Music superstar, King Sunny Ade, positively shocked jazz artiste and filmmaker, Miller Luwoye, recently. He needed the juju great popularly called KSA to perform one of the songs in his new animation film, titled SADE.
When KSA was first suggested to him, Luwoye got excited at the prospect of getting him on board. Yet, he entertained some trepidation as he felt the older musician could be so busy that he might not get the time. Besides, he felt his fee could be out of this world.
But upon encountering KSA, the aura of humility that surrounded him was amazing. He gladly accepted Luwoye’s offer and, in no time, KSA delivered the song.
This was part of the testimonies that the crew and cast of SADE recently shared in Lagos when the film was unveiled to the media. Luwoye noted that the great spirit that the musicians and actors deployed in the production of the film made it a big success.
Among the talents paraded in SADE are Bimbo Manuel, Norbert Young, Omowunmi Dada, Gabriel Afolayan, Biodun Aleja, Jude Orhorha, Yemi Shodimu, Judith Audu, Kate Adepegba, Deji Adenuga, Ngozi Nwosu and others who voiced the different characters in the movie.
Most of them rallied round him at the media unveiling.
“It’s a privilege to have the number of people we worked with on this project,” he said.
The producer, fondly called Miller, who has written a number of ‘edutainment’ materials for children, including acclaimed animated nursery rhymes and other children songs, is furthering his flair for family entertainment with SADE, his first feature film.
According to him, his plan is to make SADE a melting pot of culture and great value, which he described as the hallmark of a people’s identity.
A Greathouse Entertainment Network production, SADE tells the story of a little girl, Sade and her family who adopt TEJ, a wandering dog and victim of a hit-and-run driver.
Soon, the society discovers that TEJ is not an ordinary dog; hence the race by the ‘powers that be’ to abduct it from Sade’s family begins.
Miller said he conceived the SADE idea while on a flight to Los Angeles in 2013 and it had been a purposeful journey since then.
“If anyone knows about animation here, it’s a journey; it’s a big journey. So, I started watching CBeebies and Toy Story series to get some ideas. And I thought it would be good for SADE to be a melting pot of culture and great value.”
According to the entertainer, SADE rekindles the African folklore, using the modern cinematic technology.
“I grew up in Lagos before going to the United Kingdom to study. I thought of the then NTA with Jimi Solanke, and I wanted SADE to make a statement,” said Miller who described Solanke as the Disney of Nigeria.
He noted that as a jazz musician and filmmaker, “I thought there has to be a marriage of music and animation. When Hollywood wants to pass a message across, they do it through movie. For the first time, you will hear bata sound in animation. As a matter of fact, one track in SADE features 10 drummers.”
The original songs written for the SADE project also feature Cobhams Asuquo, Deola Adebiyi, Omolara Ayodele and productions from some of the hottest producers on the scene, including Young John, Ini Dminstrel, Asuquo, Kent Edunjobi and others.
The Casting Director/Production Manager, Abiodun Aleja, who is also an actor in SADE, said, “When I saw the script I was wowed. We came together and made some inputs. When it was time for casting, he said he wanted the best, and I promised we would get the best. Well, this is about voicing, and I can tell you that the actors we have in SADE are some of the best in the Nigerian film industry.”
Also speaking, Line Production, Kate Adepegba, whose role on the project resonated well with the cast members, recalled that she met Miller on a film location in the UK where they talked about film prospects in Nigeria.
“In 2013, he came back with the SADE project and I keyed into it. Like Biodun said, we had the finest on that set. They are highly opinionated people, but on that set we were all in accord. SADE is going to make it big because it’s huge.”
On his part, Pastor Olukayode Owolabi, the Executive Producer of SADE, said, “As a pastor, I thought of the Bible as a big book with different segments that can be scripted and adapted into a movie. For me it’s about giving back to the people. When Miller came along, we began to look into things we could do together. Then this idea of a family-oriented movie came. Not only is it full of action, it will also teach you how to treat people. If Nigerians can treat their dogs and cats very well, they will treat their neighbours very well.”