K1! What impression do you get when that brand name is mentioned?
Well, your answers can only come from three perspectives, which are: one, for; two, neutral; and three, against.
For any music lover, who is a fan of the indisputable King of Fuji music, Alhaji Wasiu Ayinde Anifowoshe Marshal, popularly called K1, the answer to the impression made by the mention of his brand name would definitely be in the affirmative, as such a person may even describe the artiste as the best thing to ever happen to the Fuji music genre. And that is, arguably, very correct. Those are the ones for him.
For the neutral, as indifferent as he may try to be, such a person would also agree that K1 is one of the superlative super stars the Nigerian music industry has ever had. And as for those who may be against K1, possibly because they are fans of certain Fuji artistes, who continually have some scores to settle with the Mayegun of Yoruba Land, being the lofty chieftaincy title bestowed on K1 not long ago by the Alaafin of Oyo, HRM Oba Lamidi Atanda Adeyemi III, Iku Baba Yeye, there is no denying the fact that K1 is far bigger than any other Fuji artiste they have preference for.
As it is an incontrovertible fact that Fuji, a genre of music created by K1’s immediate boss, and if you like, mentor, in the industry, late Alhaji (Dr.) Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, is a global brand. It can also be said without any fear of contradiction that there is nowhere Fuji music is played around the world that K1 is not reckoned with. But not all Fuji artistes can boast of such a feat because global dignitaries who might not have heard about K1 before the 2015 inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari for his first term in office, must have got to know about this big Fuji act by now. You ask why?
Remember, K1 performed at the inauguration of President Buhari in Abuja, and it was one Nigerian event that had global audience, as presidents of other countries, who could not make it to the occasion physically, must have followed it on television, and they surely would have known that a certain artiste singing Fuji and called K1 by moderators at the event was “interluding” the speeches being delivered at the inauguration with sweet music till the end of the event. Such is the power of the K1 brand, and how far he has taken Fuji music genre in global reckoning.
But do you know there are some Fuji artistes who sing and sound exactly like K1 in the music industry? Yes, there are a number of them; not only singing extremely like K1 but also use many of K1’s popular numbers at events where they are engaged to entertain guests. Interestingly enough, anyone passing by any of such event’s venue, if it is a hall, without even entering to see who is on the band stand, would jump into the conclusion that it’s the real McCoy that is crooning. Yes, the similarity in the sound is usually that strong.
Meanwhile, most of them, if not all, have K1’s blessing to ‘copy’ his voice and style. As a matter of fact, K1 has been seen performing duets on the same stage with most of them. And by extension, most of K1’s deep pocket fans know these artistes and patronise them to perform at their parties any time the Fuji king is not available, either because he is out of the country or has some other engagements clashing with the date the fans have chosen for their parties. And because of such patronage, the K1 sing-alike artistes are also doing great in their own rights and smiling all the way to the bank.
For someone like Alhaji Ramoni Akanni, otherwise known as RK1, being a Fuji artiste could not have been any better. In fact, if Fuji music was a religion, and K1 was the Prophet sent to propagate its gospel, RK1 can be described as a leading disciple of K1. The Ogbomosho, Oyo State born and based musician has been quite successful singing K1’s brand of Fuji called Classical Fuji, and even in his voice. RK1 has erected magnificent buildings in his home town, Ogbomosho, and in Ibadan, from the proceeds of singing and sounding like K1. He also travels around the world frequently to perform at events.
In the case of Kolade Onanuga, also known as K2, it’s a kinsman affair between him and K1. Like K1, K2 is also a native of Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State. Hence, he has more things in common with the Fuji music legend than just mimicking him. K2, like his other K1 sing-alike colleagues, is regularly patronised by K1 fans whenever the need arises and because of that, he is also doing great in his music career. He’s usually engaged by fans in Europe and America for one event or the other. And interestingly, his strategic adoption of K2 as a stage name puts him at a vantage position such that when K1 is not available, he’s the next the Fuji king’s fan think of.
David Ayinde is another impressive K1 sing-alike Fuji artiste, who would never forget K1 because of the kind of doors mimicking the Fuji king must have opened for him. David Ayinde, according to findings, is even now foreign based, giving him a firm grip on the teeming Classical Fuji lovers abroad, who may not be able to reach out to K1 for their events and parties. David Ayinde’s tone, inflection and delivery can always be taken as that of the King of Fuji himself, and that is all he needs to entertain fans in all the places he performs. And he has been using that properly, as he is said to have continued to rake in a lot of dough from his performances.
Just like Kolade Onanuga, Ganiu Ayinde, better known as X1, is also from Ijebu, like their role model, the Mayegun of Yoruba Land, himself. And for him too, singing and sounding like K1 has been a blessing, because even without his saying so, everyone knows X1 is doing great in his music career. The dark complexioned singer has been enjoying his own fair share of patronage from the large fan base K1 has established in Classical Fuji. And he has also been having the opportunities of performing abroad like his other colleagues.
To all these rising Fuji acts, K1 remains a combination of a Helper and Guardian Angel in their music career, and they’ve, therefore, been according him all the honors he deserves as a leader, pacesetter and father figure. As a matter of fact, all of them, according to findings, usually frequent K1’s Ule Omo Ojusagbola palatial home in Ijebu-Ode to pay homage to the king of Classical Fuji music genre.