For Sulaiman Adio Olaleye, popularly known as Atawewe, the six months he spent touring the united States of America was not only a rewarding experience but an eye-opener on how music business is conducted.
Atawewe said this in what looked like a subtle reaction to insinuations in some quarters in the Fuji music scene that he not only wasted those months under the guise of performance tour but also lost his prime position in the comity of fuji musicians.
Before embarking on the tour, which he said was initially billed for three months, Atawewe was clearly head and shoulder above the likes of Pasuma, Osupa on the scale of fuji music followers. His Sunday, Sunday live gig at Dr. Abimbola Olaiya’s Stadium Hotel was usually filled to the brim with young upwardly mobile lovers of fuji music.
But like most Nigerian musicians whose belief is that until they have embarked on a tour of America, they have not arrived, Atawewe abandoned his fans, took the next available flight and off he flew to America for the much desired tour.
“I don’t agree that anything has changed as per my position in fuji music; my position still remains. I’ve got my audience and whenever they hear me, they will come. I don’t believe anybody has taken my space,” he said as he fiddled with his handset. “Don’t forget that I released about four concert CDs while on tour and they all did well; they were well accepted by my fans.”
According to him, the quest to broaden his musical horizon led him into the tour.
“In this life, when you embark on something, you will think it won’t take long. When I left Nigeria, it was supposed to be a three-month tour but along the line, people kept asking for more. They wanted an encore.
“In States, we were billed for one show, we ended up with five shows. It was a sign that they accepted what we were doing and so we elongated the show; we ended up staying for six months,” he told Entertainment Today.
And as if to assure his fans that the tour was not a waste of time and energy, he said on the impact the tour will have on his style of music: “I’m back. Let them wait; they will soon see the new things in my music courtesy of the tour. Very soon, I will be in the studio to record an album Appreciation for what people did for us over there.”
He boasted that not only is he in form and a force to reckon with, “I got lots of new tricks up my sleeves. I’ve seen how music business is conducted and I am happy I went on the tour.”
Atawewe, who has released seven other albums since his debut, Facility, in 1996/97 gave kudos to the organisation behind the tour.