When he began singing as a young secondary school student at St. Gregory’s College many years ago, he never knew he would take it up as a career and eventually meet his heartthrob in the process. An unknown classmate submitted his name for a new school band that was being put together. “Interested students were asked to submit their names and a classmate (to this day, I’m not sure who), who had heard me sing a number of times submitted my name without my knowledge. So you can imagine my surprise when during assembly my name was called out by the principal as a member of the new band. As I walked out and mounted the podium amidst loud cheering and applause from my fellow schoolmates, I was pleasantly surprised and realised that if I could actually receive such an impressive reaction for my talent, then I actually make a living doing this.”
And so, Tunde Obe began a life long journey into music and along the way, he met Wunmi, the woman who later became his wife, mother of his three children and his partner in the business of music. It was while an undergraduate at University of Lagos, that Wunmi met Tunde, a co-aspiring singer and co-member at the popular Turning Point band. Together, they have created a unique brand named T.W.O an acronym for Tunde Wunmi Obe. It’s so easy to tell them apart from other music groups, not because they are married to each other but because of their unique way of entertaining their audience. T.W.O. radiates so much charm through the passion and enthusiasm they put in their music, which has kept their fans asking for more. They are so vast in music and according to them, you’ll find music ranging from R n B, Reggae, Soft Rock, Dance Hall to inspirational songs in their album , so long as it’s family-friendly and good music. T.W.O have been together since January 1988. They got married in June 1998. This year, 2014, makes it 26 years they have been together.
Perhaps their shared love has continually inspired them to do some tracks on marriage. It is therefore not a surprise that after two years, T.W.O is out with another marriage themed single, ‘Wedding Day’ and another on Nigeria called ‘Green, White, Green’. “It’s a song dedicated to couples on their most special day,” Tunde tells The Luxury Reporter, their wedding. As one of Nigeria most celebrated celebrity couple, it’s our own gift to intending brides and grooms.”
Some of the finest talents in the Nigerian music scene will be featured in the two singles billed to come out in two days. 2face will feature in the Green, White, Green track. “He is featured on the track ‘GREEN WHITE GREEN’,” explains Tunde, “because he is one mature artiste that we respect a lot. It all began while we were all at Femi Anikulapo-Kuti’s 50th Birthday party 2 years ago. 2face had observed and wondered why T.W.O and 2face had never done a collabo, and from then on, it became a mission that had to be accomplished.
“Now with everything happening in Nigeria today, it would be impossible for the oldest Nigerian group/duo and one of Africa’s favourite musical sons to ignore our social responsibility. Hence, ‘green, white, green’ are our national colours. Our hope is that the song will help strengthen our love for our nation, Nigeria, and inspire Nigerians positively.”
Tunde and Wunmi Obe are a bundle of creative talents and they seem to have a penchant for taking their time before they release their songs. Tracks like ‘Fine Bara’ ‘Mogbo Moya’, ‘Adupe’, have endeared them to their fans. This quality and standard of music, Tunde says, they want to maintain. “That’s why we took our time with this album,” he says. “After songs like ‘Adupe’ (which is still sung during praise-worship in churches) ‘Fine Bara’ and ‘Mogbo Moya’, we know we can’t afford to disappoint our fans. Trust me, it’s a packed album.”
Some years back, there was a rumour that T.W.O are quitting music to focus on television they were quick to debunk the rumour when they returned with a single titled: ‘Zombie’. As always, it was the beginning of a series of new music from the Kopycat Entertainment stable. But unknown to some people, it has always been the trend with the couple to have a four year space between their albums.
“For those who have followed our music career, we’ve always kept a four year space between our Albums: 1998 (Sealed), 2002 (T.W.O), 2006 (T.W.O 4 Real), 2010 (T.W.O LEGIT). Why most people don’t feel the gap is because we always release videos, and VCD/DVD materials intermittently. But this time around, after releasing ‘Atewo’ Video in 2012, we took a break to do research, study the market, record and plan a new strategy for our come-back.”
Tunde says the music and message in ‘Wedding Day’ and Green, White, Green’ and the kind of talents involved makes the songs unique. “The music and the message are already unique. We also worked with one of Nigeria’s most creative music video director, Clarence A. Peters. 2face Idibia was featured in one of the two songs. The amount of talent involved already makes it unique. The ‘Wedding Day’ video was also treated in a unique way. We celebrated the classic white wedding and traditional ceremonies from different Nigerian cultures, namely, Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa/Fulani, Efik/Ibibio and Bini. It’s very colourful. Each video took a day to shot. Both videos were shot on locations in Lagos.”
T.W.O plans torelease the full album in time for Christmas 2014 while their management company, Dicotyledon Entertainment, handles the marketing. “I can tell you that we have had a long standing relationship with Obaino Music which is expected to continue with the T.W.O PLUS (title of the new album) album. While our online marketing and CRBT will be handled by Now-Musik. The N150 paper-packs are extremely difficult to guard against piracy. But we always produce our album in jewel boxes which will also be available this time around. A lot of people don’t go for it, because of the cost. But if you want to be sure you have the original copy that’s the guaranteed original copy.”
‘Wedding Day’ and ‘Green, White, Green’ are billed to be released on the 1st of June 2014.