The celebrated musician, who clocked the age of 60 on Thursday 2nd March, 2017, said at a discussion programme organized by the Nigerian Breweries Plc with its popular brand, Goldberg at the Lagos Airport Hotel on Wednesday 1st March, 2017 that Fuji Music has gone through a lot over the years.
The programme was organized to provide a roundtable discussion on Yoruba Music with focus on Fuji and Juju Music.
KWAM 1 stated that he could see a large followership of Fuji Music with the way the audience discussed the music and that he started singing Ajiwere music at the age of six.
“I have been in music since age six, but I can tell you that I have spent 54 years of my life singing Fuji Music. I spent about 10 years as an apprentice before I started my own band. I started living with the late Fuji Music legend, SikiruAyinde Barrister at the age of eight.
“I lived in a single room with him and I read him like a book. I was the closest to him till he died. I want to say that I am only lucky to be more successful than some of my contemporaries in music. I started my life in Lagos Island and I was born at number 22, Okesuna Street, Lagos,” he said.
The talented artiste however, debunked the claim that the late Sikiru Ayinde formed the name; ‘Fuji’ after Fuji Island in Japan and that older musicians started the genre of music.
He said that Fuji is derived from the word, “Faaji” which he said means fun in Yoruba Language.
“It means kinni faaji e, kinni fuji e. Ajiwere and Ajisari gave birth to Fuji. We used to discuss this, when the late Barrister was alive. We must get all the facts right in anything we do. There were several Fuji musicians such as Sikiru OmoAbiba, Ajadi Ganiu Loluwole, Abinuwaye Bashiru” he said.
KWAM 1 revealed that Fuji Music has gone all over the world and that he has performed at several centre stages all over the world, adding that he always sings in Yoruba Language wherever he went.
The Chief Speaker at the event, the Dean of Students Affairs at the University of Lagos, Professor Tunde Babawale had traced the history of Juju and Fuji Music earlier in his keynote address.
He praised the efforts of KWAM 1, who he said paved way for the youth with his style of Fuji Music and Sir Shina Peters for his innovative entrants into Juju Music, which he said has also attracted the young ones.
Babawale recalled that KWAM 1 introduced fast tempo into Fuji Music with ‘Talazo 84,” and wondered why he dropped ‘Talazo’ brand of the music.
According to him, no people can do without giving recognition to music, adding that Juju and Fuji Music are peculiar to the Yoruba people.
He emphasized that the two brands of music rely on traditional instruments and that Juju Music is traceable to ‘Saaro,’ which he said was associated with area boys.
The scholar however, said that the area boys of those days were entirely different from what is available now.
“Asiko Music was associated with area boys. Lagos became the home of Asiko Music and Juju Music was introduced by Tunde Nightingale before it extended to others like the late IK Dairo, Chief Ebenezer Obey, King Sunny Ade and others. The songs of Juju musicians resonate with the people. They sing about marriage, funeral, naming and others, and the sustenance of Juju Music is our culture,” he said.
He said further that Fuji Music has a heavy influence of Islam and that it started from Were Music and that the late Dr. SikiruAyinde Barrister turned it to Fuji Music.
The lecturer stressed that Barrister and Chief Kollinghton Ayinla contributed a lot to the development of Fuji Music.
Fuji music, he said, brings about the theme of love, destiny, marriage, religion and others and that the music serves a socio-political purpose.
“These music provide opportunities for families to come together, they promote friendship and ensure harmonious co-habitation of religious people.
“Fuji and Juju Music have made life better for our people despite the economic crisis in the country. The musicians sing to drive away sorrows and the music serve as sources of entertainment. The musicians praise successful people to inspire others and they serve as social commentators as they condemn social malaise and sing about the importance of honesty and role of the youths. They lubricate our culture and remind us of our history,” he stated.
The panel of discussants of Fuji Music including Mr. Ganiu Kayode Balogun, Sikiru Ayinde Agboola, Akeem Adenekan and Tosin Ajirire further traced the history of the music and agreed that it plays an important role in the development of the culture of the people and the country in general.
Juju Music panel of discussant including Mr. Femi Davies and Mr. Yemi Shodimu amongst others also eulogized the promoters of the music and urged the musicians to continue to use it to develop the society.
In his speech, popular Juju artiste, Sir Shina Peters promised to continue to do his best to promote the culture of the people through the music, and added that he decided to introduce a new dimension into the music some years back to make it catch up with the current trends in the country then.
Also at the event were the representative of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi, music and movie artistes, customers of NB Plc, and several others.