In 13 years of his musical career, Sidney Onoriode Esiri popularly known as Dr SID, has made a name for himself. In this chat with SAMUEL ABULUDE, the Marvin Crew artiste and dentist speaks on his career and plans for movie production among other issues.
It has been two years since your last album, are we expecting an album launch this year?
As of this moment there is no plan to release an album till 2017. It might change tomorrow. But as of right now there is plan to release any album. But I do have some singles I want to release this year.
2016 has been riddled with a number of controversies. How has the music industry fared since the beginning of the year?
Honestly, I don’t talk about controversies. I can talk about the growth in the industry. That is the topic I am very interested in. Talking about the industry is like a child. And as a child, it might sometimes have challenges growing. The industry has witnessed its rise, its stagnation and its peak.
For me, I am happy to see that Nigerian music is branching out into different genres. Before the music industry didn’t really have genres. It was always about what was bumping in the clubs. Talented artistes like Timi Dakolo, Darey Art Alade, Bez have not been fully appreciated the way they should have been for the kind of music they have put out. They and some others pioneered the evolution of new genres. And with the like of Simi, Falz, Adekunle Gold, coming out with totally different sounds and pushing boundaries, the industry has witnessed tremendous growth. It is nice to see that people can now embrace other genres of music. And this has given room for a surge of creativity. The music industry was kind of squeezed into a single genre and that limited growth and creativity. I believe that music is art and art forms should not be put in boxes.
In spite of the lack of structure, what in your opinion is holding the Nigerian music industry?
I think Nigerians and Nigerian artistes are a very resourceful people. We have been able to manage the situation at hand. We have, like Beyonce sang, been able to make lemonade with our lemon. And we are making some very serious lemonades these days. And what is left for us to bottle and package them to the world and more profitably.
Is there something we don’t already know about Dr Sid?
I don’t know if there anything people don’t know already. I am just who I am. I am a simple guy. I am a guy, who believes in loyalty more than anything else. If you are loyal and hardworking you can climb higher in the ladder of success, I believe.
Talking about loyalty, you are the only artiste of the default MoHits records, who is in Mavin records. Why did you decide to stick with Don Jazzy?
Don Jazzy and I are great friends. We have always had a very good working relationship. When we are in studio we create together. It was really natural. Don Jazzy is the person I have great bond, respect and relationship with. When the rumours came out I was the one that broke up MoHits Records there was really no need to talk then. It is easy to point accusing fingers or blame on someone. But people need to really get the facts right. And honestly thinking about it now, I might have had a part to play in the whole. That is the honest truth.
People said that the recorded chat between you and Davido was significant in the break up. What do you have to say about it?
The recording didn’t say anything. All I said was “your star [Dbanj is being referred to] is too big, too bright that it overshadows everyone effortlessly”. The key word is “effortlessly”, meaning that he does not do it on purpose. It was not his fault. That is who he is. If saying the truth about somebody and not blaming them for doing anything is a bad thing what then is good!
Are you saying it was meant as a praise?
It was meant as praise. I was complimenting him. It sounded the way it did because the conversation was heated, voices were been raised. Either way, the content of what I said is simple. He [Dbanj] is who he is. If Michael Jackson walks into this room now nobody is going to see you. That is just the trust of life. So, if Nigerians want to listen to a recording and not pay attention to detail, I cannot stop anybody, my brother. In the end, time will tell.
What are you future plans, do you intend to establish yourself some time?
People keep asking me this question. Because Lil Kesh has started a record label and now people think I should. Well, the truth is most artistes, who start record labels, want to be independent. And the question is why do they want to be independent? If you are in a situation that works, if every of your needs are met, if you have a great boss, your bank account is credited timely, everything is fine, why would you want to leave? You might say, I want to have my own label. But that is not based on functionality. A record label should not be something you want to possess. It is business. And it is important to say that it is not beans [easy] to have a record label. It is not beans to take care of yourself, let alone other people. Being in Mavin records has not hindered my progress in anyway; it has not stopped the money in my bank account. I give the record label what is due to it and the record label does its part. In the end, it is business. It is a partnership.
Are you saying you are not leaving Mavin records any time soon?
I do not have a problem with anyone opening their own label. If it works for them fine. I am not going to put myself in a situation just because everybody says or is doing so. What I have works.
But are you doing something on your own?
Yes. I have a film production company. I am looking for scriptwriters, directors of photography, etc. I am looking for a film crew. That is the way I am taking it to.
You enrolled with the New York Academy, do you intend to branch into Nollywood?
Yes. I studied film making there. I think I want to go into film and music video production. I co-directed Kabiyesi and have acted in one movie already. My passion is making films.
Why do you want to go into movie making? Do you want to further your father’s career?
No. my father was an actor. My own is movie production. Even though I have acted in a movie before. But the thing is that I have always had a passion for movie production right from the start. My hobbies are playing video games and watching anything movies. I am a film critic. I look for flaws. I look for the ingenious ways things are done in films. I watch a lot of behind the scenes. I have the utmost respect for anyone that makes films, adverts, music video in the country. It is simply not easy to make anything great in such an environment.
Talking about music videos, what do you have say about people like Clearance Peters?
Clearance is amazing. His creativity is awesome. His work ethic is what I appreciate most, his ability to take on an idea and interpret is second to none.
During the recent controversy about Tee Bliz’s allegations, Don Jazzy’s birthday message to you actually helped to douse some fires. How did you feel?
Did you read my wife’s message?
Funny enough I only got to read Don Jazzy’s message recently. Don Jazzy said a lot. He said how he felt about the situation. And I think Tiwa [Savage] also said a lot in her interview.
There has been reports making the rounds about you. Are you bothered that social media users do not take time to verify stories?
Who do you verify from? How many things would one verify? Let’s be real. If this person talk am and that person talk am again, na so I be [if one person says it and another confirms it, then it is true.] I am not really bothered about these things. Tiwa Savage is, and will always be, a good friend of mine. She is a hard worker. All we need to do is to pray for them and hope that everything is sorted out soon. On my own, my wife and I are good. Everybody is fine. If somebody calls you a thief and you did not steal why you go vex? I don’t want to respond to nothing.