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Hard Rock?! Metal?! Fuji over ALL. KWAM 1 wins it

King Wasiu Ayinde Marshall 1 performing on stage
King Wasiu Ayinde Marshall 1 performing on stage

Programmers, content producers and creative writers are notorious for their weird tastes in music. One can almost pick them out in a crowd with their conservative clothing and conspicuous caressing of their headphones. They all use music to either set the pace for the long grueling hours in front of the computer screen or drive inspiration as they bleed on the keyboard.

If the devil uses you and you remove the jack of their headphones (Do that only if you have a death wish), what you will hear from the speakers will either be strange songs from weird sounding artistes like Enya, Evanescence, Coldpay, Nickleback, Macklemore, Lechrae, U2, Sia, FUN, etc (Check @IamnotJUKE Timeline on twitter for more names). Some go for the pop favourites and rave of the day like Drake and Kendrick Lamar, but you will find them few and far between.

Programmers are wont to work till late into the night, which probably inform their gravitation towards Rock music with its loud instrumentals chasing away sleep. One programmer I know (@AAyoko on Twitter) swears by Hard Rock/Death Metal. I am not one of them. I can only stand soft rock and occasional hard ones. As I walk the very thin line between and in these worlds, I’m almost always married to my Laptop (yes, she has a name. No, you don’t need to know) and work long hours sometime on it. So I listen to all the above, with exceptions.

If you pull out the jack of my headphones, you may also hear King Wasiu Ayinde Marshal 1, KWAM 1 to his old fans and K1 the Ultimate to the new ones (like half the time). His songs are my go to when I need an upliftment in mood, inspiration to crack a certain headachy part of work or just set the pace for work. I honestly don’t recall when he became one of my favourites but I became an active fan circa 2004 back at the university when I was re-introduced to his music by a friend, ‘Deolu Adebari and another roommate who played a particular album of his (Big Deal) over and over and over…

A lot of programmers, content producers and creative writers will cast aspersions at even the insinuation that they can work to the beats and words of a Fuji song, not to talk of a collection of it and I usually laugh. When I need a boost in morale, no song does it better that “Berlin 98”, when my muse comes to visit, the album “Instinct” makes her stick around much longer and nothing sets the pace better that listening to “The Ultimate (Side B)” and “Consolidation (Side B)” albums back to back.

I listen to other Fuji songs, especially from Saheed Osupa and late Chief Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, the originator of the genre himself. I enjoy all of them but KWAM 1 music for me is primus inter pares. His instrumentals have undergone transformations over the years, and he has always been the first to introduce new “western” instruments to the genre (he started using saxophone in Fuji), getting a blend he calls “Classical Fuji”. You may be shocked that he has a Jazz Fuji track in the “Instinct” album. And a Soul too. Only Lagbaja and (possibly) King Sunny Ade has a finer command of instrimentals in contemporary Yoruba music scene than KWAM 1 and arguably none has the smooth blend of instrumentals, voice and lyrics like KWAM 1.

Maybe it is cultural (i.e. a product of culture clash and globalization) that my fellow Geeks/Nerds (cringe!) don’t like many things African and thus music in local tongues in general. However, the pacy, heavy, rhythmic drumming of Fuji can keep its pace with any electronic rock guitar in keeping the eyelids up and fingers tapping all night long. Some will criticize KWAM 1’s lyrical depth and praise-singing tendencies (which I like actually. Yes, Saheed Osupa is a better lyricist) but can never question his dexterity with lyrics and language.

I am finishing this at 6:15am and have been listening to KWAM 1 all through the night (#NP a liver performance at a party somewhere in Ijebuland). I wish more geeks listen to Fuji music. Why? I believe if we connect with our people and think like they do, we will be able to do more social conscious jobs, write more insightful articles/stories and build more user-friendly apps/websites.

Did I mention he was the only artiste that performed with live band at the Inauguration of President Buhari?

Who is the better Fuji musician between KWAM 1 and Saheed Osupa aka Saridon P? Share this article enough and I might be tempted to judge.

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  1. 'Yemi Ajala says

    Visitor Rating: 6.5/10

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