In 2005 when his debut album entitled Sample Ekwe was released, Sunday Stereo Osakuni, popularly called Original Stereoman Ekwe who was set to promote his culture and tradition through music, became an instant celebrity.
In 2012, he was arrested for murder, following the death of his late babymama, who was found dead in a car, the fourth in a family of five, who hails from Ighughu kingdom, in Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta State, Sat down with Abiola Alaba Peters.
How was it for you when you were still coming up?
it wasn't easy at all, I knew where I was coming from and then I decided never to give up, it was very wrong, pursuing your dream in life is not an easy one, it is not just in music alone. I was a tailor then and still pursuing my music then, I went through a lot trying to get my music, I worked in a car wash, I worked as a bricklayer to be able to gather funds. I actually came to Lagos from warri to pursue my music dream because in Warri, you hardly find music promoters or anybody to help you everything was in Lagos, people kept telling me to go after music because they believed in my talent , when I see contacts on the back of CD's then I will take it, hustle and come to Lagos and visits the office, I do reggae too but I i did not start as a reggae artists it was when I get to Lagos that I found out that the reggae thing is also doing well but yet I still infuse my traditional beat in it.
What inspire you doing music in a traditional way?
I am really I cultural man, I am in a cultural group too then when I started, the Ekwe you see that I carry represent something in my place, there is a masquerade in my place called 'Nmown' it is a big masquerade in igbo land. my grandfather brought that 'Nmown' to my village, if you hear my music you will hear the sound of that gunge In it, my dad is a real traditional man, he is a dancer and a singer and my mum is also a singer. get when I started doing music I said to myself that I will never forget me tradition so I must infuse my tradition, so that is to say music is in my family.
Since you are a traditionalist does that mean that in your new single we should be expecting the same sound?
Yes, the gunge sounds is there, when I said I will being using some modern day sound in it is because I want to give my fans another version of me but it will still remain Steroman.
Are you going to be featuring anybody in this new single?
yes, my new single will have Phyno in it, another track has Timaya in it and other tracks has other artists in it.
Have you left fashion for music or you still have plans to go back to it?
not really, I am still doing the fashion thing, not full time par say, by the grace of God, I am planning to establish it. I do both male and female wears everybody knows me for that before I dropped my album then, I am hoping to make it big this time, about six years ago I travelled to Paris because of my fashion stuff but for the unfortunate things in life I had to stop for a whole, but very soon by the grace of God I am coming out very big.
Are you still going to be dressed in a traditional attire this time?
Yes, I don't rest, people are like, Stereoman we want to see you the same way we use to know you, nobody has ever asked me to change my style.
Do you thing the Nigeria music industry has change since you were away and back?
Right now, there is a lot of changes in the industry, then we were trying to show the world what we could do, but know our music is accepted everywhere, you don't have to force it, thank God for the Internet when a song is realised then you will almost kill yourself for promo, but these days with your phone you are almost one step away to promoting your songs, we have good advantage now then before, there is a very big difference now.
Which of the producers are you going to be working with?
I am presently working with Kays Luis and others.
Now you are about to realise a single again and hopefully an album, what are you doing to avert what happened before?
Now I have my own record label called Angle 90 and I will be the first artists to unveil it, I have learnt from my past, now I will be very careful in dealing with some people and handling things. I am still working with my executive producer, that's the person for the other album, he always encourage me, he has my back always even though we are not working together, we are still together.
There is this trend amongst artists, always showing off their wealth on social media, what your take about it?
Well, we all have our lives to live, people says artists live fake lives, its like that everywhere, not just Nigeria alone, but you see, I am a different person, I don't borrow things to show off, I am always contented with what I have, like I said earlier, we all have our lives to live, if you fee, comfortable showing off, fine.
What is your take on baby daddy and babymamas?
Well, we are all victims of it, as an artists, before you can find yourself a good wife is hard, you hardly find a responsible girl in the club and you see, we are always on the road and functions, we meet people and before you know it, one thing will lead to another and the end result will be a child. you see people who are not entertainers, you see them having a good home but its hard, I think its just our live style that influences that, every man needs a good woman around him, even entertainers too, so they can concentrate, but when you eventually meet a terrible woman and a child is on the line, because you don't want an abortion, you will accept the child and you have no choice then to let her go, so its actually our live style and the women we meet.
This most have cost you so much, even your reputation?
Yea, it was a crazy experience, for a man that is busy trying to survive and make it in life, such silly thing just came up over night and try to drag you down you know what its means, it was really a painful and ugly experience, but I thank God for my life because he made me a strong man, I believe in God, I believe in Christ. instated very low, I wasn't norn rich, its the rich kids get get scared of things like that, I was trained to be strong and face any challenge in life.
When you were finally freed, what was the first thing you did?
When I was freed, I came out, restructured myself and start my shows again because they were rumours then that Steroman was dead, this time it wasn't the news of me bring in prison, it was the news of me being dead, and everybody wanted to see me, I became more busy, even after I was discharged, the 5th day I went to Malaysia for a concert, I travelled and everything came back to normal.