He is One of Naija’s Best Music Video Directors. Clarence Abiodun Peters is the CEO of multimedia content creation company CAPital Dreams Pictures. Born in Ibadan, Nigeria with the genes of legendary musician Sir Shina Peters and actress Clarion Chukwurah, Clarence Peters aka Capital is the most sought after director in the industry at the moment. He has already done some amazing videos like 9ice’s Street Credibility, Shayo by Durella, Nobody Test Me by the Choc Squad ( M.I and co.), Only Me by 2baba himself andRemember by Bracket featuring 2face. Yeah, Clarence is that good, everybody wants him. At just 28, He has already won director of the year at the Nigerian Music Video Awards 2008 and the best music video at the HipHop world Awards 2010 for Finest and is a well known name when it comes to music in Naija. He is so popular that 3 of every 5 videos seen on TV is directed by him. He specializes in motion pictures of all formats from HD (High Definition)/SD (Standard Definition) to 16mm/Super 16mm/ 35mm formats.
Clarence attended Government College, Ikorodu and Camp David Academy Secondary School, Ogba. As a kid, Clarence worked as an actor with Owner of SoundCity, Tajudeen Adepetu for two years. He starting directing at just 18 years of age when he directed 40 episodes of the TV series “Everyday People“. He later moved to South Africa where he attended the City-Varsity Summon Television Academy in Cape Town and gained a degree in directing and cinematography. He returned to Nigeria to direct his first music video, Fujiby Darey. He founded CAPital Hill record label with his secondary school mate and friend, Tha Suspect who is also an artiste under the label.
Love, Sex and Money are the first things that talented director Clarence Peters thinks of when he wakes up. In this interview with NET, the CAPital music boss shares with us the reasons he thinks he’s not ‘a big deal’, and if he ever plans to work with his father, famous Afro Juju singer Shina Peters.
Clarence tell us what you’ve been up to since last year
I’ve shot videos, I’ve done Ads (adverts) and I’ve done montages for MTV, and Soundcity. Throughout last year we worked on the OGA BOSS album for Illbliss. It’s not done yet. We’ve started making plans to see if we can sign new artists this year. Last year we worked on Chidinma too. We work on a lot of things.
2011 has seen you branch into the international media. You did a lot travelling. How was the experience compared to what you’ve been doing in previous years?
Miami, I wasn’t particularly too happy with because…
That’s where you shot Naeto C’s video?
Yes, because of the planning, but because of what was expected of the song and the brand. Personally I wasn’t too happy, it could have been a lot better. We thank God for what the material did. Even Kenya; Kenya was fine, Kenya was nice. I worked with two different brands that were really fun.
Who were they?
Camp Mulla and Wyre. Wyre that one was kind of laid back. Camp Mulla was done with a lot of excitement. It was nice working with them in particular because they were extremely vibrant.
Speaking of Camp Mulla, their video has gotten a lot of airplay. How did you connect with them in the first place, and what was the process like?
They paid for it. I mean I’m not going to use my money and transport myself down there (laughs). It was paid for. I’m not going to say professionally what it was, but it wasn’t your big Nigerian budget. But it was pretty healthy for their industry. It was affiliated with M-Tech; we have a big relationship with M-Tech. So they made that happen.
Tell us about your relationship with MTV.
Before 2010, I had no relationship with MTV. It’s been a production house/client relationship that was founded with a lot mutual respect. I’m honoured to be on their mind when they want to do projects, from montages to actually wanting to do videos for different campaigns; I’ve been privileged to work with them in those capacities.
Okay. Now reports have it that you’ll be shooting the new video for the soundtrack to the Shuga series that’s airing in Kenya. Banky W, L-Tido, Wizkid and P-Unit. How do you feel?
Every time I have to travel to work, it never hits me until I’m in the plane. Right now, I feel like something might happen and might not happen. If I even know it’s going to happen, it never dawns on me till I’m on the plane. And it finally hits me when we land. I haven’t really thought about how it feels yet.
Do you think you’ve dominated or you’re number one in your industry right now?
No, I think I’m wack, and this is not humility. I haven’t shot that material that has made me shock myself. Honestly between me and you, I still don’t like my work. It still doesn’t make it hurt when people take shots at my work. But I never get the things I want to get. I don’t think I’ve dominated. I think worked a lot and put out a lot of content. I think I have quantity. Whether it’s been consistent or not, it depends on the individual that weighs my body of work and the audience. And domination, I’d like to dominate but I don’t think I have. Domination will be like to throw like 20 videos in a year that’ll be like ‘oh my God’. And the fact is that there are different things I can’t even control. For example, the music, the type of the brand, all these things I can’t control. I think I tend to score a few goals once in a year in the heart of Nigerians, which is completely God, not me. I believe if I was dominating, then you’ll be having this interview in my house (Laughs) with like five security guards checking you to see if you’re worthy of coming in.
So, to you, dominating means being very successful financially?
Not necessarily, I think that dominating would mean having the kind of material that would send a lot of people to school with. People have been trying to do what I’m doing, but certain people have not been able to get it.
What’s your best video you’ve pushed out last year and what’s your best video?
For either last year or ever – None!
What about ‘Molowo’ by Samklef?
I don’t like ‘Molowo’.
Originally, for the concept, it was supposed to look like DJ Khalid’s ‘We’re taking over’; It was supposed to be like mad, choppers flying everywhere, black hummers going through and all that. So that was what I would have loved for ‘Molowo’.
So when someone comes with a budget that’s not really big how do you still manage to bring out the best?
I compromise a lot. So I don’t think I have any blood left anymore because I’ve compromised too much. Some say I’ve sold my ‘Soul of quality’ to the industry.
How do you manage being exec of a record label and as well being a video director?
They’re intertwined. Commercially, my job is to sell brands, which is 50 per cent of what being a commercial artiste is all about anyway. So it’s not necessarily that hard. What’s hard is doing both at the same time. It can be physically demanding.
So what’s the relationship between Goretti and Capital? Is it a joint venture?
There are three relationships; a relationship with Goretti, a relationship with Illbliss as an artist, and a relationship with Ilbliss as Tobe, my friend. Goretti handles management for the label and as things stand now, particularly for Chidinma. Illbliss is a signed artiste under CAPital music, as managed by Goretti. And Tobechukwu Ejiofor is my business associate/partner/friend on everything CAPital in general. So we’re business partners for the company in general.
So how many artistes have been able to sign under CAPital in general?
Officially I have two artists signed; Illbliss and Tha Suspect. Unofficially, we are grooming and will potentially be signing Chidinma officially in about a month. We’ve also been working on brands like Zee and Big Maxx. We’re also looking at a few other artists. There’s also a chick most people haven’t heard, called Tesh. People haven’t heard about her, but hopefully people will soon.
A lot of people have said, Clarence Peters has shot a lot of videos. I’m tired of seeing Clarence Peters’ videos. Why hasn’t Clarence Peters gone into shooting movies or other things?
Firstly, it is bad now that when someone shoots a good video, people will take shots at me. And two, tell them at NotjustOk.com that if they are tired of seeing my face, I’ll soon hang the towel for them. If they want, they should just tell me to stop shooting. But for movies, the thing is if you’re going to shoot the movies, you have to look at the economics. I have to be able to look at the fact that I will not compromise in movies.
When do you find time for your family, yourself, your love life and stuff like that?
I lost all my friends. The only friends I have now are the ones I work with.
Are you in a relationship?
(Laughs) You know I can’t answer that question. That is complicated, that’s the most sacred part of my life and it will not ever be spoken about. Maybe when you and I are having coffee or something then we can talk about that one (Laughs). I don’t have friends anymore. The ones that are my friends have come to accept me like that, and we speak like once in three months. My love life is fast deteriorating because of the fact that I never have time. And it’s not a lie, it’s just the truth. Then hanging out is with the boys when we’re editing, then we go to a place to go and drink, then we go back to work. Then I might run to my room to go and watch movies. That’s about it.
Will you stop shooting musical videos if you had more brand videos and Ads to shoot?
If I had more Ads, I’d shoot less videos. I won’t stop shooting videos. I’ll hang the boots on shooting musical videos for a while if I had one of the following; three movies to shoot over three years period and the budget can take care of me, my family, my work and my company. Or if I had a show where the budget covers everything, I would back off from music videos. Not completely, just a little bit. I would still shoot my artistes video, but I’d become picky.
When you wake up in the morning what are the first three things that come to your head?
Love, sex and money (laugh)
Who are the first three people that come to your mind?
My mother, first, a particular lady, I’m not going call her name and Tobe.
So has this particular lady met your mother?
Ladies and gentlemen, please God will judge you if you don’t write this down. You think you are a sharp guy. Sorry, next question (Laughs)
How’s your relationship been with your mum? How often do you see each other?
We stay in the same house. Sometimes I don’t see her for two, three days.
How does she feel about it?
My mother is an actress, this is what she does. Sometimes I don’t see her for three months. Sometimes she gets emotional… ‘I haven’t seen you, you haven’t seen me’. Just to fulfil all righteousness, but I know she understands.
How about your relationship with your dad?
Here we go again. It’s fine I guess.
When last did you guys talk or hang out?
My father and I have never hung out before and that’s not my fault. That’s how it is, because his schedule is mad, and my schedule is mad. We’ve planned to hang out before, maybe in Dubai, maybe by the beach with a hundred girls. And I’ll be with my editing laptop, looking at him frolicking with women. You can quote me on that. It has never happened. Maybe it will someday, but it has never happened.
I mean he’s making a comeback, are you going to shoot a musical video for him?
(Laughs) No comment.