By Benjamin Njoku
Like his contemporaries including Majek Fashek, Ras Kimono and The Mandators, the reggae icon moved to the United States, and later to Canada and Germany in search of bigger opportunities. While he was away, fans of the Messiah of Afro reggae music missed him. But this time, he’s back and ready to reclaim his place in the Nigerian music scene.
Explaining why he disappeared into thin air, Any Shurman, said he travelled overseas in search of greener pastures overseas because most of the recording companies they were signed unto then either closed shop due to lack of funds to continue the business or simply left the country.
He blamed his generation for creating a big vacuum that launched the present day musicians into prominence. “When we came on board, we took over the scene after Calypso music which was in vogue then. We had recording companies where all of us, including Majek Fashek, Ras Kimono, The Mandators, Orits Wiliki were signed unto. But these days, what we have is record label. These young musicians are utilizing the opportunity because most us left the recording companies which we were signed unto because most of these companies closed shop due to lack of funds to continue the business. So, everybody decided to look for greener pastures overseas, thus creating a big vacuum which they capitalized upon to sing whatever they like because the preferable is no longer available. That’s what happened.”
However, while commending the present day musicians for their creativity and exploits, Andy Shurman frowned at the lyrics of their songs.
“I love the present Nigerian musicians. These crop of musicians took music to another level. They replicated what happened in Jamaica many years ago, as well as in the United States. But you can’t compare their lyrics with what we did during our own time. It has no comparison. Their rhythms are good but their songs are not good. They sing almost the same thing even though they copy themselves. Their music centres mostly on love and sex. At a time in this country, there was no rainfall and Majek Fashek came out with ‘Send down the Rain’, and the rain started falling. Just like I released ‘ Save the Masses , the military government then came after me, and after they saw the truth, they released me. I became their friend because they knew that music is a universal language”, he stated.
Shurman said his up coming album is critical of the prevailing social disorder in the country today. Typical of his kind of music, the reggae star surely is coming back to dislodge the oppressors of the masses.
“My up coming album chronicles the happening in the country. I travelled round the country to see things for myself. And I found out that we need a change, we need another Messiah to lead us to the promised land. People are living in fear in this country and we must stop the oppressors,” he declared.