HOW ROLLING DOLLAR HUMBLED ME -ADELEKE AJAYI
Prince Adeleke Ajayi started playing live music in Zaria , Kaduna State in 1997. The prince who hailed from Kwara State later joined the Nigerian Army Band headed by Major Brown.
Thereafter, he was posted to Abuja where he finally bowed out in 1999 to establish his own band called Prince and Melody Band. Daily Sun caught up with him recently while playing alongside elder artiste and Highlife maestro, Pa Fatai Rolling Dollar at AVOA Pavilion in Surulere area of Lagos. Excerpts
Performing with Rolling Dollar
It was a rare privileged for me to perform on the same stage with an elderly artiste like Pa Fatai Rolling Dollar. He is a father and a leading figure in Nigerian music industry. We both sang on stage as if we belong to the same band and the audience enjoyed every bit of the show. Rolling Dollar made me feel proud to be a singer but his performance humbled me. I can say that I am grateful to God for giving me the rare opportunity.
How I started
It has not been so fantastic. As an upcoming artiste, I have received no assistance from people. Rather, a lot of discouragement from my parents, siblings and blood brothers who are not ready to offer any help. At one time, I had my own musical instruments but due to circumstances beyond my control, I lost them. I came to Lagos in 2006 and started all over again. And by the Grace of God, April 2011 made it one year in AVOA as in-house musician but it has not been so easy nevertheless, I have been performing in occasions like wedding and funeral ceremonies.
Album in the market
I have my work already in the studio but yet to be released. Very soon, the album would be in the market.
Nigerian music industry
Government doesn't seem to have any strategic programme for the industry in Nigeria. There is no support apart from the entertainment fund given by President Goodluck Jonathan who is also trying to fashion out incentives through Chairman of Silver bird Group, Ben Bruce. And we have a lot of potentials and talents wasting away in the country.
My kind of music
I am into high life and contemporary music. I can sing in Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba languages fluently. I hail from Kwara state but I was born and raised in the north, the advantage of singing in the three major languages came through many experiences in the military. Presently, I am with Nigerian Army band, Abalti Barracks, Ojuelegba, Surulere, Lagos.
Government and the entertainment industry
Government should develop a road map for the entertainment industry through establishment of an endowment fund for artistes, musicians and comedians. This would enable them carry out projects such as recordings, and holding state shows. Also, the issue of piracy should be addressed. Above all, local artistes should be given more encouragement rather than preference to foreign artistes especially during the government corporate functions.
The new album
I have a total of eight tracks in the entire album including Baba Ose, Glory to God, and an Afro-high-life entitled Ogbagba ti gba alailara. The hit song however, is Baba Ose.