It’s just a few days to Zainab Sule Live in Lagos. The countdown has begun, if you haven’t reserved your seat, what are you waiting for? This show will bring together Zainab Sule and other big names in the Nigerian rock and alternative music scene. Ruby Gyang, Clay, 1LastAutograph, Plus234 Band, NathMac, XTsamurai and more will all be at Bottles in Victoria Island, come August 12. AudioInferno contributor Rafeeat Aliyu recently sat down with Zainab to find out more about her show and what to expect from Zainab in the future. Read on!
Tell us about the Zainab Sule Live in Lagos show
Zainab Sule Live in Lagos is an alternative rock show in Lagos. It is an alternative and rock show. The show is more rock but we’re not 100% rock. We aim to give leeway to more alternative shows.
As an artist based in Abuja, why did you choose to have your show in Lagos?
Lagos has a lot of weird shows but I’ve not heard about an alternative show in Lagos. There are the shows where people pay 5 million to watch artists mime over songs. There is so much publicity and media around these weird shows. Ours is a live show and the lineup is good. There has to be a tradition of live music performances in Nigeria. We’ve done it here in 2011 when we had One Night With Zainab in Wuse 2., Abuja. What we discovered was that there’s an audience for this kind of music in Abuja. Lagos needs to have rock music, you’d think they will appreciate it more. There’s the Metal and Romance show but that is not really open to outsiders. Our show is open, you don’t have to like anyone singing but that shouldn’t stop you from coming. One of the things I like doing is convincing doubters. I like that element of surprise. Also there are more rock artists in Lagos. If I was doing this show in Abuja, I would be the only one based here and would have to invite everyone else to Abuja. With Zainab Sule Live in Lagos, I’ll go and meet them there.
You mentioned you like convincing doubters, what would you say to those asking, “Why should we come to your show”?
I recently put a list of reasons to come to the Zainab Sule Live in Lagos show on Whatsapp. I shared five reasons. If you don’t have anything to do and you’re bored, come to the show. If you want to take bae out and you don’t have table for 20 money, come to the show. If you want to experience that something like this can happen and be good. Bottles is an amazing restaurant. Bottles wants you to sit down and enjoy the show, so it’s offering limited seats. It’s a chance for you to order margaritas and not Star, and to try Mexican food. If you love me, do come.
What can we expect to experience from you and other bands at Zainab Sule Live in Lagos?
These shows are to help the Zainab Sule brand, a brand that is associated with rock music. I will be satisfied if people are able to know the kind of music that Zainab does. Especially if they bought the music and are able to support the brand in other ways. I’d also like people to know that bands like this exist and that we don’t have to be segregated between rock and mainstream music. They can come in and see Clay perform, know that there is 1LastAutograph and hear someone growling over the music. People can expect to come and see something different. If we’re lucky enough, there’ll be more limelight coming into the rock industry. Personally, I’m a perfectionist and am very detailed regarding my music but Zainab Sule Live in Lagos is different from my other shows. It’s more about the bands and the ambience.
Let’s talk about the lineup. How was it getting so many bands together? Were there any difficulties?
I was very lucky. We all know ourselves even though I have not met some face to face. There is no beef among any of us and everyone wishes everyone well. There is also that friendship. Any of the bands I’m performing with can call me and I can call them. Ordinarily, it would be difficult but I was lucky.
What else can we expect from Zainab Sule this year?
We’re working on the Abuja show which usually takes place every year in September. We can’t have it in September because of the show in Lagos. Before finalizing on Zainab Sule Live in Lagos, we had already almost finished plans for September. Now we have to move the Abuja show to October or maybe not this year. Lagos is looking like it’ll be bigger so I’m focused on that.
Can we expect an album from you anytime soon?
I can’t release an album without gaining significant ground, an album needs the buzz. I’ll be working first on the show and then shooting the video for “Fire Down Below”. I waited so long to make something different and will be shooting it in September. Then after that Blood Stream
What do you envision for the Nigerian rock scene?
I’m hoping that there will be more people like me who host shows. I mean host shows not only for us fans of the music but for the general audience. I want to see more people hosting shows that will create buzz and have people ask, “What’s up?”
This interview was conducted by Rafeeat Aliyu, a guest writer and contributor. She loves Japanese Metal and writing science-fiction! She is an editor and writer for SheleadsAfrica.org