To rub-a-dub master, Ras Kimono, it is not yet over for him musically. Though, the reggae star may not have released any album since the past five years, he’s only taking his time.
A TS Weekend close-up on Kimono reveals some interesting aspects of his music and personality. Enjoy it.
Your long silence suggests that it may have been over for you musically. Is it really so?
Long silence? I have never been silent, not to talk of being silent for a long time. I remember that in 2012, I came out with a commercially viable album entitled, ‘Matter of Time’, with tracks like ‘Screw Face’, ‘Veteran’, ‘Wicked Politicians’ and others. Today, I thank God that I have just completed and released two new singles, ‘Senseless Killings’ and ‘Blessed Africa’. Both singles are released on PJay Records, owned by Peter Ighodalo, who is also the CEO of PJay Supermarket in Lagos. My fans may have been wondering why it took me five years to return. I am a very serious-minded and organised reggae musician, and as a leader in the business, I can’t afford to dish out anything for the sake of music. This explains why I am coming back at this time, with something that means a lot to my fans.
Are you bringing anything new to the table with the newly released singles?
Of course, yes. The two newly released singles talked about the senseless killings going on in Africa, most especially, in Nigeria. In the one I titled ‘Senseless Killings’, I lamented the death of so many innocent souls, wondering why this should be so on regular basis. In ‘Blessed Africa’, I wonder seriously why we have all the natural resources to take care of ourselves, yet we are hungry because of irresponsible leadership.
May we know the factors that came into play to ensure this newness?
There may not be anything new about my focus on what is happening in my country and saying it as it is. However, my arrangement and rendition style has improved tremendously, compared to my last album released five years ago. If you listen to my current singles, you will notice that Kimono is as fresh as the morning dew.
As a celebrated act, why your choice of little known PJay Records?
The owner of the records label and I have known each other over the years. He has been my fan, and friend too. He has been with me since I released ‘Under Pressure’ in the ‘80s. It may interest you to know that he has implicit confidence in my creative ability and performing zeal. For these reasons, he did not waste time in doing business with me, which is a confirmation of my potential and commercial viability. I thank God for his belief in me and I pray we’ll do business together for a long time to come.
Do you survive on albums or performances?
Yes, from time, I have been surviving on performances, which have been complementing my releases.