Fela would have been proud of Wizkid, Davido — Sean Dampte
Tell us about your growing up?
I am From a family of 5, born in Ebute-Metta area of Lagos. Attended Tunwase Primary School in IKEJA, Apapa memorial for my Junior High and spent most of my Senior Years at Unity School Ode-Aye. Strict parents, naughty childhood but did well for that phase. Higher education for BSc and MBA was completed in the US and UK respectively.
You’ve been part of the music industry in Nigeria and the UK. How do you think Nigeria can get to the same level as regards music production with others?
Hahaha, we do well in Nigeria, but yes it can be better. I believe it’s more around investing more into the music itself. Investing in upscaling our music knowledge and create as much as follow trends. But practically, it boils down to Studio equipments and dedication.
Why would a BSc and MBA degree holder dump it all for music?
I wouldn’t use the word ‘dump’. It is such a strong word. Hahahahahaha, it is what has sustained my passion and dedication to music. The degrees are the foundation. And above all, music is life.
And none of your parents protested vehemently against your choice of career?
My parents, like most didn’t fancy my furore into the music world. As time passes, they now appreciate me for what it is and the joy it brings. To me, the friends, fans and family.
Tell us how well afrobeat is doing in the UK. We know it is gaining acceptance in the US?
The AfroBeat scene in the UK is huge. I mean, it is like second culture. It is in the main stream and so it already part of all and everything called music over here.
Whose music, besides Fela’s, is helping much to spread the genre, among this generation of acts?
That is difficult to answer. I believe every artist would have a different view depending on background and understanding of the genre.
How about you? How well would you say your music has done it’s bit?
I believe my music is crossing the boundaries of the genre. Not only is my sound uniquely different but also the brand. I infuse the music cultures of 3 continents, while not losing the essence of the sounds. And I mean, music is food and should be available for every taste.
Tell us more about your latest single, “Million”. What inspired you to compose it and how is it doing generally?
The single “Million” is gaining momentum and am actually happy about its progress. The track was inspired by different emotions at that time. And more than anything else, the world needs more love. So my love for my family, my friends, my country and most importantly my fans is nothing short of one in a Million.
When was the last time you visited Nigeria?
Hahahah, that makes it seem an never in the country. I can assure you I am in Nigeria more often than you know. I was in Nigeria in September.
What did you do to enhance the quality of your music while around?
Hahahahah, music quality is debatable but content and the environment is very important which I enjoy.
If Lagos was fun, why did you leave the country?
The decision to spend most times outside the country is and will always be to experience other cultures. Do not forget that culture is the backbone of any and every kind of music.
Have you been able to achieve what you set out to do in England?
Success is not a destination, if you know what I mean. To keep it simple, it’s a work in progress and we are making progress. Great progress.
From where you are, how can you make meaningful contribution to the music industry back home, especially with technology available to you?
There is so much one can do but the mantra must still remain “It begins with me”. I try to share my knowledge with the folks I work with and more importantly, the advent of technology like you mentioned makes it easy. As part of Savage Music, we help with digital distribution and marketing.
Between Wizkid and Davido, who will you say is really representing Africa in afrobeat?
They both bringing the love and attention the genre deserves. Great ambassadors I must say.
If Fela were alive, who between the two do you think he would rate as best for now? From either the two or others you can think of?
Hahahahah, if Fela were alive, Fela would do what Fela knows is best.
How’s your love life?
At least, “Million” is about women and love.m very straightforward! I ben love and also in women. So my love life is amazing.