He`s not one of those run on the mills types of musician, he`s with a style. Born Sunday Adeola Ogunyemi with a stage name Sunny Melody, the London based talented musician is one of the few University graduates in the Yoruba musical genre. Equipped with an enviable degree in Business Administration from the Ogun State University now Olabisi Onabanjo University, there`s no doubting the fact that, Sunny Melody did not stray into the singing profession just like many others. He spoke with Enquirer`s Faith Irabor shortly before he was hosted by this magazine. You would enjoy the excerpts:
We can see you have flair for traveling criss crossing around the globe?
Yeah I’ve been everywhere you know I’ve been to Canada, America, South Africa and Ghana lately so I’ve been everywhere.
So far what’s been happening in that South Africa you’ve been shuttling lately?
Yeah I found out that South Africa is more like my second home I’ve got quite a lot of fans there now.
How do you discover them, who discovered you?
It was just a guy, we met through another guy you know and he invited me over to do some shows and the first show, second, third and you know the rest is history.
In the spate of one year I can suggest you’ve gone like four times?
Yeah I’ve been there four times within the last few years and it’s been very good I have a fan base there now.
How did this whole thing start?
Music you know, it started from the church
I’m not celestial, I’m an Anglican African, it started from the church, in fact I can’t remember, from when I was so little I remember when I was playing the Agogo komkom, the Agogo (bell) is the strange one but it`s the metal
Is it the one used by the town crier?
Yeah that’s the one we call it Agogo I don’t know the English name anyway, it’s not a bell but we call it Agogo, it’s different from the normal bell that the Celestial used for their services but this one is the Agogo, I started with the Agogo then, from there I graduated to the Akuba drum and all that, then from there I graduated to drum, I could eventually play anything.
That’s where I’m coming to, I was at a show with you last year and after the show we were like just playing and you were on the instrument playing with all the instruments
Yea I could play all the drums and I could play keyboard as well.
And how would you describe your kind of music?
My kind of music, I call it fast tempo Juju music, I’m sorry to say its not Afro Juju you know put it that way.
Do you mean your kind of music as in a world of its own?
Yeah it’s just in a world of its own because if you listen to my music it is not the usual everyday song
The beat is either too fast or you are giving us something different or mixing everything together
And the tone that they use to play it is not the same tone that I use like the juju tone, Juju is synonymous with a kind of tone that everybody will say oh that is a Juju musician playing you know, when you listen to my music you know is not Fuji, Afro, Apala, it’s just close to Juju
But at times you deviate completely?
Sometimes I do that.
I have observed that
I call it tom casting
How do you come about the name Quintessential?
Thank you, I do research on my own it’s just like you know normally most band in Nigeria you hear and it’s something band and it’s an elite band, I found out that am a graduate so I don’t want to follow the trend like Kinikan (something) and his band, I want something that somebody will have to search the dictionary to know the meaning like my band in the U K, I call it Sunny Melody plus Dulcet Squad if you check the dictionary it is some kind of birds that are playing or singing differently, then in Nigeria I said the Euphonious Crew, If you check euphonious as well it’s something different, I like to say mine is different, then there was a day I was just researching I found out what quintessential is, it is just something that is close to perfection.
So how did your fans adjust to that name?
Yeah you know because I sing about it every time some people will say queencial, I sing about it, I talk about it every time so everybody knows it is quintessential
How was growing up like for you, everything seems very okay now but that does not mean there was no story?
Like I said I grew up in Abeokuta, my Dad is late; Chief Emmanuel Adisa Ogunyemi of blessed memory, may his soul rest in peace, Amen, my mom is still alive she`s in ABEOKUTA. Am actually from a village called ARO village (laugh).
Have you played at home before?
Yea, I was in Abeokuta last year December; I played at a place called TJ
What was the reception like?
It was quiet good, when I was growing up I grew up in a Christian environment we were doing Christian singing stuff from there to JUGATE and from there I move to the University, so I didn’t quite mixed up with people when I was growing only people that were very close to me, that is my immediate family and my school mate, I wasn’t the kind of person that you know friend everywhere but I could say now a lot of people know me that I’m from Abeokuta through some other people and through probably interview, through chatting and all that, so I have a lot of people I mean I still go to Abeokuta for shows and relaxation
For the sake of clarification a lot of people don’t understand it at times when you are in Nigeria you have your band playing and when you are abroad you have another set of people playing how do you merge and maintain these two?
Before I left Nigeria, I left Nigeria in the year 2000, before I left Nigeria I did my youth service in 1999
What did u study?
I studied Business Administration from the OGUN STATE UNIVERSITY now OLABISI ONABANJO UNIVERSITY
How do you merge your two groups?
My two groups, okay good, I used to have some groups but some boys are in Euphonious group, I used to have some small guys when I left school in 1998, I was still singing part-time I never knew I was going to give it a total goal, I thought that I was going to drop singing for some other jobs but I had these guys then, they were so small and most of them were from Ijebu Ode and that was it, so when I came back, I mean for the first time when I left in 2000, I was keeping in touch with majority of them, so when I came in 2004 for the first time after leaving school, I set up the band again so some of them were grown up and I added some other ones all over and I told them that listen, you guys are going to be my Nigerian band boys permanently and they agreed and I have got some in London as well so it depends on what show I’m having and where I’m having it, sometimes I attend in Europe I go with some of the London boys, when I’m playing in Ghana, the last time I played in Ghana, I went with some of the Nigerian boys so it depends on where I’m playing so I could decide to bring one or two boys.
You are an award winning musician?
When was the first time you received an award?
I receive an award for the first time in the year 2005 from Black Charisma Magazine in the UK, it was something I was proud of.
What year would you say you had your breakthrough?
I must be honest with you I think its depends on the way I want to look at it in the UK, I will say 2003
So what has kept you relevant?
Yeah what has kept me relevant is the fact that am relevant, I come around every time shuttling between Nigeria and UK, if you want to be relevant they have to see you go in come out, I go everywhere I go to South Africa, Canada, America, Dubai, Ghana, Spain, Holland, everywhere you know Sunny Melody even sometimes people will tell you I think I’ve heard this name, you know the name rings a bell so if you want to be relevant you have to make sure you are relevant by being relevant
Who are your role models in the industry if you are to mention three?
I will mention two, Evangelist Ebenezer Obey and Sir Shina Peters
I will mention Ebenezer Obey because my father loved him, in fact in the olden days I’ve seen eventually all the old professor, you know that’s what we listen to in my house, the second reason for the second name Shina Peters is because of the fact that he changed the face of Juju music, he`s like a bridge between the old time Juju music and the new. He`s in between, he can switch even till now he goes to shows everywhere he is just like Michael Jackson of Nigeria Juju music so please give it to him
You have three boys if am correct, is there any likelihood that any of them will play music but I think have heard one of them play instrument I think your first son?
Yeah the good thing is where they are living you know they have the right to choose whatever they want to do it`s not like Nigeria
Has it been influenced over them?
I think have negatively influenced them to some extent and I’ve been told by the elders that I shouldn’t do that because at some point, Samuel is the first, he loves playing music, he loves swimming, creating sounds, you know, I try to stop him from doing that, so there was a day I was just discussing with somebody who is older than me and he said no they don’t do that, sometimes Samuel can sit down and start creating, he will just start making some rhymes you can`t tell.
Is it still doing it now?
Yeah, he’s still doing it till tomorrow
As an experienced person, what kind of music do you think he`s likely to do from what you’ve seen him do?
He could do anything he wants, the good thing about music like for instance, I can do other things about music as well, music is about lyrics, if you can do any music, you can do any music, you know, but we used to decide on what to do, okay let me just go into this, look at 9ice for instance if you listen to 9ice or if you hear what he says sometimes, he was at the virtues of being a Juju artiste, you know, now its equal, so if you are a good musician you could switch to any kind of music
How do you compensate your wife when you are in Nigeria or traveling everywhere, and I know as the woman at home, taking care of the kids?
Yeah whenever I’m at home when I’m in London, I make sure I’m at home 24/7 I don’t go out
That’s not true, I’m your friend on BB and I know that every weekend you are not always home, so where is the 24 hours you are talking about?
Every weekdays, put it that way from Monday till Friday evening, I’m always at home I don’t go out I make sure I stay with my kids and I keep in touch, I’ve called her about three to four times today to just know how she`s doing, she`s on my BB, we chat on BB everytime.
So let me ask you one crazy question, don’t lie, can you tell me your first experience with a female fan who have a crush on you, I know a lot of them, they are crazy about musician I don’t want start saying celebrity now, how do you go about it and most time they are always the big spenders at shows?t
I thank GOD for one thing, I’m always proud to say this, I’m younger than my experience, I’m younger than my age, why I always say that is that I always have a unique way of reacting to situations that I won’t…. ok let me give you an instance, there was a time, there were some ladies about 20 of them they are midwives and nurses
(Cuts in) In London?
In London and at some point you know something want to go wrong, so as I speak I’ve been able to manipulate things that all of them still keep in touch and all that, so I found a way to manage situations, you know, it`s just a secret I can’t let it go like that I have a way of handling it that at the end of the day no party will never be offended
Any regret so far in the cause of your career?
So many of them
Can you tell us one of them and what it has taught you?
I’m not going to tell you what the regret is, the regret has taught me not to trust anyone. I have got a lot to say, I know when you`re growing you face a lot of challenges but free mind has really helped me, it`s a fact, all I`ve done are by the grace of God, I have gathered some kind of followership from across the world, we just thank God for His mercies.
What would you want to be remembered for?
Sunny Melody who played distinct kind of Juju music, easy going and God fearing
What are your full names?
Sunday Adeola Babatunde Ogunyemi, Babatunde I don’t use that often
It`s been nice chatting with you
Same here, thanks.