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Isolation with Brymo: Nigeria’s Mad Music Scientist

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In the thick of the Covid-19 pandemic in Lagos, Brymo cuts a lone figure sitting behind his house and having a small party for one. It’s a peaceful spot in this large compound, far away from the energy and laughter of his curious kids who want to play chess. His right hand moves a half-smoked blunt to his lips, where he drags it with relish, smiling as he stands up for a hug. The 33-year-old takes a puff, lets it roll around in his lungs, and exhales. To conclude the ritual, he sloshes a drink down his throat.

“It’s Orijin and coke,” he says, “Do you want one?”

“Smoke?” The blunt was offered.
His face lights up some more. He beams as he hands it over. Smiling with the happiness of a man who’s just found something in common with a new guest. Weed can be a number of things, but right now in the uncertainty of the times, it’s a unifier. Lagos, Nigeria is on lockdown to curb the spread of the Coronavirus which has confounded the medical community, decimated the global economy, and altered everyday life as we know it. Brymo was also a casualty. His headline concert in March was postponed to protect his fans from picking up the dreaded virus. To get to his home, I navigated 10 police checkpoints along deserted streets empty of the usual bustling activity.

Handing me a glass of his special brew, he sits and retrieves the blunt. Sharing his chair is a copy of Dan Brown’s bestseller novel, Inferno.

“This is one of the few times you should move with the crowd,” Brymo says.“When they say you should stay at home, you should stay at home. It’s as simple as that. I’d never do anything with the crowd but I’d stay home.”

Independence. Brymo’s obsessed with it, referring to it by a grander synonym—freedom. You can find it in the centre of his existence and as his sole compass for navigating life. He acquires this freedom via rebellion, pushing against everything that isn’t in line with his personal choices.

As a teenager, he dropped out of university, choosing music over his father’s wish for higher education. As a signed artist of Chocolate City, where he was first introduced to pop stardom, he tore up his comfort, for a life of inspired alternative music. Even as a large section of music enthusiasts continue to call for him to make music in the vein of ‘Oleku’—his legendary collaboration with former label mate Ice Prince—he’s ignored them. The crowd has never impacted on his personal choices until coronavirus showed up in his city.

After his tumultuous exit from Chocolate City in 2013, and the ensuing legal battle, Brymo flipped the switch on everybody. He abandoned convention, linked up with producer Mikkyme Joses, and launched a creative journey that has so far culminated in five eclectic albums. In that time, he’s deliberately moved away from pop consideration and recreated himself into one of Africa’s most critically acclaimed musicians, focusing on understanding the human experience, relaying it via heartfelt poetic lyrics, ambiguous activism and live performances. Every show he’s announced since then has been sold out. Every venue packed. Every critic silenced. But it isn’t enough.

“Yellow,” his 7th studio album offers another chance for him to further extend his legacy. It was crafted from hedonism, Brymo tells me. After the 2018 release of his 6th studio album Oso, Brymo pursued reincarnation. He spent the next 16 months gliding through secret parties, where the alcohol rained, controlled substances poured, and life was the merriest he’s ever experienced.

“Crazy random parties. Drugs and women. I remember I used to be very direct so I could just offend the women, you know,” Brymo recalls, shaking his head in excitement, the blunt now done. “I’d just say things like you look so beautiful and I want to give you multiple orgasms. And the girl just goes, ‘Brymo you can say that just because you’re a star? You can’t say that to me, that’s rude’. And I’d just go ‘oh I’m so sorry, it’s the alcohol. and it would never happen.’ It was wild. A fucking wild time.”

It was also a time when he finally became more vocal about his place in world music. He trumpets himself as the best, champions erotic love, and chastises anyone who dares use the word ‘underrated’ to qualify his art. That energy translates when he speaks. Brymo gets lost in his imagery, walking up and down in erratic movements, charged with passion. To get the interview, I chase him around the space to ensure my audio is intact. In one hour of conversation, we both broke a glass, my phone was knocked out of my hand, and my mind was stretched.

Through it all, Brymo paints a picture of a musical scientist. A mad man with a method. Nigeria’s very own sound maverick.

How much more do you want for yourself?
As much as…I don’t know the quantity. I know the ‘why’. I know the length of time. I want more as long as I’m alive because as long as I’m alive, I’m going to be free. Freedom is the theme. When you want more, freedom is the only way to get more and enjoy it in peace afterwards. The aftermath of success is more important. It’s the only way to get more, and say “it’s mine and I’m taking a break for three years. When I’m done, when I blow it, I’d go look for more. The choice to blow what you’ve made is rare. To make a profit and have profit in bulk is rare. It’s a tangible amount to buy a house, to buy cars, to buy a jet, to buy a yacht, to be Bill Gates, it’s rare to make money. So how do you do it to be that rich and to have people talking to you as a rich man not as a greedy man? I don’t think there’s any other way than the open dreaming part. I believe that the reason Bill Gates became the first man to put a computer in our hands—to put software in our hands—was because he was the most open guy about it. He was the guy talking about it the most and everybody was like ‘yeah we can do this’. Since he was the guy talking about it, of course he was going to be the guy doing it.

That’s just the point because that way, people will deliberately stop you, they now become your stepping stones. And on every level you get, some people will try to stop you, some will try to shun you, some will try to put you under. Some will try to kill you, some will try to bury you. Some will try to harm you. It gets more dangerous as you go farther.

But you’ve gone farther. What’s the danger that you’ve experienced for yourself?

Nothing matters. Freedom is all that counts.
Do you think you’re free?
Oh no! I’m not free. I’m just constantly taking some of it back. Nothing in the past that held me is still holding me. The past must lose its hold on me. The essence of freedom is not to be free. It’s to continue to take more of your freedom back as you get older.

So freedom is not an end in itself. It’s a vehicle..

It’s a process. It’s like going to an airport in Dubai where they have like four hundred gates. Yeah something like that. It’s the same thing. You’re all just boarding a plane. But you just go through separate gates because there are so many outlets.

Why are you weird? Do you consider yourself weird?

I don’t know what weird means.
Are you different?
Deliberately, yes.
Why are you different?
Survival, Joey. I don’t know why. For all of my life I hated classism. I hated the fact that people have to group themselves in classes. Because it takes the same effort to find intellect no matter who you are. To be intelligent means to be still. And to be manual you need to become auto. Do you really think science is ever going to go past both? Digital is just a word they created for the third perspective, the neutral in the light bulb. It’s just a word for the middle. It’s always about automation and manual. That’s all that is going on.

So it’s just binary?
It’s a duality. It’s a duality working as one. Anytime they come together and they create something, we say ‘oh it’s digital.’ Where there’s the hardware and software and everything is going together. We say cars are going digital. Does it mean cars don’t have bodies? Yes, but they won’t no longer have fuel poured into them.

I see how you create conversations. You make connections between things that people would not think about. You sort of teach, you enlighten and then you declare. Why? Where does it come from?

Those are the three principles of bringing dreams to fruition. It is as simple as what it is. You think the thought. Then you campaign for it. And then you do what you said you will do. For everything you ever campaigned for Joey, tell me that somebody at some point didn’t come along to help you do it. That’s what democracy is about. That’s why Christianity is still hot. Islam only survives because there’s Christianity. Islam just created the other side of the coin. Christianity is trinity. Light bulb is trinity. Democracy is trinity. That’s the family; father, mother and children. The children are judging the parents. They don’t have the right to, but they do.

How does it feel to know that you’re one of the few artists that can do whatever they say they will do?

It doesn’t mean much because I’m still under the law and principles of the universe. Principles of time. Do you know the only time when everything is okay according to the world?

When? Tell me.
When you are a bad person. When being a patriarch, when being a misogynist, when being a rapist, when being a fraudster. When being a corrupt official. Do you know the only time it is safe? In old age. You know the only time people need to be rich?

Old age. Because you’re supposed to get richer as you’re older. I don’t think you’re supposed to get money and then save it and then necessarily invest to make more money. You cannot take on more than one responsibility in a job or profession. If you take on more than one, you’re going to fall apart. You’re not going to be successful. You must blow up from one source before you can start channelling investments into other things. So that takes time and I’m still subject to that. So that means that if I want my peace of mind, the only way to be rich in this life is to make more money than you can finish. Really. Let’s get serious. If you have 17 businesses bringing you N5000, you’ll be fine. I promise you, as soon as you have just one place for 5k, you’re going to plug it into a debt. You’re going to plug it into a school fee. That’s what happens to people who do that mostly. The only way to be rich is to make more money than you can finish.

So, expansion?
You have to make more money than you can finish. And for everytime you make money, you have to spend a lot of it. The guy from Amazon, Jeff Bezos has been so good at making money that when he gave his wife $30 billion, he made it back so quickly. He’s just so skilled at making his money back, but he still had to spend half of that money or so. Yeah, he had to. What’s the difference? Jeff Bezos lost $30 billion. Do you think it’s different from you when you lose 2 million? You think it feels different? Oh no man. It doesn’t. He was pissed.

How does it feel to always provide more?
To give more is the only prerequisite for giving more. See, the feeling of ‘everything is mine’ is limited to youths. There’s something boys and girls lose that we don’t talk about. The confidence of youth. And it doesn’t return. All that’s left is showing and proving. Why the fuck did you go to school? For degrees? No, they want to see how long you can continue to be examined. How long you can continue to take the tests and pass the exams. It’s the same thing every time in life. So everytime the cycle returns we just say ‘aim higher.’ The cycle will come and go. If you hold on to what has been given to you in the cycle you’re not going to get what’s coming next. It’s why the rich will tell you to quickly invest your money. So there can be hope of more returns and then more money. What do I need to invest in? Invest in the life of an artist. I have invested tens of millions into lifestyle just so I could put out “Yellow”.

Tell me about what this lifestyle is in relation to “Yellow.” How did you get from nothing to Yellow?

Of course, there were musicians before there was theatre. The life of an artist is what created the idea of a theatre, because the artist is a different character in every phase of our career. That’s why I make one album every two, three years. So that I could truly live and experience things. And guess the most beautiful thing about life? you only need two to three good experiences to have a bag of experience to share. Set some dreams. the universe will take you through rough patches and then take you through galloping roads and then through smooth sailing and then you’re on a jet. If you get lucky then you might go to Mars. Those periods are not more than a year and half. And as you go, you’re reporting and reporting. Everything starts from dreaming. It starts from the aspiration. I want to go here, I want to be here. Because if not Joey, what else am I doing in this life?

So what did you do for Yellow?
For Yellow, I just became a different person from who I used to be. Which was a different person from who I used to be before that. What happens is, if you decide to put money into your lifestyle, whether you move into a bigger house or you decide to get a bigger car. Or you decide to step up your budget for your work or your project. You want to go touring, when all of that starts to come, you need a phase to arrive there. For instance, in 2013 I had no true experience to share, even though I had stories to write. I was skilled at poetry. I had studied so many poets. I almost understood the essence of poetry and how they are constructed. When to use humour and when not to. I just kept reading poetry for maybe ten years. So I sort of was prepared. I didn’t have any experience, but I needed to aspire. Those were the qualities of the artist I’m trying to become. That was the most important thing.

When we talk about a renowned artist from Africa who is respected globally. Who is doing numbers on the global scale that the world is scared to talk about. That even he himself is afraid to talk about. Humbling success that I cannot brag about. That I cannot do giveaways in public about. The kind of success that humbles you, that makes you quiet. I wanted that, but I didn’t have the experience for it. So I just put in place the machinery for the quality of an artist that can attract that kind of success and share it with the people I was working with (Chocolate City).

And as the universe would have it, they didn’t want it. And everything started falling apart. And before I knew what was going on, I was being dragged. I was furious because I left the university for this. I would never quit music for anything. So I needed to fight through that to get my career back. No, I’m not going back home to tell my mother that I failed. I’m the only child. What’s going to happen? What am I going to tell my father? My father would just be like ‘wow, well done. You got tired ehn, let’s go to the river and catch fish.’ (laughs)

And then you began the move.
And so I began the move and that was a rough experience I didn’t want. And it resulted in an experience that made my first free album, Merchants, Dealers & Slaves (M,D&S) as believable as it was.

Beautiful album.
Why do you think so? Because you knew I was in court for two years. When I was recording the album, I was in court. I’d be in the studio about to record a song and I’d receive an email from a lawyer and it goes ‘next court date is in four days…’ That’s why you see, when you listen to M, D&S the energy was on high. The vocals were pitchy. I can’t sing some songs on the album. I’m like ‘why I dey sing like this that time na, the vocals too high.’ That was the only way. To either be mad or be subdued. But I couldn’t be mad in public. I couldn’t be mad on TV. I had to make sense. I needed to take the facts of the story and put it together and present it to the public and the court. That experience that made the album, more than the album made the experience.

How was the reception?
The experience. Everything is riding on that experience. That was literally my entrance into music for advocacy. Yes, into rebellion music. That was the entrance. I was speaking about the fight with the label and the industry and then I was making rebellious music. Putting punches at the government. I take my oppression local but my aim is the jugular of the federal government. Everything I say is about the government. But the proof of what I’m saying, is in my war with the music industry. That’s all. My fight to see a better hunting ground for me and my kind.

Why do you think the music industry is not receptive to your kind?

No, they are receptive to it. What happens is very simple and it’s most common among us dark-skinned people; the person your age or younger, cannot tell you what to do, no matter how right they are. No matter how much sense they make. Also, that makes sense because you are going through your life’s history. It would be difficult to listen to somebody else no matter how right they may be. Because many times people have messed you up, told you to do something and have left you hanging. So it all makes sense why things are like that. With M, D&S, that experience was rough but it made me. Then I realised at that point in time that what you go through are stories. And these stories are what you report on the other side. These stories take two years max anyway.

Why two years?
Max, when I was a beginner. Now my cycle takes about six months. That’s why I said that Jeff Bezos knew how to make money, but he made money back so quickly and he gave some of it away and boom, he did it again. Bill Gates was making millions in seconds at some point. What in his head told him he could be making money at that speed? He was just making money every microsecond. He practiced and practised and got better at it. And as you get better at it, the cycle becomes shorter. If it took two years then, I just said so far it’s two years, I can survive another two years. I knew then also that things got better as you go. And ever since then, I never put myself through any shortcuts anymore. I go through processes. And what is the aim? To be free. My freedom. Because as long as I’m looking at my freedom, I’d only make choices that guarantee that. And making that choice is going to get you battered. It’s going to get you cursed. It’s going to get you disowned. And you’re going to live through it, convincing everybody one at a time that yo, I’m just here for your entertainment though. (laughs)

Because freedom’s what it’s all about?

In the end. And then you take it back there and they start to enjoy it. I’m saying this, but they’d forget it, you can print it. And just when they start to enjoy it, you say

‘hey! stay back!’ And they’d be like ‘mad man has come again.’ And you go through it all over again. They get tired of you and they don’t want to see that other side anymore they just keep giving me money now every day. That’s how you get rich.

Why did you go naked in ‘Heya’?
‘Heya’ was necessary. If you listen to Yellow, you can see black people themes again. After ‘Heya’, people were sceptical. People were sounding like ‘who are you talking to in the song?’ Everything is just sketchy. Literally, ‘Black Man, Black Woman’ for instance is a more literal version of ‘Heya.’ Heya was philosophizing and meshing a lot together and keeping it in simple pidgin English. But a few folks wanted to use it to jab Brymo’s songwriting and say the lyrics were very weak on Heya. No they’re not. They were designed that way because Oṣó was the journey to finally go back to Yellow. To go back to happiness. To go back to Brymo releasing an album and people going ‘damn! we are freaking enjoying it. We love it’.

Oṣó was dark.
Oṣó is way darker than anything I’ve ever made. Because that’s exactly what precedes light. If Oṣó didn’t go that dark, there wouldn’t have been Yellow. It would have been impossible. Oṣó is the reason why everyone thinks Yellowis a beautiful and happy album. Even though it’s just another Brymo album and it’s literally as dark as Oṣó. But the language is literal. There’s a guy I call John Mayer, He’s one of my favourite artists in the world. He writes literally, but when you’re listening to his literal story, you start to tell yourself that it’s super deep like Fela. Oh, they are actually Libras. Both of them are the same sign as my father and my manager.

I’m Libra
Boom! Libras know how to say things directly and they sound fucking deep. They sound so deep. Sometimes it takes only a Taurus to listen to a Libra and understand that it’s literal. That’s how I feel a number of times. And every Libra that I know who is a songwriter or singer, they all write that way. John Mayer says things directly. When I say things directly, it becomes offensive. But the Libra says it directly, it can be humorous, it can be funny, it can be indirect anger. I only have outbursts, but in the sense of a Libra, like my father, I get to learn humour. And I get to learn a level of detachment that astounds me like how the fuck are you so detached? How are you acting like you’re not scared? What’s up? So I like to write literally sometimes even though they have hidden meanings behind the words and that’s what I did with Yellow. So it gives it a brighter outlook than Oṣó.

How did you create Yellow?
]I think I already told you everything. But in the actual process, I just spend a lot of time with friends you know. Crazy random parties. Drugs and women. I remember I used to be very direct so I could just offend the women, you know. I’d just say things like ‘you look so beautiful and I want to give you multiple orgasms.’ And the girl just goes, ‘Brymo you can say that just because you’re a star? You can’t say that to me, that’s rude.’ And I’d just go ‘oh I’m so sorry, it’s the alcohol, and it would never happen again. It was wild. A fucking wild time. I’m talking about 16 months. (laughs) From like April right after Oṣó dropped.

16 months of hedonism?
Yes. Extreme hedonism. And it was fucking good Joey.

And you were recording all through?
I was recording. I’d be up all night till 5am and then I’d have to stay up till 5:30 because I have to record on the mainland. I’m coming from Lekki. And I knew after the studio, I could come sleep here, it’s easier. So I’d just drive at 5:30 to beat the traffic at Jakande and just make it to Igando where Mikkyme’s studio is and I’m there. I needed to sleep because I need to be up making this album. But it was possible because there is like an R&B, Hip-hop, Soul approach to the production of the album. I’ve stayed away from R&B from 2007 right after I recorded my first album Brymstone. I decided R&B and Hip-hop are the cheapest genres in the world. Why? Because of content. While everyone is telling stories of their childhood, and how they almost killed their brother, how they were rapists and now have changed. How they were hedonists and now have changed. They made their experiences to bear and everybody is doing that. The Chinese, the whites, everybody. But I mean we are black right, so we have to be different right? Someone convinced us that because our skin is black, we must always make a different choice from everybody else. When in truth, everybody bleeds red. When in truth, all is pink inside a black or white pussy. Everyone is just flesh inside.

During this Yellow process, your communication changed. You began to say more hedonistic things. You began to talk about sex, about the elevation of self.

You know what happened?
What happened?
Thank you for this question. It’s fucking deep question. First, I was a teenager who wanted everything. Heavy desire. To a point that my parents would tell me ‘no, fuck off. This is for us. Become a man and go and look for whatever you want. Nobody can provide for you. You have to provide for yourself.’ And finally, I found my desire. I got fame, hit it big and I was everywhere. But I was underground. I just wasn’t out there making noise. I was doing things. I was with women, amazing beautiful women. Superstar women. It was a beautiful time between 2010 and 2012. I was going fast and everyone thought I didn’t cash out on ‘Oleku’. I was taking in the energy and I was living it in private.

‘Oleku’ was an experience.
‘Oleku’ was ridiculous. But I couldn’t bring the energy to the public because I didn’t know what it was. So I just stayed home and it kept coming to me in form of beautiful women and money and affluence and reverence. And I was just a young artist and I was climbing fast. And in two years I was already on N2 million per gig. But I’d just go and sync. We used to have our instrumentals and we’d sing on top of it and we thought we were better. I just couldn’t take it anymore, like no, it’s not good enough. I don’t have an entourage. What’s better than a band on stage with me? Entourage. First of all, it’s created on the stage. The stage is not dry. There are people there with me. These people are not just there, they are working. And I get to perform live. And I get to be professional and respected. It was just a fucking complete package and that was the way I should go. And I won’t be feeling like shit for just taking somebody’s two million. Now I can take the two million and give my boys some of it.

Is that why you have one of the best performances in Nigeria, in Africa, in the world, that I’ve seen?

Period. That’s all. I just needed to be able to take my money home and say this money, we are going tonight to go and blow it.

You pack every venue you announce. You sell out everything. When you’re on stage, what is a live performance to you?

I must confess, live performance is a job. The most important part of my artistry is what I want to say. What I need to say. How I eventually write it, how I sing it, how I perform it, how I sell it. Joey, that’s all thought process. That’s a business. All of it is business. The most important part of my artistry is what I want to say. That’s why I became a musician. It has always been about what I needed to say because my parents said ‘don’t say this in public, don’t tell this to anyone outside’. I just needed to say what I needed to say and that’s what my parents never allowed me. I was given freedom. At seventeen I’d be out till midnight. My father didn’t care what you did with your life. He just told me, ‘yo you’re supposed to be in the university right and you said you dropped out for your music. And you’re just sleeping and eating in the house coming in at midnight. I hope you’re doing great? I hope you’re fine?’ Because if he was to care too much, it was an only-child situation, he’d have just killed himself. So he just summoned the courage to leave me alone and say ‘go fuck yourself up’.

So your performance is just a job for you?
It is work. But the essence is the message because the message is sensitive. You see, the message has now become the backbone of the entire structure. Just because we have a heart and brain and everything does not mean we don’t need a spinal cord. And the message is why the feeling and the emotions can be preserved throughout the whole project even though I’m just doing business.

Why are you called underrated?
It’s a ploy. Are you not a black man? Don’t you know your people? They campaign. We say something about the person and people would believe that thing we say about the person, and that’s how we win. So we play our games. We do not have to hate an artist to make them popular. The reason artists are big in Nigeria is because they are wack. So anytime they drop a wack song and everybody is talking about how wack it is, then the PR people would take it and wing it and take it to corporate firms that this person is big. Numbers have lied now.

Doesnt it take so much from you? This masochist approach to art?

No it’s not masochist. It’s the Gandhi approach to getting freedom. You get beaten and beaten and you just say ‘yes, yes, yes but look at what I’m saying!’ And when they finally look at it, and they finally get it, then you tell them, ‘you see that’. Then you go with them and execute it with them. And when they are done and know what they need to know, you tell them they now know what they need to know. You are free, go away and be on your own. That’s what I must do to be discerning and to be deserving. I have to deserve what I want, because if you dream only and you get everything you want only via imagination without anything physical to prove it, society would come for you later. You must be a gangster or a fraudster or a corrupt politician.

You say you’re the greatest artist from this country to ever do it.

Most powerful artist in the world.
Because I was shocked and surprised as a musician to find a lot of lapses in the history of musicians. Why is religion so pure that people have deities and worship them? There are many deities in history but there are certain deities that held up the qualities of being a deity, that’s why they are deities. There are certain people who lived in this world who held up the characteristics of God as described by most people. When they left here people called them gods. There are so many lapses, so many loopholes. Mystery is why things last. When people are trying to unravel the mystery of what truly happened, the story will always be around. Purity is why it would stay there. When all the mystery has been unveiled, you better get lucky that at the bottom of that ideology, there’s purity there. If purity is at the bottom, when people get there and they find the purity, then that thing can stay forever green.

You’re the most powerful artist because you have purity?

Because at the core of my artistry, of my gluttony, of my need, is a message that I must share. For the freedom of my own soul, of my person, my ego. For me to be truly free in my emotions, there is a message that I must share. Everyone around me would know that I would share with them, every single time events happen. Why do you think the Catholics have the confession booth? You live, you confess. But what’s the difference? I take my confessions and I record then in melodies and tunes. Just so that you remunerate me and I can go back to it tomorrow. Because the guy who sits with me in the lab to create this solution, he wants to get paid too. He bought that equipment with his money too. And the guy who puts it on his website for you to go and stream, we have to share the profit too. So tell me how I’m going to spread my message without cheapening it and still be able to maintain? Because if I didn’t make Oṣó, I wouldn’t be able to go out freely. I was raised in a frugal environment where you have to economise. Even when I became a musician, I just loved to economise. I just love to see money grow. I don’t increase my budget, I just do everything in moderation. But last year, I was like you know what? Fuck this shit, let’s break all the rules. I started going out more. I started making more friends, started showing up and turning up and having fun especially in private parties for like a whole 16 months. It was amazing. But if I had not made Oṣó, I wouldn’t have gathered the resources to reinvest in what’s making people say Yellow is beautiful. Yellow was me being a pop star for the first time ever in my career.

What is the nature of your activism, and the point of it?

Remember, freedom is at the core of my needs, of my desires. How do you get freedom if you don’t study the times before you make utterances? There are days when there is no clarity and you have to speak in codes. You cannot be bare. Do you realise to be bare, is to pass judgment? People think speaking clearly is just using plain English, no. To be clear is to pass judgment. To say exactly what you’re thinking, but you can do that every time. There are days when you just go ‘fuck all this shit and just say it as it is.’ You know on that day that there’s drought, and all the lions are trapped seven stories down the hill, and they have not eaten in six weeks, they cannot climb to where you are. Then you scream and your name echoes through the land. And you become gods among men. If after Yellow I go out for a month, the mystery would be lost.

At the heart of everything is freedom.
Yes. And I can never enjoy freedom if other people don’t enjoy it too.

Okay, that’s why you fight for people or sing for people?

Yes, I fight my wars and educate people about it. Some people follow me in my troubles from M, D&S. Those are the people that look like my niche followers, whom by the way, I’ve refused to name. It’s such a huge trend that I think is the most mediocre shit going on right now.

Some people would argue…
I think it’s very mediocre and it’s cheap. That’s the most problem. That’s the biggest problem with music. Whatever two or three people have done, don’t touch it. Don’t name your fans. It’d die with the decade. The decade is dead, Joey. The expression has been deepened. Do you remember the ‘Oleku’ of 2010? Compare that to Yellow. Stop and do it. It’s a decade later, lightning would strike again and everything can sort of repeat itself again. That’s why Yellow is happening. Expression has been opened further. I’m just happy to be the guy who observed into the patterns and tapped into it again. Because things happened faster than they did before. So many people played their hands last quarter of last year too early.

What do you people would find when Brymo is no more?

Brymo – They’d find nothing. At the core of it, they’d just find love. Agape love. Rebellious love, but easy love. It’s never hard. It’s easy love. That’s why it’s rebellious because we take advantage of it over and over. And it’d rebel against you over and over. And you’d submit. And for every time you do it, you’d be put under that love. But guess what? It would never haunt you or hurt you. You will submit to that love because love is a weakness. Don’t let anyone lie to you about it.

I have submitted to so many people and I have always accused them of misuse of position. So guess what I must become? I must become like them and become the example that they could never be. That’s all. That’s where my lesson came from. All my life I’ve been getting into spaces and be like; you people can’t even do it well. I’m always the guy bringing up the problems and for once this involves my survival. So I said, I’ve enjoyed this shit for two years. The pussy, the money, the travels – I love travelling. I haven’t started yet. I have to spend another eight years to kickstart again. To be reintroduced to Europe again. Because oyinbo people are used to being reintroduced. It’s going to be easier to sell to them than my people. But if I can’t sell to my people, if I cannot convince Nigerians to love me, who else can I convince? I’d be lying. If you’re not truly big here, you can’t be big anywhere in the world. How would you be big elsewhere if you’ve not tried the formula at home?

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Funke Akindele Arrested By Police For Flouting Lockdown Order In Lagos

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Nollywood superstar and producer, Funke Akindele – popularly known as Jenifa, has been arrested for hosting a party that defied Lagos State Government’s restriction orders in lieu of COVID-19 pandemic.

Akindele was arrested on Sunday for hosting the party on Saturday in honour of her husband, Abdul Rasheed Bello a.k.a. JJC Skillz, a singer which attracted music artistes such as Azeez Fashola a.k.a Naira Marley.

The party, from the videos released, attracted more than the permissible guests in line with the restriction order to contain the pandemic.

Lagos Police spokesperson, DSP Bala Elkana, confirmed arrest of the actress.

In a statement on Sunday evening, he said: “Attention of Lagos State Police Command was drawn to a viral video showing a large number of persons mainly in the entertainment industry in an Estate, along Ajah, Ibeju-Lekki axis, Lagos celebrating a birthday party organised by Funke Akindele Bello and her husband.

“Police detectives from the State CID Yaba were promptly drafted to the location.

“Funke Akindele was arrested. Investigation is ongoing, efforts are intensified to arrest the remaining persons in the video, among whom are Azeez Fashola a.k.a Naira Marley and Abdul Rasheed Bello a.k.a. JJC Skillz.

“They are in their best interests urged to report at the State CID Yaba on Monday 6th April, 2020 or risk being declared wanted.”

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Coronavirus: NMA rejects invitation of Chinese medical team

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has rejected the planned arrival of a Chinese medical team to assist the country in its coronavirus (COVID-19) response.

The association, in a statement signed by its president, Dr. Francis A. Faduyile, on Sunday urged the federal government to rescind the decision in the interest of the country.

The association said it was disappointed with the federal government for not carrying it along in arriving at the decision, and for not taking into cognizance the extant laws regulating the practice of medicine in Nigeria as enshrined in the Medical and Dental Council Act.

“We are therefore profoundly dismayed to learn that the Federal Government is instead inviting the Chinese who from available accounts are not out of the woods themselves.

“The spike in cases and the death toll from COVID-19 in Italy coincided with the arrival of the Chinese in the guise of offering assistance. Even the United Nations has only just recently commended the efforts of Nigeria so far.

“It is a great disservice to the morale of the long-suffering frontline health workforce if the government goes ahead to invite these Chinese doctors.

“The invitation demeans their sacrifices so far in this pandemic. We fail to see how the 18-man team would impact the current efforts in any significant way,” the NMA said.

The minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, had disclosed on Friday that gifts of medical supplies were being expected from China organised by a group of Chinese companies working in Nigeria.

“A special cargo aircraft shall leave Nigeria in a few days to collect the items, which include commodities, PPE and ventilators.

“Of great interest is an 18-man team of Chinese medical experts, including doctors, nurses and public health advisers, who shall come along with the flight,” he said.

While describing the invitation to the Chinese doctors as ill-timed, the association said they were not averse to the donation of equipment and supplies because the country could always do with such support as even developed countries receive support.

NMA said the lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), grossly inadequate test kits and test centres across the country, as well as lack of insurance for the workforce were critical issues begging for attention.

NMA commended the work done by doctors and health workers at the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the various isolation centres across the country, and advised the federal government to show appreciation by channeling the available resources and donations to improving testing facilities and training more workers.

The association also enjoined the federal government to approve better welfare incentives to frontline medical personnel.

“The provision of adequate Personal Protective Equipment, opening and properly equipping more isolation centres and health facilities across the country is an excellent first step.

“Deploying more resources to facilitate testing as we are beginning to witness community transmission of COVID-19 is equally a better application of scarce resources,” it added.

The doctors also advised the federal government to declare a state of emergency in the health sector and fix health institutions as a matter of urgency to stem the rot.

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President Buhari greets veteran journalist Yakubu Mohammed at 70

President Muhammadu Buhari has joined Nigeria’s media industry in celebrating veteran journalist and founding Director of Newswatch, Yakubu Mohammed, on his 70th birthday, praying for abiding good health and strength.

President Muhammadu Buhari has joined Nigeria’s media industry in celebrating veteran journalist and founding Director of Newswatch, Yakubu Mohammed, on his 70th birthday, praying for abiding good health and strength.

According to a statement by Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, in Abuja on Sunday, Buhari felicitated with Mohammed, his family, professional and political associates on the landmark age.

Buhari commended Yakubu for his courage and dedication to the country “sometimes at grave risks, working variously with some of the pillars of Nigerian print media like New Nigerian, National Concord Newspapers, and co-founding the Newswatch magazine in 1984.”

He noted the contributions of the renowned columnist to the development of journalism, particularly grooming the younger generation, and maintained that his footprints were firmly imprinted on the media landscape.

The President extolled Mohammed for maintaining the delicate balance of being at the commanding heights of journalism, and keeping in touch with the grassroots.

He also acknowledged Yakubu’s contributions to the growth, development and victory of the All Progressives Congress, particularly in Kogi State.

President Buhari prayed that the almighty God would grant the journalist longer life, and bless his family.

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Danny Mills: PFA making Premier League players look bad

Former Leeds and Manchester City defender, Danny Mills, has hit out at the PFA’s sluggish response to calls for players’ wages to be cut in response to the coronavirus crisis.

Former Leeds and Manchester City defender, Danny Mills, has hit out at the PFA’s sluggish response to calls for players’ wages to be cut in response to the coronavirus crisis.

With football on hold in England due to the ongoing outbreak of Covid-19, which has killed more than 4,000 people in the UK, there have been calls for footballers to sacrifice some of their pay to help the NHS.

Negotiations have been led by the PFA, the players’ union, but on Saturday it questioned the value of stars taking a 30% pay cut in order to help public services, arguing that if they were to do so, the UK government could miss out on around £200 million of tax revenue.

Mills has responded to those claims, hitting out at the union for dragging their heels over finding a solution to the problem and leaving the players open to criticism from the public, many of whom have lost their jobs or have been forced to take a pay cut due to the knock-on financial issues the virus has caused.

“This deal can be done. It’s not that complicated,” Mills told Sky Sports. “I get that the government doesn’t want to miss out on taxes. It’s a valid point but there are ways around that. Everything is new at the moment. This is new at the moment, and there are new things coming into law all the time.

“The will is there from the players. The players want to help out, I can’t stress that enough, it’s quite clear.

“The Premier League players have the ability to do so and the funds to do so, some in the Championship might too but some may not. Some in League One and League Two will not, things could be very tight in their lives and they may not get help further along.

“Allow the Premier League to help out. It’s making footballers look bad at the moment.

“I understand the PFA, and the strength is in their numbers, but all the power lies at the top. They’re the ones with the say. They’re the ones with the money and the power. The PFA are making them look bad at the moment.

“The players want to give money, they want to help, now why’s it taken almost three weeks to get these talks to a point where we can’t even get a conclusion. That doesn’t seem right. The PFA have been slow to react and their communication hasn’t been brilliant.

“We’ve seen Jordan Henderson doing something off his own back to get players to donate and help out. The goodwill of the players is there but the PFA seems to be putting a blockage in the way.”

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APC governors hail Comrade Adams Oshiomhole at 68

Governors on the platform of the All Progressives Congress under the aegis of Progressive Governors’ Forum (PGF) have congratulated their national chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, on the occasion of his 68th birthday.

Kebbi State governor and Chairman of the PGF, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, in a statement described the former Edo State governor as a founding member of the forum whose contribution and inputs to the processes of managing governance in Nigeria have been acknowledged.

The statement read in part:” The Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) joins all Nigerians, to celebrate Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, on his 68th birthday. We celebrate this special occasion with you and your entire family.

“We in particular wish to acknowledge and commend your commitment to a united prosperous Nigeria. We also acknowledge your contributions as one of the founding members of this forum and continued inputs to the processes of managing governance in Nigeria.

“As our National Chairman, we join your family, our party members and all Nigerians to celebrate you.

Once more, as we rejoice with Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, we call on all Nigerians to observe all the social distancing measures and stay safe as we all work together towards overcoming the current COVID-19 global pandemic. “

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Oyo records new coronavirus case, to fumigate markets

Temitope Alonge

The Oyo State COVID-19 Task Force said the state has recorded another positive case, bringing to nine the total of positive cases in the state.

A statement by the Acting Chairman of the Oyo State COVID-19 Task Force, Prof. Temitope Alonge, on behalf the State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, made available in Ibadan on Saturday, confirmed that the latest case is a close contact of the second confirmed case, who subsequently developed symptoms.

The statement indicated that the patient has been moved to one of the isolation centres in the state, while activities at the Emergency Operations Centre are being ramped up and reviewed to meet the evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“With the index case in the state already discharged, the other seven cases remain stable,” Prof. Alonge said.

According to the statement, the diagnostic centre located inside the University College Hospital has commenced full and timely testing of samples, while it is committed to a turnaround time of less than 24 hours to provide results for samples taken.

Alonge said: “His Excellency is pleased at the progress that has been made at the Infectious Disease Hospital, Olodo, Ibadan with the training of key personnel and the readiness of the centre to receive patients starting from Monday the April 6.”

According to the statement, the state government has also received donations amounting to N125 million in cash and some other kind donations.

Prof. Alonge, who issued the statement shortly after the regular review meeting of the Task Force, said the state has also concluded arrangements to decontaminate (fumigate) markets spread across the state.

He stated that the decontamination would be carried out using experts from the University of Ibadan, while the exact date of the exercise would be communicated through the heads of markets.

The statement read: “The Task Force was also briefed about the School-on-Air programme designed to fill the gap for students in SS3, which is being supported by Telecommunications giant, Airtel with a donation of 500mb of data to each participating student.

“The Commissioner for Education, Olasunkanmi Olaleye, who briefed the Task Force, said that the programme being run on the radio and television channels of the Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS), was already reaching between 60 and 70 percent of the student population.

“The Task Force was further alerted to the decision of Governor Seyi Makinde to roll out palliatives to residents of the state within a short while and that the Ministry of Special Duties and Women Affairs and Social Inclusion are working out the modalities for the distribution of the palliatives in a way that would ensure the people who are really in need are directly reached.”

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Coronavirus lockdown: Ogun to open markets every two days

Gov Dapo Abiodun made this known while addressing newsmen on Friday night at his residence in Iperu Remo, Ogun.

The Ogun State Government says it will only open markets every two days during the lockdown.

Gov Dapo Abiodun made this known while addressing newsmen on Friday night at his residence in Iperu Remo, Ogun.

The governor also declared that all markets in the state would only open between 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday as the lockdown started on Friday night.

He noted that the total lockdown of the state for the first three days was to allow for complete fumigation of the state to disinfect public places such as motor parks and markets.

“The lockdown will be total from now till 7.00 a.m. on Tuesday, to be suspended between 7.00 a.m. and 2.00 p.m. to allow for essential business activities.

“This 7.00 a.m. to 2.00.p.m. window will be observed every other day therefrom; that is, Tuesday instant, Thursday, and Saturday for the coming week,” he said.

The governor noted that no fewer than 500,000 households would benefit from the stimulus packages to cushion the effects of the lockdown.

Abiodun explained that the packages, which comprised of 5kg each of rice, beans and garri with tomato pastes, vegetable oil, salt, seasoning cubes and other hygiene products would be distributed to the “poor and the vulnerable in the state’’.

The governor, however, warned that under no circumstance should the items be diverted to other use other than what they were meant for.

He appealed to the people to avoid stampede and unnecessary struggles during the distribution, saying it would be an ongoing process.

“We have constituted a multi-sectoral local government taskforce to monitor the daily report and distribution of the stimulus packages from the state government to all the 236 wards of the state,” Abiodun said.

The governor further said that the state government would begin to enforce the compulsory wearing of face mask as from Tuesday morning of April 7, till the expiration of the lockdown.

He also announced that the third case of COVID-19 who tested positive 10 days ago, was discharged on Friday evening, having shown considerable improvement in his health condition.

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Pastor Adeboye donates N20 million to support Osun coronavirus relief package

Although there were signs even during childhood that God would use him, Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Reedeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG was not born a saint.

The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye, has made another donation of N20 million to Osun State government to support its effort to cushion the effect of coronavirus (COVID-19) on Osun residents.

As at today, Friday, April 3, 2020, Odin ranks third among the states with confirmed cases of Covid-19 with 30 confirmed cases out of the 198 confirmed cases in Nigeria as released by the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC).

The state, no doubt, would require all the support that it can get in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic and the N20 million support, which was transferred into the state government’s dedicated COVID-19 account domiciled at UBA, is considered timely support in the fight against COVID-19.

The General Overseer noted that by the donation, the mission “acknowledge the efforts of the state government in curbing the spread of the virus in the state and prayed that God would put an end to COVID-19, not just in Nigeria, but in the entire world”.

This new donation is coming just as Pastor Adeboye made a donation of 8,000 hand sanitizers, 8,000 surgical face masks and 200,000 hand gloves to support the efforts of the Lagos State government in equipping the medical staff with necessary protective gears needed to contain the Covid-19 pandemic on Monday, March 31, 2020, at the Yaba Infectious Diseases Centre.

Pastor Adeboye has always been committed to contributing to the well-being of humanity and in particular, Nigerians of all tongue, religion and belief.

This has shown in his continuous generous giving in various areas long before the outbreak of COVID-19.

It would be recalled that ahead of the coronavirus pandemic, Pastor Adeboye through the RCCG Christian Social Responsibility (CSR) delivered on the commitment of the church to strengthen and support the health system by donating 11 ICU beds fully fitted with ventilators in Lagos, Ogun and Plateau states. These facilities have immensely contributed to the government’s efforts in the care for persons with acute medical needs.

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General Yahaya assumes duty as Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole

The Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) has pledged to collaborate with the Nigerian Army Resource Centre (NARC) to find practical solutions to insecurity confronting the country.

Farouq Yahaya, a major general, on Friday took over as the new Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole (OPLD) in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

Newsmen reports that Mr Yahaya took over from Olusegun Adeniyi, a major general, who was redeployed to the Nigerian Army Resource Centre as Senior Research Fellow.

In a brief ceremony, at the Military Control and Command headquarters, Mr Yahaya was presented with the Command flag by his predecessor after signing the hand-over and take-over notes.

In his remark, the new commander sought cooperation of all the components in the theatre to enable him to succeed in the ongoing operations against insurgency in the Northeast.

“I solicit the support of all the components in the theatre; I am talking about Maritime, Air Force and other security agencies to enable us achieve total peace and sanity in the Northeast”, Mr Yahaya said.

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