Music Legend speaks
Paul I K Dairo, popularly known as “Paul Play” needs no introduction. His songs “Angel Of My Life,” “Forever,” and “You and Me,” including the remixed of the song “Mo So Rire,” are evergreen. In this exclusive interview with OpenLife, the legend speaks candidly about his UK concert which holds on Saturday, September 4, 2021, in Northampton, London, as well as the state of Nigerian music
What has been your engagement in the recent past in view of the concerns of music-loving Nigerians who desire information about you?
The engagement has been really wavy because, for a long while, I wasn’t actively visible on the mainstream platform of the music industry.
This is partly because of my health condition which I suffered for years. Although I’ve been absent, I still do normal party gigs frequently.
I got caught up in other business interests and that affected my appearance in the mainstream.
I grant interviews from time to time just to keep fans informed about my music and future plans.
The music regulatory body in Nigeria, PMAN, appears to have slumped into lethargy. What is your assessment and comments about PMAN?
PMAN is best described as a conundrum. I have watched for years how the organization kept drowning in self-destruction.
I have been a member for over a decade but have refused to be involved in its controversy.
The political game is so intense that the government had to suspend its dealings with the organization.
The inactivity of the organization has little or no impact on the development in the music industry.
Many A list new generation artists are not even members and it’s a pity that the problems of the organization are championed by music veterans.
As far as I’m concerned, I think all the struggle for positions is all about financial gains and power.
Unlike in the past when foreign music dominated the airwaves, clubs and other social engagements, Nigerian music currently flies in currency. What do you think should be done to sustain this temp and even improve on it?
It’s very obvious that when our generation of musicians started, we struggled and succeeded in getting our music played in the clubs and the radio stations but unfortunately, the industry stakeholders develop amnesia whenever this topic is discussed.
We are here now, the music industry has been surviving on autopilot that is to say we have no organizational structure.
The vehicles driving this industry are unemployment and financial returns.
Social media platforms like Apple-music, Spotify, etc have opened up the music market and made it easy for an independent artist to be successful.
There see very few record labels out there. The record labels have suffered from losses due to artists defaulting from the terms of the contracts they signed.
Also, artists have claimed that the labels are shady.
My take on the sustainability of the industry is going to be determined by the driving forces I mentioned earlier.
Is current Nigeria the Nigeria of your dream?
Well, in my own opinion, this is far from it. Since I was born, there’s been the consistent promise of uninterrupted power supply but over 60 years after, the story is still the same.
Corruption, nepotism, tribalism and religiosity have plagued the country for decades.
Now we are facing an insecurity problem that has the potential to destabilize the country.
After 100 years of colonialism and self-rule, we are still going round in the cycle of confusion.
The problem we have in this country is that most Nigerians are selfish and care less about the ordeals of their neighbours.
Once I’m able o feed myself and my family, I don’t care if people are dying on the street in hundreds.
That’s the level of callousness in our society.
Religious leaders have kept quiet for decades until recently.
Celebrities are busy minding their own business in the name of political correctness or trying not to upset their benefactors in government.
The masses themselves also share in the blame by showing up at the campaign ground every four years to listen to empty promises and collection of stomach infrastructure.
I guess the leaders are keeping the people in poverty so that it will be difficult for them to refuse the 4 thousand Naira every four years.
Nigeria may metamorphose into a revolution or secession if it’s not rescued from this path of destruction.