Header Ads Widget

I Begged My Dad To Get His Blessings To Do Music – KSA's Son, DEMOLA ADEGEYE

There is a new music sensation in town. He is young, dashing and hugely talented. And if you’re already thinking of the names of some of the emerging hip-hop acts on the scene at the moment, don’t waste your breath because you are already wide off the mark. Emperor Ademola Adegeye is not a hip-hop act, though he can do R&B and hip-hop if the occasion demands it. But he is much more than a hip-hop act. Emperor Ademola Adegeye is a young, dynamic Juju music maestro who’s already making waves performing at top society parties and events and earning the admiration and respect of prominent Nigerians who love quality Juju music. Now, brace yourself up for this, here is the clincher- Emperor Ademola Adegeye is the son of the living legend and Juju music Icon, King Sunny Ade. He bears a striking resemblance with his father. They have the same frame, same height and dashing looks. Emperor sings like his father and moves like him. Many have heard his voice on stage and thought it was KSA that was performing, that’s how much they sound alike.

For Emperor, he is not just a chip off the old bloc, he is also a young man clearly destined for greatness. He has everything going for him. He has the voice, the talent, the stage presence and above all humility, like his father KSA, to take him to the very top. Watching Emperor perform live, it was easy to see that he has learnt from the Master of the game, the very best in the business. His stagecraft and vocal delivery were top-notch. No doubt, he is sure to stand the test of time.

Emperor Ademola Adegeye visited the City People Headquarters two weeks ago and spoke with Senior Editor, WALE LAWAL. He shared his humble beginning and revealed how it took him a while before he got his father’s blessing to do music. Enjoy excerpts of the interview. 


Tell us, Emperor, we know you’re KSA’s son but tell us a bit more about yourself

My name is Emperor Ademola Adeniyi Adegeye. The Emperor is the name my father gave me at birth, so my full name is Emperor Ademola Adeniyi and the family name is Adegeye, son of the legendary King Sunny Ade.

So, Emperor is actually a name you were given long before you got into music?

Yes, it was the name given to me by my father when I was born in Ikolaba in Ibadan. Usually, God would minister to daddy to give us names while at birth so he gave me the name Emperor. And that’s what he calls me, he doesn’t call me any other name.

Where were you born and raised? How was growing up like for you?

I was born in Ibadan, that’s my birthplace, Ikolaba to be precise. Right from childhood, I knew my dad was a big celebrity. She had all the records of my father’s songs and she played them for us all the time. Every December 26, my dad played at NTA Ibadan and we would attend I would be put on stage to sing and dance and people would spray me money. So, growing up, I knew my father was a star but I did not let that get into my head. My dad instilled a lot of discipline in us and he taught us to be humble at all times. In fact, most times, people don’t know I’m King Sunny Ade’s son except someone tells them. For me, I prefer to let my work, my talent, speak for me and then people would now say, oh, yes, he looks like him, he sings like him. I’m more comfortable with that.

Growing up, what kind of father was your Dad, King Sunny Ade?

Thank you, sir, for that question. First, let me say I consider it a big privilege to have been born as the son of King Sunny Ade. I could’ve been dropped into another family. He is a very loving father and he has taught us a lot over the years. He teaches you the way you sit, the way you talk, the way you eat, the way you address people and not look down on anyone, the deep cores of our tradition and of course with the help of our mother too, they made us understand that these are the most important things than fame, money, etc. I started showing the signs that I could sing right from when I was a toddler. Whenever I am struggling with something mentally, I resort to singing and it brings back my creative abilities. I always told my dad I wanted to be a musician but there was a standing rule in the family that you must be done with school before you can venture into anything before you can get the family’s support. So, after my NYSC, I went to him, prostrated and begged him to give me his blessings to start music and that was it. He told me I could use his intellectual properties anytime I wanted. He prayed for me and he was even teary-eyed while praying. Though before then I had been performing in school and doing little shows but they were all on a low level. I knew I had to be careful. I didn't want to upset him since he had not given me his blessings. I had thought that he would immediately set up a band for me, and give me everything I needed but it didn’t happen like that. He said that I was like gold and he wanted me to pass through fire first and acquire lots of experience.

 But with time, he guided me through the years and today I now have my band. I also had a lot of friends who supported me. I do other songs outside of juju music. I let people know that this is who I am, this is what I can deliver and most times after live performances, I get a lot of people come to me to say, can you come and perform for us? A lot of times when I perform on campuses, people often say, the way this guy sings and dances, he looks like King Sunny Ade and I will be like, yeah, I’m his son and they would say, wow, why didn’t you tell us! And then they say, oh, you did well, and that’s the joy for me. So, after many years of hustling and doing things on my own, I got interviewed by the BBC and that was how everything went viral I am so grateful to God for everything.

Which university did you attend and what did you study?

I went to the Federal College of Agriculture, Ibadan, I studied Crop Production. I had my HND there before proceeding with my NYSC. I’m also working on some International Diplomas to add to my knowledge.

For a young man like you, one would expect you would have some trouble grappling with the Yoruba language and be more comfortable doing hip-hop or R&B and the likes, so how have you been able to have that grip of the Yoruba language?

Well, for me, while growing up, I’ve always loved our culture and our language, it helped me express myself better. There were things I could not say in English but I could say them in the Yoruba language. I’ve always wanted to know about my roots and the Yoruba language. It wasn’t a challenge for me because I’ve always known English was a borrowed language and I have always been fascinated and proud of the Yoruba language. While listening to my dad’s songs and songs of other artistes of his generation, I get goose pimples just hearing them sing in the rich Yoruba language. So, what I do is also use the language to project my creativity the best way I know how. It’s no challenge for me at all.

What other genre of music do you like listening to apart from Juju music?

All other genres of music fascinate me as well. I listen to all of them. But most of the time, I listen to evergreen songs. R&B, hip-hop, Country music,  African music, all of them, I listen to them not because I know what they’re saying but because I love the creativity behind the sound I hear. I listen to any song that speaks to me, especially if the song has got a good message, good melody and lots of creativity behind it. Artistes like the late IK Dairo, and Chief Ebenezer Obey, all inspire me greatly with their songs, just like my dad. For the younger generation, I love the hard work of Davido and WizKid because they just cut across all spheres and they’ve broken barriers.

Do you get the temptation once in a while to do commercial songs like your contemporaries instead of Juju music?

Oh, yes, I do. I remember years back, my friends will tell me why, Juju music, it’s like an old man’s music but thanks to creativity and talent, I have been able to do Juju music in a way that the younger generation too will find it appealing. I listen to all kinds of music and try to see how I can blend things together so that people of my generation too can relate to my songs. So, yes, I do other music outside of Juju music.

So, that means that there is the possibility we could see a collaboration between you and any hip-hop artiste in the nearest future...

That is my dream. I wish to go into collaborations with majorly all the top acts in the country because they are all doing exceptionally well. I want to work with all of them and I know it's possible. I’ve always wanted to create modern juju pop, salsa and the rest. So, I’m willing to work with them and I know it will happen soon because a lot of work is going on behind the scenes to make that happen by God’s grace.

How much pressure does your dad’s massive image put on you because I know that the moment anyone knows who you are, the expectation shoots up, how have you dealt with that pressure?

To be honest, sir, that’s exactly what is happening. Immediately they hear I am Sunny Ade’s son the bar is raised higher. But in my own humble way, I let them know that my dad is 55 years on stage, I am jut a few years old on stage, so there’s a place of growth, which is where I am right now. The pressure is enormous but I don’t allow it to eat me up. They tell me, do you know how many countries your father has been to, how many big shows around that he has performed and I tell them, I know, sir. And that I will get there. I’m just grateful to God that the pressure has not affected my style and delivery.

So, in what ways has King Sunny Ade helped you to climb up that ladder and raise the bar for you?

Like I said earlier, it’s a privilege to be his son. It has opened doors for and closed a few as well because like they say, not all that glitters is gold. When people see my talent and creativity they say, wow, I want to work with him. Whatever I can do for his daddy, I will do for him as well. This inspires me and helps me push myself even harder. I believe every performance should be better than the last one.

You are most likely to still be single, am I right?

(Laughs) I am married and I have a child.

Oh, really, that’s great! It’s a good thing you have been able to sort out that aspect in good time...

Yes, sir. And let me also say that when my son turned one, I received my first international award. That just shows to me that God has a hand in this. I just want to be responsible and do the right things the right way. So, it has never been a challenge for me at all in terms of the opposite sex.

Really? I am surprised to hear that because I know you haven’t scratched the surface yet, you still have a whole lot ahead of you. But even at that, you are the son of the legendary KSA, you’re talented, you’re good-looking, and with all of these the ladies will definitely come knocking on your door, so how will you deal with them, that’s if they haven’t come knocking already?

I know I’ve got lots of female fans out there but I have also imbibed a lot of discipline from my dad. He will tell you that you can be the best of me and ignore the bad side. He will tell you ‘Akanda eda le mi’, meaning that’s the way God created him as regards the many wives he has. He will say take the best part of your father and become the best that you can be. I always appreciate my female fans. You know women, whatever they put their hands on, they make it better, so I’ve always appreciated their love and support and I’m sure they will also wish me well and want me to succeed and not hear that I’ve lost focus and doing all sorts with women.

When should we be expecting your body of work?

By God’s grace, sir, very soon. I am taking my time. I will put out my first body of work very soon. There was a time my dad didn’t release any album for about ten years. So, right now, we are allowing my work go through a lot of creative processes, with both the young and old creative minds listening to it to critique it to help make it the best that it can be. Whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well.

Post a Comment