Saturday, 3 October 2009
BY CHUKS NWANNE
Though it was supposed to be an album launch, the event held last Sunday at the White House, Toyin Street, Ikeja, Lagos, turned to a sort of music jamboree.
The lovable artiste, Seyi Solagbade proved his worth at the event. Even as he gave ample room to other younger artistes to fulfil their dream of performing before a quality crowd; Seyi’s performance was the highpoint of the event that lasted well into the night.
Even after reducing his Black Face band from 14 to a 9-man piece, the music remained essentially Seyi Solagbade: undiluted African-centric; creatively inventive rhythm and horns sessions; and energetic beat as usual. His sidemen, though reduced in number, no doubt have deep understanding of Seyi’s style of music; and this they displayed in their performance last Sunday.
“It used to be a 14-piece band, but has changed to nine people now. However, the music remains the same. It was difficult taking the whole band for tours outside the country, so, it’s necessary for us to break the number. Aside from that, I just wanted to put the music in a very small package,” Seyi hinted in a recent chat.
Seyi’s appearance on stage sparked up excitement from members of the audience, who had waited for long to see the saxophonist play his latest beats live on stage.
Aside the title track, No King As God, Seyi played other tracks in the new work such as Fakky Crazy, New Dance, Ayawani, Comurado, Show Boys, Show them Africa, Maromi Pin and others.
“I started from the stage to making albums, that’s the way I was brought up and that’s where the power is,” he said.
Seyi belongs to the group of artistes, who are not worried about the strong influence of hip-hop music in the country’s music scene, especially among the youths.
To the light skinned multi-talented instrumentalist, music is all about culture. “I’m not worried at all,” he says. “A music scholar once said that if you take your culture away from your music, then you are out of the way; originality is the basic thing of life. I’m not condemning anybody, but their music is seasonal in the sense that they come and go and that’s because originality is not there.”
He added: “Abroad, people appreciate you based on your music. I’m doing music because I love what I’m doing; I was born into it. Originally, my plan was to combine different kind of music together. I want people to be listening to my music and be hearing different stuffs at the same time. It’s about fusing the genres of music together.”