THE fusion of different genres of music — Jazz, Afrobeat, Funk, Juju, Soukouss and Highlife is the current music trend, and Oluseyi Solagbade is not allowing the phase to pass him. In fact, he is blazing the trail with his acts.
With his lyrics, mostly commentary on prevailing socio-economic issues in the country and Africa as a whole, Seyi aims to create massive awareness about the problems and inspire decision makers to take steps to correct them.
Born in the early 70s, Solagbade started his music career as a soloist in a church, from where he branched out to play professional music in 1983. He founded his group, Black Face, in 1994 and had its first performance at African Refugee Day in 1997. His works include Condom, Mr. Stupid, Black Face and others.
According to the saxophonist, “Palongo is my music style, it’s borne out of the quest for unique and futuristic music. It is a concept in 6/8 rhythmic pattern, which emanated from Ghana and other rhythmic percussion of some southern states in Nigeria”.
On his band’s name, Solagbade, says, “Black Face is not talking about my complexion, it’s an ideology. I’m not talking about my ‘white’ face rather it is the African pride in that face that I’m talking about. As an African, my fair skin, does not take away my ‘black face’.
Asked why he has been away from the music scene for sometime, the artiste, enthuses, “Away ke! No, no, no, I can never be away from what has given me joy and fame. Though, I have not been in touch with my fans musically, we are constantly in touch via other means, especially online. We chat and discuss on my website as well as on facebook. They have used the medium to speak their minds, which is part of the reasons I have been away from the stage. I have been working with different producers and teaching Music in different schools, locally and abroad. Also, I have been working as music agent for many states during their yearly functions such as Ogun State and others. But most importantly, I have been busy working on my coming album.”
Are you now back?
“Yeah! In fact, I’m fully back with the support of Oba Oke (referring to God) and all my fans. Insha-Allahu, I ‘ll be releasing three singles in March, this year. I’m coming out with another trend of music, which cuts across all ages. Just watch out, it’s something no one has experienced. It’s an inspirational groove that will serve as ‘hypnotherapy’ to everyone across the globe.
You sound more spiritual, are you now into gospel music?
“If I may ask, what do you mean by gospel music? Is it by mentioning Christ, Jehovah, Mohammed or Allah with deceit? Or by giving succour, happiness, peace and proffering solutions to problems in all sincerity”, he asks. “I’m not into gospel music.”
Talking about his coming singles, Solagbade says, “The new singles are tip of the ice-berg of what the whole album will look like. That a man is blind does not mean he can’t identify a salty meal. (Oju lo m’oun to yo nu!) The first on the roll will be Ire followed by Orin and later Olusegun.
Asked if he is dedicating Olusegun to the former Head of State, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo?
With a surprised laughter, saxophonist says, “Obasanjo ewe! I did it for my late friend, Olusegun Otukoya, who had been with me even when there was nothing. While I was recording in the studio, I recalled many things that added meaning to the music.”
Speaking on his inspiration, the youthful father of three disclosed that he draws inspiration from everything around him and listens to evergreen music from artistes such as Yusuf Olatunji, Ayinla Omowura, Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Others include Alhaji Ayinde Barrister, Akeem Kareem, Remi Olabanji, Sunny Ade, Angelic Kidjo, Seidu Keita, Femi Kuti, Sunny Nneji, Lagbaja. I like listening to music that challenges me.”
Nigerian Music Nigeria Black Face, Fela Kuti, Lagbaja, Sunny Ade, Sunny Nneji