In every generation, there comes a genre
of music that steals people’s heart. In The United States, there was
the Rock ‘n’ Roll in the 1960’s, Disco reigned supreme in the 1970’s,
Dance music and New waves in the 1980’s, Hip-hop was the gift from
Compton in the 1990’s. Now, Autotune is the in-thing (but that is
another gist on its own).
Let’s talk about Fuji, the genre of
music that stole the Nigerian dance floor in the 70’s. Everyone loved
it, everyone was crazy about it. It was a blend of Juju, Apala, Sakara,
Alhaji Sikiru Ayinde Barrister is often
credited not only as the pioneer of Fuji music, but as the one who
popularized it. His tour through Europe, Asia and North America in the
1970’s pushed the genre to the world.
The Pioneer’s most popular apprentice
was Wasiu Ayinde Anifowoshe. Wasiu Ayinde started as any other
apprentice- from the bottom, until he got the chance to drop his most
popular album in 1984; “Talazo 84”. It was an instant hit, so were all
his subsequent albums. The man dropped so many hits that his name came
to be associated with the Fuji genre.
No wonder he proclaimed himself the King
of Fuji, rechristened himself King Wasiu Ayinde Marshall. But Fuji is
dying and by extension it’s King. I’ll tell you who is responsible for
When ID Cabasa’s Coded Tunes signed
young Olamide Adedeji, nobody ever anticipated that his genre of music
would be the end of Fuji. The self-proclaimed “Baddest guy ever liveth”
has a style that appealed to the street more than Fuji ever did.
The down to earth appearance of Olamide
helped his genre of music reach a larger percentage of crowd that can
relate with his lyrics. The fact that he recorded most of his lyrics in
Yoruba also helped. It isn’t really Olamide’s fault that Fuji is dying,
it is the times.
We now live in the age of “Afro-pop” a
fusion of Africa and Hip-hop. It basically means we start singing more
in our mother’s tongue. A song can never be complete without an element
of Yoruba or Igbo in it.
It doesn’t help that Pasuma (another
prominent Fuji artiste) has switched to “Afropop” in a bid to remain
relevant. Of course it worked, he was probably the most successful
“Fuji” artiste last year.
Favored music genre changes with
generation everywhere in the world, Nigeria is no exception. Without any
doubt, the end of the 70’s generation is the end of Fuji. The few
people still singing are the endangered species we are not interested in
In this new generation of mine, Don Jazzy owns the beat, Olamide owns the stage.