Cover Stories, Interviews

K1 Extra: ‘Why I shunned Barrister’s memorial concert’

-l postponed N300 million live annual concert…and more, much more

Fuji king, Alhaji Wasiu Ayink Anifowoshe, better known as K1 de Ultimate has cleared the air on why he was conspicuously absent at the memorial concert organized for his music godfather, Sikiru Ayinde Balogun aka Barrister on Sunday, December 20, 2015, at Time Square Event Centre, Ikeja, Lagos.

The successful entertainer opened up on this and much more, including the choice of his new publicist, Esther Akinwande when he granted ENCOMIUM Weekly an exclusive interview on Tuesday, January 5, 2016, at R&A Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.


This is 2016, what do you have for your fans, home and abroad?

This is a new year, I bless God for witnessing it. As per your question, our band will be releasing a new full album with 18 tracks for the delight of our numerous fans. And we’re looking at the end of January to release the album. It’s entitled, Let The Music Flow.

You released your last album in 2014, why did you wait till 2016 before you decided to release a new one?

It’s a normal thing for a good album.

Some music lovers, especially your fans will expect you to be releasing new album every year or you’re afraid of the industry because of piracy?

That’s not true. How can I be afraid of the industry that produced and took me to this level? I can’t be afraid of piracy.

Piracy has become a phenomenon. It’s all over the world. It’s not peculiar to Nigeria alone. But the making of an album is not something easy considering what the album stands for in the market. You’re releasing the album for your fans to appreciate what you’re doing. The work that will judge you as the best, definitely you need to tread with caution.

What differentiates the new album from the previous one?

Every new album is like an examination for an artiste. You want to come out better. That’s just the difference.

A lot of people, especially your fans expected that K1 Live Unusual Concert would hold again in 2015 and even better repackaged, but nothing was heard about it, why?

When you’re talking about organizing a concert, there are lots of things that must be put together for it to be well organized. When you say you’re organizing a concert, everything you’re putting in place should be worth the trouble and the success of it. K1 Live Unusual of 2014 was huge in investment. Over N300 million was involved and between 2014 and 2015 we couldn’t get sponsor. How we source this fund is always known by us. And having the means to do that, we don’t want to come with another edition in 2015 and fail in our planning and standard. But as we see that it would be affecting us we do not want to compromise our standard. Then, there is necessity for shifting. It’s allowed because like I said, over N300 million isn’t just a little sum. If we go by calculation in dollars as of now, that’s over a million dollars. By the time we did it in 2014, it’s about $2 million. And you can imagine, it won’t be like that for the proceeding years if we’re to add everything that we put into the concert.

What actually informed the concert?

One, to keep doing what you know how to do best. That’s doing good music and showcasing standard performance. Lovers of music deserve the very best and see the standard of performances as we see abroad too. We have many reasons and meanings to what we’re doing to showcase good music.

The 2014 edition of the concert also attracted artistes from other genres, why?

As far as music is concerned, it must be all encompassing. I just happened to be the brain behind it and my genre of music is fuji. But the fact of it is that we’re promoting music and entertainment. So, if you go anywhere, music is music.

You said you invested a whooping N300 million, was there any profit afterwards?

Definitely, there will be but it’s just an investment that builds over time and yields interest over time.

Are you looking forward to a time the concert will be branded?

Yes, but branding by any corporate organization or organizations is not for them to take over the totality of the concert from us. It can be branded in terms of understanding and in good partnership.

It’s not a bad idea as long as the primary concern is to reach out to many people as we can and as profitable as we can.

Now, 2015 is gone, are you assuring your fans and music lovers home abroad that the concert will hold in 2016?

Yes, hopefully, we’re looking forward to that.

You have just changed the management of K1 de Ultimate band, especially the media aspect, what informed that decision?

Every establishment needs good hype and we need to move with time. We’re in the global world where competition is going higher and we don’t want to lag behind. We’re the first to be reckoned with and there is need for us to propel ourselves to a very standard form. So, it’s worth it.

You have just unveiled a new media manager who has taken over from Percy Ademokun.

Yes, it’s Esther Akinwande. She has even taken over officially since Monday, January 4, 2016.

Esther Akinwande is foreign based and this is Nigeria. Considering the two terrains, how do you think she’s going to cope with the new assignment?

The whole world has become a global village now. Everything operates as one. This is the era of very fast and informative technology. Even, if she stays in the United States of America, she’s still operating here. And if she’s here she can still be operating in the US. Before now, when Percy was handling the affairs of the band, he’s based in Nigeria and he touched other parts of the world. The likes of Esther, Mike Fashakin and several others were also there across the world doing various things differently concerning the organization. So, there is nothing bad if someone among those people takes over and serves well.

Being a woman,, don’t you think there would be lapses somehow along the line considering your status as the biggest artiste in Nigeria right now?

There can never be any lapse at all because she is a professional, and professionalism has nothing to do whether you’re a male or female. As I said, this is era of information technology that you can be at the corner of your bedroom and be doing anything. And we’re talking of professionalism, there are lots of successful organizations being manned by women and they do it better.

How do you think she will be accessible to us as journalists when we need to confirm one or two things about you?

She would definitely be accessible to you all. This is era of technology when all you need is to get as little as one tiny phone. You can be sending messages even in the toilet. You can spread information across the world at the same time. This is the era you send a message to over a million organizations and they respond instantly.

The world has changed greatly. Serving the band, we don’t have to see her every time. Technology has simplified the whole thing to ensure effective interaction.

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For the sake of those who will be reading this for the first time, can you tell us why you and Percy Ademokun parted?

We never parted. Percy did very well. He has made his own contribution. Someone that has worked with us for 20 years said he needed more challenges. You can’t deny him that opportunity. Percy wasn’t born for the job, we gave the job to him. Somebody was there before him. We had Dayo Olomu and Lanre Ijaola before Percy came on board. He too could have given glory to God. He had such a long span of years. Give it to him, and give it to the organization that tolerated him for that long. But the truth of the matter is that if the organization he worked for didn’t give him the opportunity to work very well, he wouldn’t have found it very easy because he’s not the one that exposed the band. It’s the band that showcased him, gave him a responsibility and he served the band very well.

The band has been in existence before he came on board. We give thanks and glory to Almighty God for what he was able to achieve while he was with us.

And when he said he wanted to move on, we prayed for him. Then, somebody else has to step in and continue from where he stopped.

A couple of weeks back, your daughter, Damilola was called to Bar, how does that feel?

The good news there is that Damilola is not the first barrister that was produced in my family. My first daughter, Monsurat is a lawyer as well. She was called to English Bar. We celebrate Damilola because she did her own in Nigeria here while Monsurat had hers in England. I feel good and happy as a father because I am able to bring into this world good children who chose to do things well.

You’re looking at 60 and even very close to it, what’re the things you will like to change about yourself?

Unfortunately, I doubt if anything will change about my life. I wake up and sleep, work and reason the way I should. I am not going to change from doing the right things. I have not been over doing things and I won’t start to be over-doing things. So, my life still goes on in a very right way in the real sense of it. And I am enjoying every bit of my life. I know the eyes of the people have been on me over the years, they’re still on me and they will continue to be on me.

Also as a social crusader, what’s your assessment of Buhari’s administration so far?

We’re happy we have this new administration. This is the administration that’s here to save very many things. If the administration were not in place as at now, who knows what would have become of the country called Nigeria.

The nation, in the last few months has indeed affected the life of every Nigerian positively. This government is not about Buhari alone but the masses who he has chosen to serve wholeheartedly. If all that are being released by different organizations and the government were to count on, you can imagine. The money that can be used to develop the country and lives of youths and prepare the nation in terms of education, security, health, technology, farming, roads and more were being siphoned by some nasty individuals and none of us could talk. If we really want to change Nigeria, all those involved in looting our treasury must be exposed regardless of who the person is. So far so good, nobody has come forward to say this is the bad thing Buhari has done like the rest of them.

Everybody has adjudged him a man of integrity. So, it’s left to us. God has answered our prayer for having Buhari at the helm of affairs. We are all just in a haste, we can’t expect him to perform magic to repair something that has been damaged for the past 16 years. Are we not asking too much from God. We don’t have any reason calling Buhari a go slow man. It’s very unfair. That means we don’t appreciate God. If we’re all patient, I believe together with Buhari, we will all get to the promised land.

On Sunday, December 20, 2015, a memorial concert in honour of your music godfather, Barrister was organized by his family, and a lot of people there were surprised that you were conspicuously absent at the show, why?

Unfortunately, I wasn’t invited. If there was anything at all, I didn’t know about it. I was supposed to play a very serious role in such a matter but when you’re not being carried along, maybe for a purpose or reason best known to the organizers. I don’t want to be the accuser and a judge. But the truth of the matter is that late Ayinde Barrister was blessed with beautiful children doing well. They’re all grown up and they have undying love for their father.

They’re bound to proclaim his name everywhere. Nobody can say to them what’s their right. But the truth is whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well. For some people now to be asking why was I not there, did they ask them why didn’t they see K1 de Ultimate. Why not put the question to them. But the truth is that I am not aware of it. What I am aware of is that we wanted to do something to immortalize this great man, a man that had done so well to create a genre of music that has a lot of followers today enjoying and benefitting from. We need to give him a befitting programme that even when I too pass on, my children will reason that if that can happen to the man that left before our father, truly our  father too will benefit greatly. That’s my belief. I don’t do things anyhow because I don’t want to admit failure. When people are not doing things in my own way, definitely they cannot command my association. I am a very serious person but sometimes, people don’t like a serious person. I don’t cut corners. I don’t rush in doing things. So, everybody must be patient with me.

But they said you were only invited…

(Cuts in) I cannot be invited to a thing I am supposed to head. So, that’s just the matter. But I don’t want to make any issue out of it. Even, if a lot of people want to make issue out of it, they can, it’s no win situation. It’s my right that I am exhibiting. The right I am exhibiting was the same late Alhaji Ayinde Barrister exhibited that I dare not challenge him on it. So, nobody dares challenge me too.

But that has gone, what’s your plan now as his godson?

The truth is that a tree can’t make a forest. I can’t do it alone. I want to include other people here and there. So, we’re expected to go back to a round table discussion and get things done the way they should. When you have the young ones  who are in a haste to get things done, they don’t want to play the game according to the rules.

Definitely, there will be problems along the line. But I hope common sense prevail.


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