He is a multitalented musician, actor with a genuine love for Nigerian Arts. Khamileon talks to Nigerian Entertainment about his new album, his acting career, the Nigerian entertainment industry and living it up. A must read interview for any entertainment enthusiast. Don't forget to pick up his new album, it is defiantly worth buying.
Khamileon is an Artist that makes both music and movies, and My professional title is Khamileon.
NE: So you've gotten this question a million times but for the sake of starting somewhere, what's the name Khamileon about?
Khamileon represent the diverse nature of my music
NE: I'm sure some of the ladies want to know, are you single?
Yeah they've asked this question on TV, radio, papers.......and I keep reminding them that you are interviewing Khamileon and not the person behind him. So Khamileon is single and married to his arts.
NE: What would you describe your music as?
My music has no name, cause as the Chameleon changes colours, so does my pattern of music. You will find all types of music on this album, so there is always something for everybody..This album has Dancehall, Afrobeat, Calipso, Reggea....
NE: What message are you trying to convey with your album?
The Gold Album-Mind of an Oracle ..is about issues in life...As u take a peek into the mind of this Oracle (Khamileon) you will be confronted with issues ...like Girls going after guys just for money, ready to sleep with anything not minding the fact that there is AIDS...you will find this on the track MONEY ...Also BASKET MOUTH deals with the issue of our leaders looting the treasury. VAMPIRE deals with the poor state of the world, were people are starving to death, non-stop wars while some of the leaders are busy enriching themselves DON DADA is about people gossiping about Khamileon.. INDIAN LOVE SONG is about a good woman who is always there for her man no matter what RAGGA-MAKOSSA is a song giving props to Nigerian musicians GSM is a funny song about mobile phone in Nigeria.
NE: Who was the first person to tell you getting into this entertainment thing was a mad or foolish idea?
Nobody has ever told me anything negative as far as me getting into entertainment. Back in the days when I was still very young and couldn't sign contracts on my own my mum co-signed with me. That was as a dancer for BENJOF INTERNATIONAL (Benin City Nigeria) I did a musical TV series called "Beat wave"...Met a lot of peeps like Majek Fashek, Felix Liberty, Edna Ogholi, Lemme Jackson, Emma Oghosi... I was very young then, and it was a lot of fun.
NE: So I see that you're diversifying your portfolio entertainment in the industry, what made you decide to break into the music industry?
Like I said before I was first a dancer, before I went into music.... I wrote my own songs (Rap) and recorded some demos though I never took it to any record label..... Years later when I came to The Netherlands, I also recorded some demo (Techo/House music) which was very popular at the time. I never took the demos to any record label but just kept recording.... fast forward to '98... Nollywood was fast catching my attention and I talked to my partner (Tony) and we wrote and produced the underground hit "Under Pressure" The lead character traveled at the last minute without informing us. Since I co-wrote the story Tony asked me to play the lead. I have never acted before in my life and with his help I was able to do it. Till today people who saw "Under Pressure" say its our best movie...That was how I stumbled into movies...So you can see that I was actually into music before movies.
NE: Tell us about who you have worked with and how the experience was?
Movies..Liz Benson, Saint Obi (Dapo Jr.) I co-wrote and produced it.... It was very nice working with them. I guess a lot of people were surprised that I could pair with them because they were the best in Nigeria at that time, while it was my second movie...but I did pretty fine and nobody noticed I was still a rookie..... Jim Iyke, I had a cameo with him on one of Chico Ejiro's movie so that was a piece of cake and they were all cool on set. Shan George and Victoria Inyama (Italian Connection not yet released) I wrote, co-produced and co-directed this one.... Was actually my first time of Directing and it went fine. Shan and Vic are some of the coolest peeps in the industry they are like sisters to me and we get along very well. So it was a nice experience working with them
Music....... was just me alone wilding out in the studio, Joan was there though to do the Chorus......Joan is the beautiful voice you hear on most hit records and movie soundtracks in Nigeria......Though I wanted to do a joint with my guy AZADUS, but my time was short so there was no time to see his record management... But he will definitely be on my next album (Mark of the Scorpio) The Man with the Magic fingers CHRIS OKORO was the producer, the guy is awesome! He is about the best in Nigeria....He will be working together with NELSON BROWN on my next album.
NE: Who would you like to work with that you haven't worked with?
Music...Definitely AZADUS..dude is awesome! I think he is one of the most talented artist in Nigeria, listen to his track "Madame" and also listen to him flow on "Plantashun Boiz's" "Cousin's cousin'..... I will also like to work with 2face, the guy is superb! He is doing a lot for Nigeria and Africa. I also like to work with Ruggedman... That guy is something else, he is taking hip hop to another dimension in Nigeria I will get him on my next album... Finally I will like to work with this Ghanaian artist called BATMAN.....that's it for now, though I am open and ready to work with anybody.
Movies.... Everybody in Nollywood that I have not worked with before.
NE: What are some things you haven't you done you would still like to?
I want to shoot a video that's kind of Erotic in nature...though I don't think they will air it in Nigeria, so it's something that people will have to buy (on DVD/VCD). It's going to be a video for "Dance for me girl" (Mark Of the Scorpio).
NE: What would you say is the climax of your life, and career so far. Where does it measure up in the achievement of yours goals and dreams?
Movies.... When our first movie "Under Pressure" was premiered in Benin City Nigeria...It was like the whole town came to see the movie......The whole two days was sold out (Three screening a day) I felt very proud returning back to where I grew up, as a hero. We were on TV, radio and the papers.... I believe I am one of the most loved person in Benin City. .They truly love "Under Pressure".
When we premiered our second movie Dapo jr. in a cinema here (Holland)....The hall (500 seat) was full, more than 75% percent Dutch people....Limo, red carpet the whole works....We were all over the news papers and radio. My partner and I even graced the front cover of a news paper....These are the height of my career as far as movie is concerned.
Music.....I am just starting, when this album drops......it will be like a tornado.......Already the video for "Indian love song" is heating things up..... I am about to drop the video for "Don Dada and GSM" so watch as magic unfolds
NE: Tell us one of the negative parts of what you do, that we should know.
Entertainment generally is hard work, whether you are shooting a movie or recording a song. It is a lot of hard work, so without a real love for it, you wont last. Like most profession you will always have those that are envious and will try to run you down, so if you don't have a thick skin or don't believe in yourself you wont last.
NE: From then (when u weren't in entertainment) to now? What and Who has changed?
I don't think there was really anytime I wasn't in Entertainment.....Even as a young boy I was dancing for my school, and as a lil boy of seven, I use to make drum and make music out of it. So nothing has changed except time. I am in a different era and time from when I started.
NE: What do you see for the future of Naija music (and the entertainment industry as a whole) in the next 5 years? 10?
I think it will improve..... before it's only the older guys like FELA KUTI, SUNNY ADE..etc...that are pushing the music outside Nigeria.. But today younger people like Tony Tetuila, 2face, Lagbaja, Femi kuti are taking our music far and wide...I think this is just the begining...... And with Charley Boy heading PMAN...... I think we are on the right track to achieving greater things
NE: Give some pluses and minuses about Naija (generally speaking). What needs to be added? Removed? Improved upon?
As far as music is concerned, I think it is balanced...so there is no need for minuses and pluses...When the king of Music Micheal Jackson visited Africa, he said...this is whee it al started from..The drums, they rythem.....I mean you have every kind of music you need there..... From Dan Maraya to 2face.... from Azadus to Lagbaja...From Osayomore Joseph to Pasuma ....From Reggedman to Waka Queen...So whatever brand of music you are looking for, you will find in Nigeria.....Osadebe, Styplus...... I mean they are all very good with their different brand of music..... I think it's Nigerians that has allowed themselves to be over influenced by the WEST or MTV....that says Oh! Nigerian musicians should improve on this! on that!.....My question is by which criteria are you using to judge them??......What you see on MTV??.....I dont think Americans make music for anybody else apart from Americans, the rest can follow suit.....So also I think Nigerian artist first like to please their Nigerian fans before anybody else....So if it's EDRIS..Jaga Jaga..they are feeling.....Who are we to say EDRIS should improve? when he has sold close to 2million copies??.....How many Western Artist can easily do that??...... People Like Edris that understands their fan base can easily do that....So whatever ever type of music you are looking for is there in Nigeria.....people like MAITAIN are there today because people love what they are doing and are ready to pay money for it...... A guy is doing the same thing in the WEST Making funny versions of Micheal Jackson's music and vidoes, he is getting paid..So who are we to tell him to improve on what he is doing??
NE: We need to update my music library, help me out here, what do we need to add?
1. Ememma- Plantashun Boiz 2.Madame-Azadus 3.Don Dada - Khamileon 4.Olufumi-Styplus 5.Nfana Ibaga-2face 6.Danfo Driver-MM 7.Konko Below-Lagbaja 8.Okolobetete-Plantashun Boiz 9.Fefenefe-Tony Tetuila 10. Jaga Jaga-Edris 11.Ayonfe-Pasuma 12.Keep On rocking-2face 13.Vampire- Khamileon 14.About you-Pastor Goody Goody 15.Crisis-African China 16.No do Gra Gra-Lagbaja 17.Cousin's cousin-Plantashun Boiz 18.Ehen-Ruggedman 19. Ragga Makossa-Khamileon
Yes, you didn't ask when my album is coming out in the US??..... It will be out in April... It is a CD and DVD combined together. A double package to be released as one...The CD contains 8 tracks and 4 snippets while the DVD contains 7 video clips and 1 shout outs... You will find out everything u ever wanted to know about Khamileon, food, family...my favourite language (Pidgin)comedy skits.... the Infamous Redlight Scene in "Under Pressure"......Lots of behind the scenes with Liz Benson, Saint Obi.....and the star studded GSM Video.. It will be Marketed and distributed by..... http://www.creativecc.net
To Nigerians in the US, you guys should do more to support Nigerian arts and not compare everything to Hollywood and Grammy awards.... I was surprised to meet an African American who told me that all they know and believe is that Africans live on trees.... I am like what!!! In this age and time??....You guys have to do more and you can start by educating them through our movies, music.......Over here in Holland you wont see anybody thinking we live on trees...the Dutch people are gradually watching our movies...Even Germans!....we are succeeding more in educating them in Europe....You guys should do more.
Finally I want to say a very big thanks for having me on........ And also want to say thanks to the numerous friends I have made online over the years, you guys are the best. Make sure you get a copy of my CD/DVD ...you will definitely enjoy it...... Watch out for my next album...THE MARK OF THE SCORPIO.
One Love KHAMILEON
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