In an interview with Lagos-based evening paper, PM News, last November, with the headline, “I put mask on Lagbaja’s face,” Are says, “I called Lagbaja and told him he had to start wearing the mask. Although it was not easy because he was not happy about the suggestion initially, he had to agree with me as a man who knows where he was coming from - the background, family andschool days, among other things. He said hehad friends working in the bank as managing directors and others and that I should not make him look stupid before them. But I thank God and Lagbaja too, because he believed in me….I pushed Lagbaja into the N3 million Naira class and that’s what I do for all my artistes.”
Even though his attention was drawn to the publication, Lagbaja says he did not react thinking such would not happen again. But he confesses to have been shocked out of his wit when, in a national newspaper last weekend, Are claims once again, “We had a concept which was to have a faceless human being that can sing, play the instrument and dance. Initially, we were using one of our friends, Kunle Ojomo. And at a time, we used different persons to wear the mask. But one day, I told Lagbaja that he needed to start wearing the mask. When I told him, he was angry at the beginning. I told him the concept was most suitable for one who plays the instrument and who can also dance. He could sing, dance and play the instrument. But after three months of trying out the mask, he got used to it and now Lagbaja has come to stay. But it took my iron hand to achieve that and I thank God.”
There were other claims ranging from how he helped songstress, Asa, withering reggae star, Majek Fashek, and Mo’Hits helmed by Don Jazzy and D’banj, among others, to find their musical bearing. However Lagbaja called E-Punch to discountenance Are’s claims that he created, managed, set up Lagbaja’s band, took him to Sony Music and compelled him to wear the mask. He later sent a strongly-worded treatise to E-Punch, which he titled ‘Beware of Sunday Are’s delusions of grandeur’ to underscore his position.