The legendary Juju music icon needs little or no introduction in the entertainment world as since his emergence over three decades ago, King Sunny Ade, KSA, as he is fondly called, has continued to prove his worth.
In an interview with Afropop back in 2013, KSA opened up on how his journey into music started.
In his words;
When I was I young – I could remember at the age of five, around that time I loved music to the extent that any dance, any musician or performance dance I would love to copy. In those days there are some people selling some kind of products. They had the vans, selling some products – they had the megaphone on top of the van. The moment they started – any of them – playing music, I would follow them by running, after them. When they stopped, to sell their products, they would like to play some music and they had some performance with dance to make the crowd come. I would just jump from the crowd and join them. And you can imagine a little kid dancing to this and that. And occasionally they would go and tell my family that they saw me dancing — which was not supposed to be.
From there I started thinking ‘How will I get into music?’ My father has this gramophone player. We had so many records, foreign records…Brazilian records, we call them GV… GV-1, GV-2, GV-22, GV-18. It has no name, just GV. I can cram all the songs into my head – I don’t know what it means. It’s like me singing for you here – you don’t know until when I explain. I loved the music so madly that I decided one day I would like to play music. I just want to be a musician. So for anybody to teach me, where will I start? The guitar is not so popular… only the renowned artists have guitars. To go to school for a lesson in music — the family will never allow me to do that. I joined Boys Brigade. From there they had set up, a band – for the brigade.
They have a snare drum, they have a bass drum, they have a trumpet, they have everything, but I so much enjoy snare. Every year we have, once or twice, the army coming from the barracks – they have to do the parade around the whole town, so I enjoy the snare player, so I would follow them from morning – from about 8 in the morning to about 6 in the evening – without taking water or anything, because I so much love the sound of music.
Here are 10 things you should about KSA,
1.He was born September 22, 1946, His father was a church minister and organist, while his mother was a trader.
2. KSA left home to pursue his music career after having lied about leaving to attend the University of Lagos.
3. His first experience as an entertainer came when he performed with Baba Sala‘s Federal Rhythm Dandies.s
4. He was signed by Island Records in the early 80s after the death of Bob Marley. The label had the intention of making him the next global star. His contract was however not so long. KSA released 3 albums (Juju Music-82, Synchro System-83 and Aura-84) under Island Records.
5. KSA is the first Nigerian act to snag a Grammy awards nomination. He has since been nominated twice after then.
6. He was described by the New York Times as one of the greatest bandleaders of all times.
7. One of his wives Ajoke Adeniyi Adegeye was a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly. She served from 2007 to 2011.
8. He made a cameo appearance in the 1983 Hollywood movie,’ Breathless’ which starred Hollywood icon Richard Gere.
9. He is the first African artiste to collaborate with an American act. KSA featured in Stevie Wonder’s Aura album in 1984.
10. He was born into a royal house in Ondo town and is a prince.
I was born the 22nd of September, 1946 to a royalty family. Both parents of mine, they are from royal homes. My grandfather is a king in Ondo State. The father of my mother is a king in Akoure, about a thirty minute drive between the two cities.
The music icon is one that has done well for the upcoming generation. Do you know more about him? Let’s read from you below. Thanks for reading