BBN Special Report! K1 De Ultimate: A King Without Contemporary

BBN Special Report! K1 De Ultimate: A King Without Contemporary

-Kayode Badmus

The undisputed King of Fuji music turns 60 years old today and in celebration BBN crew has decided to flash back to one of our apt articles of a man whom many have described as a legend.

The Nigerian Music industry has over the years been bedevilled with all sorts of healthy rivalry which sometimes transforms into unwarranted animosity. From the days of the celebrated musical rancour between Juju exponents; Evangelist Ebenezer Obey and King Sunny Ade to the more vocal feud between the Late Sikiru Ayinde Barrister and General Kollington Ayinla, the indigenous music industry has always been one of supremacy contention among contemporaries. One is quick to remember the supremacy brawl between fuji acts Pasuma Wonder and Osupa Saheed.

Not even the new generation musical acts are left out as Eedris and Ruggedman handily comes to mind without the exception of the beef between raves of the moment, Davido and Wizkid just to mention a few.

In all these, one man has conveniently stood alone enjoying his fame and dominance as an emperor of some sort.

Born Wasiu Ayinde Omogbolahan Anifowoshe in Agarawu, Lagos Island on March 3rd 1957, King Wasiu Ayinde Marshal also known as K1 De Ultimate stormed the Nigerian music scene over three decades ago and since then have been one of Nigeria‘s biggest entertainment export.

Although he released his first album ‘Iba’ in 1979, Wasiu didn’t get the needed recognition until 1984 when he released his nationally acclaimed hit album ‘Talazo84’ in his Talazo series which was described as one of the classics at the time.

Away from the normal Fuji which was initially formed out of local Islamic chanting during the Ramadan period, K1 brought freshness to the genre by incorporating modern instruments such as the saxophone, guitar etc.

He increased to an upbeat tune the tempo of Fuji to which was at the time dominated by Ayinde Barrister and Kollington Ayinla whose rivalry was perhaps more pronounced than the sound they played.

Although KWAM 1 pitched tent with Barrister haven played in the Ibadan born Fuji legend’s band but his fan base would quickly outshine both older musicians as time went by.

K1’s main tool was his appeal to the youths; a development which quickly projected him above his peers and senior colleagues in the industry.

“When I started, I lifted it up from where I met it. I created the first upbeat tempo of Fuji music and was able to give it a kind of followership that most music forms didn’t have. We were born to see music as being enjoyed by our fathers as serious, including the disco of then. The younger ones did not really have a style they could call their own”, K1 revealed in an interview.

After ‘Talazo’, K1 also released several albums in quick succession with popular ones like ‘Consolidation’, ‘Ultimate’, ‘Message’, ‘Legacy’, ‘Fuji Fusion’, ‘Flavours’, ‘Instinct’, selling platinum copies.

Equally, popular live performances of this enigma which were released for sale also made impressive record sales.

Asides mainstream music and album recording, K1 is reputed to have revolutionized live performance with his unique creative freestyle methods on stage.

From Wasiu Ayinde Marshal to Kwam 1 and now K1 De Ultimate, this enigmatic performer has continually adjusted to keep up with trends which has over the years endeared him to millions of fans.

Even though the Ijebu, Ogun State originated musician has openly pitched his tent with the Nigerian opposition party (now ruling party); All Peoples Congress (All Progressives Congress) and now performs at most of the party’s political rallies, this has in no way reduced his loyal fan base which cuts across all divisions from the youth, middle age and even the older populace.

In a very competitive industry, one wonders how K1 has been able to keep up with being at the very top without a formidable competition. It would be recalled that the entrance of Sir Shina Peters and the release of the popular album ‘Ace’ had threatened Wasiu’s youthful dominance but that would be later dusted aside as time went on.

Another musician who threatened K1’s reign was the arrival of bubble prince, Adewale Ayuba who also brought another unique and youthful feel to the fuji genre but again K1 outlived that threat and has today continued to remain on top. Although he has been involved in several controversies an example of which is his alleged feud with fellow fuji act Abass Akande Obesere and his reportedly recent squabbles with former protege Alabi Pasuma which led to several allegations levelled against him, he has continued to sway higher.

K1’s kingship of the Nigeria indigenous music industry is in no way being threatened at least not in the recent future. He celebrated 40years on stage a few years ago but doesn’t seem to be slowing down. The Fuji Maestro some months ago toured the world which would saw him transverse the continents of America, Europe, Asia with concluding concerts in the motherland of Africa.

This article was first published on BlackBox Nigeria in November 2014

BBN Special Report! K1 De Ultimate: A King Without Contemporary

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