Musicians should not see themselves as competitors — Ebenezer Obey

Legendary Musician, Ebenezer Obey, on Tuesday advised Nigerian musicians to stop relating with colleagues as competitors but as contributors to musical and societal growth.

Obey gave the advice during the press briefing for Ariya Eko musical festival held at National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.

The musical festival, slated for Dec. 15 at Lagos City Hall, Lagos Island, will feature renowned and upcoming musicians.

Obey said that musicians relating as competitors would create an unhealthy rivalry, which was not good for their career.

”Musicians must not see themselves as competitors because everyone has his or her talent, which is unique to them.

”Two of my children are musicians; they play my own kind of music but they do not play exactly like me, so every musician has some uniqueness and we must learn to respect one another’s talent.

“Musicians should see themselves as contributors to the growth of the music industry and the nation, but not as competitors,” he said

Obey, one of the musicians to perform in the Ariya Eko musical festival commended the organisers — the Evergreen musical company and the Lagos state government — for promoting music indigenous to the nation and Africa.

”Ariya Eko started a long time ago and it stands to develop indigenous music like Juju, Fuji, Afro-beat, Apala and all.

”I really appreciate Gov Sanwo-Olu of Lagos state for believing in artists and upholding the annual festival,” he said.

Mrs Bimbo Esho, Managing Director, Evergreen Musical Company and organiser of Ariya Eko musical festival said that the 2019 edition would feature upcoming and renowned indigenous musicians.

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She said the essence of this was to encourage the production of “evergreen music” which would stand the test of time and promote the nation’s cultural heritage.

Esho, daughter of Mr Femi Esho, a highlife music enthusiast who supported the preservation of works of Nigerian musicians for decades, said the festival was slated for Dec. 15 at Lagos City Mall.

She  over the use of vague languages, obscene images in musical videos which were against African culture as the festival absolutely negated these but promoted morality and African culture

”Ariya Eko musical festival is a platform where we want to create awareness for the indigenous musicians with positive musical content; most of them are not known yet and they sing beautifully well.

“We are also celebrating Lagos state and its cultural heritage because hardly will you find a renowned musician who would not relay his or her history without mentioning Lagos.

”The international tourists are more interested in our music and not Hip-hop, Rhymes and Blues; we must promote our own for international recognition and acceptance.

”Some of the musicians to feature during the festival are Sir Shina Peters, Jimi Solanke, Ebenezer Obey, Obesere, Ibitayo Jeje, Omileyan, Oseni Ejire, Shola Vibrator, Aralola and many more,” she said.

Nigerian Flutist, Omatshola Iseli, who would also be performing, promised to entertain revellers with some of his compositions.

He advised upcoming musicians to acquire more education to be successful in their profession.

According to him, music is a skill that must be learnt.

Iseli advised renowned musicians to constantly work on improving the quality of their music and guide against imitating others.

“We must all work to be professionals; the young generation of musicians should take time to learn from us. There is no short cut to doing good music,” he said.


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