Respected singer, Adewale Ayuba speaks toTOFARATI IGE on his views about the origin of fuji music
What is your take on the claim made by K1 de Ultimate that Barrister is not the creator of fuji music?
The issue at hand is like asking people for the ingredients of Coca-Cola. Some may say it is just water with colouring agents, while other people may see it in a different light. I think that is what is happening right now. All I know is that majority of Nigerians know that Barrister is the creator of fuji music; it is not in contention. I also think that people just didn’t understand the point K1 was trying to make; you know people often misinterpret statements. And it could also be a mistake so let’s forgive and forget.
What do you know about the origin of fuji music?
I grew up to know Barrister as the king of fuji music. It started from were music and he was the one that turned it to fuji music. As for me, I know that Sikiru Ayinde Barrister is the owner of fuji music. All the people who are knowledgeable about fuji that I have called also agree that Barrister is the originator of fuji music. I have that understanding but some other people might not have that information. It doesn’t mean that K1 is a liar. However, in my view, it is not who is the originator of fuji that is important at this point, it is better we talk about the problems facing fuji music now. At the moment, there is no income for any fuji artiste in Nigeria. Fuji artistes don’t release albums like they used to do because they know they wouldn’t make their money. The pirates are having a field day counterfeiting our works and the government is keeping quiet. Everything in life is about legacy and I don’t pray to leave Nigeria in this state. I am 52 years old now and I want things to get better.
What do you think can be done to effectively deal with piracy?
It is for the government to do the right thing and act decisively. Once anybody is caught with pirated copies of intellectual materials, they should be imprisoned for 10 years. They should treat pirates the same way they deal with oil thieves. It is only when that is done that the entertainment industry can get better and entertainers would live well. It is sad that at the twilight of their lives, artistes often live in penury despite all the songs and albums they might have waxed. Then, people would start parading them on TV and begging for funds to pay their hospital bills; it really shouldn’t be so. Hip hop artistes are still able to release albums because most of what they use can be gotten off the internet but their style of music is not original and that’s why they cannot win awards like Grammy. But the process of making Fuji is more expensive.
Have you ever met with government at any level to table your grouse about piracy?
Yes, a lot of times, just that I cannot be mentioning names. There was a time I went with King Sunny Ade and some other respected musicians to Abuja but at the end of the day, nothing came out of it. The government knows the right thing to do; it’s just sad that they’re not taking it serious. Do you know that some pirates at Alaba market even approach us and ask us to pay a certain amount of money to avoid our albums being pirated? Even if one agrees to do that, they would only hold off for a while before eventually pirating the album.
What are you doing to sustain the growth of fuji music?
What I am saying about piracy is part of what I’m doing. If the activities of these pirates are not curbed, they may end up killing fuji music and we don’t want that to happen. Fuji artistes are no longer able to release albums like before and Fuji music cannot grow if albums are not released.
What are you doing to immortalise Barrister?
In my last album, Wonder Man, I sang a lot about Barrister and it is not a one-off thing. I have been doing that for a while.