•K1 Sing Alike, GANIU AYINDE
Two weeks back, Ganiu Ayinde, popularly called X1 De Future stormed City People’s Event Centre, Gbagada Expressway, Lagos. Ganiu who is also called Biola, is one of the wave making Fuji artistes who sings like King Wasiu Ayinde. He’s based in Ijebu-Ode his home town but he has also lived part of his life on Lagos Island, in Lagos. A few days back, he told City People Publisher, SEYE KEHINDE and Reporter, ISAAC ABIMBADE, the story of his life as a Fuji artiste.
Congratulations on how far you have gone with your music career. Can you tell us precisely how many years you have been in the music?
It’s going to 15 years now.
What has kept you going?
The glory of God and hard work. It is very tough, especially with the kind of music we play. Respect to King Wasiu Ayinde Marshall, he has created a good path for us to tread. He (K1) has really put us on the right track; he has put us through and taught us how to go about it.
How did it start for you? Why music as at the time you went into it?
I can’t describe it. For me, I didn’t believe I could sing. What I can say is that, when I was on Lagos Island, I went to Saint John around 1985/86. I lived at No 3 Binuyo Street then. One of my brothers then was a K1 fan. He likes to buy live records of K1.
Let me also say that I went to Lagos City Computer College. I did a 2 year course. After that, I went to Ibadan Poly. I never thought I could sing when I was in Ibadan. In 2004 in Ijebu Ode, where my mummy owns a shop, I started having interest to sing. People always come there and musicians always play. Adewale Ayuba and a whole lot of musicians have played there.
In 2004 precisely, I met a guy called Buffalo; he’s an artiste Manager, he has been a very good manager to some musicians in the past. He approached me that I have the talent, that I can do it. He was the one who encouraged me. In December 2004, he organised a show and told them I can play. That was how the whole thing started.
What were the initial challenges before you stabilized?
The initial challenge was how to arrange and gather boys together. You know that most of the boys were not new to music; they were working as drummers, keyboardist. Before you can convince them to follow you to your own show then was a very big task. Sometimes, we had to beg some people for 4 days, especially one of my drummers then, before he could follow us to our show.
Can you remember the first time you met K1 face to face?
One of his Managers is from Ijebu-Ode. And the first time we met was in Ijebu Ode, Ganiu Shonubi 8 days father’s burial, about 8 years ago. Lekan Oshifeso was the one who took me there then. When K1 arrived, I was on the bandstand and he asked, is that the same X1 you told me about? He said that I am a good guy. He then took me around his fans and told them that I was a good boy.
And how has the relationship being since that time?
K1 is my father because he (K1) belongs to an age group, Bobakeye in Ijebu where my mum and dad belong. He is my mummy and daddy’s friend. So he’s also my dad. So, that’s my relationship with him.
How do you see Fuji music, and at what stage is Fuji music now?
The likes of Wasiu (K1) has made it better; He has been able to move it away from the old rhythm. Everybody knows Fuji music is a cultural music in Yorubaland; It can not die; your father’s language can’t die in your mouth no matter how.
Thank God for K1, he has rebranded fuji music, from year to year. There was a year he sang ‘Talaso’, and later changed to another style. He has laid a good foundation as an elder, it’s now left for us as young musicians to bring in our own concept. K1 is not tired yet and I pray for his long life because he’s still very much relevant for us ensuring that fuji music will not die.
Talking about your career, how have you been able to sustain it over the last 15 years. And how easy is it performing week in, week out?
It’s not easy but it’s easy somehow because when you have some fans who stick with you; they like you for who you are. I have some fans who have been with me for 15 years, the likes of Ayinke Lounge, Mrs. Fasawe and Akeem Sanusi, they have been good to me all these years. And with the prayer of my dad; my dad loves enjoyment.
You are not the only person who sings like K1, how do you cope with competition?
Personally, those things are from your mind. I have somebody in Ijebu they call X2, just as they call me X1. He sings like me too. I give him shows. Anytime we go to K1’s house, we all do as we like. We do whatever we like there. Kolade has been a very good brother, brother Rahmon has also been a very good brother. My belief is that, people that will dance to Wasiu’s song won’t dance to Sunny Ade’s music and those who want to dance to Pasuma’s music won’t dance to Wasiu’s song. So, everything depends on the interest of a person. People could like you, your type of person, the way you dress and it may not be your song. I know for sure that everybody can survive on their own without disturbances. I met Kolade and brother Rahmon Akanni on this and they never slowed down; they have been singing for over 25 years and I don’t pray they come down.
Can you tell us where you were born and where you grew up?
I was born in Ijebu-Ode. They brought me from Ijebu-Ode to Lagos, around 1981. So in 1985/86 I went to Saint Jones School Awoloya, Lagos Island.
But when you were young you never thought music was going to be what you will do?
No, I have a brother, Wasiu. He loves K1 live music, and that was around 1985/86. I have some K1’s live music collected from him. And that was how I developed the interest for music. And when Kolade was in OSU, I was very close to him; he’s my close brother. When K1 released a record called ‘Statement’ that was taken I developed interest.
How did you get the name X1?
It was given to me by a man called Buffalo. He suggested I should be bearing Ganiu Ayinde and His Fuji Basoka and I said it’s local. And he said instead of that, he said Kolade is already using Kwam 2 and instead of using Kwam 3, that I should use Extra Ayinde and we now picked X and 1. That’s how we got X1.
Now, I have been getting calls all over the world that I should come to perform. I have been to UK once and some other countries but I haven’t been to America. I’m taking it gradually.
When you met K1 for the first time, what were the things he did aside introducing you to his fans?
One of the things he said when we met is, you have to go and do a record. Apart from being a father, what he did for me was very encouraging the first time I met with him. I was on bandstand at a party when he came on that day and he took the microphone from me and he made a lot of money and surprisingly, he gave me all the money. That was the first time I would see good money. He did not collect kobo from me. That kind of behaviour always shows he’s a good man and that’s why we are encouraged to do good to others. And the first time I met him, he introduced me to his fans.
Do you have any plan to add more to your music and be unique in your own way?
It’sgood to be patient. We have songs we want to release but what is the essence ofyou releasing and it does not make good sales? You have to wait for your timeand also wait for approval from the elders.