For almost 10 minutes, a lively debate ensued between juju legend Sir Shina Peters (SSP) and his Fuji counterpart Wasiu Ayinde (K1 De Ultimate) as they disagreed over the feasibility of modern pop musicians running a band as part of their work.
Both men were part of the Ariya Repete Roundtable Discourse that included Lekan Babalola, who has jointly won the Grammy twice; Jaywon, King Sunny Ade’s manager Clement Ige, Wole Sorunke and Hakeem Adenekan.
Jide Taiwo, Executive Editor of TheNETng, who moderated the discussion wanted to know if Shina Peters regretted infusing disco into juju music since younger artistes are now being blamed for not using Yoruba language in their music.
SSP defended his choice, saying his innovation was done to expand the horizon of juju music farther than his predecessors had. He then continued by advising younger artistes not to always rely on producers to create a quick beat for them, instead to learn how to own and run a band.
“You can imagine running a 28 piece band…can you imagine what that costs? And we that have bands like that have to do rehearsals every day. Meanwhile, when we are invited to events such as wedding receptions, we’re expected to just plug and play like these hip hop artistes. Let’s not even go into the type of money we’re offered compared to these young boys…” SSP said.
K1, who had hitherto been on SSP’s side, disagreed and said, “Shina is my friend but on this point, I’m going to disagree with you. You know how expensive it is to run a 28-piece band, you can’t expect everybody to operate that same way. For instance, at the position I am now, I don’t have to travel with band boys like we used to do. There are drummers and instrumentalists all over the world. I only need to rehearse with them for a few days and we can do a show together. Running a band is expensive.”
He further stated, “For example, it’s not impossible to record and perform music by yourself. In my record Classical Fuji, I arranged and sang the whole track by myself. It was done in Berlin. There are things that technology can do for us and we must take advantage.”
The Ariya Repete Roundtable Discourse is an initiative of Nigerian Breweries beer brand Goldberg and is the only conference dedicated to sustaining the rich heritage of Yoruba music genres, fuji and apala as well as discovering new talents. Auditions started March 13 in Ado-Ekiti, Sango-Ota and across eight cities in Nigeria.