Sematecino, the Ogun State-born Gerald Olukunle Obidipe , is the Ireland-based Nigerian artiste has come to surpass the existing big names in the industry. The Insurance graduate of the University of Lagos, has released three singles, Gba Sibe featuring Kass, Try My Love and Bami Soro, all getting massive airwaves in Europe and Nigeria. He recently talked about his career with Michael Alonge where he explained his love for women and other issues…..
Why are you called SEMATECINO?
In a group that I was in school, UNILAG, we all gave ourselves Italian names; SEMATECINO was the name given to me then. Gerald Olukunle Obidipe is actually my real name and I am from Ogun State.
How do you get your inspiration?
Music is self-expression, so if you want to express yourself honestly, you have to be inspired by life, your own life, other peoples’ life etc. so, I get inspiration from people around me and life in general.
How did you get into music?
It all started when I was in school, the University of Lagos in 1998, I was a member of a 5-man group called Brotherhood, I was the last member to join the group and I became their PRO. Before I joined them, I was always listening to foreign songs, so when I started the PR stuff for them, I actually did it for two or three occasions and that made me to start to write my own lyrics and when I wrote some scripts, and rap verses for the group and I delivered them in one of the rehearsals and they were like, why don’t you come on board and I did. We were always doing shows at Moremi Hall etc.
Now that you are in the industry, what can you say about it?
Back then, it wasn’t too profitable for lot of artistes, it was KWAM 1, Alex Zito, Daddy Fresh, Daniel Wilson that were on the centre stage. Shortly after I graduated from UNILAG, I moved to Europe, and that time I moved was the time the music industry just skyrocketed and the likes of the Remedies, Plantasion Boiz, D’banj etc changed the industry. When I got to Dublin, rap wasn’t too acceptable, it’s not the kind of acceptance we have here actually. They have their own kind of music and for rap to come in, it’s a hard knot, nevertheless, I have done a lot of shows and Irish radios have aired my songs; notwithstanding, the place is not like home where everything is fast. In Dublin, they are kind of building a momentum. Here in Nigeria, banks, corporate organizations are involved, endorsements are coming in, Nigerian music industry is in the forefront of Africa music in the world, so, I thought of coming home to build a career and sell my own kind of music called Black Italian Music, I don’t want to follow anybody’s pattern, but just my own kind of music. Music is universal; there is nothing new to do than to bring out some creative ingredients that no one has ever touched. I don’t follow the crowd, I stand out in what I do and what I am comfortable with.
What genre of music do you play?
I will call it AfroJuice, why because, Afro fuse has been used, so juice is a blend of fruits, so if I say Afro Juice, I simply mean, Afro music with a blend of Hip hop, R&B and little bit of Jazz and Ragga.
What’s the most embarrassing thing you have seen someone else do?
I was at a party sometime in Dublin, I sighted a lady, so beautiful with all fittings, this lovely lady, everybody was admiring her, and all of a sudden she was about to descend from the stairs and she slipped and fell flat on the ground, I really felt embarrassed myself because she was elegantly carrying herself before that happened.
Which animals scare you most? Why?
Snakes, I just hate them because they’ve got evil written all over them. Even the Bible says that too. I know there are some that are harmless, but I still hate snakes with a passion, they are too deceitful, slamming, not straight forward, you can never understand when they are your friends or not unlike other animals like dogs.
What circumstances is it impossible for you to sleep?
When I am extremely tired, most often when I have been driving for long hours; I am likely to sleep very well after such exercise. Apart from this, I must be excessively tired before I could fall asleep. I rarely sleep but when I do, I have a very sound one.
What’s the most important thing about you?
The most important thing about me is God. God has made me special, so he’s the source of my talent, uniqueness etc.
Which of the five senses do you treasure most? Why?
There is none you can actually do without. I need all my senses to be able to write good music, see my world and my lovely fans, hear the sound of good music, have a taste of the goodness the joy of being an artiste had brought to me and of course, feel the passion.
What annoys you most about women?
They are just so complex; there are so many things some do that get you mad sometimes. Each woman is different but generally, women are different from men and women are different from one another; so I can’t over generalize it. I love women actually; they just have to be managed properly. If you are a good manager of women, you will be a good manager of business, then if you can mange business very well, you can manage the world.
What do you like most about women?
When they are sweet, they can be extremely sweet and when they are nasty they can be extremely nasty. I like a woman who is extremely feminine in the way she carries herself. I want a woman who is a real woman.
What’s your favorite genre of literature?
The Bible,the reason is because it contains everything about life and more than you can actually find in other books. Jokes, parables, directions, metaphors, love, hate etc.
What’s your favorite color? Why?
Blue, the reason is because I like it. I like different shades of blue and beside, it’s the colour of the sky and the sea and you know, water no get enemy…..
What’s your favorite expression?
‘Yago Lo Na’, it’s one of the slogans that I use to drive my brand as an artiste.
What stands you out?
My content, besides the rhythm, the melody or the beat, it’s the words I want to say and the way I want to say it. Because no other people will say it the exact way I want to say it.
What is your aspiration in life?
My aspirations in life is to be able to be successful in anything I do in life and in relation to music in Nigeria, I am not coming for anybody’s number one spot but I just want to come out as a voice that will be remembered, recognized, respected and appreciate.
I respect D’banj’s idea of selling his music globally. I respect Sound Sultan for his content and of course, 2face for being one of the most talented artistes in Africa.
When are you releasing your first album?
I’m not in a rush to release my album yet, until the brand is known in the street. I want to build awareness for myself first. Maybe in a couple of years, I will drop my album but right now, I want to drop a couple of singles first as it’s done in Europe, then get my presence registered in Nigeria.
How many singles have you got?
On my promo CD, I have three singles and two of them have got video shots in Dublin, they can be found on youtube. The first one is ‘Gbasibe’, featuring Kass and the second one is ‘Try My Love’ produced by Dekoy, a Nigerian producer based in Dublin, and I have ‘Bami Soro’, we are about to shoot its video.
Your last word?
Paul planted, Apollo watered, God gave the increase. Do your best in life, it can only get better, only God knows how far you can go.