A rising fuji star, Alhaji Ramoni Akanni, has revealed that the late Dr Sikiru Ayinde Barrister inspired him into playing music as he did to scores of other fuji musicians in his Ogbomoso hometown in the early 80s.
The soft-spoken, whose stage name is RK1, confirmed that his inability to cope with number of older musicians on Barrister’s pattern, forced him to switch to style of K1 shortly after his release of his popular Tala 84, which sold him to music fans across Yoruba speaking states, including Yorubas resident in the northern Nigeria.
RK1 admitted that his foray into Barrister’s mold helped him remarkably in his compositions and arrangement of lyrics till date, praying for repose of Barrister’s soul and calling on his fellow fuji musicians to eschew what he called unnecessary rivalry, which he maintained, is counter-productive to progress of the genre.
“Among about 10 of us, who were singing in Barrister’s style in Ogbomoso, I was the only one who had opportunity to receive his blessing. That was at a show in 1987. I performed in the afternoon and Alhaji Barrister was scheduled to perform in the night. I waited till he came and began his show.
“Later, I was led to him, and he sang my praise and prayed for me. I am happy to tell you that all his prayers on that day have been answered today. I am accepted by fans and comfortable in little way. How can I forget such a man?,” he asked.
RK1 clarified that credit of his current status should go to K1, whom he regarded as his mentor for his simplified fuji, which, he stressed, made it easy for him and others to follow his steps, saying K1 remains his benefactor in the industry.
“I studied him from 1984 but it was 1986 I got his style and fully switched to it till date. Whatever success which I record today, alongside others who also sing his style, is his success as our mentor, who makes his style more attractive to us. It is funny when some people refer to me as a new generation fuji musician. When I hear such, I laugh because I have no reason to take them up. It is waste of time to tell somebody that I have been around since early 80s,” he noted.