A female journalist with one of the nation’s prominent newspapers got more than she bargained for when the King of World Beats and Nigeria’s first Grammy Awards nominee, King Sunny Ade openly challenged her to a session in bed to prove he is still very active at 62.
The drama unfolded during a question and answer session between the musician and journalists at the final leg of activities to round off his birthday anniversary held at his Ondo country home.
Taken aback by the boldness of the reporter at challenging his manliness, King Sunny Ade in response, quietly said to the reporter: “ Try Me”.
The King spoke to Showtime moments after the encounter. Read on.
How many years are we celebrating today?
I turned 62 years today.
Are you sure?File be (leave it at that )
You must feel very great
I’m so happy, you know. Mere seeing you people around me, that’s enough for me. You know leaving Lagos a day before the occasion to come here, without even going to Church, is that not enough? I appreciate that.
So how does it feel like?
I feel so great, that is why I want to eat now.
62 years is quite a number of years, just eight years short of what God said we should live.God is merciful, I didn’t know I would be 62, upon all the risks I have been taking since all these years.
Yes, different risks.
Risks like what sir?
For instance, you see me playing everywhere. I have to go by road, whether the road is good or bad. I have to go through in the night, in the day, in the morning and you don’t know what you are going to meet or where you are going to play.
62 plus 8, that’s 70, what is your projection for your 70th birthday?
God is the answer, I cannot project anything, I can only try to think about what I can do, but who am I? God is the answer.
What do you think you can do between now and when you turn 70?
Since I’m still playing my music ,I believe I can still do better.
What are those things that you have not done that will be top priorities as you are pushing towards 70?
Well, what I have not done yet is to satisfy you, and for you to say, Sunny, you have satisfied me. I’m yet to satisfy you, because my best is yet to come.
You mean musically?
So you are not thinking of retirement yet?
There is nothing called retirement in music, you can only retire from the stage. You feel music, it’s in your blood.
So when do you plan on retiring from the stage?
Well I don’t know, until you say I should.
Any Album in the pipeline?
Yes I am working on it.
Yes by God’s grace.
How was the last one?
The last one was great, you know, you know better now.
At 62, and you are still bubbling in music, are you satisfied with the level you are at now?
I will say yes, to a certain level, because I want the level to be higher than that, but we are working on it now.
Does it bother you sometimes that Fuji music seems to have taken the shine from juju music?
Why should it bother me? There is nothing like that. How will you compare fuji music to juju music? They are different, and fuji music by the way, came from juju music.
You can see the rhythm of fuji music, it’s from juju music.
You did an album before, which allegedly rescued you from the claws of fuji music, so any plans to do such an album?
Well, it is only you telling me what you felt. I have not seen it that way, because the way you see juju music, when you want to say something took over from something, how would you reckon the other music genres of the world?
There was a time in this nation that it was Awilo everywhere, later we left Awilo and came back to juju music, before then in those days, it was Indian music, you left it and came back to juju music. Juju music is the root of traditional music.
Do you think it is right that after more than 30 years that you got Grammy nomination, nobody has gotten to that point. Do you think something has gone wrong somewhere?
Well, nothing has gone wrong anywhere. You see, Grammy award is an award that the Americans and the whole world recognise as one of the best awards you can ever get, and in as much as none has ever been given to an African, we are still working to take the real award.
Is it possible?
It is possible, you see the music going on now, it’s possible. It is only that in the other part of the world, they know what they want. Seal is a Nigerian, he has 4 awards. He is the first Nigerian to get that, but I am the first Nigerian to get The Grammy nomination twice.
Is it not troubling that Nigerian musicians are leaving traditional music like fuji and juju to embrace western music like Hip-Hop, R n B and the likes?
Well my dear, let me tell you one thing, if you do not permit all those things you just mentioned now, it can never get to the public. It’s because you are selling it to the public and the moment the public hears it, they embrace it.
You can testify that Nigerian youths know the names of more foreign artistes than Nigerian artistes. And who taught them, it’s you the media, most especially radio and television stations. Juju music is still the best of traditional music.
Apart from music, are you still strong on the other side?
What other side?
Are you still strong in bed?
(Laughs) The only thing I can say is “please try me”.