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K1’s Sound Of Music

Interview News

K1’s Sound Of Music


IMG_9746WASIU AYINDE, otherwise known as Kwam1, has been at the forefront of promoting Nigerian music both at home and abroad. In this interview, he tells FUNKE OSAE-BROWN about his homecoming concert and how he groomed his art on the street

Dressed in a brown coloured safari jacket made of linen fabric, he sits before the large mahogany desk, a plate of fried rice spiced with large lobsters before him. He raises a couple of spoonful of rice to his mouth. He later signals to one of his boys to take the plate away, our chat is about to begin.

Food, the old adage says, is king, but what is more important to this man, Wasiu Ayinde, who has been dubbed king of Fuji, and popularly called Kwam1 which was later shortened to K1 the Ultimate, is his passion for Fuji music.

K1 has been at the forefront of prompting the Fuji music for four decades having trained with the late Sikiru Ayinde Barrister. Indeed, he has survived and is still surviving many generations of lovers of his music. He has taken his art beyond the shores of Nigeria and has succeeded in expanding the scope of his brand.

In a generation where Hip Hop is largely popular, Kwam1 has dared to hold a musical concert on November 21 at the Eko Hotel & Suites, Lagos. Given the shift in taste of young Nigerians for music, one would have thought it may be difficult for him to pull the kind of crowd synonymous with his performance in the early 1990s.

But K1 is very confident that his sound and music still sells. In addition, it has taken him a long while to stage another concert in the country as he has focused more on foreign shows.

One would have thought his kind of music appeals only to older generation who love to wriggle their bodies to old classical music tunes like his. “You will be surprise that a whole lot of younger generation can stick out their necks for K1 the Ultimate for Fuji music,” he says with a laugh.  

What we want to do is we want to bring to the understanding of everyone that this country is very strong. Even in crisis, all of us can still come together. Only two things can keep this country united – music and sport; the politics cannot because the political parties are divided.”

Kwam1 has performed on stage for 43 years of his life and he believes he owes Nigerians a special home coming kind of concert as one of the leading lights of the Nigerian entertainment industry. Like old wine, in those 43 years, his music still gets better.

Experience counts,” he says of his four decades of performing Fuji music. “It is not just experience locally, I mean an experience that is diversified including performing at many world class concerts both within and outside Nigeria. I have been a very busy artist,” he tells me.

“I have been travelling in and out of the country doing what I know how to do best. In between the time I have featured in many concerts, I have also have gone on world tours.”

No doubt, Ayinde is a good music export any day. He has been one of the cultural ambassadors of the Nigerian entertainment industry for more than four decades. He has performed with international stars outside Nigeria.

Fuji music is the way I propel the country’s image,” he says. “The country is gaining from my performances abroad. Whenever I perform abroad people are always yearning for more. I presented Fuji music at the Royal Festival in London and several other countries like the United States.”

For his home coming concert, K1 has smartly outlined the very best Hip Hop musicians the country can boast of. He would later tell me how important it is for the old and young generations of Nigerian musicians to collaborate. Some of the artistes who will perform at the concert include: Tuface, Olamide with a special appearance by live comedian, Ali Baba.

“My fans should expect the most unusual thing,” he says confidently. “We know the most usual thing you know with K1, the usual thing is Fuji music which is my calling. Also, my calling is good music, good qualitative music that is my calling.

It is not about the way people perceive Fuji as a genre of music. All the A-list artistes in this country will all be coming be together to honour one man, K1 the Ultimate,” he says of the concert, in a manner that is unusual. The list of artistes cuts across many genre of music.”

Kwam1 says he is never worried that the Arena, Eko Hotel & Suites, venue for his concert will not be filled to the brim with people. “The truth of the matter is if I were to be the only one to perform, K1 the Ultimate, will fill up the arena,” he says confidently.

If we are not being selective; and you are not making it so difficult for people to come in. K1 has a largely dedicated, loyal followership. If you throw that gates open, they will come. Unfortunately, you may not see many of them all the time running to acquire the most expensive seats at the concert. No matter how expensive the ticket is, I can guarantee you that the ticket will be sold out and there will be crisis. Crisis in what sense? People will be yearning for more tickets.”

However, some people have argued that K1 is the only Fuji artiste who has been trying to elevateKWAM2 Fuji beyond what it is often seen as – music for illiterates or the lower class. But Ayinde has changed that perception considerably as he proudly tells me that Fuji, like Reggae, is an elevated kind of music that cannot be easily despised.

From time immemorial till date how many people dance to Reggae? How many people have been able to propel Reggae the way Bob Marley did? Shaba Ranks came in did his own; our own here, Ras Kimono did it very well. If you classify Fuji as a corporate or non-corporate music, the truth is it is a brand of music that has come to stay.

Today, we have many big players like Adewale Ayuba. Fuji music that God Almighty has bestowed on me, I am saddled with the responsibility to make it better. I will never rest on my efforts and I have never rested in the last 43 years. I have enjoyed tremendous support and followership. I command huge followership from fans both in and out of the country.”

Ayinde says the secret behind is 43 years of non-stop performance of Fuji music is the fact that he knows what he is doing.

The secret is I know what I am doing. I give thanks to Almighty God that I am a gifted musician. I was at a performance in Macabre in Scotland where I was given the honour of legend of music then. It was an award. I am an energetic performer. I can perform on stage for six hours non-stop.

I can hold the stage for many hours and there will be no dull moment. I do my composition myself. I am gifted; I give thanks to Almighty God and there are lots of people out there that are gifted also.

K1 is not only gifted, he has succeeded in discovering young people through his talent. One of his new found sons in music is Olamide with whom he is billed to perform at the Eko Hotel & Suites. “I never groom them. It was a talent that is their birth right. I took music from my mother’s blood and you can see the way I transported it. I am just lucky.”

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