D’Banj, Don Jazzy Changed Showbiz In Nigeria—Slam

Slam

Slam is a name many lovers of good music will never forget. He has almost seen it all in the Nigerian music industry and when he talks, people respect his opinion on issues bothering the industry.

In this interview, that handsome and well-read dude, whose real name is Udoka Oguamanam, spoke on sundry issues. Excerpt;

How did you get the name SLAM?

After every performance I would always get accolades and remarks like; that was slamming, you slammed it… and much more. So the name SLAM evolved

What inspired your genre of music?

The reaction it had on both me and the people around me.  A nicely delivered RNB from JOE or JODECI would just set you into a whole new world of full liberation, love, joy and happiness.

Who are your role models?

Everyone that is inspirational to my growth. Those that showed me love- they teach me tenderness; those that hate me- they teach me caution; those that are indifferent- they teach me God’s reliance.

What is your assessment of the current crops of artistes?

The new crops of artist are very intelligent with a yearning to be a par with their international counterparts. They have basically given the people want they want and that is good music for the soul. Whether it is good beats, melodious songs or choruses, they have managed to get diverse corporate organisations to provide them with huge funds to sell their products or brands either through promotions or endorsements. There is nothing a brand likes than attracting a huge audience and followership.

How will you rate the music industry?

The industry is growing in numbers but declining in development: what I mean is that the industry is growing with an influx of musicians with little or no content therefore the staying power of produced songs are getting shorter and shorter by the year. This is easily seen in the recent releases form even our so called A-list artistes who churn out songs that don’t even last up to 3 months before it becomes stale and then the general public moves on to the next. The quest for huge commercial value is also a great contributor to the low content of the songs and these in turn result in the declining development of the industry. There are a lot of other things wrong with the industry and I would not sit on any side of the divide but would rather bring it to fore by sharing my opinion.

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1, There are no record companies; only independent record labels where the artiste is the all-and-all in the whole music process. By PROCESS I mean: writing, payment for recording, promotion and advertising, public relations, distribution and lots more. All these are functions of a record company. 2, Record companies cannot thrive for now until basic infrastructures are put in place that would allow for easy penetration into non-urban regions and mitigate the impact of Piracy.

3, the online media which is supposed to address no 2, is not really tapped into here in the Nigeria considering the rate of illiteracy and fear of operating in the digital world. Tell me, have you ever bought a song form an online site? The telecoms have noticed a gap in this market and are milking from this.

4, we don’t have respected AWARDS anymore that is why we clamour for foreign awards and think that we have achieved global relevance when we manage to get recognition at these awards.

This is slowly worsening the state of the industry but we don’t know. We should be proud of our own.

5, The Infrastructure OR world-class venues with all the necessary stage effects to host a proper Music event is not available with all the money PMAN, COSON, MSCN have taken from the industry. It’s a shame because the National Theatre which is supposed to be the hub for entertainment is used for all sorts of funny activities that don’t propagate the entertainment industry. Today South Africa and even Ghana boast of better structures and frameworks in terms of their music industries while we are just capitailising on the our large population and wonderful beats. Please I would like to stop before I let my emotions get the better part of me.

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Did you go and get a Master’s Degree because one artiste was always boasting of being the only MC with an M.Sc

 Oh not at all. I actually come from a family that holds Education in very high esteem. As you would see in my path: i had my First School leaving certificate from Our Lady’s of Apostles in Sabo Yaba; SSCE- FGC Wukari in Taraba State; B-ENG: FUTO; MSC: Northwest University London; 4years PR experience, 2 years integrated Marketing Communication experience with a Top Multinational.

Did you keep an eye on the industry while you were away?

Of course I did. Everything I envisaged the industry would be, I saw it unfold before my eyes and I wanted to be part of it. Don’t wanna be like Moses who lead his people and didn’t make it into the promise Land. Lols…I saw the likes of 9ice, D’Banj, Don Jazzy, who gave the industry a whole new look; bringing Freshness, SWAG and Finesse into the game. I would say they broke the monopolistic nature the industry had and now you have few records labels with strong Management. Seems ‘’Strong Management’’ is the way forward. I also started seeing the integration of Nollywood, Music industry and brands working together and it made me so very happy.

Slam - Copy

What should your fans be expecting from you that you are back on the scene?

First of all I want say that, I really have loyal fans and they have kept their loyalty and I truly appreciate them all. So wherever and whoever you are listening to my sound, you share a part of my World because Music is my World. It’s been years since I dropped an album.  So, I would be dropping my last Album Next year and moving into other areas of my life that I need to satisfy. I have just released a single with titled SWEETER (lover’s rock) featuring Reggae maestro Rymzo. I have another single to drop in October title   ‘’DESINGER’’- strictly a club banger and these songs caters for two different segments; the mature minds and the club heads.

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Your song ‘Ibu Chineke’ still remain evergreen a decade after, did you know it was going to be this big when you recorded the song?

Apparently No! I never knew it would get that big but I always thank God for it. I remember looking for the right words, melody sound. I also recall at the time Paul Play and I fell apart and I was alone struggling with my passion. I thought ‘’Paging you’’ would be the track but God has his own plans. I want to thank Kennis Music for the love and support (financial, emotional).  Please allow me say a Big thank you to Uzodimma Opkeshi- Director/ Cinematographer, George Nathaniel- Music Producer who currently worked with P-Square on their Double Trouble Album, Phyno, J-Martins and lots more. Foster Zeeno and Dan jiggy   for the mixing and Mastering work. And most especially my FANS!!!

You started your career with a group; will your fans get a collabo between you and Paul Play?

Right now, I cannot say but am sure I have heard this question over a zillion times. All I know for now is that I am working on my last album. If our fans want a collabo from us, I am sure we would work something out.

You once had a close shave with death, what did that experience teach you?

PRAYER is the key. The lord is our refuge and fortress in all times

How do you joggle your official duties and doing music?

Hmmm. That is a tough one. I guess am just glad I have a supportive Boss.

What’s the difference between Udoka Oguamanam and SLAM

Like a Gemini, I have two personalities: Udoka Oguamanam- One very serious minded individual who likes to study,  result driven, dedicated and full of enthusiasm but SLAM- Is just a HAPPY GUY

Lastly, how do you relax?

I like to chill at AFRIVILLE, sipping fine wine and listening good Music in the company of very sound minds. I also like Watching Movies (comedy, adventure and suspense) and reading good novels

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