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Ben Ogbeiwi' 'the mean king' of fame project

Published by Guardian on Tue, 14 Aug 2012


Ben Ogbeiwi, popularly called Uncle Ben, is a vocal arranger, voice-over artiste and music coordinator. A civil engineer, Ben,as a choirboy in St Dominic Catholic Church, Yaba, Lagos began his music career with the Steve Rhodes Voices (SRV) in 1990. There, he learned the rudiments of vocal expression in contemporary and jazz genres. He later joined the Laz Ekwueme Chorale and the late Jaiye Aboderin-led Synergy band. The head, Adrenaline Entertainment and leader of the acapella group, Chordwebs, Ogbeiwi, shares his firsts with DANIEL ANAZIA. First major showI should say MTN Project Fame Season One and the trademark word then was kasa.First time you had a kissThat was in the 90s, and with the woman I'm married, my wife. First girlfriend Hmmm' if my wife hears this, she is going to flog me, but the truth is that she was my first girlfriend. First paid apartmentIt was in Ojodu-Berger. First time you got a slap from a girlIn 1993. It was from a friend. We were cracking jokes, which she didn't find funny. It wasn't one or two, but 10 hot slaps.First colourBlue; it's the colour of kings. It makes your appearance warm and fit into everything.First fashion piece you ever boughtPassion perfume; I love smelling good. I'm now Lalicque Black addict. First thing you take into consideration dressing upComfort, class, and to be proudly Nigerian. Though I'm not a designer freak, my clothes are made in Nigeria by Ezomon Couture. First choice foodPounded yam and egusi soup with orisisi (assorted) meat.First holiday spotLondon, UK for its good weather and ambience. The environment is well planned and everything works. In London, you will have time to reflect on some personal developmental ideas.First time outside NigeriaIt's a long time and that should be 1994, just left secondary school at that time.First time you board an aircraftThat was in 1985, and it was with my uncle, who was then an employee of the Nigeria AirwaysFirst encounter with Steve Rhodes Wow'it's memorable, and I live to remember it every day of my life. That was 1990, and it was through the late Francis Agu, who at the time was a member of the Steve Rhodes Voices. My sister and I were invited for auditioning and we were successful. That was how we became members of the group.First time Elder Rhodes called youHe said, well, Ben, you said you want to do music; it might not be easy but if you put your foot down, I'm sure you will be able to forge ahead. I know you have the style and discipline. First experience with the bandBefore I came into the band, some of the people were already known to me, as we had all played together with different bands in Lagos. Some of them were uncertain at first because I was much younger then, but they accepted me because age did not really matter but talent, experience and ability to carry other people along.
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