Tungba Gospel King, Yinka Ayefele has a habit of releasing an album every December and the video will then follow a few months after. He has done that for several years.
A few weeks back, he released his album for 2016. That is his 18th album since 1998, when he released his first album BITTER EXPERIENCE followed by SWEET EXPERIENCE in 1999 and it went on till December 12, 2016 when he released his latest album, FRESH GLORY.
City People gathered from his marketer that this his latest effort is doing so well in the marketer. How does this make Ayefele feel?
Why does he always wait till December every year before he releases his album? What has changed about his music? These and many more were some of the questions City People Publisher, SEYE KEHINDE asked Ayefele last week and he was forthright in his answers. Read on!
Congrats on your new album. How is the album doing in the market?
The album is doing so well. To the glory of God, the feedback has been good, encouraging and fantastic.
Before I release any album I have a lot of music critics that listen to it and criticise it before it gets to the public, so I don’t have any fear about the success of my album anytime it’s released.
Our current effort is enjoying massive share of the music market and we return all glory to God.
What amount of work went into the production and packaging of the album?
I take my time to record my album, if you hold any of my album just know that it has taken me 12 months to produce it. I am a very busy person, so I take my time in recording my songs. I have a very good studio at home and in my office, so if I get inspired I just go into the studio to record and save it. I then come back to it later to fine-tune and modify it. A lot of efforts and sweet are put into the production of my albums even my staffs know that December period is always a busy time for me.
How different is this album from previous ones?
There is a lot of difference. I have carefully and painstakingly put this album together so it can be a far departure from what you have used to. I believe when you listen to it you will understand what I am talking about.
It’s an infusion of so many creative ideas and a better improvement on our last effort. For every album I release, I always ensure it surpasses the previous effort.
How do you come up with names for your album?
That is the last thing that comes to my mind after recording my album. Sometimes, I ask my fans on social media to suggest titles for me just to glance through their ideas and suggestions. Most times, I get titles of my album from happen stances around me and I get inspired as well.
Tell us about all your albums. Give us the titles of these albums. How many are they?
They are about 18 albums. They are as follows: Bitter Experience (1998), Sweet Experience (1999), Something Else (2000), Divine Intervention (2001), Fun Fair (2002), Aspiration (2003), Fulfillment (2004), New Dawn (2005), Next Level (2006), Gratitude (2007), Absolute Praise (2008), Transformation (2009), Everlasting Grace (2010), Prayer Point (2011), Goodness of God (2012), Comforter (2013), Overcomer (2014), Upliftment (2015) and Fresh Glory (2016).
Why do you always release your albums in December?
I actually didn’t plan it that way but I think it suddenly became a tradition to the band. And, more importantly, I hold thanksgiving every year and that falls on 12th December, the day I had the accident that turned my life around.
At what point did you now go fully into music and left your radio job?
It was after my accident. I never knew music was eventually going to be my profession. I love broadcasting and that is why I have put much together to make sure that I show my love for broadcasting.
It was after my accident that I discovered the music talent that I have. And ofcourse, then the acceptance of my 1st album, Bitter Experience.
Although, all along I have been producing music. I had been a Guitarist I played for other musicians. I played for Wale Thompson, Toye Ajagun, Oga Micho Ade. I was like their guitarist then. I did it together with my broadcast job.
It was after my accident that I was trying to raise some funds and trying to put some things together to go for further treatment abroad that the success of the first album fired my conciousness.
The acceptance encouraged me to go more into the next level of music. It was later I discovered that I earned more money in music than broadcasting.
At a point, I concentrated more on music. That was when I formed my band, after my accident.
All along, I have been a Church band leader. I was with the Assemblies of God Church, Message Of The Time band at NTC Road, Oke Ado in Ibadan. I did one Cassette, album for the church then entitled: NIGERIA Is For Jesus.
I will say that was my 1st album. That was in 1987. That was my 1st cassette. It was recorded by Here & There then.
You could have done something else at that time why broadcasting and later music ?
I love broadcasting; I was in radio Nigeria as their yearly ‘Father Christmas’ at the national station. I worked with Ibadan national station for about eight years. I freelanced with them at the same time I was doing their yearly Father Christmas.
I later joined the production, then presentation. I presented about seven programmes a week then. I have been a musician before I joined FRCN, I have been producing music, but I was not a performing musician. I used to produce musical jingle, station Ids, programme theme songs when I was working as a broadcaster until the accident. When I had that accident , precisely December 12 ,1997, a friend of mine, Kola Olootu advised that I put some songs together and launch myself and realise some funds to go for further treatment abroad . And eventually, I did,
I released ‘Bitter Experience’. I did the first album to raise fund, I never knew I will eventually become a musician. I was thinking I would go back to my broadcasting after the treatment.
When I came back, I did another album enitled: ‘experience’ to appreciate those who supported me. The acceptance was so huge and I proceeded to do the third one, and from there, I realised that the music thing is more profitable than the broadcast world.
Did you have a band as at the time of the Bitter Experience?
No, I didn’t have a band, It was after Sweet Experience that I organised some guys to work with me. Although, I have been a member of Boys Brigade where I playedguitar keyboard, blew saxophone and trumpet before I came into broadcasting
How did you come up with the name of your band?
I used to have a small company then called Ayefele the Merry Maker. So when I was trying to set up my band, I didn’t want to lose that name, so I just decided to use Yinka Ayefele & the Merry Maker Band
For how long have you been in music ?
My musical career right from the Bitter Experience is 18 years old, but I have been performing as a guitarist and as a backup for some artistes before then.
Tell us the musicians you worked with before you set up your own band .
I worked with Uncle Toye Ajagun, I was his tenor guitarist. I played with Maico Ade, we started his band together worked with Wale Thompson, and I played at many churches.
Do you still play musical instruments ?
Yes I still play guitar, keyboard, blow trumpet, and and saxophone
From where do you draw your musical inspiration ?
Sometimes, I get some musical inspirations while on stage. I also have people who give me songs, such as my younger brother, Laolu Ayefele and Layi Adis. And in my band I have Kayode Emmanuel. I don’t want to limit my production to just what I am capable of doing, so that I won’t sound monotonous. So, that is why I involved some persons to work for me especially on composition.
I draw my inspiration while on stage, seeing people around me, but if I don’t record it , I will forget it.
We know that your music is improving day by day, at what level is your music now ?
Basically, I work on a very good production; it is left for my fans to describe my kind of music. All I know is that I play heavily percussive music which I call “ Tungba”.
Your music has evolved over the last 29 years. How do you see the various phases and changes?
Its been fine. My musical career has been going on very fine. My fan based has been expanding everyday. Each year, I try to put something different together to make sure I don’t sound the same way and I don’t repeat myself I’m working on something different now. My music will soon change.
My next album will be unique I will announced what I want to do later in the year. I want to change the face of my music. I want to change the rhythm, the pattern of percussion that I use in my music I want to go to a different way.
Are you going to maintain the tradition of releasing one album a year?
Yes, I will maintain that because you should not be releasing intermittently. It won’t be unique. We have many musicians. You are not the only person. Give people time to listen to others too.
Atimes, I may do album twice a years, depending on pressure. But I’m still going to be doing once a year.
Your album is usually a total package. There is something in it for everybody whether you are: Igbo, Yoruba or Hausa. Why is that so?
That is what I first worked on when I first started my musical career. Its quite different from what existed in the gospel tunes. I worked on making it more danceable unlike the old gospel tunes. I worked on the percussions. I made it heavily percussive with big beats.
I looked at how I could reach out to everybody. I want everybody to be part of my music, not only Yorubas, but also Igbo, Hausa and the international audience to listen to my music.
Whenever I travel out, I enjoy how the white men sing Ayefele’s song. It gives me more joy. I don’t want to be a sectional artistes. I produce an album for every part of Nigeria, so that every body will want to listen to my music.
That is my way of preaching the gospel. There is no way you will listen to Yinka Ayefele that you will not listen to the beat. It is either you like it because of my beat, or because of my rhythm or because of my message. You will be arrested because of one of those things. I have many Muslim fans. I have Christians fans. I have traditional worshipper fans as well.