I sold designer shoes before I found fame with music- Reminisce


The Nigerian singer spoke about his history.

With smash hit singles like Kako bi chicken and Too much, and a debut album- Book Of Rap stories- fast rising rapper, Reminisce, made it clear that he will give other established rappers a run for their money.

Reminisce, who raps in Yoruba and a bit of English, sold over three hundred thousand copies of his debut album which was released in 2012.

The singer said his label, LRR, represents ‘Les Roses Rouges.’

“It’s a French word. I’ve not said this before, but I will tell you- I got the idea from the name of my mum’s saloon, Red Roses, so I decided to tush it a little and I came up with Les Roses Rouges. Am still signed on to Edge Records, it’s the bigger picture, just as you have it in US”, he said.

Reacting to the perception around social media that his album was a flop, the Kwara State Polytechnic graduate said the internet is not an avenue to judge if his kind of music is selling as he is not a twitter musician.

“If you must follow the internet noise then kako bi chicken is not a big song, they said it was rubbish but the song was huge on the street. You know the social media is just where you can say whatever you like. We have bias bloggers in the industry also; they don’t do any research before running the posts. The internet is not really a place to know how your music is doing on the street.

“My album is where I want it to be. The people that meant to buy my album have my album. You don’t expect me to go market my album in Lekki, no, my album was meant for people in Akure, Oshogbo, places people on twitter don’t go. You know most tweeps are based in Lagos and they don’t even buy CDs of their favorite artistes. I have 3 big songs on the album- kako bi chicken, Too Much, If only- coupled with some not too popular ones and with over three hundred thousand CDs sold, mehn, I tried. Remember it’s my first album,” he responded.

I don’t chose my benefactors

Dispelling rumours that he associates himself with internet fraudsters, especially with the names he mentioned in his hit single, Too Much, and also his much talked about show in Malaysia- a country believed to be the den of Nigerian internet fraudsters, he said “So Dj Money is also a fraudster and 9ice too. You see I have loyal fans, these people support me, they attend my shows, show me love, and I just mentioned some of them in the song.”

“For me, I was paid to perform and it’s not my business to find out the kind of job they do, or if someone sprays me money on stage, would I tell my manager, please find out the kind of job he does. Like you now (talking to this reporter), I don’t know what you do behind closed doors, it’s not my job! My own na to sing. They are my fans.

“You see, Malaysia is just like any other country, it has a huge presence of Nigerians and they are mostly students. There are fraudsters in London, U.S., everywhere. This one of the reasons I don’t dig the social media that much, they say rubbish a lot,” he said.

He said his Malaysia show helped him understand how much people appreciated his songs.

“For me the Malaysia show was an eye opener for me. I performed seven songs out of the album and they knew all of them, which show how big I am outside Nigeria. When I was about going on stage, I was like ‘orin melo lo wa mo bayi? Shey kako bi chicken nikan ma perform ni?’ (How many of songs do these people know? Will I now perform just kako bi chicken)?

“But I was more surprised when they asked me to perform a song TerryG featured me on; same thing as my performance at the nothing hill carnival with Sir Shina Peters last year.

He gave credit to the Coded tunes group of ID Cabasa, 9ice, Jahbless, 2phat, lord of Ajasa for guiding and mentoring in music.

“It wasn’t easy building the fan base. It was a very rough when I started this Eruku things because people didn’t liked it. But now, it’s paying off. You know I stated out under studying 9ice, Jahbless and lord of Ajasa and I also backed jahbless up for a few years; so I have learnt from these artistes and it has helped me in identifying my market and also growing as an artiste,” he said.

Featuring fellow rapper, Olamide, on his new single titled government, he said the song was greatly anticipated not because both rappers are currently hot in the music scene, but because he had never featured Olamide before while he (Olamide) featured him on his two albums.

Talking about the chemistry between him and supper producer, Sarz, he said “the thing is that Sarz is our discovery at Edge Records. He was discovered by I, jahbless and this friend of ours called cabash.

“So Sarz has been our in house producer since we started Edge Records. The funny thing is that in a whole year, Sarz might not give more than two beats but those beats would be mad. He’s still the in-house producer for Edge Records despite his contact with eldee’s Trybes Records. You see, A times he would design a beat and say ‘Remi lo le shey beat yi mehn’, (it’s only Reminisce that can rap to this beat), we are like brothers, we talk a lot, gist a lot, and that’s why most of my hit songs are produced by Sarz”.

I sold shoes

The Ogun State born rapper revealed why he talks about various fashion designers in some of his music.

“Before my music kicked off on the big side, I use to sell shoes at Sabo, Yaba, opposite Next. I own a shop where I sell various designers, but I closed it because of music”.

The rapper said he relaxes by taking cold beer while listening to the music of American rapper, Nas, or Nigerian rapper, Olamide. He further said Olamide is his favorite Nigerian artiste because he can relate to his music and he is very close and cool with the rapper.

Pointing out piracy and lack of basic structure as the major challenge of the music industry, the rapper wants the government to assist the entertainment industry fight the piracy as musicians only make money from show and endorsements while other avenues like royalties from air play is being over looked. He however stated that he made good money from callers’ tune on his smash hit single Kako bi chicken.

The singer said he hopes to collaborate with either of YMCMB rappers, Lil Wayne or Drake, if the opportunity presents itself. He said as he hopes to be one of the biggest singers out of Africa before quitting music, even as he plans to drop videos for Too Much remix or Nigboro and Government.

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