Abass Akande Obesere, is one of the most successful Fuji musicians in Nigeria. Recently, one of his old songs titled ‘Egungun Be Careful’ received rave reviews sparking-off a new wave acceptance in the music industry.
In this interview, Obesere speaks on the endless face-off between Fuji musicians, his new album titled ‘Stand Out’, and his age-long difference with Mayegun of Yoruba land, Wasiu Ayinde Marshall.
One of your old songs titled ‘Egungun Be Careful’ recently enjoyed rave reviews, how did you make the magic happen?
First of all, I want to thank God. I want to thank the almighty. It wasn’t my magic, it was God’s magic. I wasn’t the one that brought ‘Egungun Be Careful’ back, it was God. The song that we are talking about was released a while ago, about 16 years ago. I think the album was released in 2004, under Bayowa Films and Record. I never thought that it could be appreciated again. I didn’t expect that it would return in such a massive way.
What motivated the title of that album released several years ago?
‘Egungun Festival’ is a tradition that has been happening before my generation, but God knew about my plans and intentions for it. God has a way of proving himself to whoever is doing something original.
In the heat of the return of the song, you collaborated with a couple of young artistes including Zlatan, what was the experience like?
My collaboration with Hip hop artistes on ‘Egungun Be Careful’ was all about modernising the song especially for the young artistes who were not around when the original version was released. I and Zlatan put our heads together and the end product was massive. It was well-received.
You recently dropped an album, tell us about it.
Yes, it is titled ‘Stand Out’. It was recently released under Okiki Films and Records. I titled this album ‘Stand Out’ because I have a lot of unique attributes. For instance, if you are hearing my voice from afar you will know that the voice belongs to me. It is not a matter of the voice being familiar, you will categorically say that the artiste performing is Abass Akande Obesere and that is why I stand out, and that is why I am unique. I let people know me with what I am doing; hence I titled this album ‘Stand Out.’
How long did you work on it?
I worked on it for seven months. My last album ‘Number One’ was released last year.
You have maintained a level of relevance for several years despite obstacles both natural and from saboteurs, how have you managed this?
It is God’s gift. God is behind everything. Whatever you do that is original, there is no way that you would be left out, God will always prove himself and you will always stand out.
There is always this faceoff between Fuji artistes occasionally. Today, you hear it’s between Obesere and Wasiu, and tomorrow it is Osupa and Pasuma, are these fights real or are they just marketing?
In every industry, there is no way that there won’t be a misunderstanding between the people doing the business. All I know is that everyone is trying to sell his ware. It is not like we are wishing ourselves evil; we are just saying that we are the best. In everything you do, you can’t tell the world that you have been left out; you will always tell them that you are the best. So, they will keep encouraging you to move forward. I don’t think that there is much difference between Fuji musicians and other industries. If you go to the Hip hop industry too, you will see that some of them have grudges with each other. It is not all about wishing themselves anything bad, but sending the message that they are the best. So, that is what we are trying to do, it is not like we are wishing ourselves anything bad.
Do you still get royalty from your albums?
I still get paid royalty from them. I still get my royalty from all of my albums even the first one titled ‘introduction.’
Your age-long face-off with King Wasiu Ayinde Marshall is known to all, what is your relationship like presently?
We are colleagues, whereever we see each other, we always say ‘Hi’, ‘Hi’. He appreciates me and I appreciate him as well.
Let’s talk about your recent endorsement with Gtext Homes, can you give us the details?
Gtext Homes, a leading Real Estate company, appreciates me and that was why they made me their ambassador. I believe in them as well.
Are you aware that there are all sorts of Real Estate companies in Lagos State?
Before signing the contract, I investigated them because I didn’t want to be associated with just anybody. However, after the investigation, I found out that they were a very reliable and dependable company. Since I joined them, I have not gotten a call to say that they have not lived up to expectations. Personally, I have been in the industry, but the nature of my job has not given me the opportunity to go into it fully. I know the terrain and I can say Gtext Homes and their boss Stephen Akintayo are straight forward.