Alhaji Wasiu Alabi Ajibola popularly called Pasuma was on the set of Urban Kitchen Show, where he surprised the renowned actor, Jude Chukwuka with a cameo and they sang new song, MMM together. Our correspondent had a chat with him and herein below is an excerpt-
PDC: How did you come about music and what was your parent’s reaction towards it?
Pasuma: I’m Wasiu Alabi Ajibola, from Odetola family of Oro town, Ifelodun Local Government, Kwara state. I’ve encountered many things before I got to this level I am, it’s not a day’s job and the journey wasn’t smooth at all. But with prayers, God has made me who I am today. I started playing music professionally in 1984, when I finished my secondary school education at the Nigerian Model High School, Idi Oro. During my secondary school days, when there are inter-house sports activities, I have some friends that we usually cheer up those involved in the track and field event and visitors from other schools were also entertained. It was after my secondary education that I ventured into music straightaway.
The album released by K1 De Ultimate titled “Talaso- 84” really inspired me more to do music, so, I can refer to him as my inspiration and I gave him the kudos and credit. The music was a worldwide hit and it was sold out.
My parents were not in support, because my Dad is an elite and as at that time, my dad was the General Manager at NCR, Apapa. I’m one of his children that is very stubborn and I’m the only child from my mum; I came from a polygamous home. I was brought up singlehandedly by my mother since I was age 10 and it wasn’t that easy. The joy is that we have reconciled, we talk and joke over all the behavior of the past.
PDC: Why did you choose Fuji amidst other types of music?
Pasuma: Actually when I was with my dad, he used to play King Sunny Ade largely and once a while he played the music of Barrister. I went into the street when I started to reside with my Mum. I had lots of freedom, I also hawked and I saw what was obtainable on the street, so seeing people who sing made me develop keen interest in music before 1984. So, Fuji is a street song, I was able to grab Fuji music on the street, one’s orientation is very important and you will now evolve into what you so desire.
PDC: how many albums have you released so far?
Pasuma: Pasuma: I can’t say precisely, because I started releasing album since 1993, my first album is titled Recognition, but I have over 50 albums. There are some albums that are two-in-one albums and some are singles for instance High level and Joker; Maintain and Sustain; Brainbox and Stadium; In and Out and many more.
PDC: When The Remedies namely Eedris Abdulkareem, Tony Tetuila and Eddie Remedy came on the music scene in Nigeria in 1996, your song, Orobokibo was used to launch their career back then, how did this happen?
Pasuma: When the Idris and his team came in 1996, they came as a surprise to the music industry as there was nothing like hip-hop in the Nigerian circles then. The one we knew then were the foreign artistes such as Michael Jackson, Will Smith etc. They launched their career with my music. They sort for authorization and that was how I knew Eedris, Tony and Eddie through Uncle Kenny Ogungbe and D1 Adeneye, they owned the label that produced them. I was later featured in Jealousy. So, I can say, I’m the first Fuji artiste that started hip-hop music with the Remedies here in Nigeria and this made me to know majority of the hip-hop artistes because I started with them.
PDC: What inspired you to go into acting?
Pasuma: The first movie I took part in was Abeni Onipangbe produced by Toba Opaleye, where I did the soundtrack. After that, movie producers started inviting me to partake in their movies. Although, my mum used to be an actress and she used to take me along to locations then. She belonged to the Charles Olumo (Agbako) group back then. So, I can say acting is also a talent that I have. We have come a long way.
PDC: What is the contribution of creative industry to the economy of Nigeria?
Pasuma: Entertainment is the only industry that holds Nigeria and it is making Nigerians happy. As you know, there’s a lot of poverty in this nation and entertainment is cushioning the effect of this poverty on the masses, because by listening to music, watching movies, it reduces depression. So, I can say entertainment really holds Nigeria economy.
We pray that COVID-19 should give way so that the industry can come back in full swing.
PDC: Artiste like you inculcate history and societal happenings into your music and through this, you’re also writing history, what’s your word of advice to those looking up to you in the industry?
Pasuma: One thing I want you to know is that Fuji is hard to sing unlike other music like hip-hop. That’s why you won’t see most young people coming into Fuji. Unlike hip-hop whereby with a couple of days, you can release a track and just blow, this is not applicable to Fuji, because it requires a lot of time and dedication to even produce a record. It is just a few of these artistes that can play music with a band. But without mincing words, hip-hop artistes are really pushing Nigeria’s entertainment industry to the world. So, my advice to them is to always sing something that is meaningful which would be able to stand the test of time and they should be prayerful.