Brymo, one of Nigeria’s Afrobeat singer,during the recently concluded 2018 Ake Books and Arts Festival, granted an interview in which he revealed details about his musical career as well as his general perception on Nigerian music and sounds.
The interview which was conducted by Sahara TV Shed more light on the career of the musician whose sound has generated a lot of controversies amongst Nigerians and other musicians.
The Singer whose real name is Olawale Ashimi spoke about the numerous issues that musicians in Nigeria especially need to address the industry is going to go farther than it has gotten.
For the 32-year-old Brymo, musicians should rather focus on these numerous issues rather than dump music and go the political route.
The soul musician was insistent about the fact that not concentrating on one’s musical calling but rather going ahead to pursue other ambitions in political spheres was tantamount to the act of stealing. Any one who engaged in this should thus be tagged a thief.
In making his point, Brymo talked about himself and how he have remained true to his musical career for more than 10 years.
“I think it is a very difficult move in the sense that there are years invested in every industry. So, you’ve been a musician for 10 to 15 years, and suddenly you dump that to go and become a politician and run for office.
You’re just a thief, because there are issues in the entertainment industry you can take part in to fix. Why do you have to run for public office? There are things you can do as a musician in your own music industry and make things better there. If you cannot make things better there, how are you going to make things better in public office?”
Even more, Brymo lauded the praise of the late legendary singer Fela Anikulapo Kuti. He spoke at length about how the life of this legend reflects the dynamics of music: those who were once criticized turn out to be praised and revered in many more years to come.
Brymo was altogether disappointed that although a lot of Nigerians have talents in musical abilities, they have not exactly been daring enough to show forth their skills and stand against any oppressive mechanism hindering its projection just like Fela did.
“A lot of our parents were like ‘don’t listen to Fela’s music’. The government says ‘don’t go to Kalakuta Republic’. Everyone was against him and now everybody says he is the greatest. Same thing applies to us; you can not quantify what we are doing right now until when it is done. When the next generation gets here, then they will say these people did something that was amazing. Right now, the story is being told.
I don’t think there is any need for comparison, because we have had more of the most skillful Nigerians now than then. There are a lot of amazing, talented people, but have we been able to show, to come out, to be bold like they were? Not so much. However, skill-wise, I think we’ve been able to match the last generation. But we need to show more buzz; we need to take the initiative and be musicians.”
Meanwhile, Brymo — the wizard as he chooses to call himself — has now become the prophet many people seek for advice, because his melody and lyrics bring peace to troubled souls.
In 1998, Fela’s album titled ‘Music is the weapon of the future’ was released. For many reasons, the title of the album read varying meanings for different people.
Twenty years down the line, flash forward to 2018, twenty years later, music has not only become the ‘weapon’, it is now more or less the must-have ‘weapon’ of many people.