Dr Sid recently had an interview where he shared his thoughts on his transformation from a rapper to his singer, Mavin Records and more.
Born Sidney Esiri, the singer started as a member of the rap collective, Da Trybe, before signing to Mo’ Hits Records, and then Mavin Records, which has seen a music career spanning almost two decades.
In this interview, he shares on why he thinks the Mavin collective debut album, ”Solar Plexus”was underrated, the latest Mavin signings and the controversy surrounding the Mo Hits break-up.
On his transformation from a rapper to a singer
Dr Sid came to the notice of many with his debut on the hit rap single, ‘Oya’ by Da Trybe, but upon joining Mo Hits, he abandoned the bars for the melodies and he explains why;
”The reality of the matter is, I wasn’t really the best rapper out there, one of the most important things I tell myself is know thyself.
I could spit bars but I wasn’t the best, as much as music is a passion, I also see it as a business, and no disrespect, rappers at the time were not exactly cashing out and I had just ditched a career in health-care to focus on music, so whatever I decided to do had to just make sense.”
Looking back at the time he released his debut album, ”Turning Point”
Dr Sid released his debut solo album in 2010, and he says a lot has changed in eight years;
”Don Jazzy and I in the studios put the ”Turning Point” album together in a space of three weeks.
At that point, there were no social media, it was about radio and TV, you literally had to take the CDs everywhere and that was tedious, but it was also an experience, that taught you as an artist to appreciate the process.
It was also a very good learning curve to appreciate the industry and everybody involved, from the plugger to the OAP’s, the guy printing the Cd in Alaba, everybody. Overtime, the industry has changed to a digital realm, where you just stay at home and send Mp3 files around.”
His alleged involvement in the Mo Hit breakup and how it affected him
After the Mo Hits broke up in 2012, D’Banj in an interview had accused Dr. Sid as the person who caused the separation, and the singer says that was one of the most difficult times in his career.
”It was very difficult and it was very hurtful.
It was very painful because anybody that knows me knows that I am a team player, I will sacrifice my personal gain for the sake of the team.
Next to D’banj in Mo Hits, there was nobody who could command a stage like Dr Sid, but I never was the guy who threw myself out there, I was all about how to make the team better.
But when somebody names you as the reason why something like that happened, it hurts especially when you know the truth.
For me, I fought hard to keep it together, I guess it just wasn’t meant to be, so for that situation to go down like that and people turn on me like that, I spent a lot of night crying and it really affected me in a lot of ways, but I have moved on.”
His scorecard of Mavin Records at six
Following the dissolution of Mo Hit Records, Don Jazzy formed Mavin in 2012 with Dr Sid as one of the founding members, the label recently celebrated its sixth year anniversary and he says they have passed the test so far.
”It was difficult when we started out because we put out a body of work that was five years ahead of its time, the Solar Plexus album was grossly misunderstood.
We tried to make music as opposed to making popular songs, there was music in there, but when there is an expectation of what they want you to sound like and you don’t, that is what happens.
And I don’t blame people because there was a lot of emotions following the break up of Mo-Hits, but the likes of D’Prince with ‘Take Banana’ came out of that project, Wande Coal, Tiwa Savage also did good, but we had a pretty tough start.
But I think if you look at six years of Mavin Record, we have done pretty well.
Mavin Records started with five artistes, lost one, gained three, so now seven, in the last three years, we have had most of the founding members still there going strong.
In the first three years, we exposed three new artists (Reekado Banks, Korede Bello, D’ija) to the world, who all in their own right have released songs that has laid its mark on the scene.
Korede Bello’s numbers for his single, ‘Do Like That’ are ridiculous, so numbers-wise we have done alright, we have definitely had a dip recently, but we signed more artists, so we constantly expanding, so I think we have done alright, we could do better, but we have done alright.”
On the last set of signings – DNA, Ladipoe and Johnny Drille
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A lot of people have questioned the lack of music from the last set of artists signed unto the label and Dr Sid explains;
”Do people forget that there is always a growth period? everybody wants overnight success because we signed them today don’t mean they will be successful tomorrow.
These artists are still growing and will soon come into their own.
It took Wande Coal about three years before his first single, it was a process. Before you heard the first song from Reekado Banks, Korede Bello and Dija, they had been on the record for a year, artists have to grow.”, he said.
Dr Sid during the interview also shared how Don Jazzy initially didn’t want him as a member of Mo Hits and why he has put out only two studio albums in over a decade.