Veteran fuji singer, (Wasiu Ayinde), popularly known as K1 de Ultimate, speaks to ISAAC OGUNTOYE about his music career, new Maiyegun of Yorubaland title and other issues
Did you envisage the Maiyegun title coming at this stage of your career?
Yes. We have been on the process for about 11 years. I actually expected it (to have come) a long time ago and I give God the glory that it eventually came to pass. Baba (Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III), wrote the letter about 11years ago. He said he wanted to take his time to study me and my music.
As the Maiyegun of Yorubaland, what would you be doing differently?
As the new Maiyegun of Yorubaland, I intend using the good office to develop people, especially the youth. We also want to bring all warring factions together under one umbrella. We know that Yorubaland is wide and we hold it as a duty to see that we live in peace and harmony with one another and also create opportunities for a large number of people. A nation without good plans for its people cannot be regarded as a working nation.
We are here to bring joy to our people. I don’t want to be seen as someone who creates problems but as one who is working for the progress of one’s people.
You’ve not had a smooth relationship with another fuji singer, Obesere for some time. Why is that?
Obesere is just one out of many musicians in the country. I served people before me and I never saw myself as being above them. I respected the fact that they were older than me and were also my leaders in the industry. I have good working relationships with several other musicians, so why single out Obesere? Whenever I organise concerts, I choose which of the artistes to feature based on information we collect from our patrons. I do that as a form of maintaining unity in the industry. So, I don’t know why people keep asking me about Obesere.
What’s your relationship with Pasuma?
Everybody is fine with me. They are all doing well. We should be seen as good people of a working nation, helping one another to keep the industry clean and growing for the betterment of the young ones coming after us. That’s what we should be thinking about, not about disagreements all the time.
It seems young people are no longer interested in fuji music. What do you think the future portends for fuji music?
The future of Fuji music is very strong and it is getting better every day. If proper research is done, you would find that all genres of music have new entrants every day. We shouldn’t just look at things on the surface. It is not only one genre of music that is making waves in the country. Meanwhile, there are different competitions out there to discover new talents in the fuji music industry and stars are being churned out every year.
What inspires your songs?
For someone that is so blessed in the area of music, it is a talent. Then, the next thing is to keep developing the skill and that is what I do. One tends to become an expert in whatever one does consistently. I don’t take music as a hobby but as something serious that earns me a living.
Do you compose some of the songs you perform on stage beforehand or are they spontaneous?
As a band, we go out (for performance) about six times a week, even sometimes every day. We compose songs based on what happens in society. Sometimes, people’s attitudes and behaviours determine what we sing on stage.
Also, I choose the kind of performances I accept because as a decent person, I shouldn’t be seen in some places. Lots of people regard musicians like their clerics who give sermons, lead services and advise people to follow the ways of God. Musicians are so blessed and for some of us that are able to make songs to correct social ills, we should be decent because we are role models.
As a Muslim, don’t you think your religion would clash with the Maiyegun title?
I am a believer in God. Wherever I go, I don’t do anything other than glorify God. If you have ever seen me in church, it is because it’s a good place to be. People come together in large numbers to praise God and rejoice with one another, just like God commanded.
I was born a Muslim but I believe in God’s existence. In my family, some choose to be Muslims while others become Christians. We don’t have to segregate. I don’t want to say one religion is good or not. I believe we are all worshipping God. For the non-Muslims and non-Christians, they also glorify God in whatever they do. God speaks to us in different ways and as a believer in God, I don’t condemn anything (or anyone). One can only condemn whatever does not honour God.
Your visit to the Genesis Global parish of the Celestial Church of Christ raised a lot of eyebrows. How did you feel about that?
I was invited to the church by a dear friend and brother, who I see as a good preacher touching the lives of people. I had read about the cleric in charge of the church, Israel Oladele, and I always saw people giving testimonies about the good deeds he had done for them.
I don’t see anything bad about going to a church where they praise God and good deeds are done. Even if you see me with traditional worshippers, the fact remains that they also serve God and humanity.
You have been romantically linked to several actresses. What is your relationship with them?
It is not everything that is said about one that one should respond to. I am a married man with children and a role model to many. I have friends that people see me around. Should I stop making friends simply because I don’t want people to talk? I will continue to make friends.
There was a lot of controversy when you reportedly said that the late Sikiru Ayinde (Barrister) was not the originator of fuji music. Did you actually mean that?
I never said Barrister was not the originator of fuji music. People just like to dwell on controversies. We have moved past that and I don’t want to talk about an issue that is long gone. Barrister was a great man. He was the one who mentored and tutored me on the rudiments of life, especially in the genre of music I play. I served and lived with him. Today, everything about me, to the glory of God, is due to the goodness of Barrister. I can’t come out to condemn him. When people want to create certain situations, they cook up something that is not real. But, I can’t fall for such petty and cheap things. Barrister is late today and someday, we would also all pass on. So, we shouldn’t speak ill of the dead.
What would you like to be remembered for?
I want to be remembered for all the good deeds I was able to do. If I do good, I would be remembered for it and if I do otherwise, I would be remembered for it as well. That’s why one has to be mindful of whatever one does.
What are some of the qualities that have helped you get this far in your career that the youth can emulate?
I am a very strong performer and I choose my lyrics carefully. I want anybody who wants to emulate me to be stronger in faith and hope. I believe anything worth doing at all, is worth doing well. That I am here today is a testament to the fact that I am serious and strong.
Many believe that fuji musicians are largely uneducated but you have never hidden you love for books. Are you an exception?
There are many musicians that are not educated; not just fuji artistes. Being educated is not a requisite for stardom. I have always loved to be among educated people and learn from them. And that propelled me to do all I’ve been able to do.
I have libraries in different parts of my house. Those libraries contain books about great people and I believe that one day, people would want to read about me too.
Have you written any book?
Yes, I have written many books. I have not told anyone about this but I plan to release those books. I am currently writing a book about the usage and understanding of music. I am trying to release some of my books in different languages such as Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba and English. That way, people can pick their choices.
Did the Alaafin of Oyo really say you shouldn’t prostrate yourself before any king?
That’s not what the king said. Our people just like to twist words to suit themselves and also false perceptions in people’s minds. The king only talked about the responsibilities attached to the Maiyegun. As the Maiyegun of Yorubaland, one should be mindful of whatever one does.
Secondly, there are older people who are ahead of me and I respect them. I wouldn’t say because I am now the Maiyegun of Yorubaland, I would start disrespecting them. I will respect those who deserve it as a true son of Yorubaland.
You are known to be a lover of pets including snakes. Do you still have those animals in your home?
Yes, I still have crocodiles, snakes, birds and many other animals.
You have a lot of cars. Why did you decide to recently acquire a Rolls Royce to your fleet?
If it gladdens my heart, why shouldn’t I continue to buy? Certain things come with new responsibilities. I have other brands of cars as well. At my age, if I buy a Rolls Royce, it is not out of place. There are people that are younger than me who work diligently and drive expensive cars. Buying a Rolls Royce is nothing special; I just wanted to enlarge my garage with something new.
You are close to the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. How have you been able to maintain the relationship?
We are both responsible people and that makes our relationship to keep getting stronger. When one does something good, older people would definitely embrace one and draw one closer.
Asiwaju is my leader. He is a good Nigerian that everybody would love to have around. I am proud to say I know him.
How do you relax?
All work and no play, they say, makes Jack a dull boy. I usually relax during the week and attend events on weekends.
Whenever I want to relax, I could take a dip in the swimming pool and if I want to relax, I would go to the kitchen and cook what to eat.
What define your dress style?
As the Maiyegun of Yorubaland, I must dress responsibly, even more than how I had been doing before. People should be able to see a difference; no matter how small.