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Talented, yet awaiting gold mine

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GBENGA ADENIJI writes on some gifted Nigerian artistes who despite being gifted and popular have yet to make mega


GBENGA ADENIJI writes on some gifted Nigerian artistes who despite being gifted and popular have yet to make mega bucks.

he nation’s entertainment industry is a terrain where stories of many of its players change overnight. Often, people become amazed when they see some artistes suddenly rise from obscurity to limelight, raking good money from concerts, product endorsement and album sales.




But as money-spinning as the industry looks, some musicians, who though creatively-endowed, have yet to reap from the industry’s bounties. Indeed, they display all the talent, sing al the good songs and put up the most amazing stage crafts without winning a smile from the god of fortune.


Austin Peter, popularly called Prince Wadada - now King Wadada – is one of such. He is a skilful gospel reggae artiste who took the industry by storm with his first single titled Holy, Holy, Holy. Wadada, who once said he started music professionally in 1991, gained fame from the single before he produced a full album. He was to later prove critics wrong that he was not a one album superstar when he released If Men Were God in 2004. The maturity of his compositions also leaves none in doubt that he is an intelligent artiste. But if creativity were measured in terms of money, Wadada may not be said to have enjoyed that in good measure.


Besides, those who are familiar with Galala, an eclectic Ghetto music brand, will readily remember Femi Mayomi - better known as Father U-turn. He ruled the airwaves with an album titled Padlock your Mouth, which featured the hit track, Yetunde. With a mellifluous voice which appealed to both old and young, Father U-turn warmly positioned himself as a force to reckon with in the entertainment industry. But he does not seem to get as much as he gave the sector. At a time, his album suffered a setback when pirates feasted on it and the record label handling it packed up six months after its release.

Father U-turn, who once took a bold step to study Mass Communication at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, is now not much of a major player in the industry, just as his musical efforts have not been hugely compensated.

Not a few will forget that the ego of some individuals who have high opinion of themselves was deflated when the satirical song of the Ajegunle warlord, Friday Ige, otherwise called Baba Fryo, was released into the market. Titled Denge Pose, the song derides people who overrate themselves and its easy-to-mime chorus made it an instant success.

The feat recorded by the album made Baba Fryo to quickly wax a sequel, Notice Me, which also upset the chart. But, as they say, good songs - like good stories - never die, the songs are still relevant till today. Ironically though, hip hop, the now reigning genre, has not only displaced galala, but has also made quite a number of its proponents yesteryear superstars. But Fryo’s fans have a consolation in the promise he gave to our correspondent. According to him, he is planning to release a new album, whose title he, however, refused to disclose.

He said, ‘‘I will do my best and leave the rest. I will bounce back musically with the grace of God.’’

On his part, King Wadada said there was nothing he needed that God had not provided for him from a wife, children, a house, a car to other things that make life meaningful. According to him, he just returned from a performance in Germany where he performed alongside some international super stars such as Rihanna. He further adds that as a former Kora Award Best Reggae Artiste in Africa, he has been relevant in the industry doing what is expected of him.

Olusegun Osaniyi , popularly known as Lord of Ajasa, is one singer whose emergence on the entertainment scene in 2000 - with the track "Ma yi lo" - redefined the Yoruba rap genre. Any doubt regarding his acclaimed grasp of the finest rap style in Yoruba was clearly erased when he consolidated ‘Ma yi lo’ with a single ‘Otiya’ in 2005.

As the ‘crowned’ Lord of Flavour - a literal term for Ajasa in Yoruba - this songbird has performed duet with many Nigerian musicians. By the time his maiden album titled ‘It’s Too Much’ was released, many music lovers had become familiar with the signature tune of the Lord of Ajasa. But as every good effort deserves adequate compensation, those who know the depth of the singer will want to see him romance gold mine the way his other counterparts such as 9ice, D’Banj, elDee and PSquare are currently doing.

In the Fuji genre, there is Asimiyu Ajebori, who is otherwise called Omogba Feeder. This artiste is believed to possess the same beautiful voice with the Bonsue Fuji originator, Adewale Ayuba. For about five years after the release of an album titled ‘Perfacto’, he disappeared from the music scene. Ajebori is a crowd pleaser whenever he holds the microphone to thrill the audience at any show. Nevertheless, many of his fans are hoping that his distinct music style will translate into robust monetary rewards for him anytime he returns on stage.

Of course, Ajegunle, stylishly called AJ City especially by its inhabitants, has produced many artistes. Prominent among them is the galala singer, Daddy Showkey, who has also slipped off the cliff of limelight. But apart from him, there are others who will lay claim to the area as being a source of inspiration for the honing of their musical talents. Such is Oritse Femi, who always tries to represent the city as one of its music ambassadors each time he performs.

With his album titled ‘Unfadeable’ and attention-grabbing track, Mercy of God, Oritse Femi does not look a bit tired in his resolve to expand the frontiers of his brand of music which he once described as reality and conscience music.

If anything, however, he is determined to reap from the industry and bountifully too. The interesting thing is that some of these artistes have tried their hands on love songs and lewd lyrics, just like their rich counterparts as a way of appealing to the listening public. The list is not limited to the foregoing musicians, perhaps based on the saying that turn by turn rolls the wheel of fortune, they are yet to reap great financial rewards.


Subscribe to comments feed Comments (19 posted)

Gold Rates 20/02/2012 07:15:39
Unbelievable! beautiful article very informative
Segun Adefila 07/07/2012 01:36:12
Brilliant article! My concern however is that it seems to equate success with money. It resonates the idea of 'if you can't count it, it doesn't count'. This idea negates the essence of art. Art and I mean art is deeper than how much you make. Our best arts for instance are invaluable. Ask the international museums that house them after they were stolen from us. The carver of Idia (Fetsac) had bigger purpose than monetary gains. What's his name? Who invented grinding stone, mortar and pestles? Someone designed those things. Someone composed our folksongs so let's rise up and get there.
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