Plus How Kennis Music Started

At a point in his career, Nigeria’s top Afrobeat/highlife artiste, writer and musician, Lagbaja threatened to quit his career if his album did not do well. The was revelation was made last week by former Artiste and Promotions Manager, Sony Music Nigeria, Chris Kehinde Nwandu.

Mr Nwandu, who is now publisher of popular news site told in an interview that just about the time Sony Music was going to release Lagbaja’s Coolu Temper, the had contemplated dropping his music career and moving onto something else if the album which ironically became one of his highest selling efforts did not make the desired impact.

According to the former artistes’ manager turned publisher: “when Lagbaja was to release his album Coolu Temper. On the day, we were to launch the album on air, Lagbaja and I were driving to the offices of Daar Communication’s Raypower FM Radio  at Alagbado.  Just as were on AIT Road, he (Lagbaja) said we should park. He told me that as much as he trusted the quality of the work, if the album did not do well, he may change his mind and quit music. I said we should pray over the music and we did for about two minutes in the car before hitting the road again.”

God apparently heard their prayers as shortly after they arrived the library of the Raypower FM and were playing the music in a bid to decide the first tracks to introduce on air, Chairman of the communications outfit walked in and got immediately enthralled by the music.

“Dokpesi fell in love with the album especially Baby Ta ni kofe wa, Coolu Temper and the remix of KWAM 1 song Baby mi Show Colour re and he instantly gave instructions that no presenter should go on air on Raypower FM without playing a track from the album. That was how the deal was signed, sealed and delivered as we say in law,” Nwandu informed.

The airplay that tracks on album got ultimately significant traction as radio stations across the country caught the vibes, giving the songs so much attention that they soon became some sort of national anthem topping the national musical chats.

Nwandu, who is President of the Guild Of Professional Bloggers Of Nigeria (GPBN), had the privilege of working with top Nigerian musicians like Sir Shina Peters, Lagbaja , Salawa Abeni , Funmi Aragbaiye , Obesere  and Stella Yama in addition to promoting the musical works of artistes like Majek Fashek and Adewale Ayuba, Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, Maria Carey, Lucky Dube, Luther Vandross, Kris Kross, Patra and Michael Bolton in Nigeria. He also spoke about how Kennis Music on whose platform the phenomena Tuface album, African Queen was released started.

He explained that founders of the company, Messers Kehinde Ogungbe and Dayo Adeneye sought his advice and support about getting Sony Music to accept the proposed debut album of Kenny Saint Brown, who had then just relocated to Nigeria from London.

“On having the work released on Sony Music label, I told them point-blank that it was not going to work.  I was leaving Sony Music and most importantly, the company did not have the wherewithal to push it in the market.  I told Keke and D1 to go and start a record label, since they had the huge support of the media which is the most important thing needed to push an album. They thanked me and left and went ahead to do exactly what I suggested,” Nwandu said.

He reminisced over his days in the music industry and agreed that things have improved significantly in the areas of innovations and deployment of technology even though the industry would need to be more structured to make sustainable impact.

Read full interview HERE