By Benjamin Njoku
Veteran actor, Ayo Lijadu, who delved into music last year after releasing his debut single, ‘Seun Rere’, has revealed why he took him a long time to actualize his dream of becoming a musician.
The actor, who’s best known for his role as Christopher St. John in the popular television series, “Tinsel”, decided to kick start his music career at 65 years, revealing that he had put on it hold for over thirty years.
Lijadu hails from a family of musicians and artistes, prominent of which are his older sisters, the popular Lijadu twin sisters, who dominated the female music scene from the late sixties to the late eighties), and his legendary cousins, late Fela Anikulapo Kuti, and Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka.
Revealing why he couldn’t kick off his musical career at a very young age, Lijadu said the reasons were circumstantial and deliberate, both dovetailing into each other. “I had an acting career which had spanned a decade at the time, and I was fully immersed in it. Secondly, when I had a rash of inspiration and penned down about ten songs over a period of some months,” he explained.
He continued: “The frustration I experienced while trying to get a recording company to accept my first music demo which I produced, with financial assistance from my cousin, Prof. Wole Soyinka, who was also my former Head of Department at the University of Ife, made me decide to put whatever ambitions I had going into music on hold for a later time, when the circumstances would be more propitious,” he revealed.
Describing his music as “more of upbeat jazzy high life,” Lijadu said “Seun Rere” was inspired by his desire to use the medium of artistic expression, through music, to pass across eternal values that will not only benefit society at large, but also, every individual soul that listens to the lyrics of my songs.
“Specifically, Seun Rere”, which I wrote about thirty years ago, was inspired while I was strolling in the evening in a middle/upper class neighborhood, and pondering about the innate desire of the average Nigerian to acquire wealth and flaunt it, and the vanity of it all; as we come with nothing to this world and will depart with nothing,” he said.
At 65, the veteran actor said that he has what it takes to stand the taste of time in the Nigerian music scene. “I still have a lot to offer. Not only to this generation of young people, but also , my own generation. Even the much older generation before mine, many of whom should have long retired from the helms of affairs as far as the leadership and governance structure of this country is concerned.”