I’ve been paid ridiculous amounts, used without appreciation – Asake
Ahmed Asake needs no introduction in the Nigerian music industry. Basking in the ambience of his unique musical sound, the YBNL signee, in this interview with Olamide Famuwagun, reminisces on his audacious quest to gain prominence through his music.
Kindly tell us how you came into the limelight and how the experience has been so far?
I came into the limelight in 2020, when I dropped ‘Mr Money.’ It was a freestyle I did with my friend and producer, Magicsticks. For me it was just another recording, l didn’t know it was going to be so big, that was when I tasted fame and how it started for me.
How does it feel to be one of the current raves in the music industry?
It feels good to be appreciated for one’s hard work and I wouldn’t call myself one of the raves, I would rather say one of the hardworking individuals putting out their works and it’s been appreciated by fans. Honestly it feels good but also puts me under pressure to work even harder.
Has music always been your lifelong dream? How did this dream start?
Yes, music has always been my lifelong dream. I started with dancing and ended in music. It is the only thing I know I can do comfortably that gives me inner joy and peace. It started back in school when I was performing at school functions. It felt good and I made sure that feeling never left.
How were you discovered and signed by YBNL?
Getting signed to YBNL was a miracle, one of my friends, Yemolee, played my songs for Olamide to listen to. He liked ‘Omo ope’ and we did the remix together. After the song and video was released, he asked me to come to the house and casually asked “will you like to join the family?” I was blown away with excitement and took the deal as fast as it came. Today it remains one of the best decisions I ever made.
Before clinching a recording deal with YBNL, what was the progress of your music career like?
The progress was unstable, people liked my music but didn’t know my face. I had been paid ridiculous amounts and been used without appreciation. Now I’m happy with where I am and the progression of my career.
What kept you going when things were not taking the desired turn? Did you get discouraged at any point?
I’m human, I was discouraged but I told myself if this last set of songs didn’t work out, I would go to either London or Paris to start modeling. I have got a strong personality and carriage, I understand fashion and give it a 100 every time, so if I hadn’t gotten my shot in music, I would have delved into modeling but little did I know that my time was here!
What do you think distinguishes you from other artistes in the Nigerian music industry?
The thing is I am focused on me, my craft and how to keep making my fans happy. The industry is what it is, I work really hard to make my music and I put a lot of my time into my music. I don’t check-balance other artistes because I believe everyone is unique in their own ways. I am Asake, I am my own sound and music.
The music audience will always demand for more content, how do you intend to keep up with your fans’ continuous music demands?
I am always ready. For me, it is not even about the fans, it is me. I love to work and record new songs, I am my own competition. I like to raise the bar at every given opportunity. I’m not going to wait for the fans to demand. I will keep choking them with a lot of my music because there is a lot coming and I really need to put it out for all to enjoy.
Can you give us an insight into the pains and sacrifices you make to keep your fans happy?
No pain no gain. I work constantly, I pray harder and I haven’t partied since I got signed. If you see me anywhere, I was paid to be there and that’s work; speaking of that I should probably host a party for myself. Everyone who has seen me perform knows I put in all. I studied theatre arts so you can imagine how I own the stage when I hold the microphone.
Before fame, tell us the lowest amount you have ever received for a show? How much do you charge now?
The lowest amount I was paid was N20,000 all the way to Akure and I still went with six dancers. But I was passionate and didn’t care about the money. I am about the music creation while my record label and team are about the charges.