Gbenga Peters is the younger brother of AfroJuju musician, Sir Shina Peters. Interestingly, Gbenga is the third of the Peters brothers who earn a living playing music. In this interview with ADETUTU AUDU, Gbenga, who recently returned from a sojourn in the US, talks about his debut album, his siblings and plans to take over the Nigerian juju music scene with another of his sibling, Yomi Peters.
DO you agree with the belief that hip-hop musicians have taken the shine off Juju music?
That is why I said my coming album will be a combination of everything .And that is one of the things that sets me apart from others. The album is going to be the combination of juju music, hip-hop, fuji, highlife and lots more. It is everything put together in one album, and that is one of the things that will make it unique.
When is the album launch?
The launch is going to be held here in Nigeria. It will be between now and the end of the month.
When did you start doing music?
I started doing music since 1986
And how many albums do have to your credit?
I don’t have any album yet. I have been a backup singer, and you know as a back-up, you will never think of making your own album until God says it is time. About 15 years ago, I began to think of coming out with an album of my own, but somehow, it had not been possible. I am ready to break that now.
Why did it take you this long to come out with an album?
It is because I didn’t really take it serious. But about a year ago, I met a guy who owns a studio in the US. He came to my store and I helped him out. He said to me, ‘why can’t you just come and check out my studio?’ And from there, I started doing foreign music.
Since you produced in the US, do you think it will be the same with what people in Nigeria want?
I wish you’d listen to the album, so that you will be able to figure things out yourself. It out it is up-to-date, and you know that it’s my first album. So I am not going to bring anything below expectation.
Your brother, Yomi Peters, has said he is on a mission to Nigeria from his base in the US. What is your own mission?
We have the same mission. You know that we have been ruling the juju industry together without any form of rivalry between us. Even when I didn’t have my own band in America, I played with him and everybody enjoyed our music.
What link did the Peters families have with juju music?
It is not just juju music. It is the combination of everything, including foreign music. We inherited music from our grandmother who was a choir mistress. The juju music is from our grandmother. After her, our mother and my brother continued from she stopped.
Are we going to see you a collabo with Sir Shina Peters?
Why not if he wants us to do it. I mean I don’t have any grudge with anybody.
There is this rumor making the round that the Peters brothers are not in good term. How true is this?
I don’t know anything about that. But I talk to him once in a while. We don’t really have time abroad, because all we do is work. We don’t really have time for one another. But I can tell you that we don’t have any problem with one another.
Have you started the promotion of the songs already?
No, we have not started any promo for now. But the album has three tracks. The tracks are Mr. kado, Dokomu and another beautiful one.
What is the difference between a back-up artist and the main-man?
I think the difference there is that I will have to take care of everyone playing in my band as the leader. And that is where the problems lies, because if you have a band and you don’t take care of your boys, then you’ll have serious problems.
How large is your band?
I have a 12-man band.
How tough is it maintain a band?
I found it very easy to maintain my own band.
You work together with your brother, Yomi. Won’t there be clash of interest?
We are both Peters, and there can’t be any form of rivalry, because of the qualities of both albums. I have listened to his album, and he has listened to mine. Oh my God! I love it.
Looking at developments in the music industry, do you think juju music can regain its lost glory?
Yes, that is exactly what is going to happen. We are here to make sure that juju music rule the music industry again. And that is the reason we are releasing our albums the same time.
Women flock around music stars. How do you handle your female fans?
That should not be any big deal. You just have to be there, because you should not have any reason not to love anybody, like. Even Jesus says ‘love your neighbour as yourself’, so any woman that comes to our show, I accommodate them and there should not be any problem with that because they are like mothers to me.
What is the secret of your long stay in the industry?
The only secret is God. In life, you are supposed to know where you are going and where you are coming from. And that is the reason why I am always focused in everything I do. That is the secret behind my success.
What crazy thing has a fan done to you?
In abroad, what they do is to sign autographs. So many female fans will tell me to my face that ‘I love you’. They will even kiss me on stage, but it does not mean I should apply any meaning to what they did. Business is business all the time, and that is all.
Have you ever signed autographs on a female fan’s body?
Nobody has ever come to me to ask for such. But I don’t know if it will happen in the future. But if it happens, am not going to refuse it.
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