Archive for the ‘Celebrity profile’ Category

It could be argued that Julius Agwu aka The Genius brought style to comedy. Undoubtedly one of the most stylish men in entertainment, Julius is our cover on the X2 page in today’s paper.

(Read: Music, comedy, and a man called ‘Genius’).

Here, we take a look at the fashion sense of the self-styled genius.

Julius always look good in suits. Like a true “fashionisto” is choices goes beyond the conventional. And he is not above pairing his suits or blazers with a t-shirt.

Speaking of T-shirts, Julius loves them too, preferring the ones with zany prints emblazoned on them and often pairing them with hats.

Special: One of his best outfits would be the yellow themed outfit he wore to the 2009 HHWA . The jacket on its own was exceptional.

* Click pix for full sizes.

** All pictures courtesy artist.


Onyinye Muomah

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After 29 years as a Fuji musician, ‘Orobokibo’ crooner, Abass Akande Adeniyi, a.k.a Obesere, will, in September,release a hip-hop album.

The singer, formerly a boxer, proved he was capable by featuring in debutant, Diamondz’s single, ‘Bosokoto.’

The album, which will be sold for N1000, will feature the likes of Timaya, Lord of Ajasa and 9ice. If this works out, he will be the first Fuji musician to make a full Hip-hop album.

The big boys of Nigerian entertainment scene are exactly as stated BOYS. These are men in their late thirties to early forties and older who try all their best to be seen as youthful or evergreen through their out-dated  or outlandish fashion sense and mostly “age-inappropriate” behaviour. and who really should be thinking of remaining behind the scenes and leaving the stage for younger more charismatic folks. Seriously guys, you can be your age and still appeal to teenagers… you really don’t have to look, sound and act like one.

KENNY OGUNGBE

“Right here, right here.” The Kennis Music Boss has suddenly developed a penchant for appearing and giving cringe-worthy performance in music videos .

TUNDE OBE

Please who wears a do-rag in this day and age? Apparently, Mr. Obe thinks this fashion piece is timeless just like TWO's mostly-tired act.


JAJ The Top Gun

Really can anyone tell us how old this dude is? With the looks to back it up and one of the silkiest voice on radio, JAJ may just be able to get away with being a BIG BOY except that we have been listening to him almost forever, from the eighties.

EX-BEAUTY QUEEN SET TO RELEASE RAP ALBUM

Ah-ha! No wonder the new-look hair. Since she's rapping, no fear that she might also "sound" like Rihanna...

Former Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria Munachi Abii has signed with The RMG Company as a solo rap artist.The beauty queen, who has in recent times featured on songs by artists like Banky W, Ikechukwu, Jesse Jagz and Waje, now says she’s started recording her as-yet-untitled debut album due out early next year. Muna has just recorded a song called ‘Pop Sugar’ with another RMG artist, Michael Word; and she is set to record her album with producers in Nigeria, the UK/Europe, and the United States where she hopes to pursue her other entertainment interests as well.

RETURN OF THE SHOGUN

The reinvention: From Freestyle to Fr3style... wonder if it's only the name that changes.

Fr3style “Tha Shogun” Essien is back on the scene with two singles “Na Wa Oh” and “Ariwo Ko.” His upcoming album, My Name is Essien, will serve as a re-introduction of sorts to listeners.

ROOFTOP’S NEXT ALBUM

Waiting... waiting... waiting...

The Rooftop MCs will release their anticipated third studio album in August. Although a specific date is yet to be named, Olusola Lasisi, the duo’s publicist confirms that the “Lagimo” rappers are set to release the album titled Back at One by mid August. Singles off the album ‘Sitting on the Rooftop’ and ‘One Song ’ are currently gaining airplay.

TOSYN BUCKNOR SET TO FEATURE ON TINSEL

With this umbrella a la Mary Poppins- We are already convinced of her acting skills.

Writer and radio presenter, Tosyn Bucknor, has landed a role on M-NET soap, Tinsel. According to reports from her management company Share Dazzle, Tosyn, who has also revealed she is currently working on a singing project under the moniker Contradiction, will be getting a minor role as Osa in a couple of episodes of the third season of the soap. She was reported to have been on set at a University of Lagos location recently.

UTI STEPS OUT

Should we expect a diss-track dedicated to Mimi (who has also gone into music and is currently known as the Lady Gaga of Ghana.)

Big Brother Africa III star Uti Nwachukwu has stepped unto the music scene with debut single “Go Down.” It is a Naija-pop song with some reggae influenced moments.

C-VON IS HOOKED

Snapped up right in your faces, guys!

MTV base VJ Cynthia ‘C-Von’ Okpala has come out to announce that she is engaged. A visit to her Facebook page reveals that the 24 year-old is engaged to Ozoemene Mbanefo of advertising agency 141 Worldwide. Okpala plans to exchange vows before year end.

For celebrity news, visit X2’s page on 234NEXT.com

The Golden One

A friend once recounted to me a concert audience (of which was a part) reaction’s to songstress, Goldie. “When she first came on stage, we were like who is this one? Her clothes, her dancers… Then when she started singing people were booing her, telling her to get off the stage.”

But the artiste refused, insisting instead on doing her thing. She was set to perform three songs and after the first one, the crowd had had enough. “Go! Thank you!” they called out but Goldie, the performer was not listening. In her husky voice she kept urging her audience to listen to her and endure her performance, “You will love this one,” she said after the first two songs determined to drown out their displeasure and gain their appreciation. Eventually, after the third song, it was with relief that the concert attendees watched her cede the stage to next performer.

” Haba! Thank you, e don do! ” my friend reiterated her sentiments at the concert and almost with the same passion as then.

Like most performers, Goldie is many things to many people. Some love her and some hate her- absolutely. Whether she has real singing talent is debatable but her entire entertainment style especially fashion-wise gets a lot of tongues wagging and most times in displeasure.

Golden lashes.

Her over-the-top (literally!) costumes, her overly long lashes, her cruel pout… all serve as fodder for hate and rather than promote have served to undermine her credibility as a “professional” artiste.

Performance artistes are not rare in the music industry. The greatest of them all is Michael Jackson who is known not only for his beautiful voice and fantastic dance moves but also his weird antics off-stage and outside the studio earning him the nickname “Wacko Jacko”. Madonna is also known for going beyond the music; Fela, Christina Aguilera, Lady Gaga and to a lesser extent Rhianna and Kanye West.

These are singers who have defined themselves and chosen to relate to their audience not through their music alone but also their sense of style and lifestyle.

Lady Gaga is the most prominent of them all these days. Her costumes get the paparazzi clicking away and even mainstream media prattling in “other news”. Some say she is “redefining”  entertainment.

But before there was Lady Gaga, at least in the Nigerian consciousness, there was Goldie. In her personal style, Goldie has chosen to go all Western on her Nigerian audience. Her bustier recall Madonna, her fishnet stockings and recently, her golden get-up in her latest video (the one for her song “You Know It” featuring eLDee) Beyonce. In a self-proclaimed conservative society like ours this does not seem to be working well on her behalf and have earned her more criticism than praise.

When Christina Aguilera first appeared in her chaps, lacy brief and bikin top outfit, the public was first baffled then disappointed. That Aguilera has talent is undeniable. She has often been touted as the best singing voice of her generation but here she was resorting to a gimmick that was best left for people with no real talent whatsoever (like Britney Spears?). Rare, then, was the artiste especially female who would display “another side of her” in order to sell her records. You either had it or you didn’t.

Unfortunately, this gimmick is now being embraced by everyone, both the talented and not-so-talented. In spite of this, that self-promotion is still associated with the no-real-talent-to-talk-about is seen in debates on Gaga’s ability to really carry a tune and Rhianna’s nasal alto.

The debate is also on for Goldie. There are some who appreciate her for her videos, an unfortuante instrument which has seen the breaking of real talents and the making of those who really should have nothing to do with a microphone. These days of music channels on TV and cable have seen a song’s commercialization being  dependent on how good the video is. And to the chagrin of Goldie’s critics, this is were the gaudy one excels.

She has been called the “richest female artiste” in the industry and a lot said of her ability to sponsor herself. “Goldie will spend her money on anything,” I once heard someone say.

Album sales for even the best musicians in Nigeria is questionable and with a debated artiste like Goldie, the question is even more pronounced. “Who buys a Goldie album or even listen to her songs?”

But love her or hate her, this lady is determined to remain center-stage. And if she has the rumoured money to do so then too-bad for those who hate her. Because poor album sales or not her “wealth” gives her an advantage over those who poorly-accepted artistes with their passion for entertainment who are not financially-able to make it beyond one song.

Judging from all this, it is clear that music- rather entertainment- is something Goldie loves and is determined to excel at. She has even relaunched herself with a more toned-down but no less gaudy image. More importantly, she has just signed onto Kennis Music so fans and haters alike should expect more albums. Her latest one is set for release in September. (Read Goldie’s X2 interview)

Still, it remains to see how long her performance will last before she gets the appreciation she craves and needs to remain relevant in her chosen profession. Will she earn this by an insistence to remain on stage despite the boos or will the audience clamour finally get to her, forcing her to take a reluctant bow? This is a questiononly the future  can answer.

Onyinye Muomah

Today is Michael Jackson day- at least, his death-day! (How macabre!)

X2 pullout in today’s NEXT Daily is dedicated to… (yeah, you got it!) the KING OF POP!

Rewind 365 days and you had Facebook profile pictures, ring-tones, even car plates being dedicated to the KING! Today is not even “almost” equivalent. For a remembrance of the one and only Wacko Jacko, it is more or less quiet. Fewer people give a damn this year than last year.

No matter… because the people that matter do. Like his Mom, Katherine Jackson, who just published a “coffee table” book of pictures about the life and times of her dear son amidst some controversies.

For more on Michael Jackson: One Year Later, visit the X2 page on 234next.com.

UE

UE (Upper Echelon) is a hip-hop act based in the States.  Their self-produced debut album Tragedy to Triumph which featured songs like Things are Changing and Look Alive earned them  2007 Underground Music Award (UMA) for Best Rap Duo and loads of rave reviews.

Their influnces range from hip-hop (Outkast, a Tribe Called Quest) to rock-n-roll (Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd)

The duo, Tunde and Caliph, hope to break into the Nigerian/African market with the release of their sophomore album which is currently in the works. Their single Cuz I Say So features our own eLDee sounding damn right fly!

Connect with UE: Official website, Twitter, MySpace

Kokolette Lizzy Speaks Out

Posted: November 12, 2009 in Celebrity profile

Abidemi Dairo

Lizzy 3

Lizzy feels that she should be getting as much attention than fellow Kokolette, Rita

Popularly known as Lizzy, Elizabeth Efe Era is one of the twelve ladies that challenged for D’banj’s ultimate kokolette crown in the Koko Mansion. Although she did not win at the reality show, she stayed 35 days in the mansion, blessing housemates and home viewers with her emotions and drama.

The 27 year-old is an Ibadan born indigene of Edo State, from a family of eleven siblings. She was the oldest of the lot in the mansion. This busty undergraduate of Economics from the University of Uyo spoke to X2 about her stay at the mansion, plans for future and the positive experiences she is taking with her from the mansion into the world of reality.

How did you get into the Mansion?

I was on a date with a friend, Isaac Umana back in Akwa Ibom when I saw the advert on television. He encouraged me to enter for the show but I was reluctant because I thought I was too old. When I told my aunty about it and she gave her consent, I decided to give it a try and bought the form. Although I know I had the intelligence and other qualities advertised, but I was a little bit unconvinced about my age being acceptable. The advert said age 18 to 30 but I thought the focus was going to be on people between 18 and 22. Then I was picturing the kokolette to be some sleek, slim under-16 girls, but with encouragement from my aunt and friend I finally registered.

Where you then convinced you were going to be chosen when you were invited for auditioning?

At the audition, I was even less convinced as I saw the queue and heard that over 23 thousand girls registered. But I prayed about it and told God what I wanted; the truth is I was excited and felt favoured when I was finally called.

Any close friend or housemate that you couldn’t tolerate?

I kept my friendship with all at the same level; I was close to anybody. Talking about tolerating, there were a lot of attitudes at the mansion but I want to believe there was none I couldn’t deal with.

Memorable moment at the mansion?

I won’t forget the day I had a quarrel with one of the housemates, Victoria. It was really bad. I overreacted and up till now I still haven’t forgiven myself for doing so. But we’ve both put it behind us and we speak once in a while on the phone.

How did you take your eviction?

I didn’t feel pain or regret, because I realised it was a game and walking out of the blue door (eviction) doesn’t make you a loser. I just hoped that the crown would be given to the right person that would represent us better.

What did you take out of the mansion?

I took out positives like etiquette, (proper) dress sense. I use to be a tomboy, but now I wear high heels. Although I’m not very comfortable with them, I can walk with them. I also learnt anger management; before I got into the mansion I was a prone to anger but now, after the various trainings I think I can manage my anger. I also learnt it’s not enough for you to be a star; you still have to have something inside of you that you can deposit in other people.

Aside the morals and etiquettes do you think the popularity will help you build up a career?

I intend to set up an NGO much later in the future about Youth Empowerment.

The next step?

I’m in my final year at the university so I’ll go back and get my degree. Then I want to run an NGO and a talk show strictly on youth empowerment. I want to let them (youth) know they have something in them that they are owing the society; let them know there are people out there who depend on them doing something good. I want to help them bring out there potentials to make them realise they have a lot to give to the society.

 

BEZ

Bez

Born Emmanuel Bezhiwa Idakula, in Jos, Nigeria, ‘Bez’ grew up as a musical child, absorbing every bit of music around him and transmitting it through his beloved instrument – the guitar. He pursued an undeniable passion for music in college, and honed his guitar skills day by day to produce one of the most remarkable playing styles. His first live performance was with gospel group KUSH, followed by other regular performances with Sage Has Son (a spoken word artist). Bez has since performed on stage with Mode9, Terry tha Rapman, Djinee, M.I., Roof Top MCs and many other artists. He features regularly in Taruwa®, an unplugged show, and cites his opening act performance with Cobhams at Asa’s two-day concert in Lagos in June 2008 as the defining moment of his career thus far.

His style can be described as a hybrid of jazz, soul, and world music – a really eclectic sound he terms ‘alternative soul’. Though different from the ever-popular ‘afro hip-hop’ genre, Bez believes the quality of his music will carve a niche for itself and take him to greater heights.

At the Hennessey Artistry Launch, said, “Nigerians, what they need is quality music. It depends on your delivery.  If you give them quality they will accept it in whatever way. We’re going to be doing live performances onstage so we’re going to be tweaking whatever you’ve heard on CD or on radio and infuse any funk or anything that would make it lively. It’s just about quality.”

Adding, “I think I stand a pretty good chance. I’m gonna be loved!”

MO’ CHEDDAH

Mo Cheddah

Modupe-Oreoluwa “Mo’Cheddah” Oyeyemi Ola a.k.a. ‘The Hip-Pop Princess’ and ‘The Swagger Diamond’, began working towards a career as a rap artist at the tender age of 12, with the nurturing of producer Knighthouse. Since age 15, she has committed herself to a demanding double life as both a Creative Arts student at the University of Lagos and a hip-hop artist. Mo has since gone from strength to strength, recording tracks with heavyweights like M.I., Saucekid, Kel, Tha Suspect and many more on Vol.1 of the Knighthouse Street Scriptures Album in 2008.

Mo is currently putting the finishing touches to her debut album, which will be released later in 2009. The confident 18 year old is set on coming out tops at the end of this contest.

“I was born to win! I don’t expect anything less than to win. We’ll see. Either way, we’re gonna have a great show. I just wanna have fun.”

BLAISE

Blaise

Obafunke “Blaise” Martin-Luther is a rapper, lyricist, composer, spoken word poet and even a producer in her own right. With musical influences spanning from Queen Latifah, A Tribe Called Quest and Tupac Shakur, to Bob Marley and Fela Kuti, it’s no wonder that this young woman has earned the aliases ‘The Scorcher’ and ‘The Torch Bearer’. A meeting with Eldee, front man of the hip-hop group, The Trybesmen, in 2002, proved to be a turning point for Blaise who was included later in the same year as part of the ‘Da Trybe’ collective on the hit single “Oya”. Soon afterwards her singles,  “The Definition” and “Bragging Rights” (a collabo with former Da Trybe mate, Freestyle), earned top spots on several radio stations across the country, leading to a number of Hip Hop World Awards nominations for the young artist. Blaise has composed and produced music for television and theatre productions, and also featured in MTV Base’s Advance Warning in 2008.

Her next move is the release of her album ‘Delivery Report’ which features herself, Cobhams and Jonah the Monarch on production, and a collaboration with M.I. The album will be released on her label – The Beat Cellar.

Having worked with almost all her fellow contestants, Blaise says: “For me, it’s all fun. I mean, we all do different things. There’s no way I can come with a spirit of hostility just because it’s a competition. We’re friends. We all work together and we’ve turned out some nice tunes. It’s just fun to me, honestly.”

JIMMY FLAMES

Jimmy Flames

Jimmy (a.k.a Damola Sonupe) is the premier artist on the label – N’sayne Entertainment – run by Dokta Frabz. He has lived in Nigeria, Ireland and Guyana in the Caribbean, where he performed with rock groups and at talent shows, worked as a TV presenter and radio host, whilst also honing his rap skills. His experiences in the Caribbean and Europe, he feels, bring something new to the Nigerian music scene and make him more versatile – especially when combined with the stellar production of his long-time friend Dokta Frabz.

Jimmy’s depth and range as an artist is reflected in the spectrum of genres present on his debut album – rap/hip-hop, Afro hip-hop, dancehall and rock and he chooses not to boxed into any one genre: “I wouldn’t describe my music as hip hop. I rap to almost anything. I’m a rap artist. I do sing sometimes but I’m better with rap. Play me any beat and I’ll find a way to rap to it. Sometimes the rap also sounds like singing. I’m coming with something different – my own way.”

ICE PRINCE

Ice Prince

Ice Prince has been described as the “Crown Prince of Hip-Hop”. The lyricist and Jos-native (born Panshak Zamani), cites his musical influences as Nigerian artistes M.I. and Jesse Jagz alongside Notorious B.I.G, Rakim, Jay-Z, Common, Talib Kweli and Kanye West. In 2004 his debut single, ‘Extraordinary’, hit the airwaves in Jos, propelling him to instant fame in the city. His subsequent deft lyrical delivery on M.I.’s hit single, ‘Blaze’, also featuring Jesse Jagz, soon earned him the nickname “the lyrical miracle”. He has since collaborated with other artists like Dekunle Fuji, Banky W, Kel, Gino, Terry Tha Rapman, Sauce Kid, Djinee, El Dee and Naeto C. Ice Prince has performed at the Hip Hop World Awards, Rhythm Unplugged and Thisday International Music and Fashion Festival among others. His debut album, on the award-winning Chocolate City Music label, is due for release in early 2010.

Says Ice: “I feel privileged. I feel honoured to be called as one of the five artistes in the Hennessey Artistry 2009.  I think it’s a good platform for me to be able to show my music to a larger audience. It’s an opportunity for me to be able to learn and make my skill even better. We’re playing live music throughout the whole show. It’ll be a good experience. I feel good. I feel honoured to be part of it.”