Video: Nigerian drummer Tony Ade speaks on video collabo with Janet Jackson

By Busayo Onijala & Iyiola Pedro

US-based Nigerian Drummer Tony Ade, his AfroDrum Ensemble and Music Star, Janet Jackson

A US-based musician, Tony Ade, says that his featuring in Janet Jackson’s latest music video titled: “Made for Now’’ was because of his ability to play several instruments.

Ade told the NAN-TV that he learned to play instruments such as “Omele’’, “Bata’’, “Omele’’ chord, “Sakara’’, and “ Iya-Ilu’.

He said that his multi-talented knowledge of playing several musical instruments had been opening doors of opportunities for him.

He said that Janet Jackson, after observing originality in his work,   invited him to perform in her 2018 music video.

The percussionist then advised other African artistes to always be original in their works, saying that would stand them out in the entertainment industry.

He said that any individual in the creative world would be easily noticed by global brands when he or she ended up being original.

“There is so much originality in our African culture that cannot be copied by others,” he said.

Janet Jackson is one of the siblings of the late renowned music legendary Michael Jackson.


He described the experience of featuring in the video as one of the high points of his career.

Ade said, “I got a call from her camp, telling me that they would want me to be a part of Janet’s new music video.

“So, I do not even think that beating cultural drums will ever bring me in contact with someone as iconic as Janet Jackson. God works in mysterious ways.

“She asked me to come up with a chant, and that is where: `Asiko ope, Janet ti de’ came from.’’

According to him, no matter how much foreigners try to copy and imitate the African sounds, they can never be as perfect as Africans.

“There is a limit to what can be copied from the rich African culture and one of those things that cannot be fully copied is our music.”

Ade said that the art sector is  called the creative industry for a reason.

He said that whether one is a musician, a dancer, an actor, or a painter, one needs to be original instead of copying someone else.

He said that once artistes could maintain stability by being original, they would gain the attention of those who needed to see them.

“There is room for creativity, especially for Nigerians, because we are of the African descent and have a very rich and colourful culture.

He also advised every artiste to always be organised while trying to reach the highest level of professionalism in the sector.

“Generally speaking, there is not one umbrella term that can be used to describe the highest level of professionalism.

“You just have to learn to do things in an orderly manner and have a good character.

“Many people think it is just about your talent that takes you to places but it is actually your character while your talent comes second,” he said.

He added that well established organisations, companies and artistes in high places where everyone prays to get to are professionals, structured and organised.

“If they do not see some seriousness in you, they will not consider you for any recognition.

“Nonetheless, having mentors is a great solution.

“You need people you can look up to, people who will always  give you guidance and the advice you need because you may not be able to do most things on your own,” Ade said. (NAN)


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