Reggae icon, Oris Wiliki, speaks to pressmen in Lagos recently. Ediale Kingsley brings you his words as he delves into issues affecting the industry and his personal career.
CAN you tell us what informed your latest ultra modern recording studio?
Well it’s not essentially a new idea. What we have done is to expand and upgrade what we have always believed in, that is if as a creative person you don’t sow any seed in your life time then you may have lived a worthless life. By sowing seed I simply mean by encouraging, discovering and tutoring fresh, younger artist with talents and right attitude. This is what we have been doing and so passionate about. If you remember the idea of featuring fresh artist in music jobs was started by me in 1990 with the song Heart Of Stone then we featured Manny Eke.
How long did it take you to build this historic music studio?
Over one year. We needed to ensure we are at per with the world in terms of today’s sound.
Can you tell how much it costs you to build this recording studio?
I can’t give you an accurate figures for now because we are still doing some extra touches but it actually runs in Millions of Naira.
How will you describe Nigerian Entertainment industry as at today?
I don’t think we really have an actual Entertainment industry for now. I say this with emphasis because I have been around awhile and have been a player and a performer in the industry for over 30years. We don’t have the right structures to enhance the industry so what you may probably be seeing is the show in the business because it is called SHOW BUSINESS. Showbiz for short. As such, from the Copyright to Distribution to Management to Production to Data analysis of the industry everything is upside down. You cannot by a punch of button know how many CDs our popular artists have sold in a given time so it becomes a challenge when you need to source for funds through the bank because you do not have actual data statistics to make your proposal. Copyright and distribution system is like a child’s play and so give rise to grave piracy. I can go on and on. Therefore, I can say that the near industry you seem to have at the moment is actually sustained by the corporate companies through programs and endorsement. Take these two factors out you will have nothing in the industry.
Will you say the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is supporting Nigerian music industry?
For me I believe most Nigerians do not actually have the right economic assessment of the Entertainment industry. All past Presidents have failed to know and understand the amount of loss in the Industry safe for Jonathan who tried to at least do something through the provision of loan access through the Bank of industry though some will still tell you it was politically motivated but at least something was done even if it was the movie industry that benefited. To answer your question President Buhari is presently faced with other more serious issues so I hope he is able to see the bigger picture of what the Entertainment industry is capable of generating to the GDP.
What is your assessment of Performing Musician Employers’ Association of Nigeria, PMAN?
My assessment of PMAN is a very shameful one because as huge as the Association is expected to provide for, the Union has been raped and devour by past Leaders. It got to such point that those who have no business with the business of music hijacked the Union and have been using it to enrich themselves through illegalities and has been so for some years now. So the Union has lost enormous credibility but something is been done now and you will soon know.
Why do you think there is no progress in PMAN?
There is no progress because the actual stake holders shy away from taking the bull by the horns. Some feel why should I be a member when I can practice in the industry without hindrance or what has the Union done for them but they forget that if things were normal no musician by the status of that Union can practice the business of music without first becoming a card carrying member with a renewable work or license permit.
What is your position regarding the face off between Onyeka Onwenu and Tony Okoroji regarding the latest N50million awarded Okoroji against Onyeka?
You mean N5Million? Well I was surprised to see Okoroji beaming with smiles when he too has not been able to pay Mr Mayo Ayilaran of MCSN the N25M he is owing him through same court awarded damages against him. I think Onyeka has also appeal so let’s wait and see.
How much will it cost for musicians in Nigeria to pay for recording sessions?
It depends on who is handling the Production and the kind of song as well as where you want to Record.
What is your latest music project?
Oh just wait for the latest and greatest collaboration between me and my brother Ras Kimono in few weeks.