AT 63, EX-GOVERNOR LAOYE GOES INTO MUSIC
After serving the military for many years and rising to become a state governor, Col. Bankole Laoye (retd) has found a new love: music. Coming from a lineage of musicians, it is not surprising that the old soldier has embraced music after all. But what is amazing is that he had to wait till when he is 63 years old before giving voice to his talent.
And the prince of Ede in Osun State is enthusiastic about his new found love. He told Blockbuster that having being in the church choir for a long time and also served in the military for over 32 years, he could not but go into gospel music now that he has the inspiration and divine call to compose and arrange songs.
Given the large market for good African songs all over the world, Laoye's works are expected to be on the Internet where people can buy. He also hopes to make some good money from royalties despite piracy.
Laoye traced the genesis thus: 'My maternal lineage is basically traditional drummers who were often invited from communities to communities to perform at big festivals. My father, the late Timi of Ede, Oba John Adetoye picked up the act of drumming and received accolades all over the world. My maternal grandfather, Chief Emmanuel Akin George was for a long time the organist, choir director and music director of a Baptist Church in Lagos. My mother was a music teacher at Queens School, Ede while my father apart from being a drummer was a fantastic keyboardist. My father did not actually make any album but he was always performing his songs at every church service.'
On his debut album expected to be launched at International Conference Centre, Abuja next Wednesday, the former military governor said: 'I have incorporated some of my father's lyrics in the album. I started composing and arranging my own songs at 59, all the songs in new CD are arranged by me. The proceeds from the launch will go into my foundation which will be launched same day.'
The foundation is meant to assist the families of those who died while in active service in the armed forces. 'As a former acting military governor of old Oyo State in 1979 and having seen the plights of young officers' widows and children, I intend to use the foundation to fund the education of the children of these young officers who died while protecting the integrity of their fatherland.'