He had a pretty rough time growing up having lost his father at the age of twelve; One who did not leave so much behind to raise the kids since even he had barely enough to live on. Today he’s determined to find the ‘silver spoon’ for himself and possibly keep it for his children.
Born in Lagos, Solanke Abiodun Joseph is a funny and humble dude. His first hand taste of the streets has made him wiser and strengthened his resolve to rank among the comfortable in Nigeria and thankfully, he has a gift whose skill he keeps horning under the tutelage of the elders.
This determination channelled into efforts has produced two chart-topping singles; ‘Konikoni Love’ and ‘Igboro ti daru’. His lyrics may not be your ideal content but he’s managed to fit in melody and rhythm that sends your feet working the dance floor and his bank account swelling by the zeros. Today’s guest is your typical next-door neighbour; KleverJay.
I had my primary schooling in Kano and my secondary education was here in Lagos. I speak Hausa fluently and I still hope to further my schooling at the Lagos State University (LASU).
Origin of Klever Jay
It all started in secondary school. I was smart so people used to call me ‘Clever boy’. So when I was about going into music fully, id ecided to add the ‘J’ from my name-Joseph. That’s how I invented Klever Jay.
Early music days
I had this set of friends who were into music full time. I had noticed before then, right from the church that I could sing and compose songs. I was in the church choir. Whenever the guys rehearsed, I’d pay attention to them. At that time, my thinking was that I could use the knowledge gained from rehearsing with them, in church. They were secular musicians and before long we formed a group called ‘Simple Souls’. We were three in number.
We recorded a couple of tracks and shot a video, that was in 2003. In 2004, I released my first solo single titled ‘Agege wey we dey here’. I sang about my hood (Agege) because i love it.
The single introduced me to DJ Walex of Star 101.5FM. He saw the fighting spirit inme and my ability, so he promoted the single and took me to K-Solo’s studio where I recorded ‘Konikoni Love’ as a third single in 2006. We didn’t start full promotion until last year.
I’m not signed to any label; I’m free.
Relationship with K-Solo
I met him in 2006. DJ Wolex took me to him. K-Solo’s my producer and is someone I can’t do without. Aside from music, he gives me counsel and is very interested in my progress. Its not bee all rosy but I thank God for how far we’ve come today.
On ‘Igboro ti daru’
It was released on my album last September 11. The album’s called ‘The Beginning’ and it has twelve tracks. I really can’t tell what attracts people to the song.
I compose my songs around what happens in the streets. Even though my songs sound secular, there’s a gospel undertone in them.
The gospel in ‘’Konikoni love’
Konikoni Love is a story about a friend’s experience. His girlfriend was never there for him and she eventually jilted him. He told me his story so I decided to write around it. It took me a while to put it together because one needs to check on the lyrics, melody and message. The message there is simple. Guys and girls need to be careful when they fall in love.
And ‘Igboro ti daru’
I was trying to tell the world what God has done in my life. It simply means God has done something great in my life: moving me from grass to grace. The street boy of yesterday has become someone nearly everybody wants to see. Enemies no think am, I don elevate
The gospel is in the verses.
The chorus may sound somehow because one is trying to mix in what the streets will like.
The meaning of music
Music means everything to me. What has brought this conversation right now is music. I don’t pretend about it. It’s the desire of every man to see great things happening around him. Years to come, I want God to have enlarged my coast and taken my career beyond my imagination.
If you knew Klever Jay of yesterday, you’d appreciate what I’m saying some more. All i am today and all that is around me is courtesy of music.
I’m having sleepless nights trying to convince my fans that I am not a chance performer. I’m working on my second album already because I need to prove that this is what God has given to me to earn my living from. In Nigeria, I’ve collaborated with Ruggedman and Idris Abdulkareem. I still look forward to working with 2Face Idibia. Outside the country, Batman of Ghana and almighty Akon (laughter).
Initially my mum didn’t want me to go into music. She wanted me to face my education first. But since I was not born with a silver spoon, I have to fight for that spoon myself or keep it for my children. I lost my dad at age twelve. I know what my mum is capable of doing financially. So I had to explain to her how expensive higher education would be to her ad told her to let me fight it instead.