Over the summer, I had the opportunity to briefly talk to one of Africa’s greatest musicians ever, 2Face. It was fairly difficult to contact him, as you know their schedules are very tight. The interview happened at Wheatbaker Hotel after a press conference.
Hello 2Face, nice to meet you again.
Nice my brother, how you dey?
I am well thanks. So how did you get started in the industry?
Wow. Okay to put a very long story short, I think for me music came naturally. When I was very young, I had already started showing interest. Once I left secondary school and went to uni, I just kept pushing music, music, and didn’t focus on my books! Sometime in 1997, that’s when I decided completely that you know what, I am going to do this and be very successful in it.
That’s very interesting, how did your previous tour, Star Trek go?
It’s going well and smoothly man. I mean, the Star Trek Tour takes us to the grassroots. It’s massive, the last one was huge and impactful. The crowd was full and energized. Had this weird, emotional nostalgic feeling when me and people reunite.
Would you say your years as a group member helped shape you to where you are today?
Yeah I would say, it instilled the commitment, dedication I have today.
Your wife, Annie, was the same woman in the African Queen video, correct? How did that flow with TuBaba?
Laughs! You know mothers are the heart, you can never be sad. It happens, you don’t even realize it! That’s what we happened with my wife. I got whipped after the video! It’s been for the best!
How much has Efe Omorogbe been a factor in your career?
Wow, Efe is a wonderful person. One of the coolest and most direct people one would ever meet. He is so hardworking, level-headed, composed, the list goes on. I am so grateful to him and everything we accomplished together.
Looking back, at 2015 as a whole, what have you delivered to your fans this year?
I have been working on some fresh music I hope to release to my fans in the new year! Apart from that, it’s been fairly quiet year. Been focused on business and family. We are in the kitchen right now, everything is cooking.
As we’ve seen with previous artists and their use of social media, how has it helped you personally?
You know, social media has really shrunk the world. Some years ago, something happens in point A, it would take like a week before we hear it in point B. But now, social media is like a TV that everyone is watching at the same time, so I know that whenever I put my work out there, it reaches a lot of people.
Over summer, you tweeted about Wande Coal being one of your favorite artists..
(Interupts) Yeah mehn I have been feeling him like crazy. Wow, what a talent. He has that unique singing voice that just flows perfect with the afrobeat genre. I am huge fan.
At this point he daps and hails some of his friends who walk into the room.
Looking back at the industry as a whole, you; MI; and D’banj are all veterans in the game. What are your thoughts on new acts? Like some of your ambassadors with Airtel, Patoranking, Phyno, Kesh, Boj to name a few.
One thing I would say is that I am so proud of them. It’s hard to create a space for yourself in the Nigerian music industry and follow things through. There are so many one hit wonders these days because they get carried away but these new boys are on top of their game. It’s serious business, discipline, a whole package.
You were unveiled as one of the Airtel ambassadors last June, what’s your vision with Airtel?
There are a whole lot of things in the works. Airtel is one of the biggest telecoms companies in the world, we are active in 17 countries. We are also the more active in Africa than any other communications company. So for me, seeing stuff like this, touching lives, building schools for the less privileged in villages is amazing. These are the things I really love about Airtel. You heard about rising stars, the football stuff? I love this stuff.
Are you looking to collabo with some of the other ambassadors in the new year?
Yeah definitely, we will! A lot of talent in this group.
What advice do you have for young, eager people trying to make their mark in the music industry?
I would say, take it as serious business. Don’t just do waka waka. In anything you do, take it very serious and at some point God will reward you and your labor.
Tubaba, I appreciate you talking to me, we at Culture Custodian are thankful.
Oshey, anytime bro!