Popular musician, Jesse King (a.k.a Buga), has launched himself back to the frontline of the music industry. In this interview by SEYI SOKOYA, he speaks about his comeback among other issues. Excerpts:
You became a household name in the industry with your steady rise and style of music, but gradually you kept a low profile. What was responsible for this?
I don’t think I kept a low profile. Every musician has his own style and approach to his music. I am unique in my own way and I know what works for me. This is what I have been doing since I started my career and it has been working for me. When I’m recording my music; I stay away from distractions. I have been working so hard on my new works for over three years now and I am presently done with the new works. So, those who must have been insinuating that I kept a low profile with my career may be wrong. The truth is that staying low is my way when I’m recording.
So, how has the experience been since you completed your new work?
It has been awesome with my loving fans; now that I’m back it is going be a new beginning and fresh Buga with full enjoyment. The acceptability of the new work entitled: “Baba All the Way” has been extremely great. In fact, it was a special package for me, because I also used it to celebrate my birthday last week. It has been God and my fans that have made my dream come true. This is why I have decided to show my profound appreciation through my new work.
I feel great and full of thanks in my heart. It has been Baba all the way since the beginning of my career and I bless the name of the Lord.
What is next after your new single?
I have a lot in stock. It is a full comeback, remember that I have been working on these for several years and I am loaded to entertain my esteemed fans and light up the industry once more with my brand. For instance, I’m dropping my album early next year by His grace, while other fantastic things would follow.
You are often seen on social media projecting the African culture, especially that of Nigeria to the outside world. What actually prompted this?
I believe so much in myself, because my culture gave me a pass to my identity. So, I do not know any other culture, other than my culture, Africa. If I play it down, I am playing down myself. My culture is my identity.
Personally, I have been in love with my culture from day one. So, I have taken chances to explore tourism, promoting the culture and our heritage. This is another side of me that I love most aside music. I hope to do more, because the more I do this, the more I find my joy. I am passionate about projecting the image of my fatherland positively, mostly through Nigeria’s traditional culture to the world.
You now wear a new look and it has generated lots of reactions on social media, I mean your new beard, is this part of the new strategy?
Yes, it is just another side of me. It is all about rebranding; new songs, new me.
What is your assessment of the industry, especially with the crop of new artistes and music they produce today?
The music is experiencing a big twist and change lately. The development is actually promoting Afro Beats to the western world. It is a great opening for business and show of who we are as Africans. But I will suggest our cultural values must be taken along and well showcased.
You rocked the music with your popular hits, mostly with Jenifa and Buga, could you recall the fame these brought to you?
It was a huge success in my life time. It also gave me a leverage to allow me identify with my culture. Seeing the acceptance of my music gives me joy.
Would you say that you enjoyed your reign in the industry to the fullest?
I thank God so far. It has been a good time; although there have been ups and downs, but God has been faithful to us, as well kept us standing till this moment.
What lesson have you learnt so far as a respected musician?
Simplicity and humility take you far. Respect other people and you will be respected.
You were very much active during the last election, was it a way to test your strength in politics?
First of all, it’s my civic responsibility and I believe if we all come together and see it as possible to make the nation a place of peace and unity, we all must play our roles.
There is a popular notion that any artiste that goes low profile is no longer rich, how would you correct this impression by stating how successful you are as an artiste?
There are a lot of extremely wealthy individuals that are not known by the public. Being famous does not mean you are extremely rich. For me, I’m not a noisy individual even if I have billions it’s not my way to show to the public, like what is happening now in the social media lately. Showing good values is better than showing your richness; it’s misleading the coming generation.
Your stage name has also made you become a force to reckon with, how did you come about the stage name, Buga?
This is as a result of hard work and I am pleased with the outcome. People prefer to call me by my stage name, Buga almost immediately after my hit album entitled: Buga.
There have been uncertainties about your source. Could you clear the air?
I’m from Edo State, Okpella Etsako East Local government area of Edo State and has a strong cultural connection with the Yorubas. In fact, we are one. History can testify to that and this was the reason I put together a stage concert tagged: “Eko Benin Connexion 2013.” We need to really understand our cultural connection in our communities. That is going bring us together more. I’m working on another project tagged: “Awori Benin Reunion Festival.” When we understand where we are coming from a lot of our community problems are going to be solved to a great extent.