Thursday, 13 October 2016

The KSA Memoir: How I dumped the classroom for the clubhouse + Amusing things I did to become a musician…


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KSA....The Master Guitarist
In this edition of the interesting story of the birth and lifestyle of a living legend—KSA, we reveal the many battles of wits between King Sunny Ade, music, his mother and high school education. But at the end, one of the three forces won KSA.
Let’s find out what the whole episode looked like and why did KSA battled family to embrace music. Enjoy the excerpts on your Africa’s number 1 Celebrity encounter blog Asabeafrika.

Those who took me out of classroom to the stage…
“When I dropped out of secondary school after just one term, the popular opinion was that an evil spell had been cast on me. I had no difficulties with my studies and my mother was not incapable of seeing me through school.  Yet, I walked away.  So, it was rational to believe there was a hex on me.  My decision, even to those who wanted to be charitable, seemed neither inspired nor logical.


KSA & His Mentor, Moses Olaiya aka Baba Salah

For me, however, there was just one way to go; out of school, forever. The pull of music had become so strong that whatever resistance I had was easily broken.  Also, it probably did not help that I lived in Oshogbo, a town that attracted hordes of Western Nigeria’s biggest musicians of the fifties and sixties to its swinging hotels and other fun spots.  The likes of Hubert Ogunde, Ojoge Daniel from Ibadan, C.A.B Balogun and IK Dairo from Ilesha, Idowu Owoeye and many others regularly entertained Osogbo residents.  But the town had its own starts. The one that made the earliest impression on me was Sunday Ariyo, whom I met in my primary school days.


KSA...The boyz-to-men-process 

Ariyo lived close to our house and I liked his music.  But before getting close to him, I had been around a musical band founded by the husband of one of my aunts.  The man was essentially a popular tailor in Osogbo before leaving for nearby Inisha, where he ran a band and was a patron to different groups. During festive periods, I usually visited him in Inisha.  And because I loved to listen and dance to good music, I went with him on engagements.

“We played for over two hours and, according to my in-law, the money the band made that night was unprecedented.  But my sparkling debut came with a problem, albeit a pleasant one. My fame went round and every other band wanted me for its show.  That also posed a more serious problem, as my aunt who was married to the band leader did not want me hanging out with musicians”

KSA...The boyz-to-men-process
KSA & His Mentor, Moses Olaiya aka Baba Salah

How drums fell for me…
I had no desire to join him or any of the groups he mentored; all I wanted was to be around him when he was performing.  This increased my interest in music.  Then came fate;  One day at one of his gigs, I was staring at his percussion instruments and wondering what it would be like to play them.  By the standards of that time, my aunt’s husband had a rich collection.  There was Akuba and other drums.  Something told me to walk up to him, before he started playing, and ask if I could play the drums.  I was about 11 then and had never touched drums other than the ones we had in the Boys’ Brigade.

KSA tells City People Magazine's Publisher, Dr. Seye Kehinde the story of his life



Moses Olaiya-The Good Samaritan who helped KSA discover his talent

My in-law asked if I could play and I said I would try.  There was no time to even think that I had no experience with such drums, at least not in a musical setting.  I picked up a drum and started playing, surprisingly, to the delight of the crowd.  I did not know where the inspiration came from or how I mastered the rhythm, but within five minutes, the crowd had almost drowned us in money.  It was not naira, but kobo (penny) and onini (half pence).  I suddenly stopped drumming and the crowd yelled: ‘No, no, no’, insisting I should restart. My in-law explained that I needed to get some rest and assured them that I was still going to play.  When I restarted, the crowd got more charged, dancing frenziedly and giving us money in appreciation. 

KSA....The New Czar of Juju Music in the early times of his career
KSA...Baba Alariya

We played for over two hours and, according to my in-law, the money the band made that night was unprecedented.  But my sparkling debut came with a problem, albeit a pleasant one. My fame went round and every other band wanted me for its show.  That also posed a more serious problem, as my aunt who was married to the band leader did not want me hanging out with musicians. One, I was too young; two, musicians were regarded as miscreants.  For a while, I managed to play without my aunt knowing.  One day, she got to know and was extremely angry.  Her husband pleaded that she should let me continue playing because I had the talent.  My aunt was not going to have any of such sweet talks.  She argued that musicians and vices like drinking, smoking and womanizing were cousins.  She ordered me to stop”.

(Excerpts from the book; KSA: My Life, My Music by King Sunny Ade. Read ‘How I broke my mother’s heart’ tomorrow on this blog)

Gbenga Dan Asabe

Africa's Number One Celebrity Encounter Blog

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