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I Know How to Handle Female Fans Better Now, Gt Da Guitarman Reveals

GT Da Guitarman
GT Da Guitarman

Many Nigerians know him as GT Da Guitarman, but his real names are Olaoluwa Agbeniro. Born in London, the United Kingdom to Nigerian parents from Obafemi Owode Local Government Area of Ogun State, but was raised in Lagos state. In this chat withPublic Faces Magazine’s Ayobanji Olawuyi, the former Storm Records recording artiste gave his view on the future of Nigerian music, his love for women and the reason while he has been on a low key of late. Enjoy…..

Background?

My name is Agbeniro Olaoluwa Akingbogun, I hail from Obafemi Owode Local Government Area of Ogun State. I was born in the UK but I was raised in Amuwo Odofin, Mile 2, Lagos state. I attended Community Primary school and I had my secondary education in Ikenne, Ogun state and Amuwo Odofin High School in Lagos, while I attended Lagos State University, LASU for my University education. I am the second of three children; the first son.

When and how did you begin your musical career?Professionally, I started in 2005 and I started as a fan of music because my dad had a huge collection of Sir Ebenezer Obey, Sunny Ade and the likes and then my sister joined choir in church, she would bring songs they were taught in church and we would sing together. I never thought I would go into music but I remember people usually tell me that I could sing well than what they hear on radio. So I started joining groups like Four Generations, Peers of Glove, Tempo and Excel, so many funny names. We would go for competition in churches and that was how it started. In 2005, I met Omo Baba No 1 at a Valentine show where I performed with my Guitar as the opening act and I wowed everybody. Omo Baba started managing me, took me to a Night of thousand Laughs in 2005. I later met Dare Art Alade who introduced me to Storm Records; I eventually released an album entitled “The Truth”. I spent five years at Storm Records before I started my company called Ember Entertainment.

How are you able to combine being a music producer and an artiste?

It’s not easy I must say and then somehow it’s easy because it’s a natural process. In fact, I am supposed to take credit for all the songs I have recorded because it’s either I am playing the Guitar for it or I am part of the arrangement. I have always ignored taking production credits for songs which I am actually supposed to have taken but then on the Baked Album I decided to step up and add a feather to my cap. It was fun being in charge and responsible for an album and the ‘Baked’ album gave me the opportunity to explore my production acumen. I mixed, mastered and produced 70% of the ‘Baked’ album. I have also worked for a couple of other artistes, I did a song for Korede Bello that is yet to be released and another guy called Blackboard, I also did for Omo Baba No 1 titled ‘there is God’ and a whole lot of others.

What is the inspiration and purpose behind your Tulk Magazine Club?

The inspiration behind Tulk Magazine club is to give a voice to the youth. Together with a few friends, we decided to start a club where people who’ve got brain can interact, share ideas and knowledge. Being a part of it, has given me an opportunity to connect with young people from different backgrounds and reach out to them the little way that I can. It has been an amazing journey with Tulk Magazine club.

Some believe that music today is more of beat than lyrics, as a Producer, do you agree to this?

I think you said it all already, just beat with less music. I wouldn’t have thought of a situation whereby this kind of thing would be what we are celebrating but then again, it’s what the people want, that is what people want to hear, but if that is what people want to hear then it’s fine, let’s just make good music. It’s not compulsory that there should be lyrics involved in music, someone playing a solo piano or guitarist can be considered musician. I think people should call themselves singers and not musician but then there is a genre of music called Afrobeat now, not the Fela kind of Afrobeat but the new generation Afrobeat and I think it’s fine because there is room for everybody to flow with the current trend.

With the current type of tracks being produced now, what can you say about the future of Nigerian music?

I think gradually, there is a decline in the quality of music that we push out there, I cannot read the future but it doesn’t take a Nicodemus to tell you that the quality of music we would be producing in Nigeria in the next five years would be far worse because back then, we had role models like Boyz to Men and people who model after us did a little closer to us and the ones that are going to be modeling after the new age musicians, I really don’t know what they have to offer because the truth is, in a situation whereby the average musician is made to freestyle and they believe that is what you are meant to do as a musician, it’s a sad situation, but then if people would buy it, I think its fine.

Gt Da Guitar and Wife
Gt Da Guitar and Wife

Why did you stop wearing hats?

I decided to stop wearing hats because I wanted people to see my face. When I left Storm Records, I wanted a new brand; I wanted to be known for something else aside being a Storm Records artiste. I also stopped putting on hats because a whole lot of people started wearing hats. I believe its normal for you to be a pace setter. I just wanted to rebrand.

Should your fans be expecting singles and perhaps another album from you this year?

Definitely, you should be expecting new singles and probably an album hopefully. When I released the ‘Baked’ album, I had to delve into other businesses that needed concentration and my time. To a large extent, I think I have set the ball rolling; now, I can have time for music. I had to take a break off music for a while immediately I released my album last year. Guitarman is going to be here forever and I owe it to my fans to bring out good music all the time.

It was rumoured that your departure from Storm Records was like biting the finger that fed you, what’s your reaction?

No, I never bit anybody, it was more of my contract expired. It’s called a record deal not slavery. I signed a three year contract and I waited for five years so it wasn’t about biting any finger. They might probably feel that way but I don’t feel that way but then where is Storm Records now? Storm Records is no more and everyone who left had their reasons. I am not the only artiste that left and if I had not left, I am sure they would have asked me to leave because when I left, the label folded up. And more importantly, I left because I wanted to start my own Label which is Embee Entertainment.

Your Single ‘Love Me Better’ is a bit of soft rock music, how well do you think that genre of music is accepted in Nigeria?

Love me better is soft rock and it features Chocolate City’s Pryse. Well, we are doing a great job, I think things can be better and there is room for improvement. In a bid to build on our promotional strength we just made the album and pushed it on iTunes, we didn’t even promote the album. I am sure everybody playing it on radio stations that has it probably downloaded it or probably got the album themselves.

What are the challenges you face in the music industry especially with your genre of music?

With the genre of music that we play, the show organisers don’t provide the necessary things that we need like a live band setting, most events wouldn’t have that kind of thing, they just want you to come and mime to the CD which is what we don’t do. There is piracy and to promote your songs, you have to beg or you pay so much for it to be done.

Which song would you say brought you to limelight?

The song that brought me out is Dreamer, it’s on the ‘Truth’ album.

Are you planning international collabos and with which artiste (s)?

Definitely, I would love to work with an International artiste and that would be India Arie. I hope I would be able to do that before the next five years.

What is the reason behind the low profile you’ve kept of late?

Like I said earlier, I delved into other businesses and it’s been time consuming. More so, the fact that I delved into production took some of the time I could have used to develop myself as an artiste. Running a label is no child’s play and it takes a lot of funds to do these things and pretty soon, we would be there and I have no doubt about that.

Can you trade your voice in exchange for 5million US dollars?

Ah! 5 million dollars plenty o! I can’t trade my voice for anything; it’s giving more things than 5million dollars.

When was the last time you did a free show?

I do free show all the time, I like supporting people. I always tell people that talent is free;it’s the time and opportunity cost that people are paying for. If you find me in a particular place and I am in the mood to sing for you, I would sing for you but the fact is if I am supposed to be somewhere else and you want me to be with you then you, would probably have to pay for my time.

Do you charge artiste if they want to feature you in their songs?

I am not going to disclose that. Ok, I charge 200billion dollars per show. (Laughs)

Who are your allies within the industry?

I am close to everybody and I am not close to anybody, I am like our current President.

What kinds of lifestyle do you live, celebrity-like or just normal one?

The truth is I don’t even see myself as a celebrity. I just like to be normal; I hate the spotlight for God knows how many reasons. I am not too freaked about it, I just feel like I’m a normal human being and people try to make super human out of human. For me, I am just a musician and anybody can play music.

Have you ever been embarrassed by a fan?

Yes. I could remember a day that I was driving and my car broke down and some fans started singing, ‘when am I gonna be what I wanna be’ while I was in front of the opened bonnet stuck in traffic, I wish the ground could open and swallow me that day.

What are the things you have phobia for?

I am yet to identify my phobia; I don’t think I am scared of anything.

How do you handle female fans?

I love women and when I started music, I think I overdid that but now I am an adult, so I know now that the decisions that I make affect everything that I do at the end of the day, so I try to make the best decisions, I try to be smart and not be foolish.

GT seems to be in love and he is not afraid to flaunt it, can you tell our readers more about the lucky girl?

Well, yes I am in love and I am not afraid to show it, I love my music, I love my fans  and I love my wife to be. Her name is Obiageli, I have known her for six years, I met her while I was trying to get my clothes from the laundry man’s office, she was the secretary and I was like wow and then I gave her my number and said ‘my name is GT Da Guitarman, call me’. She didn’t call me until after a week and she was dating someone then, so I stole her away and we’ve broken up and made up so many times but six years down the line, I have decided to make her my wife. She remains that person that means everything to me.

What would you give up for music?

Nothing.

What are your plans for 2016?

Same thing I’ve been doing, learning more stuffs, I am not so particular about pushing out my music to the media. People tell me GT you don’t sing anymore, and I am like, ‘are you guys deaf’, I sing all the time, I am not just sharing my music with you guys. I still get to perform at  very exclusive events and I get paid well for it.

This content is subject to copyright. (PublicFaces Magazine)

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