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Thursday, August 29, 2013

I can be very romantic if… – Ruggedman

When the name ‘Ruggedman’ is mentioned the picture that comes to mind is that of a hard-faced, tough-talking and mean gangster rap star, but the Ohafia, Abia State-born rapper is anything but that as he reveals in this telling chat with Weekend Groove. Excerpts:

What have you been up to lately?

I have been working on the singing sensation I just signed to my label, Rugged Records label. His name is Mbryo. I believe he’s the next act to blow from Nigeria. And we have been recording tracks for his album. I’ve also been on a promotion/introduction tour around Nigeria to introduce him to the industry and my fans.Mbryo is multi-talented. He writes, sings, plays guitar, drums and piano. So in order to introduce him into the industry, I released a joint album in December 2012 with him titled ‘Money Making Music’ which has songs like ‘Push’ featuring Terry G, Mbryo’s ‘Remote’ and lots more. He’s already getting heavy rotation. He has recorded songs with Olamide and Waje.

Is that why you retired from music so early so you can face production?

I didn’t retire. I just slowed down a bit so I can concentrate on my record label. The Mbryo project is the reason you haven’t heard a new song from me but I already have new songs with Wizboy, 2face, Wande Coal, TM 9ja and Vector to mention a few. My birthday is in September  so, expect a song on that day.

What about your fashion outfit? Much hasn’t been heard of it lately?

My clothing line called 20th September Wear is  work s in progress. I have done fashion shows and parties to showcase it but I’m still on it. Presently, I’m doing my research because I’m interested in putting out everyday clothing, not fashion show/runway clothes. That’s why I’m taking my time.

So are you throwing a birthday party?

Last year, I said I wasn’t going to throw a party but I ended up celebrating a week-long and in five different clubs. So I can’t say yes or no yet. But I will always thank God for an additional year on the date.

Which song do you intend dropping on that day?

I haven’t decided which one I will be releasing yet. I’m even still going to hit the studio before then so, it just might be the newest one with ‘Reminisce’.

So your label intends to work with just rap acts like you?

My label isn’t just for rap artistes. Mbryo is an R n B singing sensation. He is the first to get officially signed to Rugged Records

Most of your posts on Twitter reflect activism. Are you also an activist?

I have always been a critic. Remember the Ehen part 1 that I featured Nomorloss? It was the song that changed the face of Nigerian music and it was a constructive criticism which paid off in the long run because the outcome of that movie is what a lot of new age artistes are enjoying now. I am ever ready to lend my voice anywhere it will have a positive impact.


How do you  explain your love for soccer too?

I can’t just explain the kind of passion I have for football. But all I know is that I have loved soccer for so long as I can remember. As a kid, I remember watching Big League Soccer and reading hot shot Hamish comics. I have also been a Manchester United fan since 1986.

Why Man U?

I think it was love at first sight between Manchester United and I just clicked.

You seem not to be the romantic type?

Says who? I am very romantic when I’m with the right woman. Just like love and marriage, romance isn’t something I throw around.

I remember one St. Valentine’s day. I went to see my Val but I didn’t meet her at home. I tied a rose(a real one not plastic) to her door and wrote my initials on a paper. When she returned and saw it, she knew I was the one who put it there.

The incident that made me put my romance in check happened years ago too on another St. Valentine’s  day. I bought loads of gifts and  fifteen cards because I don’t like getting just one. I even booked an hotel room for dinner and all. All she did was say “you shouldn’t have done all these!” She didn’t even bring me a card. After that, I put a leash on my romance. She has to be worth it before I show her that side of me.

Can’t imagine a girl doing that to almighty Ruggedman.

No. At that time, it was just the start of my career. I hadn’t even recorded Baraje.

So how do you feel having experienced the other side of love?

I learnt that life goes on no matter what, and you need to know who you do things for.

Does that mean you don’t have anyone in your life?

Right now I don’t have anybody in my life. It’s been my work and me for a while now. Although it feels somehow sometimes, especially when I see couples out and about . But I find solace with the thought that the right person is out there for me.

So it means wedding bells isn’t ringing any time soon?

I guess so but I’m very happy it’s ringing for others and I pray their union stands the test of time.

But is it so hard to find the right woman?

I guess it is sometimes especially now that vanity rules. You find it hard knowing she is with you for you or your status.

It’s like you’ve really had hard times with ladies.

Not at all, the ladies love me and I love them right back. It’s getting the right one for me that’s the issue. A while ago, Bisi Ibidapo-Obe looked at me and said “Rugged, it’s not a curse but before you find a babe for you, it will be difficult.” She said I’m a fine man, successful artiste and so, women will come and it will be hard to know who is who. Now I understand what she meant but God is in control.

Why did you fire Mode 9 to ‘Go get another job’, have you any axe to grind with him?

I didn’t say that to Mode 9,bloggers put up that headline from what I said generally about music and entertainers. If you ever read my story,even I said “when I started I was tired of mediocrity being celebrated and I was left with two options: either to fight for the music I love or  to get another job. And I decided to fight for it,hence Ehen Part 1 featuring Nomoreloss was born. That was 2002,this is 2013.

So no beef with Mode 9?

I don’t have time for musical beef. I can do a track if it is needed to clear a wrong perception of me, but to start exchanging words with another artist at this stage? No way man!

What’s your view of music being churned these days?

Too many wishy-washy music that do not last more than 2 months on the airwaves. Sweet? Yes. Content? Definitely below average. But it seems they are doing it and getting away with it because the masses enjoy it. What this means is that the chances of this generation making songs that will be evergreen are very slim.



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