and downs; good, bad and ugly things said about Orji Kelechi George [aka] Kelly
Hansome, the Eziobodo, Owerri West LGA of Imo State born singer cum music producer
is still kicking. Kelly Hansome who has been described as one of the greatest
talents to emerge from Nigeria is not giving up on what he has been called to
interview with CHINEDU HARDY NWADIKE, he bares his mind on the struggles of the
days before his glory, the challenges and the plans to get Kelly Hansome back
to where he belongs as the king of Afropop in Nigeria.
What were you called before the invention of Kelly Hansome?
Why make it up to Hansome?
as a name was actually born in Madonna University right after I was called
Madonna Michael Jackson, because I used to perform Michaels Jackson's songs
back then in Madonna University and even won several dance competitions outside
the school. At a point I didn't want to keep singing and performing other
peoples’ songs. I wanted to sing and dance to my own songs, written and
produced by me and that was how the name became popular.
part of it came from my dad's name 'Mr Emma Hans' as he is popularly called by
How did your dancing career begin?
Michael Jackson from nursery school to my primary school. When I started
playing the school organ from primary 4, it changed to 'The Boy'. Then came 'Orshi'
generated from my surname. Orshi was actually started by a friend called Arab
and then Ifeanyi Nwude, Ogbonna Njoku and everyone else just took it from
there. We were very close friends who studied and attended ‘Mgbaratu’ [parties] together. From Kelly
Hans, to Madonna Michael Jackson, to Kelly Hansome. My parents still call me
dancing at a very tender age. I always won a price dancing at birthday parties.
One day Uncle Sunny, one of my neighbors who loved me so much took me to a
dance competition and I won. That was actually how I became popular in school
because many of my school and class mates were there. After then I was asked by
the school to perform at our PTA [Parents Teachers Association] end of the year
party and ‘I killed it’. That was it. I danced all the way to Madonna University
and even my first album had videos where I did ‘break dance’.
What does Madonna University remind you?
hear Madonna University, I remember the conscious efforts made by my parents to
have me concentrate on my education. I remember learning how to manage money,
my provisions and all. I remember getting into trouble in Madonna University because
I wrote a petition to the school authority to allow us have performances once
in a while since we had no social life and it was initially misinterpreted but
I had to make that speech that had everyone clapping and hence it gave birth to
recreational activities in the school.
first time, the Chancellor approved our performances on the eve of every
matriculation and convocation day and so on.
remember the discipline the school installed in me, waking up early, compulsory
exercises and jogging.
It was a
lovely experience which we did not appreciate while we were in campus because
we felt the conditions in school were too harsh; but trust me, now that we have
passed out, we appreciate it the most. It was a wonderful experience indeed.
The music journey from Madonna University
I had a
record label then with 5 artistes: the
Kindreds, a group of three rappers who loved Wytang Clan; Double O; The
Legends, with Rex Idaminabo, Goddy Idaminabo and one other guy and Onyinye [aka]
Oniel James who was dating my friend Obiora back then.
the best thing that was happening in school. I also had dancers who performed
with me like Sammy Wine (Madonna Usher) and we always took permission to go out
of school during weekends to record songs at Harida's studio. Because I had a deal
with his dad on studio sessions,
produced and managed these acts and got them booked to perform in different
parties and shows, outside school.
How did your Madonna days end?
I got a
deal and left. So many people rumored that I was expelled but that's nowhere
near the truth. I am still in very good terms with Father Edeh who mentored,
monitored and advised me on several occasions.
was fun, I gained lots of experiences while working with my team until I left.
Before I left, I handed the mantle over to another guy [Chuks Areh] who was
coming up strongly as the next Michael Jackson and I zoomed off to Lagos to
look for a record deal.
Did leaving school bring trouble between you and your
decision to leave school and move to Lagos brought a very big issue between my
Dad and I because he didn't understand how such a brilliant son of his (actually
his first son) could leave a private school to Lagos in the name of music. I
started off working as a producer from studio to studio, sleeping in the
streets because I initially had nowhere to stay until I went to stay with the
Onojas who are still very close family friends of ours till date.
It was a
tough experience, I lack words to describe my ordeal on the streets. I
literally met the streets, she fell in love with me and we dated. I learned
more in the streets than in any institution I had attended but that doesn't
mean education isn't important or wasn't beneficial to me. It totally was.
Blackface and he took me in and I started running the first blackface's
official studio - Loud Houz Studios with the help of AYK and Tuebaa in Festac
town. I later got employed as a studio engineer for Myke Records which led to a
production deal that gave birth to several songs from artistes under the label
like Freewinds, Bumpa Clash, Mamuzee and Zyon, amongst others.
signed on after the CEO Evangelist Myke Ikoku heard my songs. I dropped my
second album, ‘Simply Kelly’ and made a couple hits in the South East but it
wasn't nationwide until I recorded ‘Maga Don Pay’.
just a summary, it's a long story.
How did your first hit come?
the first hit before Kennis promoted it. I printed the first one thousand
copies all by myself with Richez as my marketer. It was already everywhere but
I didn't have a video until I signed with Kennis. They did a great job in
pushing the whole thing down to other African countries and even inside Los
Angelis and other American States largely populated by Africans.
Do you deserve signing on for Kennis?
deserved the deal because it was a dream come true. It was actually after I had
promoted it and it became popular in Nigeria that I left the country to resume
my studies but then came the deal.
Do you think kennis showed you the world in your dreams?
even started the big plans we had before issues arose. The album we made in
some local studio went international, sold over a million copies. Some bullion
van of money came and then came a little disagreements here and there which we
would have settled amicably but a whole lot of people were threatened by the
sudden positive turnout of events and hence the 'Rise Of Kelly Hansome'. They
started putting things in different ears, accusations flew around, the
misunderstandings grew stronger, angry words that should have been unsaid
poured out, but for some reasons we just couldn't hold the business bond
together, even though we still maintained a cordial relationship till date.
actual issues are simple but for the sake of confidentiality, I will not share
the details because it will only be my own view no matter how you look at it.
We have settled and left it within and behind us for good and so should it
Why did it take long to settle with Kennis?
so long because the media took sides instead of mediating professionally as
supposed. It became a messy face off and off course you know how it goes.
also way younger and less experienced in dealing with such corporate issues
than I am right now, so it was just a lesson for me and I don't regret any part
of the experience. I have learned to overlook certain things and move on.
Did your fame favour people around you?
I had barely
made it off the streets to carry anyone along but a whole lot of people
especially artistes benefitted from the connection.
begin to mention names for some reasons, but trust me, even Jesus who gave his
life is still not appreciated by some of the people he died to save. It’s only
natural for people to say that I didn’t help anyone and of course I am human. I
can't help everybody no matter how much I would love to and moreover in life,
you have to stand on your feet before you can start helping people.
Are there things you would have done better now?
think I would have done anything better because I didn't know better then. We
can only talk about the future and not the past. I have no regrets so far
because my only regret was not finishing school but I am done now and there is
nothing to worry about on that side.
A man is
not judged by his experience but by what he does with them
People say Kennis ghost is still hunting you
see ghosts. I am a mere mortal but of course I don't know what I am going to do
when I see one. I believe that everyone has moved on. I personally have.
are human, nobody is perfect. I used to hold grudges back then but when I think
about it now, I just smile because some of those things now look childish to me.
you're a celebrity, certain things about you go public and hence public opinions
and judgments follow suit but nobody is perfect including the celebrities.
I have a
lot of projects coming up but this time I will not talk about them till they
are ready to go public. Youth empowerment via Education is one of them and my next
album is also in progress.
I have a
new single dropping soon titled ‘Akunatakasi’ and a song featuring an American rapper
from Philadelphia in the pipeline. Right now, talking is not on my agenda, I
will let my work speak henceforth.
Can your experience be used to inspire younger artistes?
yes, a whole lot. I have written about 3 books to that effect and trust me, as
usual the books will make a huge inevitable positive impact on the younger
generation and generations yet unborn. My books are simply blueprints. It's an
honest and blunt timeless intellectual masterpiece that will be celebrated
hundreds of decades even after I am gone. Some of these books will be turned
into movies with highly contagious positive messages and energy capable of
illuminating and setting so many minds free intellectually.
Will you still go back to Owerri to support younger
been doing that and I won't stop.
Do you think the public know the real Kelly Hansome?
don't. They know the person in the media, which is obviously not the real me.
It's like seeing Super Man in real life, you would expect him to fly and save
people right? People have been mentally programmed by the creators of the movie
to see him that way.
Does this arrogance the media painted of you affect you in
to affect me a little bit because sometimes you can't stand people having a
weird impression of you especially when they act a certain way towards you as a
result of what the media had programmd in their minds. That was then, but not now,
To young people being approached by labels and those doing
All I have to say is decide where you want to
be in life and don't stop till you get there.
don't drop out of school because you want to pursue a career. You need all the education
you can get, trust me.
not an easy road, prepare for the worst but hope for the best. Whosoever told
you it's an easy road lied to you.
don't hate what you want to become, support anyone who is doing well and
believe in yourself. Nobody can stop your shine. It’s not how far but how well.
Lastly, you have to know your role and the
role of God and the devil. Give unto Caesar what belongs to him and unto God
what belongs to him. Do not give God what belongs to Caesar and vice versa.
Kelly was in many scandals then but none with women why?
like I said earlier, I am not perfect but just favored. It so pleases God, the
great architect of the universe in whose hands we are but pencils.
Any relationships or wedding bell