Interview: I’m blessed to have the kind of husband I have – Lami Philips

lami-groove

It is not often you come across a chic and beautiful woman who is all over town telling everyone who cares to listen how much she loves her husband. At least that’s what Lami Philips is trying to do with ‘Baby’, a track she said she dedicates to her husband. She recently completed the video in London and back at home WG ran into the suave beauty at an event where she talked about her career, her kind of music and more. Excerpts:

You look so beautiful even without any make-up

Thanks. Fact is that I just got back from rehearsals for a new video I’m shooting and I got all sweaty but had to quickly wipe my face with a towel inside the car

So what’s new?

We just released a new single called ‘Baby Mi’ and we are shooting another one and that’s why I’ve been all out.

What is it about ‘Baby Mi’ ?

Well, it was a song I wrote while I was in the studio. I was actually thinking about my husband and that’s how the inspiration came. So I just told my producer and we got few things down and that’s how we did the song.

What did your husband say when you told him the song was all about him?

Of course he blushed. He liked it. I’m just blessed to have the kind of husband I have. He’s been very supportive. He’s the voice in the background who has been urging me to go for whatever I want.

So your next single involves some kind of dance?

Yeah. The title is called ‘Romantic Boy’. It’s a kind of dance-hall song, something more fun and playful.

So it’s for the ‘Romantic Boy’ that you want to infuse some dance steps?

Yes. I just want to do something fun and playful this time around. That’s why you see that I’ve been going for dance rehearsals because we are shooting soon.

Does it mean you are rebranding because your previous albums don’t contain such?

I won’t want to call it re-branding because it’s who I’ve always been. I’ve always been the playful and fun type so it’s like putting who I am into the song. If you look at my last album ‘Intuition’, you’ll notice that it’s strictly soul. But this new album from where we released ‘Baby’ and now ‘Romantic Boy’, it’ll still be my usual kind of songs but more fun will be added to it.

Would you say you are infusing dancehall to gain more acceptance out there?

Well, I’m already  accepted because I have my own fan base. Those who love my music love my music and I’d rather be one among many than join the rat race out there today. So Lami has been the fun type all along so I’m just trying to be more playful and fun in my music rather than be gloomy.

You look a bit chubby now.

Yes. But I’m working out now. The reason is because I had to take a break to rest because I just needed to. So during the break, all I did was rest, stay indoors, travel and eat because I love food a lot.

But how easy was it for you to take a break and not get disturbed by your fans to come perform?

Actually it wasn’t easy to abstain especially for my kind of person who is a workaholic. At first I was tempted to want to run back to work but my husband made sure I stayed away so I won’t break down. Honestly, I’ve learnt to hear from God when He’s telling me to do something. When He told me I had to take a break, I just had to obey Him. And now, He’s telling me to work and that’s what I’m doing.

Why is it that you’re not signed to any label?

I don’t think I need to be signed to any label. I like to handle my things by myself to know how it’s being run, and that has made me stronger than the average artiste you’ll see out there. My music isn’t the regular type that needs promotions and all that. I have my targeted audience and I’m focused on them. I’m a control freak and don’t like someone telling me what to do or not to do when it comes to my music. If you’ll agree with me, when an average artiste leaves his label, you’ll discover that they are not able to continue afterwards because they’ve been lazy about doing things themselves. But it hasn’t been like that for me because I’ve been involved in it right from the very beginning.

Do you have friends in the industry at all?

Yes I do. Omawunmi is my friend, Waje is also a good friend of mine, so also is Tiwa Savage. Rita Dominic, Uche Jombo, Desmond Elliot and others.

Are you then considering acting?

I have it at the back of my head.

Does it mean that you don’t mingle with other artistes as expected?

Oh yes, I do. I hang out with my friends but we don’t hang out in clubs. I prefer going to their houses and they, coming to mine. Before I went on vacation, Waje, Omawunmi and I planned meeting and hanging out but they were busy and I was busy too.

With your kind of music, are you always busy?

I’m as busy as you can ever think of. My manager arranges for me to perform at required shows like burials, birthday parties, weddings and the likes and I make my money. But the thing is the kind of places I go to perform with my band doesn’t get publicised like an average concert or shows does. For  instance, If I’m invited to sing at a burial, no one will be on the radio or TV announcing that Lami will be there to perform. So that’s how it is, but I make my money; I’m blessed.

And I’m like a tomboy. Whenever you see me performing at events, I always like to be on flats and probably baggy or so. I like to feel comfortable because I’ll be standing for a long time. And you don’t expect me to sing from CDs like most artistes do while on stage. I make sure what I sing on stage is different from what I have on my CD.

How do you handle male admirers?

I handle them normally. But my fans aren’t the run-of-the-mill like you’ll have at shows and concerts. My fans are classy and won’t mob you. I also do my best to carry myself well in a way that befits me and my husband. Besides, I always have company. I don’t go out alone so no rude fan will behave abnormally around me.

Don’t you think it is negative PR if your fans don’t have free access to you?

No, I don’t think so. Some people may see it as pride but I just have to protect myself whenever I’m in public. Else, some people may just think they can come and molest you, all in the name of saying ‘hello’. Just like when I walked in here, I met some people at the reception and they hushed to themselves “That’s Lami”, and we greeted gently. So if anyone approaches me reasonably, why will I shun them?

Do you also worry about pirates?

I don’t worry about them because every artiste knows that’s a sacrifice he has to make. We don’t make our money from CDs. We get bulk of our money from performing at events. So I don’t worry about them at all.

When people watch you on TV, you look tall but in real life, you aren’t.

Yeah. I’ve actually met fans who told me that. But I’m grateful for the way I look because it makes me smarter. I also used to wish I could be like this and like that but with time, I’ve learnt to accept me for myself and I love who I am.

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