By Ifechi Okoh
From the onset, celebrated fuji act, Adewale Ayuba had the talent, interest and passion to make it in music. Luckily for the young Ayuba, his parents were pretty supportive of his choice. But that didn’t exactly place fame at his doorstep, his career didn’t take any shape until lanky Laolu Akins, a respected producer of high standing came into the picture. Now savour the details of his rise to the top and sundry issues concerning him.
When did the music bug bite you and what did you do?
I started singing fuji at the early age of seven. Then, I did not do anything except fuji. Incidentally, my parents gave me all the necessary support. However, they insisted that I must go to school. Good enough, I listened to them and it paid off at the end of the day. I am from Ikenne Remo, in Ogun State. I went to Ansar-udeen Primary School, Ikenne and Remo Secondary School, Sagamu before proceeding to Ojere Polytechnic, Abeokuta, Ogun State for my OND.
Was money not one of the strong reasons why you embraced music?
I did not actually go into singing or music for the sake of money. Rather, it was purely for the love of singing or for the sake of music. I just enjoyed singing. I was not singing for the sake of money. I remember that I used to sing at any social gathering for the fun of it. There were usually Kobo attached to these efforts.
What factors dictated this instance?
Naturally, when I listen to any music genre, I have the instinct to memorize it. I mean word for word. This has been my special innate ability from childhood. It helped me in no small measure in my today music career.
How old were you when you made your first album?
I was seven years old. That was the year late Dele Giwa died. I released my first Fuji album on Success Records, Ketu, Lagos. I had to pitch my tent with him because he was the only humane private record company owner then, who was really poised to assist me at all cost as a result of his strong belief in my talent.
Was that why you stayed with him for years?
I had to because of his initial interest in my talent. Aside from this, he also advised me strongly on the need to be very sincere with anybody I deal with. He told me that I should not allow my success to go into my head. That is one of the main reasons I still try to be humble against all odds till date.
How many records did you do with Success before you moved on?
I did four albums within four years of recording. I met the standard expected of me. After my four years there, I went to Sony Records.
May we know why you have to leave Success Records after your memorable romance with the owner for four years?
In as much as I embraced all he did for me to rise, I had to look forward to growing bigger. For this to really take place, I had to look for a place with facilities for strategic and effective marketing. Unfortunately, Success Records had no such facilities. This was the factor that forced me to make up my mind to leave. It was obvious that I had to hook up with bigger and corporate recording company, if my noble dream was to be realized. My case was made easier when Sony Music listened to my four recorded works on Success Record label. Based on this strong belief, they concluded that they were all hits.
What factors attracted you to Sony Music Records in the first place?
I saw them as a big corporate music company where I could easily realize my dream of being a big fuji act. Luckily for me, they had perceived my past releases as hits and this opened the door for me easily. Later, I was introduced to Laolu Akins who produced my first two albums in Sony Music in 1989.
Was the involvement of Laolu Akins as your producer one of the factors that forced you to stay long there?
Not quite. I have always produced myself before I met Laolu Akins. But as somebody who needed a teacher, I had to embrace him. He was like a super coach to a successful footballer. Honestly, Laolu Akins was all I needed to explode. He used to guide my lyrics, arrangements and instrumentation with all sincere commitments. For instance, he would instruct that I maintain and use high key where and when it was most appropriate. At times, he could advise me to reverse it for professional result. He has never failed to put in a word in any of my albums. That sincere commitment has in no small measure brought out the expected magic to bare on my two albums he produced.
May we know why you had to leave despite the obvious happiness you enjoyed with Sony Music ?
The problem happened when I travelled aboard. When I was there, something happened in the accounts department that angered me so much that I had no choice than to leave after checking the records to confirm the truth concerning what happened. To be honest, it has been so long and I have since forgotten what happened.
Are you on your own now?
Oh yes! I have a label now and a hotel, “Sweet Life Home” somewhere in Lekki, Lagos. That’s my only investment for now in the hospitality concern. I am into it because of my love for the hospitality related business.
What’s your definition of love?
My definition of love is to be straight with my wife. I am a true Christian and that is my true belief in Christianity.
What trips you physically in women?
Personally, I don’t believe in the physical looks of women. Rather, I believe more sincerely in her intelligence.
What role do you think sex plays in successful marriages?
Sex is what comes after love. You cannot have sex without loving the person. It should start from this level to beyond. That’s the only natural way to confirm the love you have for a particular person. To me, this must be supported through words of mouth and deeds which I have since been demonstrating with my wife to the glory of God.