interviewBy Tolulope Aderibigbe
Temisan Tonnie Francis simply called Temisan was born in Kaduna State. He used to be a professional dancer and was a core member of Soluquest, winner of Malta Guinness Street Dance Africa in 2008 before delving into music in 2010. In this interview with ADERIBIGBE TOLULOPE, he talked about his journey into the industry and the challenges as an Abuja-based artiste.
Tell us briefly about your background
My name is Temisan Tonnie Francis, an Ishekiri from Warri in Delta state. We are 5 children in our family, am the second. For my primary education, I attended Command Children Primary School, Kaduna then Airforce Secondary School, Kaduna, 1997-2003. I also attended Nassarawa State University afterwhich I decided to pursue full time career in music.
Now, am a singer, dancer, songwriter and am making a living out of expressing myself. Am the kind of guy that can sing myself out of any trouble because I regard music as having magical powers. Naturally, I love to see peace and love thrives among people.
How did you start music and what kind of instrument do play?
Music has always been a part of me, so my passion just grew stronger as I grew up. I started singing at a very tender age. I was a church boy at a point, I sang in the church choir. I started playing the guitar and piano at the age of 14. As I was growing up, I was a professional dancer like three years ago and am a former member of Soulquest, a dance group.
We were the winners of Malta Guinness Street Dance Africa in 2008. Then I felt I was suppressing the music inspirations in me and picked up my singing again, I became a full-time artiste in 2010 and my current singles are Ole and Sunmoni.
How will describe your brand of music?
My brand of music is Neo-afro-soul because of the rich African sounds of the music, the type of music you want to listen to when you have a bad day, good day and middle day, and it makes you feel good. I can simply describe and call my music 'feel good' music.
What are your parent's opinion to your opting for music as a career?
(Laughter) My mum always dance with lots of passion in church and sings her voice out. Really my parents love music and are in full support of making music my first career option. I thank God for giving me parent and siblings that saw in me the talent that God has endowed me with. They are very supportive and understanding ever since I started to sing.
What's your plan to make your music available across Nigeria being an Abuja-based artiste?
Naturally, it's takes good ideas and content of a song to widely promote and produce music for public entertainment across the country. And also the Internet has made it easier to circulate music, it has also help in rendering great assistance to artistes to be easily recognised globally. For instance, YouTube is one of the mostly reliable means of downloading musical videos, cartoons, etc.
What do you think are the challenges faced by upcoming artistes in Nigeria and which one have you faced?
Honestly I think one of the major challenges upcoming acts face in Nigeria and generally is getting people to support and believe in them. Most entertainers loose zeal because they feel lonely without the right support from the people around them. I had that challenge too, but I thank God for helping me through it all.
That's why I am very grateful to God for the team of people that I have, they are very blessed people. Am presently signed to Afrikiki Records and I can't quantify the amount of love and support they show me and how supportive my manager has also been.
What future plans, like the next 5 years in the music industry?
I hope to get wealthy and famous. Really I just want to get the best that comes with the industry like meeting amazing people like my role models: Akon, Tuface, Angelique Kidjo and Yossour N'dor. I want to have important and wide connections, making meaningful friends and hopefully exceed beyond my expectations. I want to be the guy that is associated with the slogan: Feel Good Music.
Are you in a relationship and how do you handle your female fans?
I've got a girlfriend and it's really not easy for me, she is really a gift from God cause not many girls can handle what she goes through. And about my female fans, I appreciate and show them as much love as possible.
What has been your biggest fear since you became an adolescent?
My Biggest fear has always been the fear of failure but am overcoming it slowly, ThankGod. Also I have serious fear of height, high things freak me out seriously.
What in your life would you change if given an opportunity amongst your past decisions?
I wouldn't change a thing because every good or bad experience has taught me a lot. There is a reason why God allows a person pass through certain things and it's mostly to prepare you for better things so there are really no bad experiences