Beginning from the late 1990’s up till early 2000’s, the Nigerian musical entertainment scene witnessed what could be described as a ‘revolution’, as exemplified in the emergence of contemporary hip-hop artistes. In 2016, these artistes have become so influential on the global scene that the genre they play has acquired a new name: Afrobeats––a fusion of various indigenous (and, sometimes, foreign) sounds. The ripple effect of this is that most indigenous Nigerian music genres like Apala, Juju and the rest have been elbowed out of the stage.
Except Fuji music.
In 2016, Fuji musicians still remain dominant forces in the Yoruba entertainment industry. PREMIUM TIMES brings you top ten Fuji artistes that made the genre relevant by the number of shows they attended, their visibility in the social scene and albums released in 2016.
- Wasiu Ayinde Anifowose (K1 De Ultimate)
Regarded as the wealthiest and most influential Fuji act alive, Wasiu Ayinde has continued to show that he is indeed the “King” of Fuji music. With a brand of music that appeals to the old and young generations, K1 blends easily with time and that may be the reason why, among his contemporaries, he is unarguably the only artiste that is still visible on the big screen.
One other attribute that keeps Wasiu going is his relationship with top politicians and society’s big guns. After the demise of Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, K1 is often touted as the favourite musician of APC leader, Bola Tinubu. He has released more than fifty albums and live tapes.
- Wasiu Alabi Ajibola (Pasuma Wonder)
The Fuji map cannot be drawn without capturing star act Wasiu Alabi Pasuma. Regarded as the most versatile contemporary Fuji act of this generation, Pasuma remains one leading Fuji act that has brought the genre into the mainstream of pop culture.
The CEO of “Wasbar” records, Pasuma has been involved in numerous collaboration projects with top hip-hop acts in Nigeria. Examples include artistes like Eedris Abdulkareem, Ruggedman, Olu Maintain and lately Olamide and VJ Adam. His album, ‘My World’, still enjoys airplay on radio and among hip-hop and Fuji fans alike. He is arguably the most decorated Fuji artiste of his generation.
- Saidi Akorede Okunola ( Saidi Osupa)
Popularly called the “Olufimo of Fuji”, Saidi Osupa is well respected for the depth of his lyrics and his philosophical thoughts. Osupa, for a long time, has been drawn in a supremacy battle with his closest rival, Alabi Pasuma. He was once crowned the ‘King of Music’ by late Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, a development that stirred controversies among Fuji musicians. The Ibadan-born artiste is a graduate of The Polytechnic, Ibadan, Oyo state.
- Adewale Ayuba
Urbane and reserved, Ayuba is considered the most cosmopolitan among Fuji musicians. The Bonsue Fuji crooner was recently in the news after converting into a Christian. Ayuba, a law graduate, has at different times signed endorsement deals with top brands in the country. He has equally been paraded as ambassador of top Nigerian companies, including GLOBACOM.
- Sule Adekunle Alao ( Malaika )
Popularly called ‘KS 1 the Pride’, Sule Alao Malaika is easily one of the leading lights of Fuji music. Apart from Pasuma, he has done considerably well pushing Fuji music to the fore-front of mainstream music. The self-styled “King of new generation” started his musical career in Lagos Island. He has featured in musical videos of top pop acts including Olamide.
- Taiye Akande Adebisi (Taiye Currency)
Ibadan-based Taiye Currency remains a big force in the entertainment scene in Oyo State. For years, the Fuji act whose twin brother died a few years ago has been the poster boy of Fuji in Ibadan and environs, outshining close rivals like Sekele Taofiki and Larondo Waidi. Once named “Arabambi 3”, Taiye Currency has gone ahead to spread his fan base beyond Oyo State and he now regularly performs in Lagos. He is a protégée of Alabi Pasuma, the artiste with whom he shares similar style.
- Shina Akanni (Scorpido)
Sir Shina Akanni is generally revered among Fuji musicians. Known among his contemporaries as “Aare”, Shina Akanni remains one of the least controversial Fuji acts among Fuji artistes. He spends most of his time performing at shows abroad.
- Aderemi Aluko ( Ajela)
Remi Aluko enjoys the support of Fuji fans across age groups but he is much more popular among the street urchins and NURTW apparatchiks. Known for his adaptation of popular hip-hop songs, Ajela as he is fondly called by fans is the most popular Christian Fuji artiste in an industry dominated by Muslims. He is also known for his conversion of popular Christian hymns into Fuji tunes.
- Abass Akande ( Obesere )
Formerly known as the most controversial Fuji artiste, Abass Akande hugged the limelight in the early 90’s with his brand of “Asakasa” tunes and lewd lyrics. He has since become a dominant force in the industry. The self-styled “Paramount King of Fuji” is always at loggerheads with Wasiu Ayinde Marshal. The Ibadan-born artiste also performed at the coronation concert of the Olubadan of Ibadan, Saliu Adetunji, held at the Mapo hall this year.
- Shefiu Adekunle Alao (Cardozo)
Sefiu Alao Adekunle is popularly known as “Omo oko” (literally translated as ‘village boy’). He was one of the leading lights of Fuji in the 1990’s. The Abeokuta-based artiste has since remained on the big screen. He had a feud with Wasiu Ayinde earlier this year and the rancor has since been settled. He performs at shows frequently in Abeokuta and Lagos.