Sanjo Adegoke is a filmmaker, cinematographer, music producer and musician, with his new song ‘’I Believe’’ rocking the airwaves. In this interview with Tosin Clegg, he talks about his new single
How I juggle everything I do
I have always been a musician long before becoming any other thing. Singing is an inherent talent, while being a music producer is an acquired talent built and natured over time. This is based on exposure, research, study, interest, engagements and instinct.
Cinematography and film making came as a passion
I’m always fascinated by good pictures and storytelling. Well, sound and picture are what I would compare to strings on a guitar moving in different directions, yet producing harmonic and melodious sound. They are always in accordance. So, juggling all of these makes life interesting and gives me the opportunity to see things in a broader spectrum, from the angle of sound and that of picture, which ostensibly determines everything in life – what we see and what we hear. It’s like querying that if it sounds like this, what should it look like or if it looks like this, what should it sound like.
Projects and soundtracks I have produced
They include Diary of a Lagos Girl; Married but living Single; Hope 234; Mufu Olosa Oko; Silence; Unforgivable; The Edge; Victims; Ojude Oba; and Ofala Festival for Glo; Legendary Show; Igbanbajo; Udeme; Betrayal; Date Gone Bad; Common Enemy; Asabi Alakara; and many others.
Sound design and sound tracking
I think with the awareness about copyright and a need for every project to have its own original soundtrack or background music, whether for radio programmes, TV shows, films, documentaries and adverts, it’s becoming more lucrative, though not commiserate with the amount of time and effort that sometimes goes into the production of such works.
But I believe with time, as more need for locally-produced sound is needed for content, the potential of its profitability will get better. Also, if all our TV stations, online stations, cable networks and what have you, can encourage the use of locally produced sound on their platform, it stands a chance of boosting profitability. It will also help to grow our sound and culture because sour sound can be interpreted to be a reflection of a sour culture. I hope that is not our situation at present.
I think every composition or creative work in terms of sound or music is great on its own
No matter how poorly done it might seem to a person, there is somebody somewhere that appreciates it. But sometimes the application of such work on a picture might be a way off. Doing sound for pictures has a lot to do with understanding the picture, the movement, and the message such picture is trying to convey. It is not just throwing a sound on a picture. It is about helping to tell the story in it to endear the viewers to the picture. Film is supposed to be about sound and picture.
I think gradually, motion picture producers are beginning to appreciate the synergy of a good picture accompanied with great sound, though there are still a handful still glued to the dark days and the audience too is always there to tell the difference. Also, I think when the consumers of such works start demanding quality and detailed works rather than settling for anything thrown at them, there is bound to be a lot of difference.
Filmmakers, industry, funds and the guild of producers
At times, it comes down to individual taste and level of understanding. Getting the right hand on a project too has a lot before coming down to fund. Some producers still don’t understand the importance of a good sound design on their content. Most times, sound design is seen as an afterthought with little or no importance attached to it. There are some who profoundly appreciate and understand its importance, though. On the issue of fund, I think it is something that cuts across every sector. When fund is not available or is insufficient, people are bound to cut corners. It makes people to go for the cheapest person whether qualified, unqualified or disqualified. Also, at times some content producers like to maintain the traditional way. I think many still need to be schooled in that aspect.
Every single work you see out there went through a stage of production.
That’s before even coming down to performing. So, I don’t see myself leaving production. Besides, it’s a part and parcel of me.
Coping outside music production and mainstream performance
Coping outside music production? That’s rather an ambiguous question. But as long as I am into music, it’s just impossible for me to leave production. Rather, it will make me more participatory. Besides, I am only extending my horizon. All is just one body.
What inspired the song ‘I believe’
The song was borne out of a need to feast on a love song that is more about its trueness rather than sexuality. It is a song that can stand the test of time and one that will leave an imprint on both the young and old.
I want to be myself
I want to do good music that is relevant; that which will stand the test of time.
I plan to take my music to every nook and cranny of the world
I’ll take it to the young and the old and to the generations unborn. I am hoping to be a guy that has not only done songs, but has also done great songs that will continually be a reference point that will spur more people on into doing greater songs.
Talking about my influences, the list is endless
I would say I have a catholic taste for music, from the medieval era to the classical to the contemporary classical, urban jazz, pop music, reggae, electronic, hiphop, juju music, afro, afro hiphop, fuji music, awurebe, apala, poetry and spoken word. I love songs with strong lyrical content and good instrumentation, be it revolutionary, emotional, historical, religious or what have you. That is why I listen to the likes of Bob Marley, Tracy Chapman, Don Moen, Yanni, Kenny Rogers, Isley Brothers, BB King, R Kelly, Asa, Tupac, Tuface, EdSheeran, Chris Brown, Ayinla Omowura, Ebenezer Obey, Papa Wemba, Ali Fakature. I love local music in its rawness, especially those with ethic signature. The list is endless.