Stanley Akalonu aka E-Sure although officially known as the music librarian of Hot 99.5 FM Owerri, has excelled to be a name on the lips of most listeners of the radio station because of his part time presentation routine on ‘Battle of the sexes’ which always has E-Berry on standby for the ladies.
His uniqueness is also one thing that attracts people to him and he did well to talk about his personality before his current job, his job and his expectations in the later days in this interview with CHINEDU HARDY NWADIKE.
The name E-sure
The name came from the Igbo musical instrument ekwe. It used to be Ekwe Sure because I was a choreographer before I got this job and just to make it simple, I had to abbreviate the ‘Ekwe’ in my name to E, which gave birth to E-Sure.
E-Sure suits the radio thing that I presently do and people think it’s foreign too.
Life before the radio
As well as being a choreographer, I still was a photographer and a graphic designer.
Are you missing photography?
Not at all because I am still doing it here. I’m still the studio photographer.
When people want to snap here, they call on me and that helps me to connect with my photography life.
I have passion for photography and I see it as another talent I have.
As a music librarian
Being a music librarian means you have to make sure that the station’s music library has the best and the latest songs be it foreign or local.
I also work with the producers to see that the sound in the songs is cut to the optimal frequency so that it doesn’t sound noisy to the listeners.
I also see that the presenters have the right songs for every programme.
My job is interesting and can still be stressful especially when you are trying to get a song online and the network is not responding as you wish.
But generally its fun especially when you have upcoming artistes coming to meet you which make the job easier for me.
How do you rate a song?
I have to check the content of the song which include the lyrics and the beats which must be up to the standard that can compete with places like Lagos. The song has to meet the standard of good music before I can approve it.
I see to it that all vulgar words are removed and the song must score at least 50% on our rating standard.
What if you are wrong?
This is not actually my judgment; we judge based on what our listeners want. We are being heard in almost six states in South-East and South-South regions and we know what they want generally.
We have never been wrong in this judgment because our listeners have never complained about a song we played. They always commend us and that’s the way it is.
Do you feel good rejecting a song?
I can’t tell an artiste that his song is bad, I just tell him the areas he needs to improve on.
Telling them the song is bad can make them feel bad, some might get violent, who knows.
Ever wished to be a presenter?
Everyone has his job in the station and it’s not that going on air is my thing but I do present sometimes in battle of the sexes on Saturdays with E-berry.
I feel ok with the little I’m doing as presenter but normally what I do is the music thing and production.
I have a good relationship with every presenter and all I do here is to see that they have the right songs and the right sound during presentation.
I get so strict on the job sometimes and like I said earlier, I can’t just push a song that is not good. As long as the song is good, I push it to the system and the presenters play it because we are all working as a team.
Personality and fashion
I have always been a unique person, doing things that will always put me in my own class.
I prefer customized stuffs and I don’t buy cloths because I have my own designer who makes my clothes for me.
The design of the cloth I choose to make in a particular time depends on the concept on my mind at the moment.
I love coloured shoes and red is my best. I don’t really like flat shoes but the high heels.
I love wearing something that is different from what others are wearing, something that will make me stand out and people will say this is really E-Sure.
Presenters are proud people
We are busy at a time and free at the other. We run on shifts and can’t see anyone when we are working. So if anyone comes around when we are working, there is no way we can sit and chat with him. We can only talk with people when we are free.
I have seen every song that is produced here and you don’t have to be told that Owerri is moving forward. The standard of music keeps improving and it’s just a matter of few years, Owerri will be like Lagos.
Sponsorship is something the industry is lacking at the moment, which is why places like Enugu can boast of being better than Owerri.
If people can come in and support the industry by organizing shows that will help the artistes, things will really change.
Is it about artistes making money?
No, it is not really about artistes making money. It is about encouraging artistes to be relevant in the industry, celebrating them, which will spur those who are not doing well to improve. This is one way the industry can really grow. Because if you don’t sing good music, you wont make money.
When you’re not working
I’m at home watching DSTV, especially football because I am a Manchester United fan. When I’m not on the TV, I’m listening to music. I hardly hang out unless it’s a special occasion.
When the females make moves
It’s always a difficult one, because it is normal for your female friends to come and say hi once in a while and as a God fearing person, I can’t misbehave because I am in this position.
When they come to say hi, I respond at that level as well.
Any extreme case?
Yes, but it has been handled, I put her in her rightful place and everything was settled.
I’m not single, and I’m not still married. So anyone seeing any form of vacancy around me is wasting time.
Being a hooked up celebrity
It’s easy, depending on how you are able to carry yourself. For me I don’t have any problem with that.
Is it restricting you?
Not at all, as long as I have not taken anyone to the altar, I can do anything I want to do.
I’m free to live my life. In a Godly way oh!
Who is she?
I want it to be a surprise to everyone. Until I unveil her on our wedding day, we just have to wait and see.
It’s a long list but I want to start with Hot 99.5 FM family: The Wildcat Stifla, Dj Saquo, Sammy Davis, Princess Chi, E-berry, Ogechi Kalu, Yuba, U-zone, O’town Gist crew and everyone that knows me, I love you all.