Many don’t know that Evangelist Ebenezer Obey likes Sir Shina Peters a lot. This was revealed in the 1992 biography Mike Awoyinfa did on Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey titled, The Legends Own Story. In the book, Obey, revealed why he likes SSP.
He said: “I remember Shina as my musical child prodigy. He came to me as a kid wanting to play in my band, and he played with me at the beginning. I saw the future in him and wanted to form a band of his age-group. I felt that would be an innovation, a juju band made up of kids. I, therefore, sent him and his parents to my lawyer for an agreement to be signed. But somewhere along the line, things changed and he went to play for Prince Adekunle. I was even prepared to buy him musical instruments, but then he left. But while he was with Adekunle we were still in touch. Even when he teamed up with Segun Adewale to form Shina Adewale, we were still in touch. Then he went solo and later started facing hard times. Throughout his bad times, I was with him counselling him, telling him never to give up hope.
The record with which Sina Peters made a come-back was initially to be released on my label. I had arranged for him to go into my studio, and the album was even recorded. But I later changed my mind. I felt that being that close, I would rather prefer another recording company to record and release the album. At first, I approached Ogo Oluwa Records to release the album, but they wanted to be given time to think about the project. As this was going on, Shina could not wait for them to make up their mind. So, he approached the then CBS, now Sony Records, and he got a deal. He went to the studio to re-release the album which was called ACE. Originally, it wasn’t ACE. The new recording was as good as the one he had recorded for me. Thank God, it became a chart-buster.
With this Afro-Juju, Shina Peters has brought a positive change into Juju music and has taken it to a new dimension. The youths who had been clamouring for something new easily embraced it. It had always been Obey and Sunny. For many years we dominated the scene. People were eager for something new. Life is all about change. Everything must change. Even the seasons do change. So, Juju music evolved into something new, something faster in tempo-blended with good percussions: a new craze called Afro-Juju.
Some people say that Shina has blended juju with Fuji music. This is a wrong assumption. Fuji music itself is a derivative of Juju music. Originally, fuji was known as were music, Moslem music which Koranic school pupils used to sing at dawn to wake up Moslems to start their fasting. The musical instruments then consisted of bamboo sticks and sakara. That was all. It was when Sikiru Ayinde Barrister came that he started using Juju musical instruments and infusing the beat of juju music into fuji. I see Shina Peters as a good guitarist, a good keyboardist and a multi-instrumentalist. He has blazed a trail and others are following, increasing the tempo of their music and trying to find their own identity.