I Still Want To Be A Lawyer - Islamic singer, Ayeloyun
3/14/2012 9:44:44 AM -
Alhaji Qamarudeen Odunlami Aiyeloyun has been a frontline singer in the Islamic Music Industry for over a decade now and has carved a niche for himself using his natural talent.
Aiyeloyun, the recipient of many awards, in this interview with Bolatito Adebola at his Lagos home, speaks about the Islamic industry and his forthcoming album which is a three-in-one album, scheduled to be released in the month of Ramadan. Excerpts:
Who is Ayeloyun?
My names are Kamorudeen Yussuf Odunlami, artistically called Ayeloyun, but popularly known as Baba-Iyawo, I am native of Ilorin, born into a family of seven; four boys and three girls. I grow up in the capital city of Nigeria, Lagos. I'm in my Late 30s and happily married with kids.
How has life been with you?
Well, so far, so good; life with me has not been too good and not too bad but I give thanks to almighty Allah.
What are you working on presently?
Presently, I'm in the studio working on my new album which is going to be released towards Ramadan and it's going to be three-in-one album and another best-seller album of the season, which is going shake the whole industry.
Can you give us a little brief about the album?
The album which titled is yet to be disclosed to the general public is about the ups and down in our society Nigeria; The Subsidy Removal; Issue of Boko Haram and other cases affecting Nigerians in general. Since many of my fans have been waiting anxiously to hear my part on the subsidy removal as an Islamic singer, I used the medium of my forthcoming album to have a discussion with the people and government in a persuading manner about the challenges facing the nation. In my parable style of singing, I threw some words of wisdom and lectures that are meant to attract the Islamic minded people in power.
What is your own take on the subsidy removal?
Actually, I don't like it, even if it's the right thing but I think it is at the wrong time, that was why I talked about it.
The Islamic music industry seems to be lagging behind others in the Entertainment Industry. Can you give reasons for this?
Well, the industry is doing so fine; but the major problem in the industry is that many people don't understand the meaning of music when it's comes to the Islamic perspective; they are confused of the difference between singing and worshiping. Many Islamic singers think singing and worshiping are together and they can do it at the same time. But to my own level of understanding, when I'm singing, I'm to entertain people in Islamic ways and also different from when I'm going to lectures. I'm an entertainer and also an Islamic entertainer. while some Islamic singers mix-up the meaning, some of us want to be Alfas and at the same time singers, so this limits how far you can entertain people when people categorize such a singer to be an Alfa, and their music will be limited to Maloudy celebrations or short time show of 10 minutes, and with this they don't see also us as entertainers; they see us as one Islamic organization that can only entertain them for some minutes and go, mostly Islamic festival periods, but we can only let them know that we are not an organization; we are also an entertainers that entertain in Islamic ways and we can perform at many call of celebrations. This, I believe will boost Islamic music to the next level.
Is it necessary for the person to be an Arabic Scholar to be an Islamic singer?
Well, to be a good Islamic singer, you have to understand Islam, because some are just entertainers, maybe they are not equal to other circular artistes like Fuji artistes or hip hop, they just want to come to Islam and they will be misdoing things; for example their mode of dressing, the way they expose their bodies, both female and male; so you have to be learned, if not much in Arabic, you have to know much in Islam, so you will not go out of bounds, so you won't do something contrary to Islamic religion.
What have been the challenges so far?
It has been very challenging, starting with the band management, other ups and downs but I thank God that I've been able to scheme through all.
If you were not a singer, what else would you have been?
I should be a lawyer, I studied law and didn't complete my academic pursuit. I dropped out of school for music.
Do you still feel like going further with your studies?
I'm planning to go back to it very soon.
But will you drop music to practice law?
I didn't practice music everyday, just weekend or occasionally, not all the time did we practice music; so I have all the week for myself, if I want to practice, I will.
Apart from music what other business are you engaged in?
I do other businesses but more of entertainment; I am into music promotions; I produce for artistes and I'm also planning on my own Recording Company, which will be soon launched into the Nigerian Entertainment Industry.
What is your advice for upcoming Islamic artistes?
They should do the music thing because they love doing it; some are doing it for fame, some are doing it because they want to fill their stomach, while some are doing because they want to get rich, so if the money is not forth-coming, they won't be happy; but I do it because I love doing it, so getting money from it is secondary, the primary thing is that I want to sing, I love singing among all things. So, the young singers need to be focused, consistent, hardworking, not lazy and serious minded. These are what I want the upcoming singers to take as precautions before doing music.