Sparkling Prince of Juju Music Called Ludare

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Nseobong Okon-Ekong

Everyone is talking about the new star on the Juju music scene; and the discourse is for a good reason. It takes a lot of boldness and forward looking creative spirit to swim against the tide of popular culture. Not minding the fact (which he acknowledged) that both hip hop and Fuji music appear to get more patronage, Ludare has entered the artistic fray believing that he is in it not only for the money but certain altruistic and communal reasons which will stand the test of time.

He premised his believe on apparent facts. “The south West has the second largest population in Nigeria. Hip hop is a passing fad. It is a trend. It will go full cycle and then disappear. If you listened to hip hop on your 21st birthday and go as far as listening to hip hop on your 40th birthday, I bet you by the time you are in your 50th you will want to refer to Juju music or traditional music. The relevance is there but I think the challenge is for us to take it as seriously as possible and make it worthwhile.”

More than anything else, Ludare has stuck to Juju music because he believes that it is one of the avenues we can use to keep our culture, tradition and identity intact. “If you go back into history you will discover that African history is kept more in the oral nature and form through music which is one of the bedrock or the foundation for Juju music. In terms of identifying who I am as a person and my resolve not to lose that identity, I prefer to play Juju music. The driving force is not just the commercial side and making money from music but to keep it.”

A chip of the of the old block, his father the late Emperor Wale Olateju found fame in Juju music circles in the late 60s and the 70s, playing a peculiar strain of the music which he dubbed, Sabada Juju. Growing up, he was surrounded by so much sounds of music. However, his father wanted him to be a medical doctor. Veering entirely away from the desire of his father, he obtained a first degree in English; got a post graduate diploma in PR and Advertising and capped it with an MBA. He started work in the corporate world and this led to the acquisition of more professional training and membership of professional bodies like the Nigeria Institute of Marketing and APCON.

Nine years ago, Ludare was in a casual conversation with an older and wealthy business associate and mentioned to him that he could play music and had a band. Pleasantly surprised, the man hired him then and there to perform at his sister’s wedding. With the money he was paid upfront, he bought musical equipments. He played two gigs. It was a big event with sitting governors and lots of high net-worth individuals. He has not looked back since. Weekdays, he is at his duty post, minding his corporate responsibilities.

At dusk on Friday, there is a complete transition. This is when his Ludare persona takes over. He is carefully planning his exit from paid employment where his days are numbered. Convinced that his experience and influence in the corporate world would serve him well, he has floated plans for a studio and a record label. If everything else fails, he is convinced that he can work profitably and conveniently within the business side of the show. He explained, “Often times, performing artistes get carried away with the show and they forget the business. The name of the game is show business. There is the show and there is the business. Both should complement the other for the well being of the practitioner.”

This is where Ludare’s preferred genre is a paradox. His band is composed of 20 members. Now, that is not good business sense, or is it? “Based on the introduction of percussion we have a 20-man band. It is about niche. I can run this same concept with programmed beat. You should also look at the economic side. This is economic empowerment if look at it from that angle. This is creating jobs.

This is also ensuring that we blend perfectly Western technology and advancement with our culture no matter how much of technology I want to use, we can’t synchronise the talking drum so much because of the feel and the flavour. One of the things that has kept Juju music relevant is its authenticity. We play authentic Juju music. This is not the abridged version of Juju music.”

With a fully loaded 8-track album and a three-minute video on YouTube titled ‘Ludare in Dudu’, he has put his hand on the plough and signed his signature boldly on the Juju music landscape. “The reason I have not pushed my work is because I am not really ready to reveal the face behind the name.” For those who have had the privilege to see him perform, for instance, at one of the 70th birthday gigs for King Sunny Ade by his wife, Adejoke Adegeye, Ludare is a sparkling and fresh discovery.

SONS OF CALIPHATE ON EBONYLIFE
Come October 13, EbonyLife TV will premiere ‘Sons of the Caliphate’ a drama series based on the lives of three rich, entitled, passionate and ambitious young men, Kalifah, Nuhu and Diko, all caught up in the hidden corners of power, the darkness of addiction, the heat of love and desire, the obligations of family loyalty, and the craving for revenge.

The 13-part drama series promises to take the audience on a journey into the rich, cultural and flamboyant aristocratic lifestyle of Northern Nigerian. We will get to see what happens when elections are fast approaching and how the tussle for the governorship seat heats up the polity in the Northern Caliphate State of Kowa.

Created, written and produced by Dimbo and Karachi Atiya, ‘Sons of the Caliphate’ is set to reposition the stereotypes about Northern Nigeria in a way people have not imagined before.”
Sons of The Caliphate stars some of the most prominent names in the film and TV industry, including but not limited to: Patrick Doyle, Mofe Duncan, Sani Muazu and Rahama Sadau, who plays the role of Binta Kutigi a confident, intelligent, witty and composed Northern “chick” who is stylish, elegant and yet traditional. Rahama was however recently banned from Kannywood.

We at EbonyLife TV stand with Rahama Sadau and remain proud of the work she has done thus far. We believe that nobody is above mistake and we all deserve second chances. We certainly hope that the ban is revoked so that Rahama can continue her career and blossom to her full potential.

NIGHT AT THE KAZBAH ON SOCIAL MEDIA
It is getting close to Africa’s biggest star converge in Nigeria’s entertainment capital, Lagos for the second edition of Smooth FM’s A Night At The Kazbah.
This year’s line-up boasts South African singer-songwriter and guitarist, Jonathan Butler, Soulful House Trio, Mi Casa and Nigeria’s very own, A’rese and will hold on the 22nd of October 2016 at The Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The stars have all confirmed their appearances with unique social media announcements which started with The Voice Nigeria winner, A’rese followed by the soulful house trio, Mi Casa who took time out of their busy Africa Tour to let their Lagos fans know they will be in town – sending social media space into frenzy.

Best known for their smash hit and radio favourite, Jika. The performers alongside The Voice Nigeria winner, A’rese and headliner, South African singer-songwriter and guitarist, Jonathan Butler will trill Lagosians with their electrifying truly authentic African sound.
The premier one night-only concert is promoted by Smooth 98.1FM the curators of contemporary African and Nigerian music. ‘A Night at the Kazbah’ is more than just music, it is a cultural exploration designed to bring good Nigerian, African and World music to the forefront of our consciousness and promote indigenous artistry.

TEMPLE MANAGEMENT COMPANY
CELEBRATES KING SUNNY ADE
Juju maestro, King Sunny Ade has contracted leading talent agency and event firm, Temple Management Company (TMC) to curate a world class high-octane concert as the climax of his 70th birthday celebrations. The show-stopping event is also set to mark the 50-year coronation of the “King” of Nigerian music.

With the brief, the fast-growing creative firm is saddled with the task to put together what is believed to be “a seminal moment” on the Nigerian event and showbiz circuit.
The iconic, King Sunny Ade turned age 70 on September 22, 2016 and has been feted by different associations and organizations in a long line of ceremonies. The celebrations will climax with a ground-breaking concert production.

Temple Management Company has continued to gain the attention of key stakeholders in the creative industry in Nigeria and on the continental stage since it first set up shop in March 2016. Led by its industrious founder, Idris Olorunnimbe, the company has made its imprints felt in four key areas of operation including entertainment, arts, media and sports.

In addition to being credited to the success of the maiden edition of Mavin Access Concert, the talent firm manages a mélange of Nigeria’s biggest talents drawn from different spectrum including Nigeria’s biggest record label Mavin Records, renowned disc jockey DJ Jimmy Jatt, award-winning visual artist and writer Victor Ehikhamenor, R’n’B performer, Iyanya, artist/jeweller Mode Aderinokun, award-winning Nigerian broadcast media, Funmi Iyanda and 11-year old tennis prodigy, Marylove Edwards.

While giving the highest assurance on a flawless project delivery, Mr. Olorunnimbe stated that it was an honour to be considered by the legendary music genius to host such a historic concert. He explained: “We do not take with levity the trust reposed in us at Temple Management Company by one of Nigeria’s biggest music colossus, King Sunny Ade. We take this assignment as a big endorsement on our competencies as an organization.”

Mr. Olorunnimbe added: “Our young and vibrant team of professionals have already started work on this project. We are working with both local and international partners to deliver something that fans of the legendary KSA will be very proud of.”

Mark Redguard, Head of Entertainment at TMC, also promised a show to remember. “KSA at 70 will have the very best of local and international entertainers. He is a national treasure and he deserves an event that reflects his iconic status.”

Expressing satisfaction in TMC, the Juju music maestro scored the event company high and expressed confidence in their competence to deliver a world-class show. “I have been around the industry long enough to realize that the guys at Temple Management Company are very sharp and know what they are doing with their level of professionalism. I am very pleased to work with to put together a befitting 70th birthday concert for me,” he revealed.

“With this arrangement in place, I can concentrate on what I know how to do best. You can call this concert one of the biggest of my music career and I am looking forward to giving my fans the best performance of my life,” the septuagenarian added.