Eedris Abdulkareem of the defunct The Remedies music group speaks on the formation of the group, what led to its break-up, and other issues
How did Remedies come about?
I used to be known as Mr. Remedy before I left Kano. Everyone who knew me in Kano then called me Mr. Remedy. When I was leaving Kano, I told my mother that I was going to Lagos to meet with Kenny Ogungbe and Dayo Adeneye, and that once I saw them, I would become successful. She advised me not to sleep with another man’s wife, not to backbite and that I should be prayerful.
When I got to Lagos, I couldn’t go to my father’s house because he is a polygamist. I have learnt so much from that experience and I would never advise anyone to marry more than a wife. Though we are in good terms now, it wasn’t easy then.
When I came to Lagos, I slept under the bridge at CMS, Lagos Island, for six months. God later directed me to go to Raypower in the Alagbado area of the state. He told me that I would see Kenny Ogungbe or D1, and that one of them would help me.
On getting there, I couldn’t just walk in since I didn’t know anyone there. Meanwhile, there was an uncompleted building in the area, and I started living there. From there, I monitored Kenny and D1’s cars. One day, the late Steve Kadiri called me and asked what I was doing there.
I told him I wanted to meet Kenny and D1; that I had an idea I wanted to sell to them. Since they were having a concert at the Yaba College of Technology that day, he asked me to come along. He introduced me to Eddy Montana and asked Gbenga Awe to produce a beat for us. He advised us to stay together, but that in the future, we could decide to go our separate ways. We went to a studio in Alagbado and we recorded Shakomo.
While I was still staying in the uncompleted building opposite Raypower, Eddy went back to his family house. With the help of Steve, I was eventually able to see Baba Keke one day. Unfortunately, he wasn’t in a good mood and he sent me out of the studio. When Steve returned a few hours later, he asked me to come in again and that was how Shakomo was released. Eddy heard it and rushed to the studio. That was the revolution that created Nigerian hip-hop today.
What lessons did you learn from the breakup?
It was a win-win situation for the three of us, but I think the person who benefited most was Tony. He was not a musician at the time we met in Ilorin at an event. He just loved showbiz and wanted to be successful. He came up with the money and we needed it to grow. Despite not being a musician at the start, he developed himself. Whenever I was writing songs, he would always watch me. As a result of his passion, he came out with a solo album and made a nice career for himself in the music industry. Eddy and I also took our chances.
Would it be right to say that the group broke up when money started coming in?
Yes, it was money. It couldn’t have been women because I wasn’t interested in women then. When money came, each person started feeling he could do things alone.