“Trusted Friends Abandoned Me When I Was Sick” – Paul Play


Bouncing back after a seven-year break, Paul Play Dairo recalls the medical challenge that affected his career and how those he trusted and thought were his real friends actually deserted him.
“There were some who said and did things that made me say ‘Oh, even you too’, but you know it is part of life that when things are down you lose your friends. Right now, I am not afraid of anything. I am stronger and can take whatever life throws at me.”
After a seven-year hiatus, ace music producer and artiste, Paul Play Dairo, is working towards staging a big come back. Having dropped a total of five singles since March, he says the response has been massive. The RnB star who says he is up-to-beat with current trends in the music scene, writes Punch’s Jayne Augoye.

“The idea is basically to fill in the gap since my last album and also sample people’s opinion. Thankfully, the online comments have been encouraging. So far, I have recorded 20 songs and some of them have already been released as singles. I am currently tidying my gospel and each track has an element of Nigerian flavor and pop.

“The bulk of the money is no longer coming from album sales because these songs are already online and people are downloading them. Music business is now streamlined to performance and endorsement. I am still going ahead with the limited edition album which will be expensive because that way I will be able to control and monitor the sales and distribution,” he discloses.

When Paul Play launched his way into the Nigerian music scene in 1999, riding on the goodwill and success of his late father, IK Dairo, he enjoyed solid patronage. Within a short period, he also earned an independent voice of his own, springing hit singles that include Mosorire, Happy Day and Yes O!

In 2009, however, his career was threatened when he fell ill in South Africa, while shooting some music videos for his last album and had to be rushed to a hospital. In his absence, the media was awash with speculations over the nature of the illness. It was rumoured that he had cancer, kidney failure, a spiritual attack. Four years after, he has clearly moved on, choosing not to dwell on the nature of the ailment.

According to him, the near-death-experience has taught him some lessons. He talks about a few of them in a low tone saying, “I was taught to be scared of God, and not to depend on man because God is ultimate. You don’t have to trust man, but psyche yourself that people are close to you for one reason or quality or the other. I lost many trusted friends during my ailment and gained a few in the process.”

The year 2014 is ‘Paul Play Dairo’s year’, if indications emerging from the soft spoken artiste are anything to go by. He intends to release a Box Set – two albums of highlife and gospel music. The third will be RnB.
lt to fit into the scene after being away for a long time, Paul Play is optimistic that his fans will embrace his return and warm up to him.

“If you say it is difficult to come back and then give up things will pass you buy. If the likes of Lionel Richie and Stevie Wonder have stood the test of time, why label yourself as old school? With a good pedigree, people will respect you and with God you can still make a comeback,” he said.

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