FUNKY fuji star, Alhaji Wasiu Alabi Odetola, better known and addressed as Pasuma, opened up to ENCOMIUM Weekly on Tuesday, June 29, 2010 at his Omole, Ikeja, Lagos home. The Orobokibo exponent spoke on several issues that concerning his career , personal life and the crisis rocking the genre.
Starting out about 26 years ago as a fuji artist, how would you describe the experience so far?
I thank God for what he has been doing in my life and career, for keeping me alive and making my career waxing stronger and stronger. The experience has not been bad despite all the challenges. But I need to thank God for sparing my life.
What was your best moment since that 1984?
The first day I received an award as Best Fuji Artist of the Year. That was FAME Award, 1996. It still remains very fresh in my memory till date.
Thereafter, Pasuma has become unstoppable as far as fuji music is concerned, what is the secret?
I have no other secret other than God. Then, I work hard, I was doing everything then to enable people single me out; that this is Pasuma and this is his style. I didn’t want people to say I was copying other people.
What other qualities have separated your kind of fuji from others?
I play a kind of electrified fuji music, funkified hip-hop and yet people dance to it and they don’t lose the beat of fuji. The rhythm and lyrics and my style of composition is unique anytime, any day.
What have you not accomplished in the past 26 years of your career?
It is only God that is perfect. I only know I have been doing what I think God has been directing me to ensure that my career continue to boom. I think it is only God that can say, ‘Pasuma, this is what else you supposed to have done, but you’re yet to do it.’ He has been the one directing my life and career. I give Him all the glory.
What level do you intend taking your career to in the next five years?
I will continue to do my best and leave the rest for those coming behind. Let’s wait and see what God still wants to do in my life.
What is your comment on the unending crisis in fuji music circle?
I don’t have any crisis with anybody. All I know is that I do my thing in my own way. But if anybody says I have any crisis with him, let the person come out and tell the public. I have no quarrel with anybody among the fuji artists. I am only doing what I know how to do best and I am happy about. I am trying to make my fans happy.
What about what you said about Osupa, maybe you’re misquoted, that you can’t have anything to do with him again?
I didn’t say that, I have never mentioned his name because I don’t want anything that people will be carrying up and down that this is what Pasuma said. I don’t want any quarrel with anybody. He is doing his thing, I am also doing my thing.
But people out there are of the impression that you and Saidi can’t be friends again?
It is a lie, we can be friends. We don’t quarrel, I don’t keep permanent malice with anybody. If by tomorrow, they say Pasuma and Saidi should continue with your friendship and start relating the way you have been doing, I don’t have any choice because I don’t keep any malice with anybody.
But the impression is that there can’t be any peace and genuine reconciliation again between you and Saidi?
That is not true. That is exactly what some people have been saying but that is not true. Let’s wait and see, keep our fingers crossed and see what will happen later.
What is your comment on the assertion from certain corners that it is the Arabambi family causing crisis in fuji music circle?
That is not true. Arabambi is a family created by K1 de Ultimae, because I believe Wasiu Ayinde has been doing wonderfully well in this music industry. So, I think it is good for me to pitch my tent with him. Alhaji Wasiu Ayinde has done many wonderful things in this fuji music genre, he changed fuji to classical and so many other things. I believe in him that is why I belong to his caucus. The Arabambi family was not created to cause any trouble in the music circle and it has not been responsible for any crisis at all. There is no crime in being a member of Arabambi or not being a member. You can choose to belong to a caucus if you like so also you can decide not to if you don’t see any reason to. That does not cause any crisis in the association. Creating caucus does not mean we are splitting fuji association, we are still one big family. We are popularly called Ile Alayo meaning, house of peace. Forget all these things some people are saying, fuji still remain the best genre of music in this side of the world.
Let’s go a bit private, what is your reaction to all these rumours concerning your alleged romance with…
No, no, no, stop it. I don’t want anything about my private life. That is my personal life and it is none of anybody’s business. What I believe you people should concern yourself about is my career which I think is the most important thing.
Okay, what is the latest on your rumoured multi-million naira mansion, when will it be commissioned because you’ve said it several times that it won’t be done secretly?
People still have to wait and exercise patience.
But you have kept your fans in suspense for so long…
They should continue waiting because if I do something that is not good, they will be the people that will criticize it. So, I have to do something that when they see it, they will praise me at the end of the day.
Can you tell us the worth of the house because many have said it is N250m, N300m and so on?
I don’t know anything about that, all I know is that I have built something that is comfortable for myself.
Is it true that you acquired another duplex in Ojodu area for N45m?
Anywhere they say I have houses, I believe they know the place, that is why they are saying what they are saying. All I know is that I need to make my fans happy by doing what I know how to do best.
Back to your career, the impression in town at the moment is that Pasuma is not as busy as before, we mean getting shows, what do you think informed this, especially since you returned from abroad?
That is not true, it was only last year I travelled to the US and since I came back, I have been busy going from one show to the other. I only travelled to London once this year around April and since I returned, I have also been busy.
We learnt very soon you will embark on a foreign tour again, when is that exactly?
I just want to go for a tour of two months, maybe by July ending or early August. Then I will come back to Nigeria by October 2010.
What is the greatest thing you admire most in life?
Prayer, I believe in prayer a lot because it is only prayer that does everything.
Although we agreed not to delve into your private life, that does not mean you can’t tell us the qualities of the woman you will like to spend the rest of your life with?
She must be educated, well mannered, well behaved. Somebody that I can look up to that if at all I am not at home, I still believe I am at home.
All this while, you have been living without a wife, do you find it comfortable?
I am comfortable. I think anything you do in this life, you just have to believe in yourself first. At the same time, if I am not ready to do anything, nobody can force me to do it. By now, I believe people should allow me live my life, they should just wait, it is my life. They should just leave me alone on that, I have the right to live whichever life that pleases me. I am comfortable living without a wife but I can’t shy away from the fact that I need someone to call my wife under my roof. I know quite alright that it’s better for me to have a wife which I will still do, but people should just wait, get their fingers crossed and let me choose for myself.
When will that be done, how soon?
Very soon, I don’t want you to put words into my mouth.
Is Alhaja, we mean your mum comfortable with the situation?
She doesn’t have a choice but she understands me better. Just like I said, people should just allow me live my life. I know what is good for myself and nobody can dictate to me how to live my life.
What is the latest thing happening in your career?
I have an album in the market entitled Role Model. I am also working on another one entitled Ability which will soon be released, maybe in July or August. My fans should just go out and buy it.
How often do you get shows this time around?
I always get shows. My shows have always been every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
THIS INTERVIEW WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN ENCOMIUM WEEKLY ON TUESDAY, JULY 6, 2010