we would love but thank God things are different now.
Are you planning on releasing any albums?
Yeah, next year 2015; the album the whole world has been waiting for. I’m thinking of putting like 20 tracks in the album
How many songs have you released now?
There’s Gallardo, Successful, Domot, Baby Answer, but not all these songs would be on my album; some would be on bonus tracks
A lot of people think Nigerian music today is lacking in lyrical content?
Free those people abeg, we came here to have fun. I need to meet those people saying that so I can rub it in their faces that we are having fun. Once you go on stage and people are happy, you’re entertaining people, that’s what I’m here for, to entertain people
How would you compare the music of today with that of the past?
We’re better than those people and we are fresher. I think then, they had more lyrical content but their sound production was poor. Past musicians didn’t dwell on generic sounds and generic names; we had a lot of great songs especially from the 80s. They’re the ones that inspired us, people like Fela, not just their music but their lifestyle too. Fela was a human activist so even if you’re not a musician, you learn a lot of stuff from Fela
As an artist, what’s your idea of good music?
Good music is good sound. Whenever good music comes on, you don’t say please turn that s—t off, that’s good music. Noise is not good music, noise is opposite of good music
Did you go to University?
I’m not done with my University education. I’m currently in F I T; it’s a fashion school in New York, Fashion School of Technology. I’m studying Fashion Management, that’s the business aspect of fashion. We show designers how to make money from their designs
How do you feel topping the charts with Gallardo?
I feel like a bad guy topping the charts
How many videos have you released for your songs?
I have videos for Gallardo, Domot, Successful and Baby Answer
Did you shoot them in Nigeria?
Gallardo was shot in Nigeria, Domot was shot in South Africa, Baby Answer was shot in Los Angeles, and Successful was shot in New York.
Your Domot song, what is it about?
Domot is the front porch of a house, so I’m just talking about Runtown being at the front of the industry. Everyone is looking at me to see what I am made of, because I am kind of running the show. That’s Runtown for you; I am at the Domot .
In the chorus, were you speaking in Hausa?
No, that’s Igbo, that’s from an old song .What it means is ‘This is where we’re now, this is the happening place’. This is where we are, at the Domot
How do you handle your female fans?
I handle them with love and affection, in a polite way, the way my mom taught me
Are you the only artist under Eric-Manny?
No, there’s Presh. He just released a new single with Tiwa Savage.
Which artiste do you look forward to working with?
A lot of good artistes, both upcoming and the ones there; Don Jazzy, and a lot of others.
How would you classify your style of music?
Afropop. It’s a fusion of Afro beats and Hip hop
Are you planning to get married anytime soon?
No, not any time soon. Runtown plans to get married fifteen years from now.
Do you hope to work with any
Of course, Runtown is international so I need to work with international people. I want to work with Rihanna and if she’s not too old in fifteen years time, she might just be my lucky woman.
What do you consider your ideal woman?
A woman that is respectful, that’s all I need. I don’t care if she’s a bad girl or good girl, what I need is that respect
How do Nigerian artistes really make money that with one single they buy houses in Lekki?
It depends on how your star is, it depends on how lucky you get, how hardworking you are and how smart you are, if you can use one song to achieve all that. An artiste gets money through shows, endorsements, through meeting people because everything happens through meeting people. Just be at the right place at the right time
Are you still releasing any songs this year?
I have two more songs to release this year, two more singles
How do you view the Nigerian music industry today?
It’s growing, we are getting there. At least now we have artistes going on Soul Train awards, everything is taking shape
What more should people expect from Runtown?
They should expect my other joints, dope songs from Runtown and more awards.