Joe EL

Joel Amadi, popularly known as Joe EL recently released his debut album, after his many years in the music industry. Joe EL, who is seen as a lookalike of Tuface, tells Tosin Clegg about his career, growing up and more…

I have always believed in myself…

It got to a point that after God and my mother, I was the only one who believed in me. My father didn’t believe. Those days, I would go to Aminu Kano International Airport to sell ‘pure water’ and see people driving expensive cars. I said to myself then that one day I would be like this. I have friends that I left in Kano who have fallen from grace to grass, but I didn’t give up on my dreams. I looked at people then and said to myself that they didn’t have two heads; though it is all about destiny. There is just that particular guardian angel that will always stand as an encouragement and positive force to drive one towards success.

My sojourn in showbiz…

If music has not been paying my bills or putting smile on my face, I would probably have been thinking of something else right now. Considering the passion I have for music, I am glad I am getting something from it. I used to tell people that music is a living thing. You have to be very certain of what you want from music before you get something from it.

It has been massive…

The initial plan was to release videos and singles like other artistes to actually create awareness. But I am surprised that after eight months without a video and just a single, people were still anticipating my album. I even thought someone was somewhere praying for me and God answered.

The love is too much and I appreciate everyone who believes in my talent. It is not easy because I am not doing anything extraordinary to sell my brand. The turnout for the album launch was massive too. I expected to see a place filled with people, but it turned out to be like a carnival.

Why my album was delayed…

It was on purpose, because the era of dropping a single or two before you eventually release an album has passed. Now, it is all about social media and that has affected the commercial value of albums. We all know that people can actually download songs on the Internet now and since they download songs for free, it makes no sense to get an album in the market again.

So, we now decided to say that instead of rushing to release an album, we should take our time and make sure we increase our fan base. I am glad that my manager just called me that the first set of CDs we released sold out and we just requested for the third set. That is what I want to hear.

About the album’s title–Timeless?

If I tell you my story, then you would agree that I am a conqueror. There’ve been many times people who thought I won’t come out of a situation and I did. The El in my name, Joe EL, stands for “Everlasting.” I gave myself that name because everything about me has been evergreen.

There could be delays, but I smile at the end of the tunnel. When we were looking for names to give the album, Mr. Kenny Ogungbe was just staring at us. He said, “Joe EL, have you forgotten your story? From the whole story you’ve shared with me, I have decided to name the album Timeless.”

Leaving Home…

I left home when I was 17 years old but returned later. I then finally left when I was 22 years old. When I said I left home, it doesn’t mean I did that without my parents’ consent. It is necessary for me to clarify that so as not to mislead the younger ones. I made them to know that I love them, but I was leaving to chase my dream.

The support is now massive…

Though my mother has always been supportive from day one but my father had issues with me playing music and I understood. Being the only son, they wanted certain things for me. I have two sisters. I give thanks to God that I didn’t bring him shame. I am glad that he tells people I am his son and he is now proud of what I do.

Why I have 19 tracks on my album…

When I wanted to do 19 tracks, somebody said I should look at P-Square (Paul and Peter), who don’t do more than 10 tracks or so. I asked him if my name was P-Square or Wizkid? I am Joe EL and PSquare are stars today because they do their things in a unique way.

We also know Tuface for his unique legendary movement, so Joe EL is Joe EL. I have decided to come out with 19 tracks for myself and my fans. I thank God today that it has not stopped people from buying the album.

Songs on my album…

I like all, but my best right now is track six, Blown Away, featuring B Howard. It is one of the songs I listen to on the album and I hear a different Joe EL. I listen to that song like a fan, not like an artiste who sang it.

Pressures to deliver music…

There are times one goes to the studio and the inspiration refuses to come because of one or two things you are going through in the family circle or elsewhere. A record label cannot understand that you are battling such situations. I might be unhappy today and Baba Keke is in a cheerful mood; so we are having different experiences. I try to put myself in the right mood so I can work.

What’s next…?

We are not too much in a hurry to forget the album because it is doing well in the market. I have not even started my own strategies on how and where I want the album to be distributed in Nigeria and worldwide. I am still working on that and I will be shooting more videos on the album. I told my manager that artistes these days believe that you don’t release an album for commercial gains, but I am trying to change that mind-set.

Kennis Music used to be everywhere…

You are right to say activities have reduced in the label, but that is not it actually. Tuface and P-Square used to be everywhere if that is the case. You can only make a hit once, then you sustain it and that is what artistes like Tuface, P-Square and others are doing. You have to pave the way for others.

No matter how sweet a particular food is, it is only fresh when it is newly prepared. Kennis Music has promoted superstars, so they are sustaining it. The label won’t be producing someone like me if you think they are not relevant anymore.

It is a blessing in disguise…

I don’t blame people who confront me and say I am trying to imitate Tuface because it is obviously the truth. Whether people like it or not, it is a selling point for me. When you see me, you see someone who looks like Tuface and when you hear my songs it reminds you of Tuface. So, there is nothing they see other than I am behaving like Tuface. I just hope God blesses me because He has created me this way and He will bless people who talk good or bad about me.

About my sense of fashion…

My philosophy about style is that I would rather impress with simplicity than disappoint you with glamour.

I would rather go to a professional and say I don’t know how to combine colours than doing it myself. I like black much because I believe you cannot go wrong with black. I just like to keep it simple and if I want to go higher I talk to professionals to keep me in shape.

Music Producer, Spellz Ties the Knot

Music producer, Benjamin Obaze, well known as Spellz got married recently, to his beautiful beau, Hadiza. The glamorous and well attended ceremony was held at Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.

It was a big and colourfully-themed event as both power houses weighed in so much to give it the celebrity wedding it was.

DJ Spinall, Skales, Ice Berg Slim, DJ Xclusive and so many other celebrities attended the most talked about wedding in February.