Adebayo Taiwo Oluseyi popularly known as “Bembe Aladisa” once ruled the music scene with his debut album “E wa fun mi ni visa” which rented and hijacked the social scene. The agile, creative, energetic musician is now back to the music scene after a long vacation with a bang.
He tells the story of how government forces, operating under different names intimidated him and his new album which would rock the entertainment scene very soon. Excerpts
Your journey into the music world?
Unlike other Artistes that started music from their mother’s womb. I started my music career in the church as a juvenile choir and while I was growing I use to listen to Fela Anikulapo and Bob Marley, I see these people as freedom fighter, then I never knew what they were singing, because I grew up in the Barracks, as a Barrack boy, the only language I understood then was pidgin english, but musically, they penetrates my soul, I responded to their lyrics, their musical instrumentation.
Through all these, I knew these people were saying no to something’s and they were saying the fact, since then, I have chosen to be an activist who doesn’t like oppression and that’s me naturally.
How did you get your inspiration for “E wa fun mini visa”?
Let me tell you one thing, the inspiration for “Ewa fun mi ni visa” is still there and if we are not careful, it would continue to be there, it is what we are seeing and experiencing every day.
We need not to deceive ourselves, in Nigeria today, how many families can afford three square meal in a day, how many families eat balanced diet, how many families can afford good qualitative education, the fact is that, what we are seeing is what inspired me, what is around us is what I sing, I can’t say we are okay while we are hungry.
The Bible says in Proverb29:2, “when the wicked are on throne the people will start mourning, when the righteous are in authority, the people will be happy”, the question is that, Are we happy or we are sad in Nigeria? If I am seeing happiness, I would sing in that line, but if I am experiencing sadness, I am going to sing what I am seeing, I cannot pretend.
Based on the speculations then, is it true that you were denied visa at the US and UK embassies?
Our people failed to understand that “Ewa fun mi ni visa” is a slogan (chorus), the main message was not in any way related to visa issue at all. Although, I later heard that I was denied visa, in fact, I had never applied for visa, some invitations I got was through the music.
Your role model?
I love Fela Anikulapo because, he is a blunt person, though some people criticize him because he smokes, but that should be regarded as a personal habit, love him with the message of his music, which is very powerful, he preaches freedom.
After the release of the aforementioned track, you seem to be reticent, more so disappear from the music scene, what has being wrong with you since all these while?
I believe, there is time for everything, I never ran away from the music scene. I am married and I have to put everything together to take good care of my family.
Though, there was a time the former president, General Olusegun Obasanjo was abusing Idris Abdulkareem and I based on the release of my track “Ewa fun mi ni visa” where he called me bastard. He was furious about the development, that how on earth would an Egba Indigene be singing against his government, I was very aggressive then, I responded, believing that one should be free to express his/her feelings, Baba Obasanjo was very mad at me.
I was harassed, intimidated and arrested on several occasions by the police and other law enforcement agents asking me about my main motive of accusing the government, so when it became unbearable, I have to find my way, but now I am really back to the music scene.
Were you fulfilled with the release of “E wa fun mi ni visa” in terms of fame and smiling to your bank account?
I was fulfilled in terms of fame but smiling to my bank account is nothing to write home about. After it was banned on airwaves, it was also pirated in Asia, United Kingdom, even everywhere, but I got the fame, I hope in not too distance future, money would soon follow.
How soon are we expecting another album from Bembe Aladisa?
Very soon. I just finished the audio of my new album preparing for the video.
How would you describe the present situation in Nigeria?
The compound is gradually taking new shapes, but we see rugged and worried faces living in the compound, it is a message. If Abuja continue to look beautiful, what about the people, are they well fed; do you see smiles on their faces?
What would that be to the people we are leading? The common man needs some basic amenities, Nigerians are suffering, poverty, hunger and unemployment are prominent in our Country, our leaders must be alive to their responsibilities.
Any message for Nigerians?
In my new album “Naija Youth Prayer”, I am appealing to our youths that we should keep on praying, after the prayer, if it entails work which could be peaceful, violent or revolution, I think we should encourage that. Nigeria is blessed with ample of natures’ gift, why are we suffering?, I strongly believe Nigeria would be great again, but the question now is, is it in my own time?
My message is that Nigerians should keep praying and watching!
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