Welcome to June 2020. Once again, we are excited to bring you another edition of the Music Estate Musician of the Month. This month, we had the rare privilege of sitting with the “mean Dean”, “Uncle Ben” Benneth Ogbeiwi, our musician of the month for June 2020.
Mr. Benneth Ogbeiwi is nothing short of a perfect gentleman. He is a down-to-earth humble, talented, highly experienced and versatile musician. This maestro is arguably one of the best music and talent scouts you can find around. He is a complete embodiment of a musician who has mastered his craft.
Enjoy our chat with him.
1. Lets meet you sir. Your name and background (education, family, and career).
My name is BENNETH OGBEIWI from a family of 9 including my parents: I attended a private nursery school, a military primary school, a public secondary school and went to Ekpoma to study Civil Engineering. I have 3 kids and I’m in the music industry at the moment.
2. What genre of music do you do and why?
I’d say I’ve been privileged to have done classical, contemporary, jazzy, high life, and the likes.
READ ALSO: Musician of the Month: Dr. Albert Oikelome
3. What do you enjoy most about being a musician? What do you hate most?
Teaching the up-a-comers and making sure they stay true to the ethics of the craft! I hate the fact that you only reign for a few months and go back in line to start again.
4. What drew you to the music industry? Your motivation.
I walked my younger sister to a church choir rehearsal and that became the turning point for me: classical music draws you in and since it’s a very solid foundation, getting around other genres of music has been a breeze.
5. What’s the biggest problem you’ve had to overcome so far in your music career?
So far so good, nothing has been a hindering factor: I guess it’s all our problem: growing the industry without selfish motives
6. At what point did you conclude that music was what you would do?
Oh! When I stepped into that rehearsal room sometime in 1986, I knew everything else would be secondary.
7. Can you give a brief of your journey into music?
After joining the choir in St Dominic’s Catholic Church in yaba, we formed a group right there called De’ Clique Vocals led by Demola Olota: I was also privileged to be a member of one of the most dynamic ACapella groups called the CHORDWEBS. I went ahead to join the Laz Ekwueme Chorale and grew my contemporary skills with the Steve Rhodes Voices! After I finished the university, I joined the Synergy Band led by the late Jaiye Aboderin. From then on, it’s been band music, stage musicals and TV score-writing.
READ ALSO: Musician of the Month: Tommy Tush
8. What is your average life like for you?
Be home, rest, watch television and do your work early enough to make quick corrections
9. Who are you inspired by?
My parents who taught me patience and great virtues.
HRH Igwe Prof Laz Ekwueme in Classical music
Late Elder Steve Rhodes in contemporary music and big band arrangements
Ayo Bankole Jnr/ Seun Owoaje in studio arrangements
Femi Sowoolu in media and Voice-Overs.
So many more individuals who helped shape everything I am today
10. What is your biggest achievement in the music business and what do you hope to achieve in the nearest future?
Everything I’d laid my hands on are all important to me. The success of the former empowers the bigger success in the latter. The key is consistency.
11. You have succeeded as an exceptional music talent scout, what is the key to your success in this field?
Know whom to believe in no matter how feeble they might be; encourage others to do better, be in touch with them and ensure they don’t deviate from the ethics of success
READ ALSO: Musician of the Month: Joseph Oparamanuike
12. You have participated and/or anchored several music talent shows and events, which would you say left a lasting impression & impact on you?
The longest was MTN project fame west Africa: it showed how generous the project had been; rewarding contestants with gifts way beyond any other talent reality show: if you work with an organization (Ultima Studios) that understands the importance of human capital well-being, then the sky is your launch-pad.
13. What is the motivation behind the Adrenaline Band?
We are a group of individuals who want to succeed in the industry, we doing our individual and collective homework and simply enjoy ourselves on stage(evident in all projects we’d embarked on. We remind ourselves that we can’t be better than anyone but we can be best when consistent!
14. Please discuss how you interact with and respond to fans.
I simply remind them that hard work pays, be nice and kind always. Do your best and let those who know more than you guide you> Even when you become better than them, you still owe everyone the respect they deserve. Never forget little beginnings and always grow your craft.
15. What is your favorite part about this line of work? Your least favorite?
Favorite part is teaching and succeeding. Least favorite is latecomers, laziness and busybodies
READ ALSO: Musician of the Month: Chantal Braziel
16. Have you ever had to deal with failure?
Oh yes: coming back into the game is the ultimate test of what you’re about:
17. If you are to change something in the music industry, what will that be?
Equity, fairness, create more opportunities for all genres of music.
18. What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Patience, hardwork, dedication
How do you balance your career as a musician and family life?
I work as a musician by day and take care of the family with the remaining time. Sometimes when we’re not working, I’m home catching up with other sides of life.
There you go. We hope you had a nice time reading about our musician of the month Benneth Ogbeiwi. Drop your comments below.
I am Music Estate’s Music Director