Days after releasing his new album C.N.N & G.R.A, the singer has released new promo photos, and looks totally different from his traditional look. These are pictures from his album promo shoot styled by publicist/stylist Ifan Ifeanyi Michael and photographed by August Udoh. I like! Continue to see more photos… Alakpomeji 1

Alapomeji of Ijasa
Toni Payne, estranged wife of Naija artiste, 9ice spoke to ’Nonye Ben-Nwankwo about the  controversies surrounding her life.

You dabble into so many things at the same time; one might see you as a restless person…

I agree. I am an Aries and we have this trait of doing everything. But I only do two things. I do PR, which has always been my background. But when I started doing PR in Nigeria, I noticed there wasn’t really a structure. You can’t just only be a publicist to an artiste. You might set out to be a publicist but you will end up doing managerial duties because there is nobody doing it. But now that more people are interested in that field, I have taken my hands off artiste management and I am sticking with PR.

 Do You still manage artistes?

No. I don’t do that anymore. But I still do music promotion. It still looks like the same thing because of that lack of structure. But the duties are different. If an artiste comes to me now, I tell him straight up that promotion is different from management. I tell him his manager is supposed to do his business runs while his publicist is just to make his brand known and polish the brand.

What issues did you have with Olamide(Baddo)? We heard there was a misunderstanding before you parted ways with him…

I never had any problem with him. He had a label and I felt the label could take care of the work for him. I had done my bit to a certain level and I felt I was contented. I didn’t want to be drawn into being an insider. I only wanted to do Toni Payne Concept. I didn’t want to work for that label; I didn’t want to be too involved. When I felt it was time to let go, I had to . And that is one very good thing about me, I know how to easily let go. I don’t know if it is a good trait or a bad trait. There wasn’t any bitter quarrel. People do end amicably, not everyone has to fight. PR is  much easier than management. I have a child. With PR, you can do your job during office hours but with management, you are expected to work at odd hours.

You are into poetry too…

Yes. I just recently started sharing my poems. I have been writing poetry since I was 13. I never used to share it. I was on Twitter one day and I asked if anybody wanted to read my poems. The response was good and I decided to share it. So a lot of people downloaded it too. I never knew there was a huge appreciation of poetry in Nigeria. Since then, I decided to use my brand to push mainstream poetry. Young people now email me to teach them how to write poetry which i see as very fanastic.

Do you know music a lot that you had to go on social media to criticise Tonto Dike’s song?

‘I never did that’.she said

But where did the story come from?

I know where they came from. I was at an event and someone asked me what I thought about her song. I said she is a woman like me and she is trying. We are not all perfect. The next thing, I started reading online was that Tony Payne said this and that about Tonto Dike’s song. I was amazed. I never said anything bad about her songs. I have heard the song just once on the radio.

Did the story cause any kind of rift between both of you?

It didn’t and I’m sure she knew I didn’t say that. I think that was what the person who brought up the story was hoping to profit. Even when people were criticising her about the song, I tweeted that people should not insult her and if they must, they should do so constructively.

Why did you return back to Nigeria?

I got married. I just had to move back home. I felt I should have a close  family. I got into working in Nigeria and I have been having fun also.

Are you still going to move back to the States?

I can’t say that. There is no assurance yet. I have plans. It depends. We will find out in the next couple of years. I have lived in the US almost all my life. I used to come back home for visits.

Do you regret coming back home?

I don’t. I was even saying so this morning. If I didn’t, the curiosity would have been too much; I would have missed out on a lot of things. I’m glad I did came back home. My feet are so well grounded. I know what I want and I also know what I am capable of doing.

Do you have any issues with K Solo?

I don’t have any issues with him. We are not friends. We’ve never sat down to have a 10-minute conversation. The issue with him came up because I follow him on Twitter and I saw the comment he made concerning his son. The mother in me couldn’t take it. I was angry about why he could say such concerning an innocent child on social media. That was it.

How do you cope as a single mother?

My son still has a father who is alive. It is not hard. He is well taken care of. I’m doing very well. It is not a big deal. Things happen, I will not be the first neither will i  be the last.

Why did you marry 9ice? So many people were of the view you were taken by his fame…

When I met him, he wasn’t that popular. I met him before the stardom. He was somebody whose personality I liked. It didn’t have anything to do with his being a celebrity. I saw a person I liked. I didn’t look at his status. I would say he was the first guy I was ever really in love with.

Was he your first boyfriend?

No. he wasn’t. But he was the first guy that i ever I had genuine love for.

Who was your first boyfriend then?

It was one guy. We still talk. I’m not gonna to mention his name. He is still my friend.

How did you feel when you were told that another lady now has kids for 9ice?

No comment. I am not going to say anything about that. I don’t even know about it. I only read about it in the papers. But then, I have read so many things about me that weren’t true in the papers. However, true or not, I will not say concerning it.