Lovers of juju music got what can be described as a surprise a few days ago, when sweet-voiced artiste, Olu Fajemirokun, returned to Nigeria.
The O Lomori singer had spent 21 years in the United States, leaving the Nigerian musical scene at a time he was still enjoying stardom.
In an interview with our correspondent on Wednesday, Fajemirokun, who has since begun rehearsals, recalled that he left the country shortly after he emerged the Best Juju Artiste of the Year. According to him, the reception he got abroad was so good that he decided to stay back to get the best of it.
“I started playing from one event to another and from one state to another,” he said. “Even, I played at concerts with Nigerian artistes such as Shina Peters and Adewale Ayuba,” he said.
Throughout his 21 years sojourn abroad, however, Fajemirokun did not record any album, leaving him with the two main ones he did in Nigeria — O Lomori and Samba. He said the money and fame that he got from performances meant more to him than producing albums. Besides, he said, he eventually established a business that thrived in the country now governed by Donald Trump.
Ostensibly refuting the insinuation that he did menial jobs abroad, he said, “I was lucky to get a contract with a big pharmaceutical company — Omnicare. This kept me busy. My company delivers medical materials to hospitals. I have 33 people working for me there because I also combine it with a janitorial business.”
He added that he developed the confidence to leave the business behind in the US because one of his children, said to be 42 years old, recently joined him there. He is the one in charge of the venture now.
“We talk every day,’ he noted. “Also, while I am back in Nigeria permanently, I can go and come back at will because I have a blue passport now.”
Although the music scene is no more where he left it, Fajemirokun believes that he can still catch a fair share of the market. He is enamoured by the fact that his fans have begun to patronise him. At the weekend, he performed in Ifewara, Osun State, while he also played for a former Governor of Oyo State, Otunba Alao Akala.
He added that from November 3, he would enter the studio to start recording for his upcoming album, Laju e (Open your Eyes). According to him, he will, through the album, tell his listeners why they need to always open their senses.
While giving our correspondent some verses of the song over the phone, his voice still came out as compelling as it used to be. He too is proud of it. He said, “Music is a gift. It is important to have the gift of a good voice because that is what largely makes a musician. Some people have the ability to compose songs and even sing, but have a bad voice. The best is to have both. If you have a good voice and you cannot compose much, yours is better than someone who can compose without having a good voice.”