Ogagus Chats With “Alabai” – A Law Abiding Brilliantly Awesome Individual

Alabai is a fresh dog to many but this tall and dark skinned artiste is no stranger to the music industry with his career cutting into three decades scaling back from the rap days of Azadus to his present form. Alabai is one talent that is easily over-looked due to reasons we cannot place our fingers on and has been on and off the music arena. Now on a new label, with a new management and a fast rising hit single, it seems the cards are falling right in Alabai’s camp; so when we got the call to quiz Alabai, time was not wasted and words were broken in no time.

Ogagus: Everyone knew quite alright that there was an artiste called ‘Alabai’ why did you take the long break from the music scene?

Alabai: {laughs} My absence was based on whole lot of fact, firstly was the issue of not having a management to work with I had to face all the problems associated with an artiste being alone, establishing a brand without a team is so impossible and difficult so I found myself succumbing to pressure and frustration, I had to promote myself, take my own CDs to radio stations, pay my producers, update my profile, and get more blogs to talk about me. It was quite tasking because there was need to rearrange myself, get my house in order and get the right people to work with. No mater how long that took I think it really paid off.

Ogagus: Prior to your disappearance you actually worked with Paul Play on the mega hit track “Forever”; how is your current relationship with Paul IK Dairo?

Alabai: Paul Play was an artiste and I was an associate artiste as well we worked together and we had a hit song in 2007; “Forever” the song was a big hit but sadly I didn’t get credit for the song. That was just a chapter of my career and I don’t think I want to go back to that.


Ogagus: Did you feature in the video of the song?

Alabai: No I didn’t, it was really painful not being in the video


Ogagus: Please why were you not featured in the clip?

Alabai: I don’t know, for some certain reasons Paul Play chose not to put me in the video of the song. I just felt he wasn’t comfortable with me being in the video.


Ogagus: You weren’t in the video but did anyone lip-sync your verse in the video?

Alabai: No, there wasn’t any form of impersonation. I was thinking we could shoot my scene in Nigeria and he will also have his own part done but it later dawned on me that there was no plan for Alabai in the video

 Alabai 1

Ogagus: Moving on to other things… During your break from the music scene, we heard you ventured into the world of radio; working as an OAP, would you say frustration pushed you to it or was it something you always wanted to do?

Alabai: I am a kind of person that will do everything related to entertainment, working as an OAP wasn’t an alternative to my fluctuating career as at that time I just wanted to do something on the other side. I worked with Brilla FM for about a year plus but that wasn’t my dream, my dream is music and that is what I want to do. I am not doing it because I want to be famous or have some groupies around me I am doing it because it is what I love.


Ogagus: So have you left the OAP business to rekindle your musical career?

Alabai: Yes I have.


Ogagus: The industry has really changed over the years and now that you have resurfaced, do you think you have the chances of surviving in the new industry?

Alabai: I am surviving already, I have a song with over 50,000 downloads in one month and also toping charts on radio station. Yeah I am surviving already.


Ogagus: Being a former OAP did you feel “Ogbanje” became a hit because ex-colleagues in the radio industry supported you because you have a personal relationship with them?

Alabai: People fail to realize that “Ogbanje” wasn’t my first single I’ve had several singles that my ex-colleagues turned down. I have been there before but that has no influence on my music, no matter how many times a song is been played if people are not feeling it it’s not going to work. There are some songs I hear on radio virtually every hour but trust me no one is feeling them so I think the strength of the music comes into play not the frequency.


Ogagus: Prior to your single “Ogbanje” you were known for primarily rap music but “Ogbanje” came out different style; did you switch because of the pressure to create a hit?

Alabai: I started singing before rapping but when I came into the business I came as a rapper, I founded a rap band way back with the likes of Azadus and a couple of others. I knew I could sing and rap so I decided to tap into both talents. Rapping to me is like breathing, it’s so easy so I had to explore my singing talent also.


Ogagus: “Ogbanje” is known to be a spirit, what was the inspiration behind the track?

Alabai: Ogbanje was inspired by a girl I dated way back. She had disturbing characteristics, she was extremely crazy. I remembered her and I felt I should write a song about her and that was how “Ogbanje” came in.


Ogagus: How is your relationship with the new generation artistes?

Alabai: Right now I am more focused on my musical career; I want to establish my own brand that will last so relating with other artiste isn’t my priority for now though it’s necessary to relate with other artistes but right now I am more focused on Alabai and establishing a generational brand.


Ogagus: Where did you get the name Alabai from?

The name Alabai means “A Law Abiding Brilliantly Awesome Individual”….

Ogagus: We know the fact that you are not just an artiste but a music scholar, who are your favorite artiste artistes right now?


Alabai: I am a big fan of Wande Coal, I like Wizkid, and I like what he does.

Ogagus: Do you see any of the guys in your defunct rap group making a comeback like you?


Alabai: Analyzing the individual talent is quite difficult but I think people like Azadus can make a big come back and also Buzzman, he is a good lyricist including Doc and Blackeye.


Ogagus: If you are to you change anything about the Nigerian music industry what would it be?

Alabai: Sameness, the songs are just too alike there is no depth of lyrical content. You hear songs like “Shake your Baka”, “Pop Hennessey” and all that. It’s quite irritating. The intellectual level in the industry is quite shallow; I do not see people making research for writing songs, people just want to sing. It increases the level of mediocrity we have in the industry.

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Ogagus: Before we call it a wrap, I know you still got your rap skills so please drop a bar or verse or something with Ogagus and TooXclusive in it?

Alabai: It’s Ogagus and TooXclusive jor,

I bet ya’ll wondering what we be here for,

We slicker than the average boy next door,

Cause all ya’ll do is play the game and all we do is score,

We dominating ya’ll as u can see,

We got fans on land and even on the high sea.

We the ones your chics love to fancy,

We make girls change names from Chidinma to Nancy.

Follow @Ogagus & @Alabai_Sir

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