Adebayo Adeleke, who goes by the stage name, B-Red, is the son of the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Osun State in the 2018 election, Senator Ademola Adeleke, popularly known as the “Dancing Senator”. He talks about his father’s life and politics with Olushola Ricketts.
Tell us more about yourself.
I am a singer and one of the children of Senator Ademola Adeleke.
Is being a musician your dream as a child?
I didn’t think I would be a musician but a successful drummer. I still plan to introduce drums into my music.
Did your father support your decision to do music?
He wanted me to focus on my studies, not music. According to him, the dream of everyone is to make it in life. He didn’t think there was a big prospect in music then, but I told him I knew what I was doing.
When I finally ventured into music, he didn’t talk to me for a year or so. He started having faith in my music when his friends and family members began to tell him how good I was. He is now my number one fan; he has been supportive of my music.
I didn’t feel bad when he didn’t support my decision to do music. At times, one has to prove oneself before people believe in one. I feel that is how life is.
Has your father listened to your new single, E Better, featuring Don Jazzy?
Yes, he has listened to it. He has seen the video too. Let me share with you the message he sent to me. He said, “Son, this song is fantastic. It is great, nice one.” I believe anything my father tells me because he cannot deceive me.
Are you his only child who does music?
My elder brother, Sina Rambo, does music too. Soon, he will release his new single, where he features Zlatan Ibile.
How many siblings do you have?
My father married more than one wife. From my mother, I have four siblings. But in total, I have nine siblings. I am the second child of my father.
What does your mother do?
My mother is based in the United States of America. She works there.
How close are you to your father?
We are very close. We talk almost every day regardless of how busy he is.
What things get him angry?
He doesn’t like people who tell lies or cheat. He wants one to be straightforward with him and to always keep to one’s word.
Does he have a favourite food?
My father likes food a lot. I cannot name one food as his favourite. He likes rice and stew a lot. He also likes African food such as pounded yam, eba and amala.
I am like my father when it comes to food. I like different kinds of food as long as they taste good.
How would you describe your father?
He is a loving father. He didn’t even know he would venture into politics. He cares about people a lot; that is why he takes his job as a senator seriously. He doesn’t like seeing people suffering. I know he will make a great impact if he becomes the governor of Osun State.
Are there plans to venture into politics like your father?
Well, no one knows what tomorrow holds. One can never tell because my father didn’t know he would go into politics too.
Was there a time he spoke to you about joining politics?
He has yet to do so but he knows Davido (David Adeleke) and me have a passion for politics.
Are you aware that your father is nicknamed ‘dancing senator’?
I attended an event at the MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos, and heard people called him the nickname. I knew he was called the name. When people started taking photos with him, calling him the ‘dancing senator,’ I saw that he was happy.
How do you feel when your father is dancing?
I am always smiling because people love him so much for that. Anywhere I go, people always ask about him. There is no love bigger than that.
Did you feel bad when it was announced that your father lost the Osun State governorship election?
I didn’t feel bad because I knew we would get our ‘stolen mandate’ back.
What do you share in common with your father?
I am a younger version of my father. We have the same legs, face and head. Also, if my father shouts and I shout, it will be hard to tell the difference.
How does he discipline his children?
Funnily enough, while growing up, my father didn’t use the cane on me. The least he could do was to drag my ears and he would warn me never to misbehave again. But it was different with my mother; she flogged me well.
How does he reward his children whenever they impress him?
When we were younger, he was always taking us to different exciting places around the world.
Although I was born in the US, my father brought us back to Nigeria at some point to learn the culture. I am glad he took such a step because I am now happy we came to Nigeria.
Is he the type who spoils his children?
I am not sure he spoilt us as kids. But growing up, we had everything we wanted because my father doesn’t take his children for granted. It was when we insisted we wanted to do music, our parents left us alone. When they saw that we were making progress, they supported us. I am talking about Sina, Davido and myself.
How does your father relax?
He likes travelling, watching movies and spending time with his family.
What would you like to change about your father if given an opportunity to do so?
There is nothing I will change about him. He is perfect the way he is and I admire his person.
When was the last time you spoke to him?
As I said earlier, we talk every day. The last time we spoke, we talked about my new single. He loves the video and he assured me that it would be a hit song.
How do you want him to be remembered?
I don’t want to talk about this now because I still need him around. I know he is not dying anytime soon.
How does he feel listening to his praise by Davido in Dami Duro?
He was happy when he heard the song. He is always quick to tell people that Davido refers to his dancing skills in that song. Whenever they play the song, he still dances to it.
Is it true that your dad father taught Davido, you and Sina how to dance?
When he was younger in the US, he played the drums and he was a dancer too. He was called Jackson. That was why Davido sings about his dancing skills in Dami Duro. We obviously learnt from him.
Also, my father bought me my first drum set. He taught me how to play conga. I am happy with the way my father dances. He has been dancing since the 1980s. But he is a man of extreme wisdom who knows how to conduct himself. For him, there is time to celebrate and there is time to work.
Does your father’s name open doors for you?
Yes, it has opened doors many times; I don’t need to lie about that. When one is from a rich family, it is normal for people to associate themselves with one. Of course, it gives one more connections and one can use the name to grow.
Did you get special treatment from teachers as a son of Adeleke?
I didn’t escape punishment while I was in primary and secondary schools. My parents would tell my teachers that I was stubborn and that they should always keep an eye on me. They ensured that my teachers disciplined me well whenever I misbehaved.
I was a good child but I could be stubborn sometimes. My elder brother used to beat me a lot; he would punch me for every little thing I did wrong. But he cannot try it again now; I will hit him back.
Did you support his decision to venture into politics?
I didn’t want him to venture into politics. I told him I was scared because it was after my uncle, Isiaka Adeleke’s death. He was picked to replace him. My uncle was a politician before he died. But he told me everything would be okay and everything has been okay so far.
Did you know your father would go far when he wanted to contest the governorship election in Osun?
I knew he would go far because he had faith in himself. Also, he is a likeable person and straightforward.
What were the things you learnt during the governorship campaign?
I learnt that if one wants anything in life, one has to work for it and ignore negative people. They said we didn’t stand a chance because we were running against the incumbent. But we didn’t focus on that. We were positive and we did the impossible thing. The case is still in court as you know.
What are the things you have learnt from your father?
I have learnt the need to be straightforward in life. One doesn’t need to lie to people.
Does he always want to know about your relationship?
Yes, we always talk about it. He has told my brother and me to hurry up, as he is ready to have grandchildren.
How can one win your father’s heart?
One only needs to be oneself to make him laugh. He is jovial and easy-going.
How do you describe his fashion style?
You know he is into politics; he likes native wears. But on his free days, he dresses casually.
What advice does your father give you?
He always tells me that before I do something, I should be sure I want to do it. He says that once I do that thing, I cannot undo it.
Are you excited about the prospect of being a governor’s son?
I am excited for the people of Osun State because I know what my father is capable of. We don’t plan to go into government to steal money, as we are already wealthy.
What do you plan to achieve as a musician?
I am not just interested in being the best musician or making money. I want to inspire people with my music.
While I am passionate about music, making money is also vital. Regardless of how rich one is, one still wants to make more money. If Aliko Dangote and Femi Otedola still work hard every day for money, who am I to slow down?
When I first started, people didn’t like my style. They would say I was trying too hard to be like Davido. But it is a different story now for me – people have accepted my music more.