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.
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.
“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.
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!
How popular gospel singer, Dare Melody, band members narrowly escaped death
Nigerian gospel singer, Damilare Odunuga, popularly known as Dare Melody and his band members have many blessings to count besides their achievements and fortune as they narrowly cheated death on Saturday.
Mega Icon Magazine reliably gathered that Dare Melody left Ibadan, the Oyo State Capital where he had successful outings at Celestial Church, Goshenland Parish and the New Seraph All White Concert.
The gospel artist explained, “the journey was smooth until around 4.15am when mh band’s vehicles were moving in convoy until they sighted the traffic at Mowe. As it became imperative, the vehicles’ normal speeds were reduced to barest minimum.
“At this point, I suddenly heard a loud, nasty noise, a 40 feet heavily loaded truck struggled with brake failure and hit my car from the rear.
“I’m simply bereft of words to explain how it happened, but it was in the wee hours of Saturday November 21, 2020.
“My band members and I left for Lagos from Ibadan where we just had successful outings at Celestial Church, Goshenland Parish and the New Seraph All White Concert”.
He narrated further, “ the situation left me unconscious, for sometime I never knew what happened and where I was. My car had been tumbled and squeezed.
“I later heard voices, particularly the ones shouting he’s our Chairman. That must be voices of my band members.
Still trapped in an obnoxious enclosure, Dare Melody added that certain negative thoughts ran across his mind until rescue came from passersby who joined his band members to prise open one of the doors and pulled out the four of them in his car.
“It was like watching a movie with lots of stunts. We were all healthy, safe but this story is not sound.
“It was only one of the truck boys that fell off It, during the accident that got severely injured.
“Everyone at the scene blamed and even threatened to beat up the truck driver, claiming that truck drivers had caused deaths serially on that road, but for quick intervention of officers from Mowe Police station”.
Presently, the singer and music producer iis with grateful heart to God who spared his and others’ lives, especially during the dreaded “ember months.
Both his vehicle and the truck were taken to the Mowe Police station.
“Our plan was to get to Lagos early on that Saturday, settle at a relaxation apartment in Ilupeju before moving to Baptist Academy, Obanikoro where we later performed at a wedding ceremony.
“I give God the glory that I’m alive to tell this agonising tale. However, I passionately appeal to the government to quickly fix this road and ensure that its agencies thoroughly examine worthiness of vehicles on our roads. We have had enough of avoidable road accidents, our lives matter, please”, he submitted.
PHOTOS: Ayefele gifts brand new cars to ace broadcasters in Ibadan
Far-famed Nigerian gospel singer and Chairman of Fresh 105.9 Ibadan, 106.9 Ado-Ekiti and 107.9 Abeokuta FM Radio Stations, Dr. Yinka Ayefele on Wednesday gave out two brand new cars to ace broadcasters, Komolafe Olaiya and Olalomi Amole in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
“Komolafe Olaiya and Olalomi Amole were today presented with car gifts by the Enigma, Dr. Yinka Ayefele”, the post read.
Over the years, the Nigerian music producer, Ayefele has been known for his generosity towards encouraging his staff regardless of their tribes.
Lagos govt. grants pardon to Funke Akindele, husband over breach of COVID-19 regulations
The Lagos state government on Friday granted pardon to actress, Funke Akindele, and her husband, Abdulrasheed Bello, who had earlier been convicted for an offence related to the disobedience of COVID-19 lockdown regulations.
The Director, Public Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Kayode Oyekanmi, in a statement noted that the couple was granted pardon because they were non-custodial convicts.
The statement also revealed that 56 inmates from various correctional Centres were granted state pardon.
“A statement signed by the State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN, said Mr. Sanwo-Olu acted based on the recommendations of the State Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy, under the powers conferred on the Governor by Section 212 (1) & (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended,” the statement read in part.
“The 56 released inmates were recommended by the Advisory Council after due examination of their case files and consideration of the length of time served, the gravity of offence, old age and ill-health among other parameters.
“The Attorney General has also enjoined the beneficiaries to be good citizens and stay away from crime”.
It will be recalled that eight-member Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy, headed by Dr. Abayomi Finnih was inaugurated by Governor Sanwo-Olu in December 2019.
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