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Faces of ‘Fading’ Nigerian musicians

The beat makes music. Regardless of the tone and lyrics, what brings music to life is a melodious rendition of a combination of sound instruments.…

The beat makes music. Regardless of the tone and lyrics, what brings music to life is a melodious rendition of a combination of sound instruments. With technological innovation, beats are easily mixed and rendered sonorously to the delight of fans without anyone having to play them. This is different from what was obtainable decades ago where such beats had to be generated by several people. Good handling of such musical instruments made old musicians unique to the delight of their fans. The Late I.K. Dairo was known for his incredible handling of the accordion. Aside the instruments, some musicians in the industry are gradually fading away from the scene.

Paul ‘Play’ Dairo

The son of veteran afrobeat maestro took off from his father really well when he signed for Kennis Music and released a remix of his father’s album. The rhythm and blues crooner and music producer is a trained mechanical engineer. He played the konga drum on his father’s band before he started his own band. He had a long battle with health and is yet to fully recover. In an interview on Channels, he said he was planning to come back not to how things used to be during the ‘mo so rire’ days but to relevance in the industry.

 King Sunny Ade

Sunday Adeniyi popularly called King Sunny Ade still rocks the music industry but not how it used to be as age is catching up on the veteran juju singer and songwriter. The 76-year-old is now restricted to shows and parties still with a vibe but his iconic rigorous dancing steps are gradually fading away. He is a Grammy Award nominee.

Benita Okogie

She stormed the music industry with great accolades with her ‘Osemudiamen’ song as a child star. People expected her to keep glowing considering her age but she said she tried not to put pressure on herself. Though she has not quit music she will need more than Osemudiamen remix to get to the spot she was as a child star. It is rather good that she doesn’t put pressure on herself.

Tony Tetuila

A former member of ‘The Remedies’ that thrilled Nigerian music lovers with ‘Mi o sako mo’ back in the days is among artistes one remembers and simply nod. Tony Tetuila on breaking up with Eedris Abdulkareem and Eddy Remedy who were signed to Kennis Music released ‘omode meta sere’ but it was not enough for him to reclaim his top spot even after several attempts. He is still relevant in the music industry but music lovers might have seen the best of him. He was right to have Nigerians stop recognising artistes once they stop reigning. He said once such artistes stop making waves, people tend to tilt towards those in vogue; forgetting about the legends.

Queen Salawa Abeni

Salawa Abeni is Nigeria’s waka queen. The trailblazer was the first female artist to have sold over one million copies of a song recorded in the Yoruba Language. She was at her peak when fuji music was also trending with the veterans like Chief Ayinde Barrister and Kollington Ayinla, her ex-husband. She now performs at concerts and shows to the admiration of her fans. Her genre of music is still alive and has been refined to meet present realities by several artistes.

Kenny Saint Brown

She is the sister of Kenny Ogungbe, a pioneering music producer and record label owner. She was nominated by Channel O for her ‘Turn me around’ video in which she featured the late Dagrin. Little is heard of the over 50-year-old gospel singer who has restricted herself to praise and worship concerts. She is also a minister in the church.

Sunny Neji

While ‘Oruka’ was widely played during wedding ceremonies, ‘Tolotolo’ and ‘Mr fantastic’ rocked the clubhouse. With these songs among others, Sunny Neji redefined his style of pop highlife songs. His style resonated with both young and old from the lyrics to the beats, he was unique in the industry. Sunny Nneji is an accomplished songwriter that now champions unity among musicians. He is doing music as he released a song urging Nigerians to cooperate to beat coronavirus. When asked if Nigerians should expect a remix of ‘Tolotolo’ with Olamide or ‘Oruka’ with Tiwa Savage, he said, “It is really something to think about. A few people have actually mentioned it to me. ‘Oruka’ is one song I don’t want to demystify though.” He holds a traditional title as the King of Music in his village, Ogoja, Cross-Rivers State.

Bongos Ikwue

The Benue State-born singer and songwriter plans a comeback. But time will tell if the plan will hit as his ‘Still searching’ album was inspirational. In an interview with PUNCH, he said he had more than 40 songs that were yet to be released which he plans to release. His fans should expect something from this septuagenarian veteran and can be motivated that the songs will come as Ikwue’s comeback from a stroke.

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