For veteran juju musician, Dayo Kujore, it was either music or nothing despite the fact that he had acquired a technical knowledge as an engineer.
In a chat with Saturday Beats, the juju singer said that when he ventured into music, his parents were so uncertain about how his life would pan out that his mother had to prostrate on the floor begging him to quit music for another profession.
“My father died when I was quite young, so I have more memories of my mother. However, she was not pleased with the development.
I remember a day when my mother prostrated on the floor holding my leg that I should not go out to perform.
She said that if it was a church programme, it would have been better but I was going to perform at a juju gig. She really did not have a choice because my music was not hindering my other activities like school and house chores. I was able to combine everything. I got so popular to the point that when some of those bands needed a guitarist to play for them in Lagos, I was the one they called to perform with them.
I would leave my village as young as I was to play different gigs in Lagos. It was during one of those performances that some top shots in the juju scene in Lagos watched me perform and they invited me to join their band. I later joined S.A Oni’s band because they noticed that I am talented. I toured different parts of Lagos with them till I met the likes of Prince Adekunle. I was with Prince Adekunle for a while till some of his band members left to form their own group.
Initially, I was just a guitarist but at the time but one day when I went with a musician for a performance, the man did not mount the stage on time and this angered the crowd. Soon their patience grew thin and they began to throw stones at the stage. I was the smallest amongst the band members but they were all confused, so I mounted the stage and started playing my guitar, soon after I began to sing, that was the first day I ever sang in front of a crowd in my life.
When the musician later mounted the stage, the crowd began to request for me that they loved my style of singing. It was not until that incident happened that I realised I could sing. Prior to that day, I was only an instrumentalist.
Initially, I was a very shy person but as I held that microphone, the yoke broke. I never knew I was that brave but I think I got courageous because I did not want the crowd to get belligerent,” he said.
The singer said that to allay his mother’s fears, he ensured he became a success in his career, eventually, his mother was happy for him. “She was very happy for me. There was a day I was playing and I invited her to the stage; she was so happy that day and it was very obvious. She was always more delighted whenever I sang gospel songs on stage,” he said.