Gaji of London is a big name in the music industry. For very many years, he was closely associated with K1 the ultimate. He was the DG of Alhaji Wasiu Ayinde’s band and after that, he relocated to London where he lives now. He is also the famous Alhaji Isiaka Mogaji that K1 sang about in those days. A few days back he spoke to Citypeople Publisher SEYE KEHINDE about his successful life in music and the entertainment industry. Below are excerpts of the interview.
In the London entertainment industry, everyone knows Gaji of London. He is also called Kokumo Mogaji and Alhaji Isiaka Mogaji. He is a big Music Promoter. He will be 67 in November. How does he feel about his achievements in the music industry? How did his relationship with K1 start? Why did he choose Music as a career? These and many more were the questions we asked this stylish celebrity a few days back and he revealed how fulfilled he is.
I was born on the 23rd of November, 1953 in Lagos Island, Ita Pashi Square. (21 Willougby Street) I am a native of Abeokuta and Ikorodu.
I attended Fazil-Omar Primary School, Jankara, Lagos Island.
My secondary school education was at Mac-Job Grammar School, Ibara Abeokuta; and later to Adesola High School Orita Aperin Ibadan.
The event that led me to Adesola High School had to do with my athletic skills. Being the fastest runner at Mac-Job, the proprietor of Adesola High School high jacked me to his school having watched my track performance as a fast runner. I eventually completed my secondary education in his school.
I attended Ibadan Grammar School for my HSC program after which I met Sir Shina Peters who later made me one of his managers. I was on this role for so many years. I actually derived my music career and passion through my close relationship with Sir Shina Peters. He actually brought me into limelight and forefront of music. My relationship with Sir Shina Peters led me to have a close acquaintance with most of the notable musicians in Nigeria- The likes of:
• Chief Ebenezer Obey
• King Sunny Ade
• Late Chief Haruna Ishola
• Late Chief Alhaji Ayinde Barrister
• Alhaji Ayinla Kollington
• Late Baba Fatai Rollin Dollars
• Late Alhaji Saka Layigbade
• Late Idowu Animashaun
• Alhaji Ahuja Bello
• Professor Y K Ajao
• Late Alhaji Ajadi
• Alhaji Aremu Bokos
• Alhaji Rahman Akanni.
(I am with three beautiful wives)
_ Alhaja Iyabode Ronke Mogaji ( Mama Ibro)
_ Alhaja Oluwakemi Ajoke Mogaji (Mama Bidemi)
_Alhaja Idiat Amope Olugbode Mogaji (Mama Damilare)
These relationships have been blessed with wonderful children and grandchildren. My children and grandchildren are both at home and abroad including Dublin, UK, and Paris.
He was one of my childhood friends – Alhaji Tajudeen (Baba Ita) that invited me to Alhaji Wasiu Ayinde’s show being the first manager to KWAM1.
The visit precipitated my association with Alhaji Wasiu Ayinde. So, my journey with Alhaji Wasiu Ayinde started in December 1983.
I was then director-general of the band in 1985.
My relationship with the band loudly skyrocketed in 1984 which led to Tala 84.
This number Tala 84 which happened during my time is evergreen to date.
It was this that led to KWAM1 making me the Director-General of the band in 1985.
Later that year, KWAM organised a trip to London including himself, Alhaja Sikirat Anifowoshe (his wife) and myself.
I am always very proud that it was during my time in 1984 that Tala 84 came to limelight. That actually made me Gaji Wasiu Talaso.
We made another trip later that year on visiting with Mr Kola, one of our managers to the UK.
The 1985 trip was preparatory to the full band visit in 1986 in which the whole band was refused at the point of entry.
It was the last day of stamping in immigrants at the point of entry. We were all sent back to Nigeria the following day.
As destiny would have it, late Alhaji Monsuru Olumegbon invited us as a group in 1987; (RIP) with Adebayo King in conjuction with Alhaji Wasiu Suleiman (Doggimore) and his junior brother (Alhaji Wasiu Suleiman) Biggybiggy).
We went on a musical tour of USA in 1990 under the auspices of Mr Julius Omotayo.
We made another European musical tour in 1991. This took us to Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Italy, Holland, France etc before ending up in London. This gave birth to Fuji Hip Hop. (Yopi 1 + Yopi 2).
The promoters at that time were Toyin + Tayo.
The biggest tour we made was in 1995. This was an inter-continental tour that took us to Germany, London, Canada, and USA. The tour lasted 14 months outside the shore of Nigeria.
The promoter was Demola Oyefeso (Genesis Promotions) our Canadian Promoter was Bolaji Basia (Abasy).
People call me Gaji of London because we stayed at Queen Bridge Road, E2. It was our fans that nicknamed me Gaji of London and Gaji of Kensal Rise.
In 2004, I brought a musician from Nigeria, known as Dimeji Agidigbo (Lagos Island Music). This was the genesis of my UK residence as a UK promoter. Ever since then nearly every musician that comes over to UK including Actors and Actresses go through my promotional Networks – Gajbash Promotions. I later included Elajbash Sports Soiree. During the course of my Profession, along the line I gained the fact of travelling to many countries of the world and this added value to my life, my children both at home and abroad. I am proud to be one of the best promoters in London, with due respect to my senior promoters and others below my status.
It is my joy to put through every artists both Nollywood actors and actresses that come to London and abroad for events.
In doing this I had achieved many awards and the latest award was in Manchester during one of my performance, presented by Lord Mayor Cllr. Abid Chohan.
I have joy in doing what I am doing and I will continue to do it.