Islamic Women singers are killing Islamic music - Popular Islamic singer, AKOBI ESAN - NATIONAL CATALYST


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Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Islamic Women singers are killing Islamic music - Popular Islamic singer, AKOBI ESAN

Alhaja Monsurat Ajelero Adegbemiro popularly called Akobi Esan is a force to be reckon with in the Islamic music industry.

On the heap of her forthcoming album launching, Akobi Esan speaks with our reporter where she reveals her journey to Islamic music, stardom and why she titled her new album, Tant'Olorun and how her colleagues were killing the Islamic music industry. Excerpt:

Que: Can we meet you?
Ans: I am Alhaja Monsurat Ajelero Adegbemiro popularly called Akobi Esan. I am from Badagry, Lagos State. I did all my secondary and primary school education at Badagry but I graduated from Lagos state university. Before I started my music career, I worked at a phone booth and also worked at a filling station.

Que: How did your music career started?
Ans: I didnt lear from anyone. I would say my music career started back in those days when I used to attend Arabic school. Whenever our teacher told us to sing, I was always the lead-singer. Even when I was in school, whenever we were told to do cultural dance, I was always the lead-singer. Beside these, I was told that one of my uncle's wives were singers as well at Islamic societies known as Asalatu.

Que: Which year did you started singing officially?
Ans: Well, I was an Amirah (women leader) for Ansarudeen Youth Association Of NIGERIA, Badagry branch in those days. I used to sing behind my cleric in any occasion and I used to take note of the way my cleric sings because he was a very good singer. Since then, people noticed me as a good backup singer.

Fortunately, there was a day our lead singer disappointed us at a wedding event on the 20th of November 1999, so a man who has been observing me gave me the challenge to be the lead singer.
After singing that day which was my first time on stage in front of a huge crowd, I noticed people were happy and a lot of people supported me. These made my parents and people around me support my music career and I kick start from there.

Que: Which year did you produce your first record?
Ans: My first song titled Ire Ni Mo Fe was released in the year 2009. I released another song titled Bizinillahi (Allahs permission) which was like a hip-hop song.. I also recorded Iho Meji” (Two Hole), Odale (Traitor) and Ramadan. My new album is the one Im launching on the 6th of October 2018.

Que: Where did you derive your stage name, Akobi Esan?
Ans: When I was attending Arabic class then, I was very outspoken though I cant fight (laughs). So when people cheat on me, I wouldnt fight them but tell them they would surely reap whatever they do to me. I used to say, God did not begot but His first born was vengeance which means Akobi Esan in Yoruba language. Thats how people started calling me Akobi Esan.

Que: Which of your album shot you to prominence?
Ans: IHO MEJI was a big hit in the year 2013. RAMADAN dedicated for the Islamic holy month was alaso a hit, so also “ODALE.

Que: What are the challenges youve faced as a musician?
Ans: There is no Islamic singer that doesnt has his her own challenges. My own challenges is keeping up with my marital responsibilities due to my tight schedule and also the harassment of touts at events.

Que: Which Islamic association do you belong to?
Ans: I belong to the Islamic Musicians Association of Nigeria (ISMAN) under the leadership of Alhaji Mumin Damilola aka Esin O Gbamilaye.

Que: How do you cope with your male admirers?
Ans: I am a responsible woman and it is never an issue for me because my husband understands the industry.

Que: What is your view on indecent dressing among female Islamic musicians?
Ans: Even if you aren't an Islamic musician, indecent dressing is not good at all. I hate it so much. Even, Islamic singers are killing our industry with the drama they are now infusing into their music. Whenever you watch or hear any Islamic music, you would find a drama there as if we now act.

Que: Tell us about your forthcoming album?
Ans: Well, the name of the album is Tant’Olorun which means Who is greater than God?. I get inspiration anywhere even when I pray, cook or in the bathroom. The song refers to people who act like God or act unjustly and forget they will die someday.

Those that say without them, you cannot survive, are they God? So, things like this made me write the song. The launching of the album is on the 6th of October inside Ado-Odo Ota local Government, Ogun State. After the launching, the album would be out officially by Monday, 8th of October 2018.

Que: What are the programmes for the launching?
Ans: My good father, Sheikh Muhideen Ajani Bello aka Oniwaasi Agbaye is the spiritual father and minister of the day. All Islamic singers and associations would be present too while Alhaja Mistura Aderohunmu will be on the band stand.

Que: Who are your role models and tyour friends in the industry?
Ans: Before I got married, I used to listen to Alhaja Afusat Asideeq songs. As for my friends, all of my colleagues are my friend especially the likes of Alhaja Mariam Akiki, Alhaja Kafayat Singer, Alhaji Bukola Alayande (Ere Asalatu), Alhaji Saoti Arewa and others.

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