By Ayodele Lawal
After years in the limbo, fuji music icon, Alhaji Rasaki Kolawole Ilori popularly known as General Kollington Ayinla, is back on the beat.
The veteran musician, who is equally known as ‘Alhaji Kebe ‘n’ Kwara’, has staged a comeback with a new album, ‘Esin Funfun’ (White Horse), which he describes as “dance music”.
Speaking with TS Weekend recently, General Kollington agreed that he has not been active on the music scene due to some spiritual problems. But according to him, he has put those behind him and he’s now ready to blow. Kollington also spoke about his late friend and music rival, Alhaji Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, his wives, musician son, Sheriff and other issues. Enjoy it.
We learned that you just released a new album…
(Cuts in) Yes, the album was released on Monday; and it’s being played every where right now.
Okay, what is the title?
It is titled Esin Funfun (White Horse).
Why this title?
It means ‘Esin funfun Ayinla tigbera bayi o’ which literally means ‘I’m on the move and nothing can stop me’.
Why have you been lying low?
I have been having some spiritual problems, which I have been able to overcome through prayer. I thank God. So, ‘esin white mi ti gbera bayi o’ (My white horse is now on the move). Though, I released an album titled ‘Packaging’ two years ago, it did not do well in the market because my marketer had some problems with MAAN (Music Advertising Association of Nigeria).
Will this new album surpass hits like Kasabubu, Ijo Yoyo, and Megastar etc.?
This is a different one and it is totally different from any of my albums. In the second part of the album, I sing about Buhari’s administration. But I can assure you that it is dance, dance all through.
At your age, do you still possess the swag?
Yes, of course. I am still active like before.
Apart from the spiritual attack you mentioned earlier, can we also say that Ayinde Barrister’s death contributed to your problem?
Yes and no. Yes in the sense that whenever I remember him, I always have the thought that I will go one day, because I was very close to (Ayinde) Barrister when he was alive. We always disagreed to agree. And now that he is no more who else will I relate to musically? Though, I know we will all go one day that does not mean we should not take care of our health. After the death of (Ayinde) Barrister I heard some people saying Kolington would soon join his friend. But I know that they are not God and nobody can determine my destiny. I’m like a moving train that can’t be stopped.
You still look young and fit at your age, what’s the secret?
Well, I try to take things easy. Things are not going the way they should because of recession, but one has to take life easy so as not to attract any ailment.
So, how do you cope in this recession?
I relax a lot. Since I don’t take alcohol or smoke cigarette, I should find a way to relax. I have houses, cars and good clothes that fit me so, why do I have to trouble myself?
What of women, do you also relax with them?
I am still agile. I am still sexually active (Laughter).
What is your impression of the younger fuji artistes?
Nothing much, they are all doing their best; things cannot go the same way forever.
Why is it that most of the young ones call themselves king of this, king of that?
It is not only in fuji music that you get this thing; it is also in other genres of music. Apart from music, there are so many kings elsewhere, the only problem we have in fuji music is that our people are too vocal and they make unnecessary noise.
Are you satisfied with the level of development in fuji music?
Yes, because the younger ones have not allowed fuji to die. Barrister and I did our own, and when it was time, we resolved it. I know they too will get tired one day. At every given time crisis will resolve itself. There is no cause for alarm. They too will disagree to agree.
There was serious rivalry between you and Barrister during his lifetime…
That is the aroma of fuji music and our fans contributed largely to it. For example, if you listen to the album ‘5&6’ which I released after the death of my friend (Barrister), I sang that the person I used to throw banters at is gone. But that is life.
Do you still miss him?
Of course, I still miss him. In fact, I still see him in my dreams.
Does he tell you anything in your dream?
We just chat and throw banters at each other like before.
Your son, Sheriff, like you and his mum, Salawa Abeni is into music, what’s your take on this?
It is God’s doing. He is lucky to come from two music giants. I thank God because it is a thing of pride for his mum and me. Other musicians are not as lucky as us.
But he is singing hip hop and not fuji?
It doesn’t matter. He is a musician and his music is more advanced than ours, so I wish him the best.
Do you dream of having a collabo with him?
Yes, but I’m not ready for that now.
Which of your songs do you want him to remix?
He owns the entire repertoire, so he is free to do anything with any of my songs.
You used to sing about current affairs but recently you stopped, why is this so?
I decided to stop because the government is not listening.
What advice do you have for the up and coming musicians?
They should be of good character, play good music and envy no one. They should also sing songs that people can learn from.
You used to praise sing your wives but you suddenly stopped, why did you stop, don’t you have wives any longer?
When we used to praise sing our wives, we were acting out of ignorance. Unknown to us, we were selling them to the outside world and that gave negative effect on our home.
Most people believe that musicians are flirts, how true is this?
Whoever says that is a flirt too, women are part of our music.