THREE years ago at the Headies Award, three major new artistes were nominated for the next rated category which Reekado Banks eventually won.
Having won the next rated, a ‘fight’ broke out between Mavin Records boss Don Jazy and Olamide whose label, YBNL, Lil Kesh was signed on.
While speaking on stage, Olamide insinuated that Lil Kesh deserved the award because he dominated the Nigerian music industry that year in view with ‘back to back’ hits but was cheated on. He suspected foul play.
Although it was a great year for then G-Worldwide signee, Kiss Daniel, who had hits and was nominated alongside Kesh and Banks but the fight took the focus off the artiste.
Fast forward to last year, a lot seem to have happened as Kiss Daniel had a fight with his label which caused him to split and launch his own label Fly Boy Inc, Lil Kesh’s contract expired with Olamide’s YBNL,(he started his own label called Yagi Records) but Reekado Banks remain with Don Jazzy’s Mavin.
Within a space of three years the trio made moves, recorded songs and did shows but something seemed amiss somewhere.
2016 was a more competitive and ‘successful’ year for the artistes as they all had hit songs but who was able to maintain or rather be more consistent? Last year was quite disturbing for kiss Daniel because of his rift with his label but he still dished out hits like ‘Yeba’ and ‘No Do’ while Reekado on the other hand dropped ‘Easy’ (Jeje) which was an instant hit. He also did a follow up single, ‘Like,’ featuring label mate Tiwa Savage and celebrated guitarist Fiokee which is still enjoying massive airplay.
The Mavin artiste also had a ‘Thank You’ concert in Ibadan. However, not much has been heard from Yagi records CEO, Lil Kesh since his last release ‘RORA’ in November which wasn’t a typical hit that comes from Lil Kesh and it seem like the artiste is taking a break from music. In fact, Kesh hasn’t posted any video or picture on his Instagram page since December 30 2017 until January 31 this year with only less than 4,000 likes compared to his usual over 60,000 likes on a post.HOW would you say your career fared last year? To me, 2017 was a fabulous year and I had a lot of events, both within and outside the country. We had quite a lot of things to do and it was a year of multiple ground breaking events.
What are your plans for the New Year?
This year, I’m definitely working on releasing a new album and I already dropped a single towards the end of 2017 ahead of the forthcoming album. I’m still in the studio working and I will be featuring a lot of artistes. I wouldn’t want to talk about them right now. The album dropping this year would be my second album.
Tell us about your new single, ‘Yes Sir’.
The song is just my own way of saying I praise and honour God. A line from the song says ‘I salute the Holy Commander. God is the Commander in Chief of our destiny and universe. He knows my end from the beginning and he determines the course of my life.’ All I’m saying is that even if the devil or someone tries to do anything in the face of adversity and challenges of life, I still come to say I salute the one that commands me.
What kind of music do you do?
I do Contemporary African gospel music with a fusion of some contemporary blend into it. So, it’s all-encompassing so people outside even Nigeria and Africa can have a feel of it and enjoy it but ultimately it’s gospel music.
Tell us more about this genre of music?
It is highly percussive as we have the talking drum, the drum set, shekere, omele and the African local instruments. On the contemporary side we have the keyboard, bass guitar, lead guitar and the saxophone. It’s a fusion of everything.
How did you come about the name Tosin Bee?
Tosin Bee is my stage name coined out of my name. At a point, I started bearing many names which wasn’t really sitting well. Along the line, I met someone who was supposed to be my manager at a time and we thought of a name that’s unique which will go well and we thought of having something from my name. So we took the Tosin from my name and the Bee from Adejumobi. That was how the name came about.
How long have you been doing music?
I’ve been in music for some time now and I started out in the choir. After a while, when I went to the university, I was the music director for my fellowship and after school I started fully and here we are today.
Can we say music has been your calling from childhood?
I would like to say that because some people would say they have been singing from their mother’s womb, but it’s been in me from childhood and my grandfather was a musician. But it wasn’t really developed until when I was a teenager when it became more of me.
Which artistes have you worked with so far?
In terms of recording, I have worked with Nosa, Mike Abdul, Big Bolaji, Big Bob and quite a number of artistes and they were all fantastic and it was cool working with them. Beyond the recording, I’m also a performing artiste and I have been on the stage with Tim Godfrey, Frank Edwards, Tope Alabi, Eben, Onos and I learnt valuable lessons from them.
Why Gospel music?
For me, it’s a calling and I didn’t just wake up one day and said because I didn’t have any job let me do this. It’s a calling and I went to school to study English Language. After that, I went into PR and did Adverts and Public Relations. So this is a calling for me. It wasn’t like I forced myself into it as I found myself in it. But I believe that I have an assignment and God has called me to this. I believe one of the assignments is to use worship to liberate people and win souls by depopulating the kingdom of Hell and making Jesus more popular. I believe that’s the whole essence of why I am in this.
What makes Tosin Bee exceptional?
First of all, if I am not going to be sounding too spiritual now I would say it’s the grace of God on me and sometimes you may have all the skills in this world and if you don’t have enough grace backing it up you may not be able to travel far. Secondly is the fact that I am versatile beyond the Fuji thing, as I said I do contemporary gospel music as it’s a fusion. A lot of people are one sided but I’m able to blend the two together, which is rare. That’s one of the things that make me unique and special.
What’s your relationship with the Redeemed Christian Church of God?
By God’s grace, I’m a full-fledged member of RCCG and a worship leader there and to the Glory of God the church has a record label, One Hallelujah, where I am signed as an artiste. I see myself as an integral part of the fold and I carry the banner of Christ like I carry the church too. I see myself as a tool of evangelism. So as much as the church is growing, the Kingdom of God is growing too.
What would be your advice for up and coming gospel artistes?
Whatever you’re doing, don’t set out for money which is obtainable generally in every field of which money will come but you most put the structure in place first. Work on yourself very well, carry the right values and make sure you have the things people would look for and don’t have any choice. One thing that really works in the gospel field more, which is the ultimate, is the anointing which will make you go far; so it’s best to seek for the anointing. And the anointing can only be gotten if you have right standing with God and definitely the money will come. Whatever you are doing, do it well and with excellence.
How do you maintain your youthful looks?
Funny enough, I felt that it wasn’t a cool thing as people saw me as a small boy but, eventually, I’m realising it’s actually a plus and I think it’s God and the way I take care of myself. Recently, I changed my hair style from Afro but these are calculated moves. Now, it’s a new style; so beyond that, I have the youthful look.
What informs your dress sense?
I have a guy who designs my outfits, but personally I have a taste for beautiful things as I like to look good. When I spot anything that’s good I go for it and I have good designers around me.
What will be your biggest aspiration as a gospel artiste?
When I get to the point that when I sing and the lame start to walk and the blind get to see; the deaf start to hear and I think am okay. And when I open mouth and people are giving their life to Christ. God has a way of glorifying himself.
How do you deal with your female fans?
I try to be very careful really and you have a lot of ladies around as it comes with this line but I try to be very careful so I don’t lose focus and won’t go off track.
How soon do you hope to settle down?
As regards settling down, pretty soon I will.