Earlier this month I caught up with the super talented Dr Sid, whilst he was making his promo rounds in London. The singer-songwriter chatted it up with me on being in the game for 10 years, being nominated for a MOBO Award, married life, the MAVINS and so much more.
So without further ado - read all what we spoke about in the interview below.
Congratulations on many things – including your wedding and being nominated for a MOBO Award. Let’s speak about the MOBO’s first, how did it feel being nominated?
It’s actually surreal because, for me, the first time I put out a single, my cousin said to me “its really nice, maybe one day you’ll get nominated for a MOBO”, and this was 10 years ago. So, for me it’s like wow, we’ve actually come to the point where somebody will be recognised, and it’s just a great feeling. The song ‘Surulere’ means “patience is rewarding”, and I think we’ve fought a long time to get this recognition, so it feels great.
Congratulations on your wedding. How did it feel finally getting married?
It’s actually beautiful because, you know they say charity begins at home, if your home is settled, if you have a nice family universe working, it’s easy to go out and work, and be creative, and know that you’re doing something and you have someone at home that’s waiting for you, you have a purpose and a reason to work and to do everything that you do, and that’s what marriage brings to me. I’m more settled, I’m more focused, and I’m having a good time. My wife is my biggest fan, my biggest supporter of my music, and you know, it’s just beautiful to be honest.
How did it feel hanging up your cape from the single life?
Well, to be honest I’ve always been that guy that believes in love, so I’ve never really been the ladies man kind, I’m not that artist as such, you know, all about jumping from one girl to the other. I’ve always believed that you have to be focused, that one true person; is always the best for any individual. So hanging up the cape, I was happy, if you call it that; like yeah, thank you, bye-bye.
You’re part of the biggest song in Africa at the moment – ‘Dorobucci’. What was that like all of you coming together to record the song?
It was just reminiscing on the old days, every record label I’ve been in, I’ve been part of a crew, from Trybe Reords, to MoHits and now MAVIN, and for me, it’s just one of the most creative ways to make music, with label mates and friends who share a similar idea, and how you people just get along in the studio, where you push each other and you criticize each other, to get the best out of each other. The creative process for ‘Dorobucci’ was just like that, Don Jazzy had this great idea, we started the beat in the studio, it was him and I, we created something and we were like ‘no, lets get everybody in and then we put everybody on the track’, and then it was just an amazing song. You know when you finish and you just think ‘you know what, we got one’. You know one of those songs you know is just gong to stand the test of time. Some people still ask me what Dorobucci means.
What’s it like being part of the MAVINS?
You know, for me it’s a new role, because you know, in every record label I’ve been in, I’ve kind of been just part of the organisation, but in MAVINS I have more of a lead role, seeing as I am the most experienced artist on the record label. I have the responsibility of making sure that everything is moving smoothly, were all in the right direction, we’re all focused. So it’s like a captains role on the football team, you know, I’m feeling like Wayne Rooney right now. It’s a lot of responsibility, but its something that I think Don Jazzy is trusting with me and I’m proud to play the role. I’m just happy that the record label is moving in the right direction.
Your single ‘Surulere’, personally I think it’s one of the best songs that have come out in the past couple of years. I call it timeless music because I still listen to songs from back when my parents were around my age, and I feel like I’ll still be playing ‘Surulere’ in about another 20 years to come. Do you feel like it’s your best work to date?
Well to be honest, if you’d have asked me a month ago, I would have said ‘Over the Moon’ and maybe ‘Pop Champagne’ would have been. Well I will say this ‘Surulere’ is definitely one of those ones that will stand the test of time and it’s a song that is very relatable. A lot of people can identify with the concept of this song and the idea behind it, and its things that parents tell their children, like ‘Surulere’; “patience is rewarding”. I think I would probably agree with you and say yeah, it probably is.
Do you feel like music is losing its value?
In what sense, let me understand the question.
I listen to a lot of old school stuff, because I just feel like they were more serious about their music, rather than new school stuff. Well I love new school music, for the turn up and everything, but I can’t listen to it for its longevity.
Okay I will definitely agree with you there. I mean, I’m one of the guys; I’ve been in this industry for 10 years, so I’ve seen the music evolve or devolve, depending on how you look at it. You know obviously the music is crossing boarders now and it’s getting more international, but I think it’s a global thing. People are making music that is less dependent on content, but now dependent on fan interactions. Like, you make songs that will either make people just dance or just sing along, because you know, it’s a catchy tune. Not too many artists these days are making music based on content that will make you sit down and think, because really and truly, if you think about it, how many people want to really sit down and think. So, you know I think it’s a sign of the times, but you know, once in a while we still have to keep letting people know that you can make music that will get you thinking, that you can appreciate and will stand the test of time.
What’s your favourite song by you?
Wow! I’m not going to say ‘Surulere’ or ‘Over the Moon’, or any of the obvious ones; I probably think it’s a song on my album called ‘Princess Kate’. It’s the second track on the album, it’s a song that’s very me and I was in a very good place when I wrote it.
Questions from Twitter Users
@LamieLDN asks: "How was your friendship with Wande Coal while he was with MAVINS? And what’s it like now that he’s no longer with the MAVINS?"
I mean I’ve always been like a big brother to Wande. We lived three doors from each other and we rented apartments in the same building complex. But you know, the honest truth is; Wande’s moved on for his own reasons and I pretty much have tings that I’m preoccupied with. We pretty much, I guess haven’t seen each other since my dad died, but I guess were cool, he hasn’t hollered but I’m here.
@CharlesAsunmo asks: "Before recording a song, do you get the beat first then sing over it, or the other way round?"
To be honest, I usually get the beat first. Sometimes Don Jazzy will make a beat and have a chorus in mind, but usually it’s just the beat first.
@xo_Kemii asks: "Does Don Jazzy like everything to perfection?"
Yeah. He’s a perfectionist, sometimes, annoyingly so, but yeah.
Photos via: Sobitart/YouTube | Online edit: Luzia Panda