•Builds World Class Music Studio To Mark 3rd Remembrance
On January 22nd, 2017, the music world lost a great Juju music icon, Emperor Wale Olateju, the Sabada king, at age 71. This year marks the 3rd year of his exit and in his honour, his son, Oludare Abimbola Olateju whose stage name is Ludare, has just completed a brand new music studio called 16 Octade at Ipaja area in Lagos. The studio is into Music Production, Radio/TV Advert Jingles production, Digital & Analogue Recording, Day & Night Sessions, Hip-Hop Beat, Audio Mixing & Mastering Mass CD Duplication. Let’s tell you more about this Ogun State indigene’s father who was a Juju music star. Emperor Adebowale Olateju hailed from the ancient town of Idologun Owotedo in the present-day Ipokia Local Government Area of Ogun State. A town founded by his forbear, Prince Akinola Lanlokun, in the year 1830. The grandson of Alaafin Makua of Oyo Kingdom. Prince Onikum Lanlokun and his two sons, (Prince Akinola Lanlokun and Prince Olakale Lanlokun, were great warriors and hunters, who founded many homesteads in the wake of the inter-tribal wars that plagued most period of the 18th Century in Yorubaland).
Prince Lanlokun through Ifa divination was advised to embark on a journey far from home to a distance virgin land on the promise that his children and generations unborn would build great communities for themselves with blessings and gifts from his Father Alaafin Makua. The gifts included a crown and other royal artefacts that were needed for his ascension as king upon arrival at the Promised land. Prince Akinola upon passage of his father, while on the journey from Oyo, founded Owo, a homestead in Oke Odan, Idologun Owotedo in the present-day Ipokia of Ogun State. Prince Akinola gave birth to four sons: Prince Oladele, his first, Prince Ojo, his second, Prince Jenfa his third and Prince Atanda his fourth. Emperor Adebowale Olateju is the grandson of Prince Akinola Lanlokun as his Grand Father Prince Jenfa was the third son of the four children of Prince Akinola.
HIS EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION
Born 22ndi July, 1945, Emperor shared a special bond with his father, being the youngest male child. The intimate relationship ended abruptly with the untimely death of his father in 1950. Heartbroken and deeply wounded by the loss, he turned to God for solace after an encounter with missionaries from the Methodist Church, who visited his ancestral home; Idologun Owotedo. He embraced Christian Faith and went on to live in the Mission House of The United African Methodist Church where he acquired formal education and underwent Apprenticeship in the Art of Printing. He completed learning in 1961. One other passion that blossomed as a result of his early involvement with the Church was his love for music. Starting out as just a member of the United African Methodist Church Choir, Ilaro, he rose to stardom because of his captivating solo performances at the Annual Church Cantata.
The Emperor loved music with his entire being. He saw it as a way to bring joy and happiness to the world. This passion drove him to create the Sabada Sound; a unique combination of the blues with a rich mix of Yoruba cultural elements and influences. The Sabada Sound metamorphosed into a variant of the Bolojo genre of Juju Music made popular by his bosom friend, Chief Tunde Elegbede, AKA Jossy Friday, another great musician from the Egbado area of Ogun State.
HIS CAREER AND ACHIEVEMENTS
Emperor tactically managed his budding musical success alongside his Olateju Printing Press at No. 35 Post Office Road, Mushin. Both prospered. The printing business grew to become Samad Commercial Press. With the support and patronage of his friend, Mr Ranti Odubogun, who later became a Director at Cadbury and The Anglican Bishop of Ife Dioceses, Samad Press became a leading Printing Presstor Multinationals like Cadbury Nig. Plc, Nigerian Breweries, and Lever Brothers among many others. On the music side of things, Emperor secured a recording deal with an international record label EMI, and later moved on to African Songs also known as TYC under the leadership of the Late Abolarinwa Abioro. He later went on to establish his own record label; Adebo Records. The label produced some of his most popular works.
Emperor complemented his involvement in Entertainment industry with the establishment of Honey Taste Hotel at Owode in 1980. At a time when the entire Owode township was not on the National Power grid. Honey Taste Hotel served as the entertainment hub in the border town, playing host to many Theatre practitioners. Baba Sala, Charles Olumo Agbako, Pappi Luwe, Jacob and Papa Lolo were some of the regulars. His contribution to Association of Juju Musicians (AJUMN) as a member of Board of Trustees has been attested to by his colleagues, the present generation of practitioners as well as the old-timers in the juju music circle.
Emperor’s story cannot be complete without a mention of his Mushin days. Mushin, at the time, was the hub for all upcoming musicians in the country and he relishes how Col. Murtala Mohammed ( who later became the Head of State) used to visit to engage him for Tombola Nights at the Barracks. Mayflower Hotel was the place!
The legacy of Emperor Wale Olateju as a true custodian of Yoruba music genre, Juju, was never in doubt. He was a founding father and a source of inspiration as far as juju music is concerned. He would always be honoured as one of the greats like I.K Dairo, Adeolu Akinsanya – Baba Eto, Theophilus Iwalokun, King Sunny Ade and Ebenezer Obey.
Knowing the importance of sound Education, Emperor encouraged his children in their educational pursuit and he always referred to the advice the Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo gave him as a young lad upon a visit to his Apapa residence in the late ’60s.” That good education is like a torchlight… it lights your path in life” This later shaped his choice of Abeokuta Grammar School and Egbado College, as schools for these children. Though Emperor Samuel Adebowale Olateju is gone, his musical legacy continues in two of his children who took to music not minding how much he discouraged them. In his last interview with the Punch, he was quoted saying” that his son, Ludare has taken after his father in the spirit of keeping the family tradition up.