I went to school because I want to be independent, not to look for job, says popular highlife musician, Elese meta
I am launching new album ‘Alujo extra’ by April
Can we meet you?
My name is Taiwo Oguntade popularly known as Taye elese meta and people also used to called me Big T. I am a musician and I sing high live and juju music.
Precisely, when do you started singing?
I started singing about 25 years ago. I was once a member of Saint Peter Cathedral, Ake in Abeokuta, I was a choir then and from there I develop interest in music. I was once a member of Boys Brigade at Saint Peter Cathedral, Ake. I used to play trumpet then, so, that was how I started this career gradually gradually.
Your educational background?
I started my primary education at Saint Peter cathedral, Ake and I proceeded to Lantoro high school. From Lantoro, I went to Moshood Abiola Polytechnic where I obtained by National Diploma and Higher National Diploma in business studies and business administration respectively.
Was there a vision when you are growing up that you will become a musician?
I don’t think I have it in mind then that I am going to be a musician, though I love Music. We started from going to parties because I belong to the brigade boys and that was when I started developing interest. My brother late Dipo Sodipo was the one that encouraged me most then because he was my mentor. Also, Mr Yemi Odediran also assisted me a lot, I used to follow him to parties and shows. I was his manager and from then I learnt a lot of things and when I was able to play keyboard. I started with pope style. So, if pope have two shows, he will come to me to go to one for him. Pope introduced me to Lagos and before we know it everything started going on fine.
How do you came about Elese meta, who nicknamed you that name?
It’s been long I have been bearing the name, the ese keta is my job, it is my third leg. What I mean by my job is that you know we used to do live CDs at every shows. That CDs is the third leg because that is what people will be hearing everywhere around the world when I am not there.
Have you ever work in the area you studied while in MAPOLY?
No, I study the course because I just want to be learned. Music is better than that one and I don’t like to do a job that I will be under someone.
How can you narrate your experience in the Music Industry in the last 25 years?
Very interesting because I remember my first show, the person that gave the show to be did not really believe in me because we just started. When we got to the party, he came to me to ask if I am going to perform and I told him confidently that there is no problem. I can never forget that day in my life, in fact, we got money and the man later came to me, praising and thanking me. He even added N20,000 for the job well done and that encourage me a lot. From that time, the confidence is there from that day.
Have you ever be embarrassed on the stage before?
I have never be embarrassed on stage since I started singing 25 years back and that is because I know how I do my job. Like me I hate one thing if I don’t want you to insult or embarrass me, I will not also behave in a manner that will make you do that. For example, if you give me any show in Lagos and the shoe is on Friday, you will see me in Lagos on Thursday evening. I know how I guided myself with things and I don’t fucked up my fans, I always get to any show before the exact time. My instrument is always at the venue of the party a day before the party.
What have been your biggest challenge since you started singing?
I don’t think I have any challenges because I know what I am doing and I am focused. I believe if you know what you are doing, you will not fucked up. If you call me for a show and you pay me what I ask for, I don’t have any reason to disappoint you.
Can you trace your success to your hard work or God’s grace?
I believe the both worked for me. Hard work and grace work for me just like a popular adage that says a good turn deserves another. If you invite me to a party today, if I impress you, there is a lot of people that would enjoy my music and will still call you after the party to ask for my contact, that is hard work. Everything is not money, but boys of nowadays are after money. I believe if at any show, you tried and do your best, you perform and you let the people are your worth, they will call you back. If you are not a good musician, people will nog look at your side at all, they will believe you are just making noise. But, if you are good, you will be able to get the audience’ attention.
In the past, you are strictly on one man band, but now you have become a full band musician. Why do you change? Are you tired of that?
I am still playing one man band in which I can say I am the only one that is enjoying it here today. Even when I travelled abroad, I play one man band. I play full band too and the reason why I extended my band us because of the crowd. One band is meant for mini-party, while full band is for large audience. I am still used to one man band, though I enjoy it more, but it is stressful. I enjoy it more because we make money than the full band.
I have about 19 band boys for the full stage show, but if I have one man band, we are always like see. I still do the both as it comes.
What have you done to remember Sodipo being your mentor?
I think that one is personal.
How can you compare the music then with what we have now?
Everything has changed now, what we have on board now, the music is now moving fast with the technology. Like old days, you can’t just see anybody that will call himself a musician, but now if you go to the studio and they gave you one beat on laptop, you will sing anything on it. Technology has improved music and it makes the job easier.
Many believe that music is lucrative and there have been calls that the government should look into that particular sector. What will be your call to the government?
They need to intervene like seriously, we want federal government and state government to introduce some things especially concerning the issue of piracy. Piracy has taken over the industry because of the technology and there is nothing you can do about it. We are appealing to the government to help in any way they believe they can promote the act and culture.
How many albums have you done so far?
I am planning to laugh my 5th album this coming April. I already have four on ground.
What is your happiest and the challenging moment?
I know myself and I don’t go beyond my boundary, I do my things as it calls. And the calibre of people calling me to shows, they are not illiterates. I am not used to thugs and that is why I said Pope was my mentor because most of Pope’ shows always have big people. I used to be indoor musician mostly in Lagos. I don’t have area boys experience and I don’t have ruffians as a friend, I am a cool guy.
How many wives do you have?
I have only one wife and three kids.
How do you manage your female fans?
Because I love my family. I mingle with them, but I don’t used to be carried away. It is not a new thing, and because I love my family, I always try to be careful. And you know they say prevention is better than cure, so, I don’t want it to happen. I have so many female friends, but I used to systematically caution myself. I don’t plan to have more than one wife.
What and what should we be expecting from the new album?
Be expecting good thing from the album. You will enjoy the music.
What stand this out from others?
This one has so many advice due to Nigeria of nowadays and I played serious Alajo in it.; that is why I call the album Alujo extra.
With your tight schedule, how do you relax?
I don’t joke with my sleep; I always sleep. And that is why you cannot see where you are not suppose to see me.
In another five years, where should we see Elese mefa?
You will see me at the top by God’s grace. You will see me at a place where people don’t expect to see me God’s willing.
Your advice for upcoming artiste?
The only advice I will give them is that they should wait for their time. Most of them are fast tracking the move now; they should just wait for their time because Rome was not built in a day. If you are focus and know what you are doing, you will get to your destination. As I am now is not the way I was then, but gradually I became who I am and I am thanking God. If you see those guys singing now, they want to be on top of those that started about 30 years ago. You have to start from somewhere and with time, they will get to the final destination.
If you like opportunity to come back to this world, would you like to become a musician?
Yes of course because I love it. I joined many of the club like Abeokuta Sport Club, Rotary club, among others because of my job and that helps me a lot. I am using my discretion which is not everybody that can pay the fees of those clubs. I will always love to be a musician in all my life.