At what age did you get into the music industry?
9ice: When I was 13 years old, I started dancing and singing, this was when I was in JSS1. But I got into the industry in the year 2000 professionally.
What album brought you to the limelight?
9ice: My current album brought me to the limelight, though I have been in the industry before now, but with this album, it has been able to open a lot of doors for me. I mean I am able to travel around the world and perform. Though I would say my first album set the pace for me, and that was the beginning.
What strategy did you use to improve yourself looking back at your first album to the current album?
9ice: In both albums, I used the same producer. My brother ID Cabasa produced all the tracks and I wrote all the songs. But I would say an improvement has been in the quality of production, in terms of mixing, lyrics. And my fans can notice the improvement from the two albums.
Are you still bringing home the Grammys?
9ice: Yes, definitely. I will not stop till I have brought that home.
All your colleagues in the industry have positive things to say about you. Segun Obe mentioned that you are a very down to earth young man who is focused. Do you think after all the success; fame would change you as an individual?
9ice: Well, when most people change, it’s because some have reached their goal and they believe they can do anything, some probably just don’t care. But for me, I have not even started, so there is nothing that can get into my brain right now or even in the future. Maybe until I have 2 Grammy awards, 4 houses in the UK, 5 houses in the US, 40 houses in Nigeria and 100 cars (laughs) maybe, just maybe I would change…(laughs). But all that are just material things, so fame will not change me.
You have been in the industry now, and still no negative news about you. You would think when an artist is doing so well in their field, that’s when you would hear negative rumours. How have escaped that?
9ice: It’s all about discipline, having the right people around you to keep you focused and grounded. I have my family always around me, my wife most especially, behind every successful man there is a successful woman.
Young teenagers today are looking up to you, but there is always a bad side about been in the industry, Issues such as sex and drugs. How would you advice the young ones?
9ice: First of all, set your priorities right, know what you want to do. Identify what you are looking for, are you there to get the fame, do you want to make a change in the lives of others. So it’s not all the artist you see that have the same intentions, some want the girls, because once they are famous it’s easy for them to get girls, while some really do want to make a change.
So to the young ones, understand the industry first by learning from those who are already there, watch what is going on, know the ups and downs. You might not hit it big the first time, but if you are determined and keep trying and pray, God might just answer you. Also, this is very important, sound Nigerian if you from Nigeria, sound Ghanaian if you are from Ghana, not sounding American if you have been leaving in Nigeria.
Describe 9ice in 3 words?
9ice: Simple, Straight-forward and shy
You don’t look shy on stage. On stage you are very bubbly and a good dancer?
9ice: People, who know me, can testify that I am very shy and reserved. (Laughs)
Who inspires you?
9ice: Outside Nigeria it has to be Wyclef Jean, Akon, Alicia Keys. And In Nigeria, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Ebenezer Obe and many others.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
9ice: I want at least 30 albums to my name. Also, want my music to touch the lives of others. I also want to see Nigerian music in the highest level with other countries because I know and believe we can achieve it.
Do you see yourself doing movies?
9ice: I have been approached to do some movies, but I refused to do them because I want to work on a movie that has more detail and that can been fruitful in helping the country in portraying Nigeria and Africa in a brighter and positive light.
How does it feel to be married and a father?
9ice: When I got married was a wonderful feeling, knowing you are marrying your soul-mate is one of the best thing God can do for a man, because most people get married so many times before they find their soul mate, but I found mine. And to be a father, wow another great and beautiful thing. God has blessed me so much and I give thanks every day.
How did you meet your wife?
9ice: We met through a friend, but we never kept in touch. After almost 2 years we met again and the rest is history (Laughs).
In terms of education, you didn’t finish your University degree; do you intend to finish that or just close that chapter?
9ice: I intend to finish, but this time I will major in something that I am interested in. You know most people go into the University because their parents want them to, or because they want them to do a particular course. This time, I will do me; I am already registered to start a course. I will be spending most of my time with my family and making sure I groom myself to become better every time I release an album.