By Ijeoma Tagbo
Juju Music Maestro, King Sunny Ade was the guest of Today On STV on Friday. He revealed his challenges and paths he chose to stardom. He celebrates 50 years on stage.
Congratulations on your 70th birthday, you are celebrating 50years on stage, tell us what that means to do?
That means a lot to me, because I did not know I can go that far to this level, and I’m thanking God , my people, fans that have made it possible for me, members and organizations that really has pushed me to this level of where I am in life.
Looking at your background, your father was an organist, does that contribute to your love for music?
My father never had any of his children come close to the level of music, because he was a policeman and a royal heir, He believes musicians have to play for the royalty, so coming to music is more or less like a blessing to me but if my father had not passed away I would have not been able to do that. I am like the black sheep of the family.
But you are successful?
It happened when my mother was still alive and my siblings, they allowed me to do so, they said there’s nothing they can do though I’m a prince shortened into King Sunny Ade.
Whoa, so you are a titled man?
Yes, I am
Your induction into the Hall of Fame coming by your various contributions and recognition globally?
I thank God for that and my fans if not because of you all they wouldn’t have recognized me in the world, and I thank those who thought about putting me into the Hardrock Hall of Fame is something I have been dreaming consecutively and I thank God for that
Looking at you career and how much you have achieved with Victor Olaiya and moved on would you have changed you decision anything?
I played with Moses Olaiya who came from Ilesa and not big brother Victor Olaiya who hailed from Ekiti and they are not related. I was with Moses Olaiya Band and I taught myself how to play guitar and when I am going out to form a group, a friend of Moses Olaiya had some instruments to be given out if I want to play music, but I said no, I can’t do that because I have a boss. It was Moses Olaiya, who told me to go ahead to start a band, and I said no he instructed me to do it for about 9 months to 1year if it doesn’t work come back here. I never had that kind of instruction in my life and I did as he told me and I thank God for where I am.
Do you think government has paid enough attention to entertainment, perhaps to generate revenue, especially in this period of recession?
No, the government has not done so. Governments across the world make a lot of revenue form entertainment world. I thank God today that government is curbing piracy, because that’s the killer of any artiste. I thank God in my own life, I now see a lot of parents allowing their children to play music, back then parents scolded their children for playing music. They saw musician as wayward people.
If the government can look back again like what Americans and British do, the revenue from entertainment is meant to be higher than any other because the times we are currently it’s a world of entertainment. They should have a good arrangement that can make it possible, Nollywood is number three in the world so we are praying that we don’t deviate. Indians are really peaking but can strive harder.
The celebration will be coming up and you will be inducted into Hard Rock Hall of Fame, what is your feeling?
50years of fame, I will be auctioning my guitar painted by Victor, a famous contemporary Nigerian painter painted my 25years old guitar and I call her my baby.
In appreciate his painting because I told him, I want something that we be permanently on it and after my show I will auction it the moment I finish and I want to see it anywhere in the world. It’s going to be auctioned and I will always communicate with whoever bought it and ask; Is my baby ok with you. I tried to maintain it that’s why it’s still looking it.
How do you manage to keep your band together?
I thank God and the members who really saw me as their leader though we have been together as a family, people around us see us as brothers and we keep it up. You are looking for my best, but my best is yet to come.