Alexander Abolore Adegbola, popularly known as 9ice, is a Nigerian musician known for his versatility, proverbial lyrics and unique style of music. His powerful use of the Yoruba language and his lyrical abilities sets him apart from most artists in his genre and in his opinion, this is what makes him 9ice.
9ice unique style of music is evident on all of his songs, which include his hit song Gongo Aso.
9ice, who hails from Ogbomoso in Oyo State, South-West Nigeria, was born on 17 January 1980 into a polygamous home of five wives and nine children.
9ice grew up in Bariga Lagos state. He attended Abule Okuta Primary School and CMS Grammar School Bariga for his secondary education, and dropped out from his Law course at the Lagos State University to concentrate on music.
9ice began his singing and writing career at the age of fourteen. Being a big fan of Pasuma Wonder, 9ice kick-started his singing career with Fuji music. He derives his inspiration from his environment, and music from the likes of Ebenezer Obey, King Sunny Adé, Tatalo Alamu, Late Alhaji Ayinla Omowura and also from Late Alhaji Haruna Ishola.
After recording his first demo titled Risi De Alagbaja in 1996, 9ice joined a group called Mysterious Boys with whom he did a couple of tracks before going on to form his own defunct group called Abinibi.
His first solo song “Little Money” which came four years later in 2000, was his first major break, as 9ice and his music started gaining recognition in the Nigerian music market.
Not long after then he did collaborations with different Nigerian artists and led to the release of another hit single titled Ganja Man. Ganja Man, which was released with other songs in March 2006, was produced by Id.Cabasa. 9ice later found his own record company ALapomeji Records and release all other album under his label.
His hit song Gongo Aso, from his sophomore album also titled Gongo Aso, became a major breakthrough for 9ice as it became a sort of national anthem sang at almost every occasion in the country at the time. Other tracks from the album includes Street Credibility, Party Rider, Pamurogo, and Photocopy among others.
9ice has also done collaborations with Ruggedman, Lord of Ajasa 2Face Idibia, and many others.
With his rise to stardom, 9ice has featured prominently across Nigerian campuses in the Soundcity/MTN Campus Blast tours. He performed at Lets Go There Tour With Ariya Entertainment in NY, LA, Chicago, Houston, Maryland 2008, Star Mega Jam 2007 – 2010, London Troxy 2008, 2010.
9ice also performed at the Nelson Mandela 90th Birthday Tribute concert in London in 2008, singing “Gongo Aso”. He also headlined sold-out shows in the Netherlands and Malaysia in October 2010 to mark Nigeria’s 50 years independence anniversary.
Also in 2010 9ice embarked on a European tour covering some parts of Italy, Spain and Switzerland. 9ice also performed live in Cyprus at Lions garden where many Nigerian students where in attendance.
9ice has won several award to his credits, this includes:
– Nigerian Entertainment Awards Most Indigenous Act 2007
– MOBO (Music of Black Origin) Best African Act 2008
– 2008 MTV Africa Music Awards Best Hip Hop Artist
– 2008 Dynamix Awards Artist the Year
– 2009 Hip Hop World Artist of the Year, Song of the Year
– 2009 Future Awards Musician of the Year and many more…
In July 2008, 9ice married Toni Payne after the two reportedly met through a mutual friend, Ruggedman. In 2010, 9ice announced his separation from his wife. It was then rumored that the marriage crashed due to infidelity.
It was also speculated that his controversial song ‘Once Bitten’ was directed at Toni Payne’s perceived romance with Ruggedman but 9ice debunked all the claims.
In January 2014, 9ice announced plans to run for political office in 2015 as a House of Representatives member representing the Ogbomoso North Constituency, Oyo state in the National Assembly. He did contest for the seat under the umbrella of the APC but lost at the party primaries.
In April 2015, the ‘Gongo Aso’ singer was appointed special adviser to the governor of Oyo state, Abiola Ajimobi.