WHY PEOPLE STOPPED HEARING ABOUT ME – Daddy Showkey
I was on a visit to HipTV boss, Ayo Animashaun’s office on Ogundana Street, off Allen Avenue, Ikeja, Lagos, on Monday, July 21, 2014, when I bumped into astounding entertainer and show man, Daddy Showkey. Instantly, we exchanged pleasantries and thereafter commenced an impromptu interview which saw the Delta State born father of four sharing his sweet and bitter experiences with YES INTERNATIONAL! Magazine Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, AZUH ARINZE. Most remarkably, however, was the early morning auto accident that affected his spinal cord and almost claimed his life. The rest of the story, please, from the horse’s mouth, Chief John Asiemo, aka Daddy Showkey…
I’ve been here and there; everywhere, trying to get myself together and right now, I’m back to the scene. I’m back to my business – music business – and I’m trying to come out with something new. Right now, I have some singles out…
The full album, when is it going to be out?
I’m planning to release it on my birthday, 4th of August, but I’m not sure I will meet up. Maybe we will take one good day. But we are working seriously on that. Very seriously.
Daddy Showkey used to be all over the place, then all of a sudden people no longer hear about you. What happened?
I will not say people don’t hear about me. I only believe that they should hear positive things about me, because if you want people to hear about you; it won’t be hard for you to just do one illegal thing and people will be hearing about your name. But I had some accident that affected my spinal cord, so I decided to rest a little so that I will not fall on stage and people will say he was a great musician. So, I decided to go back and tried to be in a good state of mind so that my health will be okay and that is why I’ve been away for the past 7 years, trying to get myself together. But I thank God that everything is going the way that God has planned it.
Can you tell us more about this accident? When did it happen and how did it happen?
It happened in 2007. I was coming from the Island. I went for Olu Maintain’s birthday at 11.45 (a hangout). So, I was coming back early in the morning, around 5am, from the Island. On getting to Ikosi Road, this truck that they use to carry dust bin (waste) was at the centre of the road, so I thought it was moving. So, I ran my Toyota Camry under it and it wasn’t something to write home about. I didn’t even feel any pain when that accident happened. I came down from the car, I brought my friends that were inside out of the car. So, everybody was saying my Bendel Insurance (Laughing) had saved me, but when I got home, I said okay, I should relax, but I could not stand up. I could not even feel my legs, so I now called my wife that she should call my brothers; that this is what is happening. So, on the third day, I was flown abroad.
How long were you away?
I was away in the hospital for 3 years! Three years because, first of all, I was in the hospital in Colindale; from there I was transferred to another hospital in Germany. That was where they started giving me some physiotherapy to balance my spine, because my spine was swollen so I cannot move it. But today I thank God I’m like this (Demonstrates it). I can walk. It’s not easy to have a spinal cord injury and still walk.
We used to know Daddy Showkey with some hits like Dyna, congratulations, Fire, etc. When are you going to come out with another hit number?
Let’s watch and see because I’m in the studio working. Those hit numbers, it was the people that made them to become hits, because if the people don’t buy it, it will not become hits. So, I’m working on something and it is the people that will judge and it is also the people that make us, entertainers, to feed and look good and to eat. So, it is them that will judge when I release a song. Even if it will take me a long time, I will keep on doing it till the people will say okay, this is bam!
What does Daddy Showkey like best about being a musician?
First of all, I grew up in a neighbourhood that is very rough and tough and I did not have any belief in my life that I will become a successful entertainer and I did not even have any belief that I will become anything in life. But any time I remember my past and that I came out from nothing to something, it keeps me going; I will always be happy because my past gives me joy and that’s why every time that I go to my neighbourhood (Ajegunle), if I see the area, I will say ah, ‘Jegunle! Because it is not easy; it is not easy, my brother!
What don’t you like about being a musician?
Hmmm! It is when I see people that were nothing before and when they become something, they start feeling big or when I see pompous people. I don’t like that! I like humble people. So, as a musician, I believe you must be humble because it is the people that made you to be what you are.
What is the greatest thing that music has done to you?
The greatest thing that music has done to my life in general is making my family to be proud of me; my mum and my brothers. Because I was a very stubborn child when I was growing up, and everybody, especially in Ajegunle then, they never had that belief that John can become Daddy Showkey! But today, my mum has changed her name from Mama John to Mama Daddy Showkey (Smiling). For me, that is an achievement; that is a big achievement.
What has music not done for you?
Music has done a lot for me, so I can’t say music has not done anything for me because with music today, I have a family, I have my own children, I have my wife, I have everything. And I’m still alive and I’m gonna do more. Music has done everything for me, so I don’t have any reason to say music has not done this for me.
What makes a good song?
A good song is any song that people will appreciate and a good song is a song that is supposed to last forever, with positive messages. Because, for me, I believe in the message, I believe that if I’m doing a song; if I’m doing a dance song, I know I’m doing a dance song; if I want to do a song that will touch people’s lives, because I believe that every human being has a testimony in life and we, musicians, are like messengers of God.
What we sing about today can happen in future. A song that can relate to somebody’s life. That is what I call a good song – it is a song that can relate to everybody’s life one day, in the future or presently.
What makes a good musician?
Hmmm! What makes you a good musician is when you listen to your producer and your directors and you remain humble, because to me, people come to watch you, people come to see you and you, the musician, you are like an idol. People come to see you and to watch you. So, if you are not a role model to them, for me, you are not a good musician. Those people are the people making you what you are.
What is the best way to come up with hit songs?
You have to think about what angle you want to come from. Like me, my inspiration comes from Ajegunle and associating with people and my past life. So, if I stay away from Ajegunle , it will be very hard for me to compose, but if I go to Ajegunle, I must see one thing to sing about and good people like you also do call me, Showkey, there’s this word o, they will give me and I will now put it into a song.
You grew up in the ghetto. Can you tell us about your fond memories of the ghetto?
If I remember, back in the days when me and my friends, we used to trek from Ajegunle to Victoria Island, to NTA, to see somebody like Danladi Bako and when we return to Ajegunle, our friends will be telling us that they saw us on TV and so on. Especially me, they will call me because they know that this one is baaaad! And they will say John, we see you for television o, we dey happy for you o! That’s the good thing about Ajegunle and Ajegunle is also a place whereby we no send anybody. So, you have to be humble. You will see people that will tell you the truth; they will look into your eyes and tell you the truth. So, that is my fond memory that I have. Growing up, seeing real people. People that will tell you the truth.
Can you recollect one incident that happened that turned around your life as a person?
For me, it was my first award – Fame Music Awards. That award, you know as an entertainer growing up; I started as an acrobat, entertaining people from street to street in Ajegunle. Then, we started going to Lagos Island and all those places. But in 1994, I came into a different aspect of life that I’ve not experienced before. I came into the awards (ceremony), I saw so many top musicians that when I was a little boy I used to watch them on TV, like Obey Commander, Sunny Ade, Dr. Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, all those people were at the awards that day, with Chief Raymond Dokpesi. So, I was sitting close to Kimono. I’ve known Kimono for a very long time; from Floating Buka (in Marina, Lagos) and I will tell Kimono, Baba, Baba, Baba, no be Alex O be dat? He will say cool down, hold on. Because I was surprised that I can sit and associate with those top musicians that I used to see many years ago. But that day, I never knew that I will also win an award. When they called my name, I could not believe my eyes and you know, fortunately for me, Raypower was transmitting it live that day from the venue. It was at The Muson Centre or so. So, immediately they announced my name, you needed to see my neighbourhood. People were dancing, jubilating as if it was Christmas. John Pako won an award and became Daddy Showkey. So, it was a really big day that I cannot forget in my life.
Away from work, what does Daddy Showkey do for relaxation?
For relaxation, I go to my neighbourhood and I hang out with my old friends. I stay with my friends because I don’t want to lose my focus. If I’m with them, they tell me about my life. That’s the real truth. I go to Ajegunle, I hang out with my friends and that’s what I do.
From the ghetto, the Lord has elevated you; meaning that God has been so nice to you. What more do you want from God?
Ha! Baba God! I want Him to give me the wisdom to handle everything that He’s done for me, because one thing is to have all this success and no wisdom to handle it. And I want Him to bless my children more; more than the way He blessed me.
Most people attain success in your line of business, but they are not able to sustain it. Why do you think this is so?
The real truth is that first of all, you lose yourself when you become popular, because you isolate yourself from the realities of life, you isolate yourself from your friends that will tell you the truth, you get to have new friends; new friends that are rubbing shoulders with you because you are successful, because you are a popular person. The day you are no more popular, they lock their doors, you will not see them. Now you cannot go back to your friends, your old friends, because you were not there for them too. But me, I still maintain my old friends because they will call me to order, if I’m going astray. So, most of these people, when they become successful, they isolate themselves from the truth, because if you are a successful person, it is what you want to hear that the people around you will tell you. Even the president! It is what he wants to hear that they tell him. Because those people who are doing eye service, they will come, they will spoil other people to get into positions. So, it is very important that you keep your friends that will tell you the truth or the people that built you to where you are. If you are successful and you have new friends, it doesn’t mean that the old ones, you should let them go.
NB: First published October 2014