Why I am the Scorpido of fuji music – Shina Akanni
A philosopher once said that getting to top of one's career is not as challenging as sustaining the status. For Aare Shina Akanni a.k.a Scorpido in fuji music cycle, being on top for over two decades has not been an easy task. Akanni, a native of Abeokuta said that sometimes, being on top comes with its bitter moments.
In an interview with Daily Sun, recently, the multi-award winner, who is also the current National Chairman of Fuji Musicians Association of Nigeria (FUMAN), an affiliate of PMAN, speaks on his undying love for fuji, his efforts at reconciling his warring colleagues and the way forward for Nigerian music.
I'm Aare Shina Akanni, Aroworaeyin, a musician who believes in fighting injustice with music. I'm a native of Kemta, Ilawo in Abeokuta, Ogun State. I was born in the early 60's at Mushin, Lagos. I began my schooling at Lagos Progressive Primary School, Surulere, Lagos. Later, I proceeded to the famous Lisabi Grammar School, Abeokuta for my secondary education. After secondary school, I opted out for a three-year technical training in automobile engineering. It is a profession that has a family history.
New year plans
I want to say Happy New Year to all my fans at home and abroad. I have good plans for myself and my fans in 2006. All my plans are in God's hands. I am going to release two albums in 2006. The first one is: God's Signature and the second one is: Recharge Card. In fact, my fans and music lovers are already waiting for the albums. I also want to do a compilation of some of my works released between ten and twelve years ago.
Music and me
I started playing fuji 23 years ago. I'm still thanking God for what he has done for me as a musician. I'm also full of thanks to my fans for believing in me since I started. Without them, there would have been no Shina Akanni.
Akoja ewe was my first album. It was released in 1986 under my label Shina Akanni Records. But I gave the album to Olumo Records to market. Between then and now, I have released over 23 albums.
Fulfillment as an artiste
Yes, I'm one hundred percent fulfilled and satisfied being a fuji musician. God has done so much for me and I believe He will continue to do more.
All my works are good but Fuji Merit remains dear to me. It was released in 1992. I also love Dancehall and Accessibility.
The name Scorpido
My fans gave me the name. They said that I usually play my music with pace, so they unanimously re-christened me Scorpido
Achievements as FUMAN Chairman
Yes, I'm the first elected chairman of the Lagos State chapter. We have been able to offer visionary leadership to our colleagues. Right now, we are trying to hold fresh elections so that a new exco can take-over. While in office, we also brought all the warring fuji musicians together and ensured that peace reign supreme in our midst.
Bickering among musicians
I've said it and I will continue to say it that K1 the Ultimate and Obesere are not on the same level. Every fuji musician has his or her own style of singing and fans. We all know our roles as ambassadors of fuji music. We are doing our best to bring all the warring factions together. At a point, we called K1 the Ultimate and Obesere to a round table meeting to iron out their differences.We did the same thing with others. At FUMAN, we are like one big family and we preach peace and unity.
I'm so happy that fuji music has been accepted globally. It gives me exceeding joy.
I see myself as the best fuji musician in Nigeria today because of my unique voice and high level of composition. I respect veterans like Alhaji Siriku Ayinde Barrister and Alhaji Kollington Ayinla. I see Barrister and Kollington as the godfathers of modern fuji. They put us through on this job to the level we are today.
Initially, my dad was not in support but later, he gave me his blessings. My mum supported me right from beginning. It is a divine call; I didn't just jump into it.
Fuji musicians and women
Having too many women as wives, concubines and lovers is not limited to fuji musicians alone. It's common among all musicians, yet it cuts across Christians and Muslims, even you journalists. But for me, I have only one wife and three lovely kids. My wife is in support of my career as a musician. I was already a musician before my marriage.
Future of fuji music in Nigeria
Fuji is a genre of music that will never die. It is even gaining global acceptance fast. The future is bright in Nigeria and beyond; we would definitely keep the fire burning.
Influences on career/mentors
As a musician, I cannot begin to mention all their names in this interview. But people like Alhaji Lawal Akanni, Otunba Olatunde, SAFCON, my fans and all lovers of fuji globally have influenced my career one way or the other.
FUMAN and PMAN
Advice to up and coming Fuji Musicians
I have often told them that this house (Fuji) must not fall, or we will crumble. I have also told them that co-operation; hard work and understanding are the key words. With these on our minds, we would take fuji music to the highest level. It is a collective effort.
Aside singing and dancing, I socialise. Also, I play football, table tennis, swim and I do car-racing.