Cover Stories, Entertainment

KWAM 1 addresses multiple controversies – ‘I’m fuji’s paramount king’

-‘Osupa and Obesere should respect me’

‘Marrying many wives is a personal choice’

‘I’m not contesting for political office now’

‘I’ve spent 43 years as a musician’

KWAM 1 addressed so many issues, including the concert, political ambition, choice of Olamide in State of Nation album and relationship with other fuji artistes, particularly Saidi Osupa, Obesere and Pasuma, among others…

 

What is the motive behind the K1 Live Unusual’ Concert?

We want to present music generally at its best, in a unique way, different from what we’ve witnessed over the years. Although, some people started it, we are adding more flavour to the fun.

KWAM 1Why is it called The Unusual?

We call it unusual because there are lot of misconceptions about fuji music. Some people even said it’s the music of touts, but these are absolutely false. The fact is, fuji music remains the leading and surviving indigenous music in Nigeria. One of the thing that make it unusual is that, for the first time, a fuji artiste is going to headline a show, that has leading Nigerian entertainers such as 2Face, Lagbaja, Olamide, among others. Come Friday, November 21, you’ll see a lot of unusual performances.

What did it take the organisers to convince you to be part of the Unusual?

Convince me? No! Not at all. It’s our idea. It is my dream to see fuji music on a bigger platform. The truth is, you can’t isolate fuji music from other genres of music in Nigeria. There is element of fuji in every song nowadays. This goes to tell you the importance of fuji music.

Are we going to see 2Baba performing alongside KWAM 1?

For the sake of contents, we won’t say anything about that for now. That’s why we want our fans to come and see the Unusual.

A lot of people believe that fuji concerts are not without violence. What are you doing to stage a violence-free concert?

I disagree with you on that. Can you give me three venues where such had happened? It is a wrong impression and it is because many people don’t know much about fuji music. Every music has a form of violence and all sorts, even the popular hip-hop. For instance, American artiste, Kanye West was recently in Australia to perform, and there was serious mayhem among the fans while he was performing. It is not limited to fuji music. And it is normal especially in a crowded event, even at football pitches, where you have lots of people. That’s why we’ve chosen a befitting venue like the Convention Centre of Eko Hotel & Suites for a historic show like this. Maximum security is also guaranteed.

Let’s talk about your new album, State of the Nation, What informed it?

I used music to address the state of the nation. We’re not getting things right in the country at the moment. The problem is getting worse daily. The peace and tranquility everybody expected in the running of their day-to-day affairs is missing. There is need for musicians, to come out, and address these issues.

Why the choice of Olamide in State of Nation, why not other artistes?

My relationship with all the artistes is great. Aside Olamide, I also featured 9ice in another song. I have worked with other artistes too. I am trying to build a very good relationship expected among the old and the new. However, on this song, I and Olamide share the same understanding, he’s also the voice of the streets.

What is your relationship with your fellow fuji musicians at the moment?

Very good. We’re all doing fine. There is no problem at all. I have a very good relationship with everybody. But, what I don’t like is personalising it; such as saying KWAM 1 and Obesere are at each other’s neck, or Osupa and K1 don’t talk, and all sorts of allegations. I don’t really like it. They are all great artistes, no doubt, but I am a senior colleague to all of them.

 There has always been reports about you and Osupa fighting over king of fuji music. What is your take on this?

It could have been a wrong notion to say I and Saidi Osupa are fighting, because he is so young to me when we talk about fuji music. This is my 43rd year as an active musician. There should be respect. Even in journalism, there is respect. Young journalists respect older ones. That’s how it should be.

Asking me if I talk with Obesere or Pasuma is like asking a father if he talks to his son. It’s very ridiculous. It is as if you’re belittling me.

In fuji music, it is common to hear people claiming to be king of fuji music. What does it take to be a real fuji musician?

Definitely, when you go to Cross River state, you’ll see so many kings, but the truth of it is that, the Obong of Calabar is the paramount ruler. Obviously, you know what that means? Even inside the ocean, fishes have respect for one another. There might be kings, of course, but K1 remains the paramount king of fuji music.

Why is it that an average fuji musician is married to more than one wife?

Were you not in this country when Fela married 27 wives. Even in the Bible, Solomon married 700 wives and had 300 concubines. The world didn’t crucify him. Why criticise  fuji musicians? We should respect an individual’s private life. It has nothing to do with fuji. It’s an individual decision.

Let’s talk about your political ambition. We learnt you relocated to Ijebu because you want to contest for the Senate. How true is it?

I am not contesting for any political office. I am an entertainer, I am a musician, a very serious one for that matter. I didn’t relocate to Ijebu because of any political ambition. I have freedom of movement, it could be Ibadan, where I also own a big house. So, it could be anywhere. Moving back to Ijebu has nothing to do with politics.

What’s your take on entertainers going into politics?

First, everybody is free to seek elective office. Whether entertainers or not, it’s my right, your right to seek elective post. However, the motives cannot be the same. I do not have any take on that, that’s your job (referring to the journalists) to ask them why they are going into politics. At times, you don’t need to seek office before you become useful to your community. I have been of service to people all my life. I have rendered services to my community in so many ways. I am still doing it and I will continue to do it.

What else should we be expecting after this?

Continuation of great songs and spectacular performances. It is going to be bigger than this. I am going to have the biggest world tour of five cities, starting from February 14 through May, 2015. The cities are, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Johannesburg and Lagos, Nigeria.

-RASHEED ABUBAKAR

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