Friday, 23 September 2016

The KSA Memoir: How KSA became famous---Yemi Farounbi


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Dr. Yemi Farounbi (L) Dr. Seye Kehinde (3rd Right) others & KSA

Today, Mr. Yemi Farounbi an ageless writer, Television administrator and entertainment enthusiast explained to us how he met the highly gifted King of World Beats, King Sunny Ade and what makes the master guitarist different from every other mortal of his century. Enjoy the excerpts on your Africa’s number 1 Celebrity encounter blog Asabeafrika.

 My encounter with King Sunny Ade
“It has been a long time.  I believe it was in 1966.  A friend of mine, Stanley, invited me to a party as part of the funeral ceremony of the father of his girl friend, Tinuke.  Both Stanley and Tinuke were students of the College of Education, Akoka.  On the bandstand were Sunny Ade and the Green Spot Band.
KSA...In his early stage craft
He was unusual, completely unique in his stagecraft even though he sang OWAMBE, (Tunde Nightingale style) – which was in vogue. He was refreshingly different, because he and his singers were standing up on stage.  They were even dancing to the music.  Even the sheer number of the band-members was large, compared with others.  His boyish face, broad, heartwarming smiles, and dance steps made indelible marks on my mind.  And those were days when Ghana Highlife, Congo’s Cha-cha-cha, and Twist fever dominated the campuses.

“He had become more royal in music, capturing the entire old generation. He had at the same time become more adventurous, and frontier-pushing; ever experimenting with new themes, new formats, new styles, and new directions thus capturing the hearts and minds of the youths – to whom he became a musical idol”
KSA with Dr. Yemi Farounbi
I was to meet him again in early 1970s.  This time more closely.  He had become then a giant on the musical scene. He had become the master guitarist of our times. He had become a musician of his own, with a thrilling style of his own. His showmanship and stagecraft had become unparallel. His smiles had become more effervescent and broad.  His creative energy and physical energy had become legendary.  His records on “Challenge Cup”, “Stationary Stores”, “Ile labo sinmi oko”, among others had brightened the musical horizon, and records of history.  Then he was on African Songs label, and therefore a regular artiste on WNTV’s “Come Let’s Dance”, and later TYC’s “Musical Extravaganza” and I was in WNTV-WNBS.
KSA...The Band Leader
By the time I became General Manager of NTV, Ibadan, we had become very close.  He had matured into a musical giant. He had become the king of Juju music – after a popular contest organized by The Entertainer.  His reputation for excellence in composition, musical artistry, and showmanship had stretched across Africa into Europe and North America. He had become a social critic, commentator, a reflector of societal values, and a harbinger of love in his many records.  He had established a relationship with NTA Ibadan – of one major show every year… a relationship that subsists till today.  And he became the artiste earning the highest fee on Nigerian Television scene.

He was to become the King of World Beats; he was to earn many awards including Golden Mercury of Africa”, and nomination for Grammy Awards.  He had become more royal in music, capturing the entire old generation.  He had at the same time become more adventurous, and frontier-pushing; ever experimenting with new themes, new formats, new styles, and new directions thus capturing the hearts and minds of the youths – to whom he became a musical idol.
KSA...The Brand
Together, we explored the possibility of concerts where his ingenuity, creativity and innovativeness blossomed without any limitation.  Together, we explored the possibility of a film project, “The Lady Behind the Music”.  The concept grew, and eventually materialized when he worked with other producers on film projects.  This was to explore his immense talent in acting, his immense capacity to generate story lines, his immense ability to mimic people, or create humor and jokes.

The strange thing about this great king, creator of world beat, and master guitarist, composer, arranger, producer and instrumentalist is that as he grew higher, as he pushed the frontier of music farther and further, he became more humble.  Humility is one of his greatest traits.  Integrity is another.  Generosity in supporting other musicians, and many other Nigerians, is another.
KSA...The Man
He is one musical success-story that does not have the foul odor of drugs, booze and such anti-social behavior.  He is a great Nigerian artiste that has remained guided by authentic African values, Christian ethical values, and intrinsic Nigerian values of hard work, good character, self-discipline, good neighborliness and Godliness.

KSA has given so much.  But there is still much in him for the king to give. He is simply the king that like good wine gets better, greater, and tastier with age”. 
(Excerpts from the book; KSA: My Life, My Music by King Sunny Ade. Read ‘What a prophet told my mum before I was born’ tomorrow on this blog)

Gbenga Dan Asabe

Africa's Number One Celebrity Encounter Blog

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