Alhaji Sulaimon Alao Adekunle a.k.a Malaika has released a new album, ‘Golden Jubilee’. The album, which has become the toast of Fuji music lovers was one of the focuses of Malaika’s chat with Global Excellence magazine’s staff writer, SHEU TIJANI ADEGBOLA, two weeks ago in Lagos. Also, the sensational music act spoke about his new house in Lekki, which was said to have been completed with over N200 million among other issues. Enjoy reading…
Tell us about the new album
Well, the title of the album is “Golden Jubilee”, it talks about a stage in life. I mean an elite stage. What we should do at certain stage. For example, what you do when you are in your 20s is quite different from what you do when you are in your 30s and so on like that.
Could you guide us on some of these things?
Before you turn 18, you are not responsible for what you do or even for yourself including your actions. When you turn 18, you have become an adult but may not still be independent from your parents because they are still responsible for you and your wellbeing. But from 20, you have to struggle to survive; when you turn 30, the struggle continues but when you turn 40 you will start taking things easy because at that stage, you have mature and probably learnt some lessons from the mistakes you must have learnt in your 20s and 30s. Again, age is another thing because your body may not be as strong and may not be able to do some of the things it used to do when you were younger. That is the reason I have always advised younger ones to always work hard when they are young because they may not be able to do many things again when they are older. You just have to work hard in your 20s and 30s.
But Golden Jubilee is about 50 years, are you 50?
I know it is about 50. The album is specifically for that age. There is a track in the album specially dedicated to one of my brothers who clocked 50 years last year.
Looking at your stature, most people think you are still 30, what is your secret?
I’m 44 now and the secret is very simple, take life easy. There are people who are older than their age. When you see them, they appear very old physically but in real age, they are not old. I think it is stress and poverty. They think too much on how they will survive. Some people don’t really know how to leave things to God.
You started music at 11; you must have seen a lot of things. What did you learn from Barrister, K 1 and the rest that were before you?
I have been in this music industry for about three decades now, I started when I was 11 and that was over 30 years now, I released my first album in 1993 and I have over 20 albums now. Late Sikiru Ayinde Barrister was my mentor while alive. He was a role model as well. May his soul rest in peace. I learnt humility from him. I acknowledged his hard work. I realized that before you could get to that level in life at which late Barrister got to, you have to be humble, focused, determined, persevered and hardworking. There is no how luck will not come your ways. K1 De Ultimate is another superb role model everyone is looking up to as far as Fuji music is concerned now. His success today will always inspire young ones in that industry to work more.
Let’s talk about your last album before this one, how is the album performing in the market?
I thank God because all my albums are doing well in the market and my marketer is not complaining which is an indication that the albums are doing well. In fact, they always commend me. At this point, marketers have been requesting for new album. In fact, this particular album we released, we couldn’t have done it. But it was because of the popular demand and pressure from the marketers to bring something out. There is no doubt that the album will not yield result. I am very optimistic that the new album, “Golden Jubilee” will help “Original” which was the previous one. We released “Original” close to a year now in the market. Money is coming and my mission is to deliver.
What is your relationship with other Fuji music artistes, Pasuma, Osupa, Atawewe. There have been many rumours that you are fighting Pasuma silently?
There is no fight between Malaika and Pasuma. Rumour mongers are everywhere. Even if they don’t see you and your wife together, the next thing is that you are fighting with your wife. We always play together and do a lot of things together. We all understand that 20 children cannot play for 20 years according to Yoruba proverb. Malaika and Pasuma are still friends. We performed together recently. Remi Aluko did his birthday recently in Ibadan, I was there with my colleagues. Malaika is united with his colleagues. I believe lots of Fuji musicians have understood that consistent rift and verbal words in the industry have cost us pains and backwardness. That is why lots of our followers and promoters are saying Fuji music will die abruptly. I understand that Fuji music is very strong. There is no brand of music that will overshadow Fuji music. The future of Fuji music in Nigeria is very bright. My relationship with my colleagues is cordial.
There is this rumour of fight in the Fuji music industry over supremacy. What do you think is the cause of this fight?
I don’t think there is any fight in the Fuji music industry, though there may be one or two disagreements between artistes. I don’t believe anyone is fighting anyone in the industry.
Your performance at the Lagos @50 was the talk of town. What really inspired that performance?
I have heard so much about my performance at Lagos @50 but honestly, I must say that I am still surprised because I did not see anything special about my performance that night. I went to the stage and did what I know how to do best and the fans were happy. I did not do anything spectacular or extra ordinary things there. This is my normal style. May be my fans there appreciated me more than any other artiste. But all in all, I give God the glory.
Looking at the music industry generally, do you feel threatened that Hip pop music might affect the Fuji music?
There is no room for such fears. If you really understand the Fuji music and the Nigerian music very well, you will never entertain such fear. Hip pop artistes are doing their own and fuji music artistes are doing their own. No threats and no such fear.
What is your advice to upcoming Fuji artistes who are looking up to you?
They just have to be patient, hard working, prayerful and respectful.
The good news has been everywhere that you are opening a new house in December. Tell us about it.
We thank God for that. We want our fans who have been following and supporting us to know that we appreciate them a lot. We also want them to realize that the money they have been “spraying” Malaika has not gone astray. We are on the right track. We are still working hard in order to achieve more.
The report revealed it that it is N200 million Lekki Mansion?
Well, if we add other things to it, the cost is more than that.
When is the opening?
December 10th is the date.