Afro Juju music creator, Sir Shina Peters, is returning to the roots. The legendary singer, it has been revealed, will once again take up his prime stage art as lead guitarist. This much was revealed at the unveiling of programmes to mark the 60 years birthday of the star crooner.
If there is one thing that distinguishes Sir Shina Peters from the rest of the pack, it is the loyalty of his fans who contributed to his elevation to stardom. His Afro Juju brand that bestrode the 1990s social scene endured up till date.
SSP’s 1989 ‘Ace’ album introduced a trend that literally sanitized dance music parties and transformed the social thinking of young people seeking safer and more inclusive social lifestyle.
This trend, SSP vows he would be reintroducing into his music after Wednesday, May 30th, 2018, when he will be clocking 60 and rolling drums in an atmosphere of frills and thrills.
“Yes, I’d be ready to take up the guitar again”, he said in a response to one of the journalists present seeking to know if playing the guitar on stage by which most youngsters of that era were enticed to his brand, is one of his transformation plans at 60. “I created Afro Juju and I don’t want it to die. I want to share my talent with others, especially the younger ones. So, I’m going to do more after now to ensure that Afro Juju brand outlive me,” he adds.
Adding his voice, the Chairman of the Shina Peters 60th birthday organizing committee, Chief Bisi Olatilo, said that there is going to be a Sir Shina Peters Foundation and the objective of the Foundation to be launched on May 30th, 2018, at the Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos, will be to mentor and empower young musicians.
“The birthday event will also feature an interactive session with the theme; ‘Discussing the phenomenon called Sir Shina Peters’, and the session will afford stakeholders in the music, showbiz and entertainment industry to give their different perspectives about Shina Peters’ sojourn in the music industry which has spanned close to 50 years.
“There will be so much to reminisce about the multitalented, multitasking singer, composer, actor and dancer who burst into the consciousness of Nigerians close to 50 years at the tender age of 11. He has also revolutionized the Juju music scene, breaking cultural and language barriers; his music is loved by everyone across the globe,” stated Olatilo, adding that SSP’s mentors and veterans in the music industry like King Sunny Ade, Chief Ebenezer Obey, Laolu Akins, Tony Okoroji and co, would grace the occasion while younger generation of artistes like Toyin Oguns, Dimeji Ayoka, Gentleman Dele Taiwo as well as star comedians, would add spice to the events.
The idea of the star musician’s 60th birthday celebration, we gathered, was mooted by his close friend and promoter of many years, Mr. Segun Okeowo who is the CEO of the famed Lords Promotions. Later, another friend of his, Mr. Gboyega Okegbenro, a veteran journalist and CEO of Peachtree Advertising, came on board before ace broadcaster, Chief Bisi Olatilo, who is the chairman of the organizing committee, joined hands to make the plan a reality.
Meanwhile, going down memory lane, Sir Shina Peters paid tributes to two music figures who, he admitted, contributed to his career success. He mentioned the Fuji music icon, Chief Sikiru Ayinde Barrister and Afro Beat legend, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti as two of those that God used to elevate him from musical lull.
“I approached late Ayinde Barrister, he gave me his piece of advice. I went to him purposely to study how he made his ‘Fuji Garbage’ series. I discovered that it was all about African percussion. He believed in me when most never believed I could stand alone and sing on my own with the kind of voice I have. After that, when I thought how I could use my type of music to appeal to my followers, most especially, students, because I wanted to carry the youths along and I wanted to make myself the leader of the youths, I went to Fela for advice. Fela said the only thing I could do was to look for music that would suit my voice. He said if I could find one, I would be a good musician. Fela said ‘Shina, go back to the drawing board and find your own music because you have husky voice like me, look for something that will suit your voice’.
“He also told me that, anything I wanted to do, I should make fifty percent of it English or Pidgin English so that I can carry my audience along with my music. That was the magic.
“Then a lot of people thought that I could not sing; they would say I could only play guitar, sax or keyboard but I could not sing. So because of the advice that Fela and Barrister gave to me, I proved my critics wrong. So I will say for me at 60, God used me because I don’t think any human being can just wake up and create something that will unify the country’s ethnic regions by himself.”