I Can Never Fight Pasuma, Obesere And Saheed Osupa, But There Must Be Respect – Wasiu Ayinde

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Ace fuji musician, Wasiu Ayinde, in this interview with Tribune, speaks on the alleged fights within the fuji music scene and the leadership of the country. Excerpts:


 


You are coming up with a new stage performance called ‘Unusual.’ What is unusual about this concert?


Unusual will be unfolding itself little by little. We won’t sit down here and reveal what is unusual because that is the magic of the market, but it will soon come to the public. The magic behind it is that we want to present music at its best.


Why did it take you this long to do the ‘unusual’?


 


Not only fuji music, but music generally. We have been doing it but we think that now, it is important that we put more pressure on our people, especially the leadership. When a nation is drifting apart, you should give them what can unite them. Nigeria is in a serious mess. The political class has failed us. They have turned us into something else. It is only football that still unites Nigerians. So, we feel if football can be doing it, we can also make music unite the people. That is part of the unusual.


Is it right to say your musical tours have been responsible for your album not coming out regularly like before?


I will tell you something: when you are a touring act and you are at the centre stage, and for that matter, you have the opportunity of meeting and interacting with a whole lot of artistes from different countries, you will meet many other popular artistes from other parts of the world who are also on tour. A tour is like a World Cup where you see people from America, Africa and other places coming together, eating and drinking, like the best of Argentina and Brazil, they will interact and what is different is maybe their language and the country they represent. Likewise, a tour is a global thing and the record is there. A tour is not something I am just starting, I have featured in different highly rated musical concerts across the world and I still come out with new albums, fantastic albums. I also have singles, so, there is no way a show can slow me down or affect the production of my albums. I have been touring the world for decades and now, I have a single featuring Olamide.


 


Your new album is entitled ‘State of the Nation.’ What informed such a title?


State of the Nation is about the situation we face in our country. The country is falling apart day by day. The problem is getting more serious every day. The peace that is essential in running a nation is becoming a mirage and I felt it is for people like us to come out and lend our voice like we alsways do because we can never rest.


What about ‘Sikiru-Olamide’?


‘Sikiru-Olamide’ is about the old and new generation. It is to say to you that these problems concern everybody. We are passing a message and the message is seriously passed.


Why the choice of Olamide and not any other artiste?


My relationship with everybody is great and I have featured different people. I featured 9ice in a work that bordered on development and life of women. I featured other artistes too. Having Olamide at this point in time is also good and as I said, it borders on a message for the old and the new generations to come together and say we are sharing the same understanding and we want solution in this matter.


Talking about peace, there are always battles for supremacy among fuji artistes. How would you describe the situation presently?


The issue that is dear to me is moving our forward, good presentation of music and entertainment. It is not about personalities. We get it wrong every time we try to personalise issues. We want to know if K1 and Shina Peters are on talking terms. Many people don’t know that Shina Peters and I were childhood friends and we maintain our relationship. But for them to be convinced, people would want to see you together every day. If they don’t, it means there is a fight. It can’t be like that. We are all very busy.


Would you say you have good relationship with the likes of Pasuma and Saheed Osupa?


I have a good relationship with everybody. What I don’t like is when you personalise issues by mentioning Obesere. I am a senior colleague to all these great people. It is a wrong notion when people say I am fighting Saheed Osupa. This man is so junior to me. When we talk about fuji music, this is my 43rd year as a practitioner. I am a senior colleague to all these guys you are talking about. We are colleagues, yes, but even in the journalism that you practise, I know there is respect. That is the way we should see it. So, asking questions about me and Obesere is like asking a father, ‘do you talk to your son?’ This is very demeaning and unfair. Let’s stop this.


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Why is it that an average fuji artiste marries more than one wife?


We were in this country when Fela (Anikulapo Kuti) married 27 wives. Whatever anybody decides to do with his life, we should not criticise it. Even in the Bible, Solomon married many wives and had so many concubines and the world did not crucify him.


Is it true that you relocated to your hometown where you just built a palatial house so as to actualise your political ambition?


I am not running for any political office. I am an entertainer, a very serious musician. My movement from here back to Ijebu-Ode was not politically motivated. I could move to Ibadan. I have had a very big house in Ibadan for the past 21 years and I always go there. People always come to see me there and they didn’t say I lived there because I wanted to contest in Ibadan. I grew up in Ibadan. I am a nationalist


At the moment, most musicians have departed from singing songs that carry strong messages. What we now have are just the beats and sounds. Doesn’t this bother you?


There are lots of artistes that are passing their messages if you listen to them very well. It is a trend because the world accepts it. But what I personally feel is that they should allow the message to come out clear to the people, let the people hear what they want to hear. But the leadership has been faulty to the level that everybody is just looking for money. We thank God for whatever the situation is, but if you see Femi Kuti on stage, you will find a good performer.




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I Can Never Fight Pasuma, Obesere And Saheed Osupa, But There Must Be Respect – Wasiu Ayinde
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