Saturday, 27 May 2017

30 MINUTES WITH 9PLUS - Talks About New Record Deal, Combining Singing & Production With Education And More...

NsukGist Sat Down With Prolific Singer And Music Producer 9plus To Talk About Life As Singer And Music Producer, How He Started Music, His New Record Deal, Fashion, Tattoes And Much More. So Sit Back And Enjoy This Revealing Interview

Hello 9plus, Give Us A Brief Intro About Yourself
My name is Ilyasu Suleiman aka 9plus, I am a student of Nasarawa State University. I am an activist, a singer, a songwriter and a music producer.

What Was Growing Up Like For You? Tell Us About Your Family Background
I am from a family of four, 3 boys and one girl. I come from a Muslim background. Growing up wasn't really tough. I am from Kogi State and Igala y tribe.

How Did Music Start For You?
I have a musical background, my granddad was into Igala music, my mum also did it for a while. Music literally came to me, I grew up to like music.

Were Your Parents In Support Of You Going Into Music?
My mum, yeah but my dad had his reservations about my music career, he was against it at some point but when he saw the progress I was making and the influence I had in Kogi state, he had a change of heart, especially when he saw me performing live on TV

Singing Or Music Production, Which One Came First?
I started singing before music production, as a matter of fact, I started out as a rapper but i realized rap wasn't for me, so i focused and improved on my singing before the music production started.

Combining Your Musical Career And Education, How Has The Journey Being?
It's been interesting but sometimes overwhelming and tough. Combining both together is not really easy  but once you're able to create time for both of them it becomes easy. I do get heart-broken when an artist call me to come and work  when I am in class and I have to turn them down, because that can kill their vibe so I arrange my schedules well and i set my priorities right to avoid thing like that.

When Did You Decide To Be A Musician And A Producer At The Same Time?
I didn't really decide, I was producing music for myself then some colleagues would hear it and would want me to produce for them too and they do pay that's when i decided to go into production full time. And again some producer could't really get the sound i have in my head so i decided to create the sounds/Instrumental myself
If You Were In A Situation Where You Have To Choose Between Music Production And Singing, Which Would It Be?
Wow! That's a tiguh question, I would choose singing because of my love for inventory and creating new sounds. But trust me I don't want to be in the situation where I would have to choose between the two.

How Did The Name 9plus Came About?
Honestly the name just came, when i was in secondary school, people called me so many names including Last Don and some called me Dome. But when i wanted to go into music full time, the name 9plus came up. There is this love i have for the number Nine because it is the highest number. So I just decided to add a plus to the highest number.

What Genre Of Music Do You Do?
I don't really have a specific genre of music. It all depends on the mood I am. I might decide today I want to do Patois but people do know me with R n B but i also do Afro Fusion

Where Do You Draw Your Musical Inspiration From?
Mainly my inspiration comes from people around me, especially my friends because I love to play very well. When I'm with my friends we play and talk about girls very well. I also draw inspiration from pre existing artistes and ultimately from God. My music comes from my surroundings and i do tell other people story too

Do You Still Do Traditional Music? 
Yes, I still do traditional music, it was through it I got myself into school. Music is paying my bills and giving me 90% of what i spend. The first EP I dropped was in my dialect entirely and in a month , it sold about 7,000 copies then 8,000 + in the next 2 weeks.

How Do You Keep In Touch With Your Huge Fan Base In Kogi State?
My management takes care of that for me, I don't see myself staying away from traditional music cause it has helped me alot and through it I have met alot of important people including my state governor.
How Many Tattoos Do You Have?
I got my first tattoo while I was in Lagos, I am also a tattoo artist, I do tattoo people and I have the machine but I've been too busy to go into it fully. I have about 7 tattoos and they have different meanings

What Was Your Parents Reaction When You Started Getting Tattoos?
I am this kind of person that whatever I do outside home, I can still do it at home. I don't know how to live a double life. I have love for tattoos and my parents don't have a problem with that.

Why Have You Decided To Stay In School At This Level Of Your Career?
In as much as you are into music, you need to be educated. These are part  of the reasons why artists of the past era go broke, because you making so much money at your prime. If you are not educated you will have to employ financial managers to take care of your money, manage your funds and resources but with education you realize the need to invest in the right places. With education, you make the right choices.

How Do You Manage Your Teeming Female Fans?
I have alot of female fans, I try to take them seriously, I do enjoy their company whenever I'm with them and I make them happy when I perform for them. Sometimes you can't hide the fact that some of them will have something to do with you intimately, which I hardly do. I like to stay very professional.
How Does Your Girlfriend Cope With Your Female Fans?
If you are my girlfriend, you have to understand that this is what I do and these are the people i have to be surrounded bu=y. It all boils down to the trust and understanding but I am not in a relationship right now, the lady i dated was quite understandable and gave me all the support i needed.

We heard You Recently Got Signed Under A Big Record Label, Tell Us About It
A lady in Abuja gave me a call one day, She's a friend and has been very supportive. He name is Hyra. I made a song for Orji Uzor Kalu, probably he heard the song and started looking for me. So they did a background check on me and realized thy could work with me. We had a meeting and 2 weeks later, they got me a contract. I made them understand that I was still in school and they were okay with it. I will be dropping my debut single with them very soon

What Are Your Goals Musically?
I want to be a household name in the world. I don't know how it's gonna happen but i know God will do it. I want to be that person that came and left his mark, an artiste that affected many positively. I want to attain that height that when I'm no more, my music will speak for me and influence the next generation.

Which Artistes Would You Love To Work With?
Honestly Chris Brown tops the list, he's hardworking and talented even in the face of challenges. I love 50cent alot too, he's an old G and a very good business man and still relevant, I would love to work closely with him. And I like Jay-Z, Yung Thug and many others

Which Would You Love To Produce For And Work With Locally?
I'd love to produce for Davido, his vibe is over the roof, I'd also love to work with Niniola and the likes of Tekno & Olamide,

What Has Been Your Biggest Challenge As A Music Producer?
One, not being able to lay my hands on the new stuffs in the market, the softwares. Sometimes you have to wait until some software are cracked before you're able to use them here because their prices are on the high side. Also not being able to get the musicians I want, the likes of the keyboardist, saxophonist etc. Assembling these guys are very expensive and some attires are not ready to pay for it.

What's Your Favorite Musical Instrument? And Why?
If you notice my works you would realize I like the flute, I don't play any instruments but I still work my magic. I love the flute because it is original and local to me and it speaks more of where I come from.

Which Artistes Do You Look Up To?
I look up to Wande Coal, he cuts it for me, he is someone i feel is not getting all the appreciation he deserves. Everybody looks up to 2face, Don Jazzy & D'banj

Where Do You See Yourself In The Next 3-4 Years?
I am not a pastor or imam, I believe God does things the way he wants it. I know he will take me to the top!

What's Your Take On Entertainment In Keffi?
Nasarawa State is growing, we have good musicians, producers and rappers in Nasarawa, Keffi. It's developing gradually. What we lack here is product control, artistes just get up and drop songs whenever they want to. We need good management outfits to help and develop artistes.
What Advice Would You Give To Upcoming Artistes?
Work very hard, we have so many talented acts out there, what makes you stand out is your readiness, as an upcoming artiste, pray hard, be yourself and be humble, humility is needed in everything.

What Should Your Fans Be Expecting From You Soon?
They should be expecting so much positive vibes ranging from production to songs, I will drop tracks they've not heard before. And very soon I'll be dropping singles with OUK Entertainment.

Message To Your Fans?
Stay out of trouble, be true to yourself and whatever you're doing. Avoid social and domestic violence and say no to drugs.

Thank You
Interview By Christoher Abiodun Salami (Abbey)
Photos By Ibrahim Oyetola (High-B)

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