Fame haven’t Changed me. But it changed the way other people see me

By on April 8, 2011

Innocent ‘Tuface’ Idibia is unarguably one of the biggest African artistes of his era to conquer the world. The multiple award-winning artiste spoke with Klieglights recently and opened up on some of his achievements, controversies that made headlines and his present marital status, among other things.

When speaking with Tuface, one can’t help but ask if all the fame has changed him as a person. “I’m still the same old me but I think it’s changed the way other people see me,” he confessed.

“Some people think, when they see me, all their (financial) problems are solved. I go into a shop and something that they sell for N10, they want to sell to me for N20 because they think I have money,” he continued, while explaining, “I’ve learned to take the good with the bad.”

Tuface’s most successful track, ‘African Queen’, took on a life of its own after melting the hearts of women across continents and later making its way to the soundtrack for the movie Phat Girlz, starring famed American comedienne, Monique.

The Benue-born singer spoke on what he makes from his song appearing on the Phat Girlz soundtrack.

“It is a mechanical royalty, it doesn’t come once. How do I explain it? All I know is that till I die, I will collect royalty on it. More so, anytime it comes, I’ll be paid in dollars.”

There have been talks in some quarters that American R. Kelly has denied featuring on his song ‘Flex’. “Let me just put it this way, R-Kelly has not sued me, so let anybody not say anything. That is the only thing I have to say because it is now as if I have to start defending. Let whoever said R. Kelly said that show me a tape or something,” he queried.

Being in the music industry for over a decade now, Tubaba, as he is fondly called by fans, believes so much in the growth of the entertainment sector but pointed out some of the things that needs to be put in place.

“The industry is still in a little bit of chaos in terms of copyright laws, in terms of combating piracy and artistes getting their proper dues. I think it is still a little bit unstable but in terms of growth, creativity and awareness, in Nigeria, the music industry is growing fast. It is like that everywhere in the world; you have the very talented artistes, you have the business minded artistes that don’t necessarily need to be talented and you have those that don’t have both the business or the talent. “They don’t have any business in the show. And then in terms of audience, you have people who respect good music in Nigeria and we have those who just want to party without listening to lyrics and then we have those that don’t have respect for Nigerian artistes, they only respect foreign artistes. Nigerians easily put people aside. We have a lot of great old school artistes who no one talks about anymore.

“People just come up today to say they are this and that whereas there are people who have been here from the outset and they really did a lot of work in the industry and nobody talks about them today. I have never seen any radio DJ come on air and play old school songs alongside what we have now. But the way it is, when new artistes come up, they just sideline the older ones. When Tuface Idibia came on board, everybody forgot about older artistes such as Onyeka Onwenu and Sunny Ade. I think that is one thing that is really bad in terms of respect for artistes,” he offered.

On controversies concerning his marital life, the father of five told Klieglight, “I’m not going to get married. Did I tell you I was getting married?” When asked why he said he wasn’t getting married, he replied, “Do you even know if I’m married?”

When asked if he doesn’t think having kids by different women would affect his career negatively, he replied, “One thing is that we are in Africa; it depends on which angle you are looking at it from. Polygamy is a normal thing in Africa. I am not trying to say anyone should do like I did; it’s a matter of how you want to live your own life. What I did was the noblest thing I could have done in that situation. I don’t care about what anybody thinks about me. I just know that I didn’t kill anyone and I did not commit any crime and I did the right thing given the situation. So, however anybody looks at it is a matter of opinion. If they want to crucify me for it, no problem, I go take care of my pikin dem.”

Tuface shed more light on the state of affairs of his record label – Hypertek, where he has invested a lot of money but is still under the shadow of itself.

“Nothing is actually happening to Hypertek, it is just that right now I am trying to reorganise and rearrange so that whatever Hypertek is going to be involved in next time will come out well. You know it was my first time setting up a label and there are a whole lot of lessons I learnt. And I believe that is the way of life, we learn in order to grow. It is a baby company and like I said, the promotion did not flourish as expected.”

About Terry Biodum

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