Alexander Abolore Adegbola Akande was born Abolore Adegbola Akande, on 17 January 1980. He’s a Nigerian musician. attended Abule Okuta Primary School and CMS Grammar School, and dropped out from his law course at the Lagos State University due to lack of funds and decided to concentrate on his music. He grew up in a polygamous home of five wives and nine children. His parents found about his singing career a year after it started around 2000. Before then, 9ice wrote his own songs, beginning at age 14. As a big fan of Pasuma Wonder, he kick-started his singing career with Fuji music.
Age: 39 years
Years Active: 2000 – President
He derives his inspiration from his environment, and music from the likes of Ebenezer Obey, King Sunny Adé, Tatalo Alamu, the late Alhaji Ayinla Omowura, and the late Alhaji Haruna Ishola.
After recording his first demo, 9ice joined the group Mysterious Boys, with whom he did a couple of tracks before going on to form his own, now defunct, group, Abinibi. Having recorded his first demo, titled Risi De Alagbaja, in 1996, and his first solo song, “Little Money” in 2000, 9ice had to wait until 2005 before gaining recognition in the Nigerian music market. The first major break for 9ice came from his first single, “Little Money”. Soon after this, he did collaborations with different Nigerian artists that prompted the release of another hit single, “Ganja Man”. ID Cabasa produced this single, which was released with other songs in March 2006. The reggae tone and playful style of the song made it an instant hit. 9ice later founded his own record company and released all other albums under that label, Alapomeji Records.
Debut Album, sophomore break, albums released, success and setbacks
9ice’s debut album “Certificate” was relatively successful, and included the songs “Little Money”, “Ganja Man”, “Make Dem Talk” and “Music Daddy”. His sophomore album “Gongo Aso”, notable for his hit song ‘Gongo Aso’ included songs covering success, originality, partying and women, as well as themes on the institution of marriage and gratitude. He has nine studio albums to his name which includes; Certificate (2007), Gongo Aso (2008), Tradition (2009), Versus (2011) Bashorun Gaa (2011), Deluxe Version Versus & Bashorun Gaa (2011), CNN/GRA (2014), ID Cabasa (2016) and Greatest of All Times—G. O. A. T (2018). He is recognized as the first Nigerian pop artist to release two albums in a year. He achieved this feat in 2011 when he released Bashorun Gaa and Versus albums simultaneously to critical acclaim. He would repeat the same feat in 2014 when he released Cancelling Numerous Negativity (CNN) and Galvanizing Right Ahead (GRA) albums simultaneously. However, this move proved to backfire as both albums flopped in the market. Some say his involvement in politics at the time had an effect on the overall quality of the albums as well as the marketing strategy employed to push the albums. In 2016, he released his “ID Cabasa” album. The album was so named after his long-time friend and superstar music producer ID Cabasa who single-handedly produced 9ice’s debut and sophomore albums. Relationship between the two had been strained over the years and naming the album after ID Cabasa was part of 9ice’s effort to reconnect and re-establish their relationship. 9ice gave all monetary proceeds from the album to ID Cabasa. Commercially and quality-wise, the album was adjudged better than CNN/GRA. In 2018, he released the album G. O. A. T meaning Greatest of All Times.
9ice is known for his use of the Yoruba language in his music, and he sometimes mixes Yoruba proverbs with English, pidgin English, Hausa, and Igbo. With a mastery of his Yoruba language, his mother tongue, 9ice’s music employs the use of Yoruba proverbs, folklores, popular sayings and mysticism. 9ice compares himself to Youssou N’Dour, who has won a couple of Grammy awards with music recorded in his mother tongue, and Yvonne Chaka Chaka, whose music has also embraced her language. 9ice has been quoted as saying, “The English language has been imposed on us but God graciously gave the Yoruba language to us.”
9ice christened Abolore Alexander Adegbola Ajifolajifaola Akande, is a native of Ogbomosho town in Oyo State, Nigeria. He was born into a polygamous family with his Muslim father marrying five wives. 9ice is, himself, a Muslim but his mother is a practicing Christian. Following the success of his “Gongo Aso” album, 9ice married media personality, poet and entrepreneur, Toni Payne. Their union, which was blessed by a son named Zion, soon hit the rocks and a bitter divorce followed with rumors going around that Toni’s affair with 9ice’s friend and rapper, Ruggedman, was the cause of the divorce. Ruggedman has since denied that he ever had an affair with Toni and 9ice himself has said no such affair happened. Following his split from Toni Payne, 9ice has been in baby mama relationships with two other women—Victoria Godis and Olasunkanmi Ajala. With Victoria Godis, he has twin girls named Hazeeza Maya and Hadiza Miya. Olasunkanmi Ajala gave birth to 9ice’s other daughter, Michelle. He is now remarried to Adetola Anifalaje and welcomed a baby girl, Milani-Françoise in late 2018.
Since late 2007 9ice has featured prominently across Nigerian campuses in the Soundcity/MTN Campus Blast tours; let’s Go There Tour With Ariya Entertainment in NY, LA, Chicago, Houston, Maryland in 2008; Star Mega Jam in 2007-2010; and London Troxy in 2008 and 2010. 9ice performed at the Nelson Mandela 90th Birthday Tribute concert (singing “Gongo Aso”) in London on 27 June 2008. All these shows and concerts were sold-out events. He also headlined sold-out shows in the Netherlands and Malaysia in October 2010 to mark his country’s 50-year anniversary of independence. In 2010, 9ice embarked on a European tour through parts of Italy, Spain, and Switzerland. He also performed live in Cyprus at Lions Garden, where many Nigerian students were in attendance.
He won the award for Best Hip Hop Artist at the MTV Africa Music Awards in 2008. At the third edition of the Hip Hop World Awards held in Nigeria, he won the Revelation of the Year award and Best Male Vocal Performer. A month later at the first SoundCity Music Video Awards, he was nominated in the category of Best New Artist. 9ice’s biggest single is titled “Gongo Aso”. He is the founder of Alapomeji Ancestral Records.