As King Sunny Ade clocked 70 on Thursday, founder of Elizade Nig. Ltd, Chief Mchael Ade-Ojo, in this interview with OMOTAYO LEWIS, speaks on the Juju King and his music.
What are your impressions of King Sunny Ade as he is popularly called?
He is a music genius, very talented especially in the Yoruba Language – our mother tongue. When I hear him sing; the lyrics, the composition in all his songs is very deep and meaningful to those who understand Yoruba.
He is a God-made, God-appointed musician because the ease with which he sings, dances on stage baffles me .That’s why I see him as very endowed and somebody who had lived with inspirational parents or those who took care of him when he was young.
Why did you say that?
Because of what he sings, they are deep, the proverbs, the stories he tells, and they are not just ordinary.
Can you recall your first encounter with him?
My first encounter with his music, I think, was in my university days, I can’t remember now. Either that or when I got to Lagos.
You are both from the same state.
Yes, and we became very familiar with each other. In fact, when I lost my mother, he was the one on the band stand at that event. I respect him as a God-made person. Sunny Ade is blessed.
You have gone through about eight decades of Nigerian music, when you look at the brand of KSA’s music and you compare him with the traditional milieu that preceded his, his own artistry and the younger generation who are several decades younger than you, what is your assessment?
It’s not easy to condemn one generation vis- a-vis another. People live with whatever evolves in their own generation. Now we have globalisation because of the radio, the television, the internet. So, with that, the music of nowadays are not as meaningful and inspirational as before.
Music is formed by seeing situations and putting that in a dance form; so, music is a change agent either to correct bad bahaviour in the community or to praise those who have done well. When a situation is going on in the country you put it in a form that people will remember for a long time. Musicians do research and put such into a form that can make people dance or cry.
You had turned 70 before now. KSA turned 70 on Thursday, what counsel do you have for him?
What counsel can l have for Sunny? He’s been doing very well. My prayer is that God will continue to bless him and for him to be able to continue for as long as he is willing and able to go on. You know about 20 years ago he was advised to quit but he sang a song to say there is no quitting the stage. You will find out that many people have taken root from his music, singing his song and imitating him. That’s why l refer to him as a musical genius.
Which of King Sunny Ade’s song is your favourite?
My favourite is the one he sings for me when am on the floor. It is something like this:
Wa sowo wa jere, wa jere oun ti o ba fowo re se (2ce)
Sasa eda lo le samin adura yen
Sugbon ni tire (Ade. Ojo) O sami adura o gbe to e mi, Ere lomo oloja nje o
Wa a jere, wa a jere oun ti o ba fowo re se…
That’s the song he sings for me and it turns my head and l put my hand in my pocket and begin to spray him.
Why is that song meaningful to you?
Because it agrees with my way of life. It is true that only a few people can say amen to that prayer. I know whatever God has blessed me with is through Him and the work of my hand.
Once he sights me at an event, that is the song he starts and it so agrees with me that without asking me, people see that l laboured for what l have acquired over the years.