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Secrets of  Ayinde Barrister | By Tunde Busari

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I was rounding off in newsroom last night when a brother with whom I share feelings for songs of Dr Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, sent me a Sakara song, which sounds like that by Yusuf Olatunji but which is not Olatunji’s.

We analysed the song during which I brought in Barrister to his amazement anyway. He would always want such discussion with me perhaps based on his acknowledgement of my cult-like attention for Barrister’s voice, lyrics, percussion and style. I established a strong connection between Barrister and the audio he sent and by extension Sakara genre.

My little understanding of evolution of Barrister and fuji music rates Sakara as the soul upon which fuji leaned after Barrister had moved his music away from Ajisari, the genre of which he debuted in 1966 under African Song label owned by the late Alhaji Bolarinwa Abioro, the Yewa man who also produced the then Sunny Ade and His Golden Spot Band..

Barrister realized so early the limited scope of Ajisari which was and still is music exclusively made by and for Islamic faithful during the month of Ramadan only. In order to expand his fan base beyond mosques, he reverted to his love for SAka, a top Sakara crooner in the class of Yusuf Olatunji (Aka and Olatunji incidentally passed away months apart in1978). He was quoted as being a lover of Aka since he was a teenager, housing Aka’s songs in his memory few days after release of those songs to market.

His first live performance at a house warming held in Bariga, Lagos in the first quarter of the 70s saw Barrister playing Sakara to the consternation of older guests who could not believe a young man in early 20s could be so profound in a genre dominated by older generation of musicians.

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Barrister sang: “Won lalayinde ti kere ju o
Won ni ko le sere Sakara yi”

He sang the above excerpt to clear the air on doubt in the guests who attended the party only to witness a fumbling Barrister. However, he caught them unawares. In fact, he took them aback. The success recorded at that show opened door of live performances to him and his small band in a journey of no return. The band never returned to the starting point. Barrister put on his pant and set to swim in the same water with his mentor, SAka, Olatunji and other big fishes of Sakara.

But because he knew it won’t be easy, he slept and woke up with his drawing board, religiously researching, especially into Juju genre which was on its way to submerge Sakara, Apala and other genres, having effectively pushed the hitherto famous High-life to the rear at social parties. Gifted with brilliance and magnetic ear for details, Barrister found it convenient to adapt guitar arrangement of juju and turn it to fuji percussion, making juju fans to feel juju flavor in fuji. In other words, he stole capacity from juju to build fuji music.

This principle informed his unprecedented definition of fuji music in his elpee titled FUJI RAGGAE II in 1979. He asks: “Who can tell me the meaning of fuji sound?” His back-up vocalists reply pointedly that a man who decides to show off his proficiency in English Language before his unlettered in-law must prepare to translate the language for their comprehension.

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“Fuji sound is combination of music, consisting Sakara, Apala, Juju, Afro, Gudugudu, Aro, possibly High-life,” he responds. With that subjective definition, Barrister formally created a distinctive musical brand emerging the pace-setter and compass which would show direction to which that genre goes in indigenous music industry and beyond.

One may be tempted to argue that his definition was a fraud and permission to steal from other brands of music for his own survival. The argument can, however, be punctured looking into origin of some of those sounds from which Barrister tapped. Sakara, for instance, combined Hausa goje with rounded drums, which I learnt are not of Yoruba too, blended with Yoruba folklore. Juju too is fusion of High-life with Yoruba traditional songs. So, Barrister was in order, hence his successful drive of fuji music, always recording first among hundreds of fuji musicians till death took him away December 2010.

Essentially, Barrister was not complacent despite global recognition he had earned. He kept researching with a view to ensuring a permanent place for fuji through wining more fans of others genres. Were he alive, he would have studied the youthful Hip-Hop and picked important elements of the genre without losing fuji identity.

Also, to pay tribute to a late musician in studio, he would lay his song on a popular track of the recipient and render it perfectly and inspiringly. He did this to Yusuf Olatunji (FUJI RAGGAE II, 1979), Ayinla Omowura (AYE, 1980), Bobby Benson (NIGERIA,1983), Haruna Isola (MILITARY, 1984) I.K. Dairo (INFERNO, 1996) and attracted patronage of fans of those musicians.

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On a final note, when you are hardworking, focused and innovative, top seat is assured for you. But in a society as ours, where arithmetical law is freely raped in broad daylight, tons of luck are required to reach destination.

Barrister was hardworking, focused, innovative and lucky to have come at a right time when another person had not come up with definition of fuji sound. Unfortunately, he died young. But that was his wish, his consistent wish to share attributes with Prophet Muhammed. Is he not sharing it, in terms of immortality with his elpees still selling and songs daily on air home and abroad?

Good morning, and happy birthday to Deji Badru, our very big boy. Happy birthday too to Idris Okusajo. Congratulations!

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PHOTOS: Odebunmi facilitates  film making training for constituents

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The lawmaker representing Ogo Oluwa/ Surulere Federal Constituency, Hon. Segun Dokun Odebunmi has facilitated an empowerment training program for members of his Constituency on Film Making and Cinematography for self reliance.

Odebunmi, who also chairs the House Committee on Information, National Orientation, Ethics and Values on Thursday informed that the training was part of  his quest for human development.

Remarking, the lawmaker justified the training as  one of the ways of encouraging the youths to think out of the box and make use of the technology advancement to create another source of income.

” I grew up in this community and I know what majority of our people are passing through especially now that the economy of the world is being challenged, people need multiple streams of income and I am making  use of every opportunity to assist my people by training them on how to make use of their talents and make more money through entertainment”, he said.

He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of the  National Assembly for the opportunity, urging the participants to take the advantage to better their lots .

The lead speaker, Mr Maruff Ajibolu charged  participants to take full compliment of the training as Nigeria’s creative industries are slowly breaking new grounds and currently recognised as among the biggest globally.  This he noted led to its marking as a priority sector in the FGN’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan with a very high projected income  over the coming years and also led the Federal government to grant most segments within the creative industries including Nollywood conditional access to pioneer status incentives which include holidays from the payment of companies’ income taxes as well as withholding tax on dividends from pioneer profits for an initial period of three years.

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Also remarking, a key player in the creative industry, Mr. Muyiwa Ademola also harped on the huge potential subsumed in cinematography and film making. The Nollywood star further noted  that the event was a rare opportunity, because it has always been either FG , CBN and World bank projects.

“It was designed to help people discover their talents and passion with the intent of turning it into a source of income”, Ademola added.

The training which took place concurrently at Resource Centre, Igbo-Ile Surulere LG and Ajaawa Town Hall, Ajaawa, Ogo-Oluwa LG, had other notable speakers which included, Mr Yemi Ogunyemi,  Mr Ojo Oluwatona.

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At 90, I can’t venture into acting again – Iya Osogbo

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Veteran Yoruba actress, Madam Grace Owoola Oyin-Adejobi, popularly known as Iya Osogbo on Tuesday said that she would never venture into the business of acting again in her life.

She also spoke for the first time about the day an excited fan nearly ran her into a gutter with her jeep vehicle on her way to the office of one of her children in Ibadan, the capital city of Oyo State.

According to her, this experience has remained indelible in her memory because her thought was that the day was going to be her last on planet earth, except in the end it did not turn out as she feared initially.

“The fan eventually came down from her car to let me know that she merely wanted to exchange greetings with me. She later enveloped ten thousand naira and dashed me.”

Iya Osogbo who was the wife of the late versatile actor in the Yoruba genre, Chief Oyin Adejobi made these revelations while featuring on Parrot Xtra Hour on Radio anchored by Olayinka Agboola in Ibadan.

The veteran actress added that she started her acting career some 67 years ago and she also mentioned that she had already made her name before she acted in the film titled “Eran Iya Osogbo” thereby correcting the erroneous belief her admirers had held before now.

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She said that unlike now when acting has become not only the in-thing and profitable, in her time, parents frowned at people, especially women who ventured into the profession as they were generally regarded as unserious types and therefore wayward.

Madam Oyin-Adejobi expressed her displeasure over the near-nudity being practiced by actresses in Nigeria, advising them not to be deceived by the pleasures of the world but to believe that they can succeed through dint of hard work and the grace of God.

On how she met her late husband, Oyin Adejobi who died in the year 2000, she said that both of them went to the same school and were also living on the same street, saying that right from the start of his career, he was never under a boss.

She said that apart from the death of her husband, the lowest point for her life was when her fourth child, a female died .

“It took me a long time to recover from that experience”, she said.

However, her happiest moment was when she gave birth to her first child, a boy in 1954.

Iya Osogbo narrated further that whenever their theater group went to stage plays or was showing a film in a cinema house, she was the one who used to sell ticket unmindful of what some miscreants might do, “as I know that they all love me adding that it was at Jebba that we raised the gate fee of our shows to twenty Kobo which had a lot of value unlike what obtains nowadays where the value of money is nothing to write home about”.

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She admonished younger generation of Nigerians on the need to work hard and be focused.

“I got to attain this age because of God’s mercy. In addition, the Almighty also gave me the wisdom of preserving my body and being moderate in all I have been doing. Our youths should emulate this too. They should learn to be God fearing too.”

Iya Osogbo, who featured prominently in productions like Orogun Adedigba, Kuye, Kootu Ashipa and others will officially turn 90 on Sunday. She equally announced that there will be no formal event to mark the occasion.

She added , “All my admirers including colleagues and family members have agreed to postpone whatever plan they have to celebrate my 90th birthday because we must obey NCDC’s COVID-19 prevention rules.”

 

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Burna Boy Unveils New Album ‘Twice As Tall’

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Nigerian Grammy-nominated Damini Ogulu professionally known as ‘ Burna Boy’ has released a fresh album, titled “Twice As Tall, ” a follow-up to his 2019 album, “African Giant.”

The 15-track album released on Thursday, featured Senegalese artist, Youssou N’Dour, O.G, Chris Martin, U.K. rapper Stormzy, afro-pop band Sauti Sol among others.

According to Burna Boy,  the “Twice As Tall” album is “a journey through a bunch of emotions and energies at different points in time. It has now morphed into something bigger than me. It serves as a bridge for mankind to show that we’re all different but still very much the same.”

In a post on his Instagram page following the release of the new album, the artist commended  those who played significant roles  in the success of the project, saying he is grateful for the “unreal talents” that went into the production.

The post reads, “I’m grateful for the unreal talents that came together from ALL over the world to pull this off

“Shout out to the OG @diddy for coming on board and sprinkling his own unique spice on this! I hope I’m able to spark something in you when you listen.”

Burna’s new album was produced by Diddy, Bose Ogulu and the afro-pop fusion singer himself.

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