Ibadan based top fuji musician, Taye Currency was a year older weeks back. But unusual of him, key Nigerian musicians who he was very close to among whom are K1 De Ultimate and Pasuma were absent at the birthday bash held in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital.
ENCOMIUM Weekly’s Dayo Rufai was with him in Ibadan (Oyo) last week, where he opened up on the issue and other sundry matters.
What is your secret in the music industry?
It is God. I move closer to God day by day. I may be in the fuji genre but life has taught me so many things especially how to behave and do good always. Second, I try to redefine fuji in my domain. I moved fuji from hooliganism to a modest stage. Gone are the days that intellectuals don’t attend our parties. I have played for governors, senators, corporate people genre. I have a lot of corporate shows every year. I thank God because my humility has paved way for me. I remain the only successful fuji artiste who lives in his home town. To God be the glory.
What actually spurred you into music?
So many interesting issues led me into my career. First, is the interest I have in music. Second, is the passion and my destiny. I started as an instrument arranger with one of my brothers, Commy Jackson who is a musician too. At age 20, I formed my band with my twin brother.
I later moved to Ijebu where I joined a band called Callypso. It was in Ijebu I met Pasuma. Singing is a talent for me. No serious artiste will tell you he learnt it somewhere or went to school to learn it. Music is spiritual.
What lessons have you learnt from your 40th birthday bash?
It was a big day and I had been looking up to that day since I was 17. Some people have reached that age and they don’t have anything to show for it. As for me, the bash was to show what God has blessed me with. I thank God for His blessings.
He has been good to me because since I started singing fuji, my fame has continued to rise beyond my expectation. My life has not been short of God’s grace. A lot of my friends have died and here I am. So, to me, clocking 40 was a big day. My children are my source of joy. That’s why I celebrated them that day and I will continue to do that for as long as God permits. With all modesty, I appreciate all that God has done for me now and I pray that I live long to reap the fruit of my labour.
At your birthday, a lot of people were surprised to have seen the calibre of people that graced the occasion. How did you feel?
Honestly, words alone cannot describe how I felt that afternoon. Let me just say I was very happy. When I discovered that I was going to be 40, I decided that some things had to change in my life. I couldn’t continue to do things I did before. So, I started to send the right signal to people out there that though Taye Currency is celebrating his birthday, this one was not going to be business as usual.
I used the event to signpost the beginning of a new era in my life and I am grateful to those who came for their support and love. Former governors wife, Kemi Akala, Lawyer Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), S.As, royal fathers, captains of industry, I am so happy, very grateful to everyone.
You recently performed at a white garment church programme and many asked what an Alhaji would be doing at a church event. Can you tell us what happened?
The organisers of the church programme asked if I could perform at their event. I couldn’t have said no. I asked if they would appreciate fuji music in their church and they said they would. So, we agreed on a price, which eventually was okay with me. They stressed that they had listened to my songs very well and they actually discovered that my songs were always laced with deep messages they believed many would benefit from.
Mega 99 was also at the event, apart from other spirit-filled musicians. I was even surprised to see the church members in my house that morning.
Are you sure the audience understood your message?
I have been singing for some time now. I know when my audiences are in tune with my songs. I have no doubt they got the message. At the end of the day, the guests were well entertained. I preached to the people with my music.
You are close to Wasiu Ayinde and Pasuma, but it was shocking that none of them were at your event. How did you feel about their absence at your landmark birthday?
I didn’t invite any of them.
I never wanted them to think without them, my show would not be successful. I didn’t invite K1 and Pasuma because I wanted it to be Taye Currency’s show, not K1 or Pasuma’s show. Adewale Ayuba, Sefiu Alao, Ere Asalatu, Ayeloyun, Amirat, Remi Aluko, Dr. Yinka Ayefele, FUMAN President, Small Doctor, Tuwyze, Smoothkiss and later, Oritsefemi performed till day break.
So, I am comfortable. That as it may, this my boss, Oganla Wasiu Alabi Pasuma called me and said he is organising another party for me immediately after elections. Initially, we fixed April 11 but due to the shift of the election date it has been shifted by Pasuma till after the polls. The event will hold at LTV8 tentatively.
Did any of them congratulate you after the event?
Yes. They even asked me why I didn’t invite them. I told them that if I had invited any of them, I wouldn’t have gotten what I wanted.
What did you want?
I wanted people to know that I could do my show without them. Many people believed if I held a show without Pasuma by my side, it won’t be interesting, so I had to correct that impression. The two of them can come to other events that I want to do.
Many people didn’t expect to see Ayuba, but I invited him because he’s not a party person. When I turned 35, it was Sefiu Alao who organised a bash for me in Cotonou. I felt I should honour him when I clocked 40. Yinka Ayefele was also there because I specially invited him. He’s a popular name in Ibadan. If I had insisted that K1 should be there, he would have come, but I didn’t want that.
What do you intend to do after the event?
That is a joker in my new album coming soon. Taye at 40.Also I am having another house project going on which by the grace of God I plan to finish fast.
Are you just building or you have one?
I have been living in my twin duplex since 2010/2011 and like I said, another masterpiece will soon be unveiled.
What is your latest automobile?
Toyota Venza2013 model is the latest. Also, I have Honda CrossTour, Hyundai Ascent, Toyota jeep just to put it short.
What makes you different from other fuji artistes?
I don’t do drugs or abuse of it. I remain committed to my life, remain corporate in my dressing, humble, diligent and focused and I don’t move with thugs.
Some people believe you are a card-carrying member of a political party?
No! I don’t belong to any political party. I belong to everybody and I am only doing my professional job as an artiste that has many followers. I am not boasting, artistes that have same followership in this part of the country are very few, so this attract many things.
How do you manage your fans, especially the female ones?
I respect all my fans so much, they are my friends, I relate with them as such. I am a responsible man that believes in one man one woman, I never plan to marry two wives and I do not wish it for anyone. I don’t womanise. People have to change their perception towards some of us in the fuji industry. I move with intellectuals, I have an entertainment outfit that packages me for shows and collaborations with top hip-hop artistes like Oritsefemi, Olamide and so on.
2015 has been a year of politics and as a popular fuji artiste, political parties will need you to sing at their events. How do you want to handle that aspect giving the fact that former governor, Alao Akala, who you are very close to is in Labour Party (LP) from PDP?
I am a musician. That’s the number one point. Second, I can play for any political party that needs me. Everybody knows that Otunba Adebayo Alao Akala is my benefactor and I will always appreciate him for that.
We have been together since he was in PDP and I can’t leave him now. That’s why I invited him and his wife to my event. The fact remains that my single vote for governorship election in Oyo State will be cast for Akala. I may vote for another party during senatorial or House of Assembly, even presidential elections, but my family, band-boys and myself will certainly vote for Akala.
What does education mean to you?
Education is the bedrock of human existence and if anyone wants to be successful in his profession, there is need for such person to be educated. This will enhance his performance in whatever he does. Education, to me is a long time legacy. As I am speaking, I’m still in class.
What is your advice for the young ones?
Everybody has his own potentials, so I advise all up and coming fuji artistes first, to be focused, humble and hardworking. Today’s servant shall be a master tomorrow and they should all make education a priority. To all youth, they should not wait for what the society will do for them. Rather, they should be creative and try their hands on artwork or anything that can be fetching them money. Our leaders must take serious caution on our youth too because a hungry man is an angry man.
How do you relax?
I sleep, go to the gym or jog at Liberty Stadium, hang out with my friends. I love people being around me a lot and of course check my kids at schools to know their of performances.