The Afropop genre is the most popular genre in the Nigerian Music scene but the uniqueness of the genre is not its originality but the ability to take from another genre and rebrand, one of it being Fuji Music.
Fuji, one of the more historically notable Nigerian Genres of music was born out of an Islamic form of music in southwestern Nigerian called Were/Ajisari.
This music was used to wake Muslims up during Ramadan fast. The origins of the genre “Fuji” date back to sometime during the 1960s.
The reform of Were/Ajisari into Fuji is credited to Alhaji Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, who released his debut LP in 1966. According to Wikipedia, the name Fui was born after Barrister saw a poster at an airport, advertising Mount Fuji, which is the highest peak in Japan.
In one of his early albums, Sikiru Ayinde Barrister described fújì music as a combination of music consisting of sákárà, Apala, jùjú, Aro, Afrobeat, gudugudu, and some elements of highlife.
Kollington Ayinla, another pioneer alongside the aforementioned was influential in the growth of the genre through the 70s.
By the 80s, the genre had become very popular across the region with the likes of King Wasiu Ayinde Marshal (KWAM 1) being credited for modernising the music and later in the 90s, Abas Akande Obesere through his introduction of “Asakasa” or Street slang.
Today, the influence of fuji music is littered all around Nigerian pop music, with the likes of artists like Olamide, Teni, Naira Marley and others constantly introducing and sampling fuji melodies into their sounds and even collaborating with fuji musicians.
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“Opotoyi” was released in 2019 and was one of the hit songs Naira Marley put out during that period. The song was produced by his in house producer, Rexxie.
However many won’t realize is that the song was sampled from one of Popular fuji star, Obesere’s songs, “Papa Wordwide”. Obesere was a rebel in the fuji genre whose style of music and lyrics was a bit different from his contemporaries.
DJ Tunez ft Adekunle Gold- My Love
DJ Tunez and Adekunle Gold partnered together in 2017. This record was DJ Tunez first single in that year and it was produced by Del’B.
Adekunle Gold brings in Happiness, Love moments, Beauty and Perfection on this tune. His delivery and enchanting lyrics will surely have everyone clamouring for love this summer.
Gold’s lyrics were sampled from KWAM 1’s “Can’t Just Stop Thinking About You”
Japa- Naira Marley
Naira Marley is an avid fan of Fuji and his songs is a testament to that fact. “Japa” was released in 2018 and produced by Rexxie. Part of its lyrics is sampled from Obesere’s American Faaji Series.
Another song that samples Obesere’s is Olamide’s 2017 Shanko Baby.
To go down memory lane of his struggle to fame, Olamide release “Anifowshe” in 2013. The smooth song samples KWAM 1’s Anifowhse which was released off his Orin Abode Mecca medley album in 1980.
Pxta- Naira Marley
Pxta or “Puta” was released in 2019 and produced by Rexxie. The song samples Obesere’s “Obutun” released in 2002.
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In 2018, Teni who was the hot topic of the moment released Askamaya, a club-worthy tune. The song became a popular street anthem at the time of its release. The song samples Adewale Ayuba’s “Omoge Cinderalla”.