‘Music is genuine expression of the mind’
My name is Ojodale John, and I am from Kogi State, from Igala. So I’m proudly an Igala native. I am popularly called Badman Ceaser but you can just call me Caesar.
On why the name, at a point every individual come up with a name, something spectacular that would stand them out. For me, it used to be Caesar. My other name is Julius. So Caesar came out of Julius. Caesar is a king and I am from a royal lineage. My father is called the lion, so I am called the young lion. Putting the Badman is just to make it a little spectacular to standout
At what point did you venture into music?
I have been doing music since I was nine. I was always going to rehearsal with my mom, before you know I was in the choir singing and playing drums. I started playing drums as the youngest kid in the choir in my church, Living Faith, which I attended from 1999 to 2006 before we moved, and then I started attending another church. At that time, it was usually like, where is this boy, come and play the drums. That’s everybody story anyway. All that happened in Yobe. I continued when we moved to Abuja. When I turned 17, I knew I could sing well; I started doing little bit of singing at local events, and then went to school.
The passion made way for me. In school a friend had heard me singing and felt we should go to the studio and do some recording because I play guitar as well. My first guitar was a gift on my 18th birthday. Gradually, I became the 2face of ABU; I was always the headliner at every show on campus. There was no show you wouldn’t see me. Before I know it, I started getting shows from Kaduna, Kano and Abuja and that was it.
What kind of music do you do?
I am an all rounder; the only thing I don’t do is rap. I tried to rap but it doesn’t flow, so I stick to what I can. I do variety of music; I can wake up today and do reggae. I see music as a genuine expression of the mind. The mood also affect the individual, so when you are in good mood you tend to write good stuff and when you are in a bad mood, like when a girl breaks your heart you tend to write it. That is how it works with me. I try to keep away from things that affect me negatively, keep a positive vibe because of music. Basically, I do Afro, R&B, Reggae and Pop.
Any album so far?
No album yet, but I am still working on some song. I wouldn’t call it an album because I want to drop them in singles to see how far they can go. I have a couple of songs online including a Peace Song I did in 2013. The song went viral and that was the song that took me to the presidential villa. I performed there and I went on a tour with Press Play Nigeria o about 24 higher institutions and was awarded a Peace Ambassador. I never knew that song would take me that far. I was just at home one day and they called me, since I was in Abuja, I decided to go for the peace concert. There were prices for people to win. I just did my song and when I got to the peak of the song I realized that everybody was clapping. I never saw that song as a song that would make everybody clap. The concert was put together by 2Face Vote Not Fight Initiative.
What are you trying to do different from other artistes?
I am putting so many stuffs together just to get to where I am going. I know it is not going to be easy, and at some point I felt like giving up. All I am doing now is to focus on my career, which I believe will get me to where I am going.
What are your plans like for the next three years?
I have a big dream that kind of get me scared. What I see is too big, so trying to explain it is difficult. But in one word I see a star in the next three years. The world would know about me and where I come from because where I come from is very significant. Everybody talks about the minority; we are minor but very major because without Kogi you can’t cross to the East and to South; you can’t cross to the West or come from the other end to the north. I believe in Africa so much that in the next three years, people would be hearing about Africa in a different way
What is your take on the development of Nigerian music industry and challenges face by upcoming artiste like you?
On a scale of 100, I will put the Naija music industry on 60 per cent. The reason is that the entertainment industry right now requires money, which makes it difficult for people like us who are trying to come up to be heard. I have a video, which I am struggling to push on TV because it is capital intensive. South Africa has a more organised sector. People record and drop songs online with ease and as they are downloaded, it generate fund for the artiste. My song is on MTN music plus, I have fought severally to be paid but nothing is working. The other issue is that if not Lagos, the music industry does not really sell anywhere. Other regions are still trying to catch up. I must appreciate people and stations that have been supporting despite the situation. I have lost friends; friends have turned to enemies. Financial challenges are there. No record is willing and ready to make commitment to upcoming artistes. I am not signed to any label now, so I am open to business. The day I will get signed to a serious record label that will turn my career around and be the happiest day of my life.
So what do you really think needs to be change for the industry to be better positioned?
There should be strict copyright laws. Artists survive basically on shows because as soon as the song is out people just duplicate it. Government needs to listen to the plight of the sector; the industry has brought and it is still bringing revenue to government. Entertainment and agriculture were voted sustainers of the Nigerian economy and that is already happening. There should be platform that encourages young entertainers to thrive.
What inspires you in writing songs?
So many things, sometimes it could be about nature or what is happening around me. I could be on my bed and have a picture of something like a fiction like an imagination.
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