When Abdul Rasak Lawal well known as Rasqie hit the music scene over a decade ago, his stunning resemblance of American Pop icon, Usher Raymond overshadowed his singing abilities.
However, the handsome dude gained his own fair share of the Nigerian music lovers with hit track, ‘Soji’. The song put him on top of his game as a force to reckon with ahead of his contemporaries at that time. He was prominent on most national music concert back to back.
However, when the music industry took a twist mid 2000s with the entrant of more upcoming music acts, Rasqie was not there to complement his early day’s fame.
The ‘Mukoko’ crooner was cornered recently and he talked about his decision to try his hands in other businesses and his much anticipated return to the studios.
Now the CEO, DaFlava Entertainment, Rasqie a devoted Muslim who married a gospel artiste and ‘Atobiju’ crooner, Monique also talks about his wife’s relationship with Mike Abdul’s spaghetti Records in this interview with thegazellenews.com‘s OMO IYA AFA.
You don’t seem to be 100 percent involved in the music industry again?
Do we even have a music industry? I don’t think we have an industry here. Even Ghana has an industry that is buoyant. The industry we have is frustrating these days. Everything is now based on money. You go to radio stations and all the DJs and presenters ask for money. They don’t even listen to your song. A small boy who was still in high school when I made my name will tell me to give him money to play my song.
What is the effect of this on the industry?
It has given opportunities to quacks in the industry. A lot of Yahooboys who know next to nothing in music has dominated, why? Because they make fraudulent money and pump it in the industry just to become popular. They make jargons which they call music and the DJs feed the listening public with that. This is why you can hardly hear good music on our radios because they have been paid to feed us with these jargons. I have paid my dues and I believe I remain one of the tested and trusted in the business of making good music.
What is the difference between when you started and now?
When I dropped ‘Soji’ then, I didn’t even had the money to print promo CDs but, because the industry at that time encouraged creativity, I made it. The few copies we printed went round the whole radio stations. I never gave money to anyone to play that song. The industry was good then and the thinking was right. The situation is different now. To me, we don’t even have an industry. That is why some of my colleagues whom we started together are no longer in the game. They can’t even feed themselves again.
Are you still making money from music?
Aside what my wife (Monique) is doing, I am not making money from music. I just took the decision to go and make money outside music for a while and make my return. I don’t want music to kill me that is why I stepped aside to rebuild and come back.
The truth is when I decide to come out I know the right people to work with. My latest song ‘What is this?’ was produced by Sammy Young, mixed and mastered by Sheyman. It’s banging seriously on radio because this is what I know how to do best. Earlier, I dropped ‘Sharperly’ I am planning to shoot a video now.
At the same time, I want to travel out. I am even scared of shooting videos these days because the rush for shows that come with the videos sometimes affects my day to day activities. I don’t do music alone anymore. I have other things I do. You know the fame that comes with dropping a video can be distracting. Remember when I dropped ‘Mukoko’ video, a whole lot of noise followed it.
How do you advise upcoming artistes when they come to you?
When upcoming artistes come to me for advise, I ask them who their father is or if they have somebody in their family who can give as much as N5million to continue their music career. If they say no; I just advise them to go back to school because, I would have been in trouble if I had not gone to school.
What is the gain of quitting music for such a long time?
During that period, I was able to push my wife with the help of God to stardom. Today in the Gospel music industry, she’s the rave of the moment. ‘Atobiju’ is highly spiritual and a lot of souls have been blessed with the song. I was able to achieve that because I stepped down on my own activities to really push hard on her and with God, we got the desired result.
What is new about Monique now?
She’s got a new track featuring Bouqui titled, ‘Oti sure ju’ (It’s certain). She’s also featured on ‘Mo rire’, another track by Mike Abdul. We are also working on dropping her video album.
Why is Monique no longer on DaFlava Records?
DaFlava Entertainment is strictly a secular records company. She does gospel and we think she should be on a gospel records platform. That is why we decided to put her on Spaghetti Records, which is a gospel outfit own by Mike Abdul who is also a friend. I am also involved in Spaghetti Records.
So, what is that money spinning job that has kept you away from music all these days?
I am into Event planning which is still industry related and I am into oil and gas.