Leader of The Sharp Band, Anesi Ivharue recently chatted with us. Hear him…
You are among the top live bands in Nigeria, how do you feel about that?
It’s a privilege and honour. Most especially by God’s grace. It’s not man’s doing. It feels good to be reckoned with as one of the top bands in Nigeria today. It takes a whole lot of hard work. It’s been a long time and not something that started yesterday. It cost hard work consistently and I have been able to withstand the pressures that are coming from all corners. I feel good about it.
How will you describe the success of the band since it started?
The success of the band is not something that was sudden. It was a gradual thing. When we started, it was as if there was no hope and gradually there was awareness. Slowly and steadily, we got to where we are today and we give God the glory.
What is your relationship with the other bands?
As a matter of fact, our relationship is very cordial. We are friends. Myself and Godbless of Eboni Band are very good friends; Akin of Shuga Band too, Kudense Band of Ejiro. We are like a family, we connect, we talk, we have good rapport, and we meet from time to time.
As a matter of fact, there is this meeting that holds every Monday, tagged Monday Night Gig. It’s a way of bringing us together, so that we will have a common front where we all meet and discuss the problems and issues arising from the business of band ownership. We are very good friends, There is no problem at all.
How did you bring these great talents together considering their different backgrounds?
First, you have to know what you want, and then you will know what you want to get. It is about understanding and patience. They are of different backgrounds just like you said and they will have different understanding and different beliefs. You will have to know what you want so that you will know how to get what you want from them.
As the saying goes, if you want to catch a monkey, you will have to behave like one. It is about being able to use what you have to get what you want. We all have our different beliefs and different cultures. But knowing how to put them together and how to work with them and get good results at the end of the day is the bottom line. It is about knowing how to get what you want from what you have.
Has there been any shake up and how did you handle it?
Yes, I’ve been through like three shake ups. I have had events where key players in the band decided to walk out unnoticed. And when that happens, that is when you know if you are strong enough to pull it together. I’ve had three shake ups, like I said.
The first one happened when 80 percent of the band left to form another band. Another happened when 50 percent of the band left to form their own band. Another one happened again when like 30, 40 percent of the band members left at the same time to form their own band. And so far, I wish them well because they are all doing well. And I am proud to say that Sharp Band Nigeria has developed some other bands in the country today. It is just one of those things. You don’t have to be together forever. It is just the manner they left that’s not decent. It is like when a group of people decide to come together to plan a coup. They just put all the materials and hard work you have inculcated in them together to start up a band somewhere. So, you are left with little or nothing. You start working with new and fresh hands. Those are the challenges, but it is alright. I have gone through it like thrice and it doesn’t bother me anymore. When it comes, I always overcome.
The band is very busy, how do you manage its tight schedule?
It is very easy and not that easy. You just have to schedule yourself according to what you have in your chart. It is just like drawing up a template for your schedules. The band starts its weekly gig from Wednesday through Sunday. Mondays and Tuesdays are off-days. We even do our rehearsals on Tuesday, so we are left with Monday. It is okay because we already have a template for the band where we do our follow-up. It is about scheduling.
What brought about the idea of Sharp Band Vs Sharp Band show that you organized at Bay Lounge?
Sharpband vs Sharpband (a style, not a competition) 2 in 1 band, 1 stage, 1 sound, 2 presentations and 2 interpretations simultaneously. This is the future. It is a longtime dream of mine. I have always wanted to do a show, not the regular event where we will bring together people from all walks of life, host people, showcase our art for people to see what we are capable of. So, it is a dream come true. It is something that I have always loved to do. I have had this idea a long time ago.
This happens to be the right time. It was actually scheduled for October 9, but it got disrupted due to unforeseen circumstances.
It has never been done in this part of the world before. That is just it. It is our own event where we do our own thing, packaged by us and organized by us.
That is when you see the true Sharp Band. It is going to be an annual event. It is designed to take place in an open air setting. We thank God for the very huge success. Sharp Band Vs Sharp Band is new in this part of the world. It is the first of its kind.
We learnt that you are planning to honour hit makers and legends this year?
Yes, is called COHMAL – Celebration of Hit Makers and Legends. The concept is to say a very big thank you to our hit makers and legends. Without them, there will not be bands and Djs. It’s going to be a monthly event. The first Hit Maker was honoured on February 12, 2016. It was Majek Fashek, at Bay Lounge, Lekki, Lagos.