Veteran Juju music maestro, Ebenezer Obey has urged Nigerian musicians to see themselves as collaborators and not as competitors.
Obey made this known during a media parley ahead of Ariya Eko Music Festival.
In his words: ”Musicians must not see themselves as competitors because everyone has his or her talent, which is unique to them. Two of my children are musicians; they play my own kind of music but they do not play exactly like me, so every musician has some uniqueness and we must learn to respect one another’s talent,” he said.
“Musicians should see themselves as contributors to the growth of the music industry and the nation, but not as competitors.”
Obey began his professional career in the mid-1950s after moving to Lagos. After tutelage under Fatai Rolling-Dollar’s band, he formed a band called The International Brothers in 1964, playing highlife–jùjú fusion. The band later metamorphosed into Inter-Reformers in the early-1970s, with a long list of Juju album hits on the West African Decca musical label.
Obey began experimenting with Yoruba percussion style and expanding on the band by adding more drum kits, guitars and talking drums. Obey’s musical strengths lie in weaving intricate Yoruba axioms into dance-floor compositions.