Hop Act, JJC In the music industry in Nigeria, the name Abdul-Rasheed Bello may not ring bell but it's not the same with JJC Skillz. JJC started his career in London with the 419 Squad that had Don Jazzy D Banj, MP, So Simple and Smokey before things fell apart among them. JJC has also helped so many artistes in their music career. The Kwara State born afro hip-hop act returned to Nigeria to establish his music career in the country. Ola Muhammed had a chat with the TV and Video Production graduate and he bared his mind at length on his decision to relocate home with some of the artistes on his Big Boiz Production and Video Entertainment and his relationship with Mo'Hits.
Now that you are back home, what are your plans?
I'm home to establish myself in the country. I'm also here to sign some deals and to introduce the artistes on my record label Big Boiz in United Kingdom to Nigerians. I want them to have a feel of them.
How long will you be staying in Nigeria this time around?
As long as you like it here in Nigeria, you will like to stay for a long period. We are all Nigerians.
Do you think you can stay in Nigeria for long judging from the kind of environment you live over there?
Yes..! I can stay here; I was born in Nigeria and my formative years were here till the age of 14 before I left to the UK. When I got to the U.K, I did a song that Nigeria is the best land with my song 'Naija Mile'. I come home once in a while and most times I bring talents into the country. But I felt it's time to come and enjoy my labour.
How would you compare your stay over there with that of Nigeria?
I thank God for a fulfilling career over there. But I need to come home because there is no place like home.
Taking you back, how did JJC & 419 squad emerge over there?
I have always been JJC and JJC is who I am.
Through the years in the UK, I kept discovering and developing Nigerian talents. My first Nigerian act was the 419 squad. With the 419 squad we produced an album and it was widely accepted. Later, other Nigerian artistes like Don Jazzy, D'Banj came on board. I've worked with different artistes as well. Along the line, some of them came to Nigeria to have a family contact and that was how they left the group.
How did you meet the members of the group?
The likes of Master plan (MP), So Simple, many others came to meet me in the studio that they want to do some jobs but had no money and I helped them. With time, we became friends and I took them to shows. I gave them a platform to exhibit their developed talents.
Musically, are you saying you made them?
Yes, I taught them stage experience, how to write a song, how to produce because they only have raw talents and I built it for them.
How did Don Jazzy and D Banj come in?
It was Kaz that brought Don Jazzy to me because he used to be a keyboard player for Solek. He told me Don Jazzy wanted to work with me, from there I taught him how to produce Hip - Hop sound and within the same period MP brought D Banj and I accepted them into the group with D'Banj playing harmonica underground. And when I brought them to Nigeria for shows they decided to stay back to do their own thing. I took them to radio and television stations and print media for publicity.
Were you happy with the situation when they decided to stay back?
Nobody is going to be happy about such. But thank God they're working harder to have their own groups and make things work for them. All I can say is that I am happy for them because they have the fighting spirit.
How did you get into music?
When I got to London; I used to roam the streets of London like a street boy. Later, my brother bought me a computer with a turn-table. He said instead of walking round the streets of London, I should learn computer and how to make a sound from it. From there, I learnt how to make sound and after I becamea Dj. After some time, I told my brother I wanted to do music and he encouraged me. And this attitude of helping people to achieve what they want to be is still in me; I still help and encourage people when I see talent in them.
Do you have any artistes under your label?
Yes,I have 2 Kriss, Lil Miss, Tipsy, Mohi, Tbo, AB fresh, and I.
as any one of them produced an album?
2 crazy has produced. Right now, I have a complete album that has all the artistes on my label and the album is going to hit Nigeria by next summer.
The album is 'Big Boys all stars' and I came to the country to discuss with some marketers, promoters and managers to make it happen.
Can you name some tracks in the project?
Firstly, we are releasing a video called “Se e n gbo mi” and 2crisis has Mode 9 while Tipsy has a video called “Chin Chang”.
What is the relationship like between you, D Banj and Don Jazzy?
We are friends. It is not everybody you help that will appreciate it or pay you back and I hate pride.
How did you come about the name JJC?
When I got to London, people especially Jamaicans used to call me JJC because I just came to London then. And I answered them because there's nothing wrong being a 'JJC'. When I started music, I chose the name 'JJC' as a stage name and most of my songs are all about Nigeria and the language medium is in Nigerian dialects.
Today, Nigerians in the Diaspora feel like coming home and the Jamaicans too have a feel of Naija because Naija dun gaan (Nigeria is sweet).