Call Olayiwola Adisa Adejumo popularly known as Lai Addis a king and you will not be wrong. He is indeed the King of Lyrics, a title he was given by Prophet Funso Akande of the popular Ori Oke Baba Abiye, Ede, Osun State. Lai Addis is not just a king by word of mouth, musically; he lives it up like royalty. Not a few of his colleagues will admit that he is one of the best composers around. As a matter of fact, he composes for some of them. And on stage too, once Lai Addis puts his mouth in motion, lovely lyrics flow.
He is however different from most musicians; he is the portrait of absolute discipline; he avoids alcohol and he draws a line when it comes to women.
One thing the Ilobu, Osun State born musician never compromises is creativity. He is of the opinion that Juju music is in danger of extinction. Though Juju still sells, thanks to the likes of Yinka Ayefele and a number of others, Lai Addis, who created the Goje brand of music, a blend of Fuji and Juju, believes the younger generation of musicians has a lot to do to keep Juju music alive. “The situation is that after so many years of hard work, none of the younger ones is eager to be creative like King Sunny Ade, Chief Ebenezer Obey and others, they only copy and sing rubbish”, he said.
To make sure Juju and Fuji music don’t die, “the only remedy”, according to Lai Addis, “is for the younger ones who are eager to sing to go and lock themselves up in a room and think. Most of the Fuji singers are nowhere to be found today because they refused to create, all the younger ones that are supposed to hold the pillar for Fuji music to stand are copying Wasiu Ayinde and others but the hip hop artistes are not like that, they are different from one another”.
In his opinion, Nigerian hip hop artistes are simply being creative and they are using that creativity to advantage. “The hip pop singers of today are not singing hip pop. It amazes me when some people say Davido is singing hip pop. Most of them are singing highlife and people accept it maybe because of the sequence they are using and because they have Nigerianized the music and that is perfect”.
He also pointed out that Adekunle Gold is carving a niche for himself with his creativity. “Look at the track Ire, do you know that song is actually an Ilaje song? It is a song of the Ilaje people in Ondo State. Check out how beautifully he sang it. “That is why we need creative musicians to keep our traditional music alive”.
When asked what actually transpired between him and Yinka Ayefele, especially regarding rumours that Ayefele sang one of his songs in a certain album without giving him the due credit, Lai Addis simply smiled and said “Yinka Ayefele and I are brothers. We only had a disagreement some time ago and we resolved it. Issues don’t come through the musicians but through our fans out there. Artistes do quarrel and we eventually settle it”.
Recollecting his happiest moment so far as a musician, Lai Addis said “that was the day I played at a particular anniversary in Ondo State where the traditional ruler gave me $20,000. Since then I have been playing at the anniversary every year. It was one of my happiest moments. Another day was when Oba Obateru Akinruntan, in his palace asked me to lead a song, while he and his wife, Olori did back-up vocals to my song, it was a happy and wonderful moment for me.
Another moment was during a particular album launch, at the programme they called Yinka Ayefele to come to the podium to deliver a speech, what Ayefele did on that day was wonderful, he ordered everyone in the hall to stand up for me to give proper recognition. I felt like I was the President. It was a happy day for me as well”.