Recently, CDQ dropped ‘Jabbing’, believed to be part of his forthcoming EP, which promises to comprise some hit tracks. He spoke to TS Weekend…
A-list rapper, Sodiq Abubakar Yusuf popularly known as CDQ, is reputed for always dishing out party beats to his fans, having released hit singles such as Gbayi ft. Kiss Daniel and Aye ft. Phyno and Reminisce.
Only recently, CDQ dropped ‘Jabbing’, believed to be part of his forthcoming EP, which promises to comprise some hit tracks. He spoke to TS Weekend about issues bordering on his career and lifestyle.
You recently celebrated your birthday. What does that mean to you and your career?
Birthdays mean a lot to me and my career. It is something that occurs to you once in a year, and for the fact that God spared my life, it is worth celebrating.
You once said that your growing up was rough. What is the difference between the then CDQ and the present one?
What has changed is that I have put in a lot of work. The constant thing in life is change. There has been growth in my life and career. Thanks to God and my fans.
What major challenges did you face while moving from the low level to where you are today?
Basically, the major challenge while growing will be capital. You will always need money to record, shoot videos, do promotions, explore and travel around the world. Glory to glory that I have left that stage now.
You appear cool-headed, which is unlike you on stage and in your music videos. What is the difference between the CDQ on stage and the one at home?
The difference is like when you are acting. When you are watching a movie, it doesn’t mean the actors are what they act. There is a difference between the CDQ on stage or in videos, and my real self
How do you manage your female fans, especially those who want to flirt with you?
Basically, I listen to them and also attend to them. That doesn’t mean I flirt with them. I just try to give them my time.
Do you womanise?
I don’t womanise. As you come my house now, you see any woman? (Laughs).
When are you going to quit bachelorhood?
That is whenever God says yes.
What is it with most celebrities that won’t get married but prefer to make babies?
Music is like being a public servant. You have a lot of people out there to serve and you cannot match it with family affairs. There are two different things entirely. You either choose to play music or settle down. You have to give your wife and children time, instead of being in the studio all day recording. So, both don’t work together.
When should we then expect you to get married?
I can’t say when I will get married. It is whenever God says yes.
Some customs officials harassed you few months ago. Although, the matter is resolved now, how did that make you feel as a celebrity?
That is past for me. I was travelling to Ibadan for a show; I also had a couple of other shows in Lagos, that same day. I left Lagos around 12 midnight and headed for Ibadan. On the way, some customs officials asked for my (car) papers and I asked who carries customs papers around in this civilised world. I have been to different countries. All you have to do is put in the car number (in the system) and you get all the information you need about the car. They insisted I produce the papers. Let’s forget about the rest of the story. I don’t believe I am above the law because I am CDQ. I don’t jump the rules. I just felt that that is not good enough about the country. Despite that I had a show; they delayed me for over two hours and people thought I wasn’t coming again. The show promoter kept calling me. It only makes me feel that we are still laid back in this country.
What informed your choice of Kiss Daniel in your latest collaboration?
Everybody I have done collaboration with has been my friend. We must have shared some things before thinking of having collaboration with you. Kiss Daniel and I have been together for a long while, even before he started his own record label. He sometimes comes to my house and we wine and dine together. It is basically about the relationship between us. We have been each other’s fan for a long time.
Do you see yourself competing with other rappers like MI, Olamide, and Reminisce knowing that they are brilliant in their crafts too?
I don’t see myself in a competition with anybody, because it will mean I am competing with just everybody. We all have our unique styles in our own ways. MI is MI, Olamide is Olamide, and CDQ is CDQ.
There is a general opinion that rappers don’t last, and you can see so many examples around. What’s your take on that?
Yes, I have heard people say that a lot of times. But I believe it is about you believing in yourself and what you can do. It is on this same continent that we have Sarkodie and the rest. Jay Z has been relevant since I was growing up and he is still very relevant today. So, it is about you believing in yourself and doing your best.
Which international act would you like to work with?
I would really like to work with Jay Z.
What really interests you about him?
His level of thinking is almost out of this world. I listen to him and I ask myself, ‘is this guy really part of this world?’ I am an ardent follower of people that think a lot.
Where do you see yourself in a year’s time?
I see myself wherever God wants me to be. I always work and I don’t stop working. For every hustler, there is always a payday.
You just moved into a new residence and also acquired two new cars, same day. Do we take you for a materialistic person?
I don’t see that as being materialistic. I see it as a necessity. Everyone needs cars to move around. Maybe one for luxury and the other for casual purposes.
What’s your impression of the Nigerian music industry as it is today?
As far as I know, it is growing faster. For some of us that sing in our dialects and take it to the rest the world, that is good enough. I can say the music industry is one of the fastest growing in our entertainment industry.
How have you been able to stay free from scandals unlike some other celebrities?
Whatever you do in life, try and get the basic education. Some people mistake me for an illiterate because I do more of street music, but that’s not true. That’s just how I have set my own market target. I went to school and I am learned. That’s how I make sure I don’t get trapped.
So, why didn’t you go for a white-collar job after school, but rather took to music?
After my NYSC programme, I got two jobs with Diamond Bank and FCMB. I was a banker for a week before I quit. I realised that there is nothing as good as having a dream and pursuing it.
Why did you cut off your dreadlocks?
Change is constant. I just wanted to look different. I have enjoyed it for some time.
So, do you still hope to keep dreads?
It depends on how I feel. I do things according to my discretion.