Sound of Time
I was born around four decades ago to the family of Elder Samson Ajilore Ojo and Late Mrs. Obafunke Ojo in Omo Ofe Ilesa Osun State. I attended St Mark's Primary School Iperindo Via Ilesa between 1970-1976/1977 I lived my primary life with my grand dad Late Pa/Elder Titus Amose Oni. My uncle Pastor T.O. Oni brought me to Ibadan, Oyo State in 1977. In 1978, I was sent to Good Will Electrical Engineering Company under the management of Mr. Gabriel Oladimeji and late Mr David Adelokun as an apprentice for almost six years. During this course, in 1979, I joined Christ Apostolic Church Choir in Oke-Imole Agbeni, Ibadan Where my talent was discovered by late Pa. E.O Christopher who was then the choir Director of Music and Church Organist, he taught me how to play organ, how to co-ordinate choir, how to compose and arrange hymnals and songs of praises. In his book titled Hymn Tunes of Glory, which he was unable, to release before his death, have about four hymnal tunes composed by me. In 1978, I formed my first gospel band named 3stars gospel singers along with my sister Yemisi Oni now Mrs. Oladejo and my friend Lawrence Ayodele also in Ibadan I changed the name of this band three times, in 1980 from Three Stars Gospel Band to Bright Stars gospel band and then to Majestic Jesus Musical Band in 1985. Finally to Gospel Proclaimer's Band in 1988. We have performed in various part of the country. In 1983, I met Uncle Adetiran, founder and proprietor of Chamber Music School, which I was one of the Foundation students and he was then the head of Music Department, Ibadan Polytechnic. He taught me the rudiment and theory of music to a notable standard, this I'm enjoying till today. As a percussionist and organist, I was a member of Ibadan Poly Choral Band Directed by the head of Department, Uncle Wole Adetiran and late Dipo Shodipo ope including some student from the department like Bisi Tolu, Taiwo Olorunfemi, Kayode and Soji Aboyade, Abiodun Ben. Adebiyi and others. Despite not being a student of this institution, I happened to be the organist that played for Ibadan Poly music student during the lying in state of Chief Obafemi Awolowo at Liberty Stadium in Ibadan In 1986. Studio Experience: My first session in the studio was recorded at Iyanda Records in Ibadan in 1979 As a conga player and full percussionist. In 1991, I came to Lagos for audition to join the band of Admiral Dele Abiodun and his Top Hitters Band, which I was admitted. This intelligent chairman dmiral Dele Abiodun gave me opportunities to excel in my studio performances and that is why he remains the best boss I have ever known in my life. To the glory of God, I have performed in over 100 hit albums all over Nigeria from-- Gospel to Juju to Fuji to Ikwokirikwo, Soukous and highlife music. God Almighty is always my shield and shelter, in 1993, I was a member of the team that recorded 'Babangida Must Go' led by Gbenga Adewusi, this single that sold over a million copies nearly claim our dear lives if not for the grace of God that we took our refuge in. Julius Olagoroye ulie King was the producer of this great effort. Other participants were., Seyi Ajayi scar J, Richard Cole now in USA, Toyin saxophonist in USA, Clara Oluyi also in USA, Segun Osunmo, Yemi Akinola, few others and myself. In 1994, Sony Music as one of their gospel artist signed me on; I released an album titled New Dawn on their label. In 1995, I came to London on a contractual Euro' Tour with King Wasiu Ayinde Marshall 1 After the three and a half months tour of United Kingdom and Europe. We all returned back to Nigeria ur home base. I had a fatal accident the second week of our arrival in Nigeria, this accident claimed about five lives instantly; I was in a Toyota Commuter 14 seater with my friend Oluwole Adejumo on our way from Ibadan to Lagos when the accident happened. I was seriously injured but thank God I survived it. After a brief recovery I flew back to London To start a new life, though, life is not quite easy in England as many thought, since there was neither National Insurance nor working permit for me to start working, some of my Christian brothers and friends encouraged me to start playing secular music, which I initially found difficult. Prince/Olori Adetunji Adejokun are one of my God-sent, they accommodated me happily in there home for close to two years before I got my own apartment. All the while I was staying with them, I worshiped at C & S Earlham Groove where the Action committee members of the Church arranged a loan of £ 1, 000.00. This I added the sum of £ 2,000.00 to purchased my first set of musical equipment like 8chanel power mixer and a pair of 350watts EV speakers, second hand Yamaha DX7 and second hand Roland R8 drum machine. Amazingly, the Action committee members asked me to pay only £ 600.00 back. I started my musical journey in 1995 December from Nigeria Palace Restaurant Owned and managed by Mr/Mrs D.N. Okonkwo who believes in my talent. My own type of music is a modern juju that combines the rhythms of highlife, modern jazz, blues, Fuji, Apala, Dundun/Sekere and African Folk in a moderate tempo oderato Typically tagged as JELENKE MUSIC. Therefore, Diya Ojo and his African Rythmers band was born in 1995. The foundation members include Owoyemi Odunsi, who contributed so immensely, Prince Adetunji Adejokun, Festus Babadare, and Afolabi Olaifa ambridge In 1996, we started the North London show at Buka Restaurant owned by Mr. Femi Onamusi Whom God also used to proclaim the goodness of jelenke music and who also believes in my raw talent. In 1997, I met Mr./Mrs Eleto who has since then be of a great assistance to me and has never relent their efforts. They are always there for me when I needed someone most. Mr Ajibade Eleto successively managed jelenke between 1997-1999. Along the line my godfather Mr. Dapo Oguntodu came in to join the band and he rendered the assistance he could. He would carry the speakers along with me happily as old as he is without taking anything from me. Even his wife Mrs. Funmilayo Fawehinmi is like a mother to me. May God continue to be with them. Elder Lawrence Mic' Ayodele joined the band in 1996 and he has since then remains the most prominent and reliable man I have ever met. Towards the end of 1997, Mr. Babatunde Temilola obo joined the band to make it more thick and solid. Ebenezer Ben. Olatunbosun joined the band as the stage manager and journey planner between 1996-2000 In 1998 my beautiful wife Mosunmola joined me and today we are happy together with two beautiful children. My first two CD albums tittled Millennium Buzz and mind the Gap were released in November 14 1999 I also acquired musical equipments worth thousand of pounds sterling this same year. In 1999, Diya Ojo Organization featured in an unplugged U.K Loot music competition at Covent Garden Only one band came through to the next round from our area and it was one of the pop music bands. I am also a member of Musician's Union UK. Present prominent members of the band are Elder Lawrence Ayodele as tenor singer and band manager, Ona' Kayode Fafowora as guitarist/singer, Yinka Adeniyi as alto singer, Femi Igbokoyi on Sax, Femi Oke and Alaba Fowowe as the technical crew. Diya Ojo Music Elite Klub OME Klub was established in the year 2000 Members of the steering committee are: - Dapo Durotolu, Femi Adepoju, Tolu Popoola, Teru Akinfe, Damian Okonkwo, Jaye Momoh, Alaba Yusuf, and Diya Ojo. In year 2001, I organized a dinner/dance tagged Couple's night, it was a success not just in terms of money but the idea of re-building so-many houses that are maritally in crisis and to create an atmosphere for couples that have no opportunity of going out together, it was first of it's kind within our community in United Kingdom. The same year I featured in the activities of Kings of Lagos courtesy Biyi Adepegba, Director of Joyful noise Promotions. We performed twice at Queen Elizabeth Hall and once in Southampton. Members of Kings of Lagos then were, Afolabi Owoseni, Tajudeen Olaiya J, Kunle Awolesi, Jide Akinwumi ide Chord, Diya Ojo elenke, Ayo Ariyo ristar, Sola Adamolekun and Timi Falayi YM Connection. I performed my ever first mainstream concert at the Pucell Room of The Royal Festival Hall, South Bank, London on the third of March 2004 courtesy Joyful Noise Promotions by honourable prince Biyi Adepegba. It was a great exprience and great turn out. Difficulties facing music business are mostly: - A: Loss of good qualities in most of our today's recording. Some musicians that cannot get good deal from Promoters/recording Company and have ambition of recording an album will just do it with a small mixer within the four walls of their houses. Thereby making it difficult for most people that listen to music to understand why Some CDs are expensive or have good quality than others. We all know that any music recorded with just ordinary equipment will have low quality to the one recorded in a standard recording studios. B: - Piracy: The production of CD writers and Internet access to some music makes it difficult for many artists to break even. This is a situation whereby musicians releases their efforts for people to buy, But there are some business people out there that will just get only one CD copy and reproduce it massively to CDs of very low qualities and starts selling them at low prices. This act renders most the musicians efforts useless. My future ambition: By the grace of God my ambition is to have a pro' standard recording studios here or in any part of Africa in other to raise and hunt for some talents that have no hope of scaling through Also to redevelop some African instruments like Agidigbo, samba sekere and talking drums. Film Music: With the little I've learnt and the experience I've got, I can now influence it in any African film to make it more interactive and realistic. To improve the sound quality of our frican films that still remain 0. %, even though the picture quality and effects are really improving, we still have long way to go. Stage Music: Sooner or later I will introduce the combination of video/DVD live recording to our stuff not just recordings but class recording of both sound and picture. Charity: At present I'm supporting about ten different charity organizations, to mention few are Unisef, Action Aid, IFAW, NSPCC, Everychild, World Villages for Children, British Red Cross and so on, soon I will like to register my own organization in aids of unprivileged children in most part of Africa. I count my blessings and I give glory to God Almighty.