Fasasi… Anticipating a date with Da Emperor in Lagos
As part of activities to mark his birthday, indigenous rapper and entertainer, Mobolaji Fasasi, popularly known as Da Emperor, will be hosting a special concert in Lagos tagged, A Date with Da Emperor. Billed for October 6, at the Royal Lounge, Aguda, Ogba, Lagos, the gig will also feature performances by artistes, who worked with Da Emperor in the past.
Meanwhile, part of proceeds from the event, which will also feature the formal unveiling of his outfit, Etiemelo Empire Entertainment, will be used to touch lives of less privileged children in Nigeria.
“Sometimes, I feel artistes are not always celebrated when they are alive; artistes get buzz when they are dead. So, I’m like, ‘why wait till an artiste that makes good music dies before showing him/her some love? To this effect, I had to put together the event A Date with Da Emperor.”He continued: “Usually, on my birthdays, I go to orphanages to celebrate with children, but I don’t like making noise about it in the media. Last year, we were at the IDP camp. So, whatever we gather from this event, I will take a chunk of it back to the orphanage. It’s more like celebrating the brand and connecting with my fans,” he said.
On the format for the concert, the rapper explained, “It’s going to be a four-hour event, so, what I’m trying to do basically is that most of the artistes that will be performing are people that worked with me in the past. Though we will be having some guest artistes on that day, they will perform only by special request. We plan to put more of comedians on stage, but towards the end, we might open the floor for other artistes to perform for those, who wish to stay back.”
In recent time, Da Emperor has been recording songs, working on collaborations with various artistes and majorly performing at different show.“I did One Lagos Fiesta for all the zones last year December into January 2018. Besides that, I’ve recorded a whole lot of songs; the most recent one is Agoro featuring Small Doctor. Agoro is a Yoruba interpretation of ‘brand new.’ So, it’s basically talking about everything brand new; a brand new life, brand New Year, a brand new time and praying for a brand new blessing,” he said.
Asked if the tile has anything to do with his career as a musician, the rapper said, “Of course, yes. You know, immediately after the premiere of the video for my song Para Mode, the brand Da Emperor changed from what it used to be. For instance, some songs I recorded before Para Mode, I no longer perform them. I left those songs because I just felt that it’s a brand new season for me. This is a brand new Da Emperor that need to meet up with standards most of the time,” he enthused.
On how he came about the title and the choice of Small Doctor for the track, which got rave reviews and massive airplays, he said, “Normally, I always have brand new notes in my wallet; at least one. Even now, I have one. So, I just took out one of the notes and I was like, ‘brand new, brand new… Agoro,’ and I decided to write a song about it.
When it was time to choose an artiste to work with, he opted for Small Doctor, particularly for his skeet credibility.“I’m an indigenous rapper, but I needed somebody, who represents the street because it’s the kind of message that the street would key into easily. Everybody wants to live a brand new life; everybody wants to move up. So, I just called him (Small Doctor) up and he keyed into the idea immediately. We didn’t even see; I just sent him the instrumentals and he recorded and sent back to me.”
By the time Small Doctor returned the files back, the music was almost 90 per cent done.“He did most part of the song, so, people were actually thinking that Small Doctor owns the song. When I sent the instrumentals to him, I didn’t put my voice on it because, I wanted him to be original; I didn’t want us to sound alike. So, in the studio, he was just enjoying himself, recording his vocals. By the time h returned it to me, the song was almost done. Notwithstanding, the reception was massive,” he noted.
Though many erroneously attribute Agoro to Small Doctor, the song actually belongs to Da Emperor, who seems not to be bothered, as far as fans are feeling the vibes.“Well, I’ve had instances like that in the past whereby you listen to music lovers complain that one artistes is more domineering on a song than the other. You see, some artistes, while trying not to allow another artiste dominate their song, end up messing up the track; things like that don’t bother me. One thing I’ve learnt about music is that, once you can’t enjoy the song, then you are deceiving yourself. As far as I’m concerned, whether the song is attributed to another artistes, I still own it.”
He continued: “Sometime, when a song goes viral, even when you don’t own it, but you are on it, fans will even be the ones requesting for it. So, for me, it’s not a big deal if you attribute my song to someone I worked with on the same track. The most important thing is enjoying what you are doing and putting out good music for the fans,” he said.
While urging fellow artistes to always engage the services of professionals in mixing and mastering their songs, the rapper said, “I think over time, what actually makes some songs not sound too good is because a lot of artistes don’t actually give their songs to a proper sound engineer to mix and master. Even when the song is good, by the time the artiste gets on stage, it will flop; even the artiste won’t be feeling himself. This is basically because he/she has not taken time to invest in the song and give it to proper people that should handle the song. But you don’t really blame artistes because it costs so much to produce music professionally. Indomix does my mixing and mastering, so, the sound has been different from what it used to be,” he noted.
As for those expecting an album from the rapper, it might take some time to come, as Da Emperor is currently concentrating more on dropping singles and promoting his brand. “For the album part, I’ve been working on an album for years now; I could even say I have an album set. But it got to a point that I discovered it’s not the right time to put out an album; people prefer singles these days. So, you can imagine you investing on putting out an album and you don’t make anything back? So, the trend now is to put out singles and see how far they can go and the number of shows you can get. So, it’s about making just that one good song that keeps you relevant,” he said.
Though he agrees that rap music has come to stay, Da Emperor believes that lack of support for the genre remains a major challenge.“The rap genre in Nigeria is growing, we are working; there are so many rap artistes doing great things out there. But I feel the industry kind of pays less attention to rap, though there are still loyal rap people in the country. This tells on the rapper because, eventually, some of them won’t be able to sustain their music and still be able to put food on the table. However, there are some of us that have decided to put money aside and continue pushing rap music. Eventually, you will find people that will key into your vision.”
Describing himself as an indigenous rapper, he said, “I feel you have to be identified with what you do. Rapper of these days tends to sway from what they are doing; it works for some artistes, but I feel you need to be acquainted with whatever style you are doing. You need to be known with a particular style, before you decide to do something different. So, yes, I’m an indigenous rapper and a proud one for that matter.”
As much as he intends helping young talents find their rhythm through his new record label, Da Emperor will be concentrating more on his career and pushing his brand.“A lot of people have been calling me asking to join my record label, but I’ve been very blunt about it. I have my own music career, which I’m currently pushing; I don’t think I can totally neglect my career and start pushing another artistes. But if investors decide to come in tomorrow, then we can expand to accommodate other artistes. So, for now, it’s about me,” he concluded.
Da Emperor is a Nigerian indigenous rapper, actor and songwriter with family roots in Ogun State, Nigeria. He raps in his native language, Yoruba, and infuses Pidgin and English. He has recorded songs with artistes such as Gabriel Afolayan, Oritse Femi and others. He released his second official single titled Firewood, which features vocals from Oritse Femi, which was followed by the singles Shake it and I’m a Sinner. On 5 March 2016, Da Emperor was involved in an international collaboration with American artist Stylezz and English artist Shyboss. Just few days after he jumped on Olamide’s Who u epp, Da Emperor’s version of the song hit the number four spot on Spotify.