Tosin Ajirire And Juliet Oshevire
Afro juju music star, Oluwashina Akanbi Peters popularly known as Sir Shina Peters or SSP, is in celebration mood. The iconic artiste will turn 60 on May 30, 2018 and he’s rolling out the drums.
Scheduled to hold at Balmoral Event Centre, Federal Palace Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, on Wednesday May 30, the birthday ceremony will feature an interactive session tagged: “Dissecting the Phenomenon Called Sir Shina Peters”. The session will provide stakeholders in the entertainment industry the opportunity to give their different perspectives about the musician’s sojourn in the entertainment industry, which has spanned close to 50 years. It will also witness the launch of Sir Shina Peters Foundation for mentoring and empowerment of young musicians.
However, the event will be graced by veteran musicians like King Sunny Ade, Ebenezer Obey, Laolu Akins, Tony Okoroji and others while it will feature performances by top acts such as Toyin Oguns, Dimeji Ayoka, Gentleman Dele Taiwo. Also, several comedians have been slated to crack ribs on that day.
Fielding questions from journalists at a press conference held at Adna Hotel, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos on Tuesday, SSP was full of gratitude to God for keeping him alive to witness the diamond age. He alluded to the fact that the idea of organising a befitting 60th birthday ceremony for him was first mooted by his close friend, Segun Okeowo, a renowned show promoter and CEO, Lords Promotions.
The musician said another friend of his, veteran journalist and vice chairman, Peachtree Advertising, Gboyega Okegbenro, immediately embraced the idea. And when the issue was finally brokered to another close pal of his, ace broadcaster, Bisi Olatilo, who doubles as the chairman of the organising committee, he knew the birthday was a fait accompli. SSP further opened up on vital issues concerning his life and career.
On secret of staying young at 60
There is nothing secret about it. I love what I’m doing. I have passion for music.
On 60th birthday album
I am working on an album that will be released soon. My son, Clearance Peters, has all the details of the album.
On SSP Foundation
I have paid my dues. I have been active for close to 50 years because I started at the age of 10. So, it is time for me to give back, to nurture talent and encourage people. I don’t want to die with my kind of music. I don’t want to die with the Afro juju, which is premised on fast percussion with the use of electronic keyboard, saxophone and guitar. The Sir Shina Peters Foundation will support all genres of music from hip hop, fuji, Afro juju and all other genres of music, but the foundation will focus more on our indigenous music. The foundation will also help in training individuals on musical instruments ranging from the guitar, keyboard, drums, and saxophones.
Advice Fela gave me
I wanted to use my music to appeal to my followers, most especially, students; I wanted to carry students along. What I wanted for myself was to see myself as a leader of the youths. So, I went to Fela for advice. Fela said the only thing I could do was to look for music that would suit my voice. He said if I could find one, I would be a good musician. Fela said ‘Shina, go back to the drawing board and find your own music because you have husky voice like me, look for something that will suit your voice’.
Fela also told me, ‘look Shina, I want to share my magic with you, anything you want to do, make fifty percent of it English or Pidgin English so that you can carry your audience along with you; both the Igbo and the Hausa’. Some people thought I couldn’t sing, that I can only play the guitar, keyboard and saxophone. But because of the advice that Fela gave to me, I proved them wrong.
Sometimes I ask myself, ‘am I the Shina Peters that people talk about?’ People tell me that I am enjoying my hard work and they tell me that maybe God just used me. At 60, I have contributed my quota. Today, people playing Afro juju are more than those playing the regular juju.
At 60, God has used me because definitely I don’t think anybody can wake up and bring something spectacular that will unify the Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba like my music.
I have no regrets at all. I am fulfilled.
Advice to young artistes
They should be humble and hard working.