Switching from comedy to music seems to be a stroll in the park for Tunde Ednut. The entertainer spoke to Adewole Ajao recently
Tunde Ednut is relishing his switch from comedy to music. After climbing to the top of his previous profession during years as a UK-based Nigerian comedian, it was time to return home and open a new chapter. As we settle down at the Terra Kulture in Victoria Island, Lagos for an interview, he recalls how all roads pointed to music when his comedy brand reached its saturation point.
“I was quite popular in London doing comedy,” he says. “I even won a couple of awards but you know how London is. You’ll get all the popularity but cannot really make that dough. I had to return to the table to strategise because I can sing and do comedy, but there is no use if you are not making money from anybody. So I had to move back to Nigeria and change the strategy.”
Music is his new-found love and so far, he feels he is making an impact. With a “Catching Cold” track featuring Dr. Sid, the diminutive singer from Quo Vadis Entertainment feels his year and a half home has been prolific amidst the early challenges of relocating.
“At first, due to the crossover from comedy to music, most people did not want to accept it but after I did Jingle Bell last December with Ice Prince, Davido and other artistes, they started accepting it and I dropped this one (Catching Cold).”
His lyrical style retains much of the spontaneity and bounce akin to his comedy. Ednut also inclines towards the style of his role models. Strangely, there are only two indigenous names he fingers as founts for his inspiration. It is actually more than that when you break one of them down to its members. “I’m a big fan of D’Banj and the Mavin group,” adds Ednut with a cheeky grin.
His upcoming album will be titled The Crossover, echoing his total shift from comedy to music. While the usual practice for many of his colleagues is to balance both genres, he repeats that the door on comedy has been totally closed. Fortunately, Ednut’s desire to face music squarely is already yielding fruit with a quiver of performances ahead of his album launch proper.
“I don’t even get bookings for comedy anymore, it is simply music now. I just started working on my album and it will be released in the first quarter of next year. It is called the crossover and there will be 13 tracks. There will be Tiwa Savage, Wande Coal and other people on the album. We thank God because I am also working with an international act on that album.”
Perks are also gathering for him. With a haul of free beats to choose from, he is also set to shoot a video for each song he will be releasing. He says most of the charity stems from having paid his dues in the industry. This opened many doors that would have been shut to a stark outsider. Being the recipient of such magnanimity, he is also giving back to the needy.
“The bigger you get, the more free things you get, to help make others bigger. I never blow yet but I have gotten to that stage where I can give one or two people some help. We are going to perform with our best and I have met with four guys who have come in and we will do a collaboration with them on a ‘Catching Cold Remix’”.
A prelude to the remix featuring Dr. Sid was a teaser of what Ednut can do lyrically. A fast paced video with sparks of bravado, it was a sound introduction for the newcomer. The song title did raise some eyebrows but he explains that there was more to it.
“A lady can make you shiver so we had to change the concept,” argues the singer. “Tiwa Savage and Flavor had done a song on catching cold, so we switched it and people love it. Even the video has been everywhere.”
For him, home-made music has come of age going by the number of opportunities corporate bodies that have come to get a share of the growing potentials of indigenous music. He is also itching for a slice, even if he has to morph yet again.
“If there is a good deal in acting, I will do it. I am dropping two more songs with Jingle Bells. It will feature new artistes but the same chorus. I will also drop two videos and will be doing Jingle Bells for the next six years will different artistes.”