Remilekun Kaleed Safaru aka Reminisce is an award-winning rap star who has to his credit chart-topping hits. He recently released his sophomore album, “Alaga Ibile”. In this interview with City People’s FOLASADE AKINMOLADUN and KONYINSOLA MABIFA, the “Daddy” crooner talks about his 6-year music career.
You have been making good music, what has been the secret?
God first, then my environment and people that inspired me.
What inspired you to do music and when did you discover you could make money out of singing?
I was inspired by a lot of people, I think everyone in my generation was inspired by Michael Jackson, who had a major influence on everyone. Snoop Dog, Tuface, Biggie and many others inspired me. At a point in time I knew I could do it professionally. First, I developed the interest in listening to other people and afterwards, I said to myself that “I think I can do it”. You must start from listening to other people, you don’t just discover your talent, you must have listened to some people.
What inspires your music and the choice of words you use?
How did you come about your name “Reminisce”?
When I was going to choose a name, I was going to use my Muslim name, Kaleed but it didn’t sound hip-hop-friendly. I was looking for a name close to my first name, so I thought of “Reminisce” and it was cool.
Are you signed to any record label?
No. I am an independent artiste and I am being managed by my friend, Ibrahim Okulaja (the owner of Edge Entertainment).We are just doing our thing, I am independent, he owns the management. We are friends but we are doing business.
Are you looking forward to doing any collabo with any international artiste?
It’s not my priority for now. If it comes good but its not on top of my list right now. There is a lot of work to be done and I don’t see any international artiste helping me achieve that.
Your video ‘Fatasi’ is a great one, who was the brain behind it?
I would say myself and Ibrahim. When we made the song it had a lot of Fuji influence on it. Just like the “Kako Bii Chicken” video, people expected flashy cars and all that. As I said, my music is about my environment, it’s about things I see. I don’t portray myself in a manner that when you see me and I will look different. I try as much as possible to be as original as I can be. When I wanted to shoot the video I said I wanted unlimited LA, I think he could translate the pictures I had in my head. I wanted the video to have a bit of Fuji film, I wanted a Fuji artiste on the video and I wanted Danfo buses and he said ‘no problem’. He worked it out and eventually people liked it.
Your recent album ‘Alaga Ibile’ has been making waves, how do you feel?
I feel good. I was not around when it was released, I was on tour. Before I got back, I got calls that my album was doing good.When I got to Nigeria, I realised that the album was selling and it surpassed our expectations, I am glad people like my music.The time I released my album, there were a couple of people that released their albums too and it was kind of stiff. People were actually saying “I think you should push your album back, don’t release with these people”. The fact that my album is still doing despite the competition out there, that shows people appreciate what I am doing.
What’s your take on Piracy?
I can’t fight piracy, nobody can fight piracy. Its only the government that can fight piracy, there is nothing anybody can do about piracy. We have to live with it, its part of the business. There is piracy overseas as well, if you go on-line now you could download everybody’s album for free. There is piracy everywhere but there is a measure of control overseas but here we don’t have that. I gave my album exclusively to Spinlet for 5 days and the minute Spinlet put it out some people bought it and uploaded it for people to download it for free, there is no control here, it’s really difficult but its one of those things we have to live with.
What is the worst thing you have heard about yourself, that is not true?
….That I bleach!
What is your most embarrassing moment?
I have a couple of embarrassing moments while performing. People have thrown satchets of “pure”water at me while performing, I was performing with Jahbless, I opened the stage for him, that was when the “Joor remix” came out. When I was doing my own song, people were like “please, leave the stage let Jahbless sing”, when Jahbless was actually performing and I was doing my part on “Joor remix”, they were screaming and I was like “I was the one you didn’t want to see on stage just now”. We all have our embarrassing moments but I think I remember that one well.
What’s your favourite car brand and how many do you have?
My favourite car brand is “Benz” and I have 1, but I actually have two cars but I have one Benz.
What projects are you currently working on?
I am working on a lot of videos now. I have a lot of big songs on my album that I didn’t project so, I have to do a lot of videos.
What balance do you make between your business and your personal life?
I think I am one of the people that have been able to separate my personal life from the music. I always remind myself that there is a time-frame where you are going to be in the limelight, so, you have to invest in people. When you are popular don’t look down on people because there will be a time when you won’t be as popular as you are now, I always try to separate that from my personal life.
There is ‘Remi, there is “Reminisce”, but I am “Reminisce” on stage. I have it at the back of my mind that there is a time frame, a stretch of 6,7,8,9,10 years at most when you will be really be heavy and be in the limelight, you can’t do beyond that, it’s like football, every 5 years a new footballer springs up. You should always be prepared for that and invest in people because these are the people you are going to see when you are no longer in the limelight. I always tell myself that every time.
For how many years have you been into music?
Professionally, 6 years. But in the limelight, 2 years. A lot of people knew me during “Kako bii chicken”, so I will count from then.
Do you have any plans to get married soon?
I have my own little family, I am good, I have a kid but I don’t like talking about my personal life.
You must have a lot of ladies trying to get your attention, how do you balance that?
You have to be diplomatic in anything you do, nobody is going to force you to do what you don’t want to do, it is only the things you want to do that you do. You just have to be liberal, definitely, girls will come but you just have to talk to them normally. I can’t date everybody.
Who do they tag as Remi’s girlfriend?
I am not a ladies person, I am always with my boys, I don’t go out, I don’t go to clubs, I make music. I go out only when I have events.
What was growing up like?
Growing up was cool, like every other kid “you go and play ball, they beat you”, “you don’t do your homework, they beat you” it was like every other kid.
How and where do you unwind?
When I am in the studio is the only time I unwind, maybe I will just have a couple of drinks but it still has to be around the studio. I don’t really decide to drive out and say “I want to go and unwind”. I don’t have time. Everything around me involves music, it has to be around the studio, maybe while I am recording or Sarz is trying to do something and he needs time, I will just chill for a couple of minutes.
The only time I can say I enjoy myself or have time is when I travel out, maybe I have an event in 2 days and I just go earlier just to chill out for the one or two days I have there and I won’t even have much time to rest because people will come and visit me. So, there is no time out, no time to rest.
If you were not doing music, what would you have been doing?
I would have been doing business.
What type of business?
Don’t worry, I will be doing business with a lot of money.
What would you like to say to the upcoming artistes?
Stay true to yourself, don’t try and sound like anyone else. Don’t try and sound like Olamide, 9ice, Dagrin, Wizkid or anybody, else; just be yourself. There is nothing like being yourself. You need a lot of money, the business is saturated, you need a lot of financial support to make it.