Oluwabamidele Adeeko, aka Sensational Bamidele, a Nigerian singer, has become quite popular in recent times.
Bamidele is a gospel musician who is popular for leading a band that usually played at public functions attended by a former Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike. He tells BLESSING ENENAITE about his career and other issues.
Many people don’t seem to know that you are a gospel musician. Why do you think that is?
The reason is simple. The Bible says, ‘many are called but few are chosen’. The Bible says that ‘as man thinks about himself, so is he’. It is what I think about myself that I am. When God spoke to me, they (people) were not there. I only came to the limelight and they saw it. I don’t owe them any explanation or apology. I am who God says I am.
What inspired your decision to start making gospel music?
I always say that I was born a musician. I started making music at the age of seven. That was when I noticed that I carried an enviable grace. My foundation is Christ-like, so I ran to the ‘cross’ that had always carried my burden. I decided to give God the praise, so that I don’t kill myself before my time.
You are the band leader for the immediate past Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike. What effect does that have on your brand?
The Bible says that, ‘Except the righteous rule, the people will not rejoice. But, when the righteous rule, the people rejoice’. My band was not put together by Wike. I am a band, and it is because of what we have to offer that we connect with the high and mighty in society. I am not a praise singer. I only praise God.
However, that government (of Wike) honoured my presence in the state. Projecting them well is my way of thanking them. But, it is not a government’s band; but that of Sensational Bamidele.
You said Wike’s government honoured you. In what way did they do that?
When the administration came into power, he noticed the little efforts I made for them to be elected into office. He then decided to make me a councillor for youths and sports; and I was in that office for six months.
You don’t charge fees when you play for them at rallies, campaigns and other events?
Why won’t I charge them? There must be a fee.
How exactly did you path and that of Wike cross?
That was when he was a Chief of Staff to a former Governor, Rotimi Amaechi. When we saw that he carried ‘fire and power’ to go farther, we decided to back him. I chose to support Wike, not because I knew he was going to make me a councilor, but probably because Amaechi’s government did not favour me.
Do you get any backlash from people for singing at Wike’s rallies?
There is nothing one would do that would not attract backlash. That is why one must have’s a vision. It is important to do what one has been ‘commanded’ to do. We are not here to please our fellow human beings.
You quoted a verse of the Bible, which says that when the righteous rules, the people rejoice. Do you consider Wike to be a righteous person?
I would not say I consider Wike to be a righteous person, because I am not God to judge any man. However, it has been a long time I saw a governor work for Rivers State like Wike did. He might not be too righteous, or a 100 per cent good at what he does, but he brought development to the state. It is unarguable that he delivered as the governor.
It was said in some quarters that you were contracted to perform only for Wike as the governor of Rivers State. Is that true?
If there was such a contract had, I believe that I would be richer than I am now. Meanwhile, I pray that God makes it possible, but there was nothing like that. That insinuation was the handiwork of some cheap bloggers, who were looking for cheap fame.
If you were invited to sing at an event that is anti- Wike, would you honour the invitation?
If it comes it comes and if it doesn’t, it doesn’t. I am a believer with dignity. I must have a reason to be anti-Wike. I cannot follow anyone just because they are willing to pay me?
Have you been approached by any other political group to perform for them like you do for Wike?
I have been approached by political groups, and I have gone to their meetings, because I am a musician. He (Wike) is too busy to see things like that. I have played for the Minister of Petroleum, Timipre Sylva. I have also played for other governors and influential politicians from different parties, including the All Progressives Congress, Peoples Democratic Party, and the Social Democratic Party of Nigeria. You don’t expect me to turn them down. Meanwhile, some of those events were not political campaigns. They were birthday parties and other programmes. My talent is not tied to the PDP. I am a gospel artiste, and I don’t sing secular music.
How long do you practise before performing at rallies?
I don’t practise at all. I just use my God-given talent.
You seem to have a certain chemistry with the former governor, and always know what he wants per time. How were you able to develop that relationship?
As a gifted musician, I just pay attention to what is going on at the event, and that influences what I do at any particular time.
Your songs seem to have a way of ‘hyping’ the governor. How are you able to achieve that?
It is only Jesus that knows where that comes (from). We (band) practically perform the same songs other musicians sing.
However, it is also intentional on my part. My job is to make sure that people enjoy themselves.
Your song, ‘As e dey Pain them, E dey Sweet Us’ went viral, and a singer, Timaya, also released his own version of the track. Were you consulted before he did that?
Timaya called me, and took permission to use the song. I allowed him to go ahead, because we had an agreement. However, if the agreement is not met, we will meet at the round table, and make the world understands that the agreement was not met.
Did you actually start your career as a secular artiste?
While we were starting out, things were not all rosy. However, when God said it was time to give Him praise, I did as I was commanded. By His grace, I have never regretted that decision. His mercies have been enduring.
Do you plans to venture into politics?
If I have the opportunity to, I would give it a shot.
If you were not a musician, what would you have been doing?
I don’t see myself doing anything other than music.
What are your educational qualifications?
I studied Management at the Rivers State University.
How much influence does social media have on your brand?
Social media is ‘wicked’. I recently had an experience, but I don’t want to go into that. Social media has helped so much, but if we are not careful, it will still destroy so much.
What is your favourite meal?
I love eba with okra soup. But, if I am in Lagos, I would go for eba and efo riro vegetables).
Source: The PUNCH