ENTERTAINMENTOpinion: Behold Mr Garbage || By Tunde Busari by The Trailblazer NewsApril 29, 20200174 Share0 Dr. Sikiru Ayinde Barrister lost it the day he rose from his bed and engaged in intense thoughts, which led him to define what Fuji sound was and should be among other genres of indigenous music in Nigeria in particular and world in general. He lost it when he gathered his thoughts together, gathered his band members too, headed for studios and recorded his definition in the elpee to be titled FUJI REGGAE Series II in 1979, brilliantly articulating that fuji sound is amalgamation of different genres. Barrister completely lost his rest as well as his peace, his peace of mind. He had exposed himself to the world, and the world was watching and impatiently waiting for what he was up to. They wanted to see how he was going to combine the highlighted genres of his definition to create a distinct brand and sustain it. He knew that he had set himself up; he knew the expectations were thousands of miles above sea level. But as a trained combatant soldier expected to turn every challenge to opportunity, he was determined to meet the expectations and surpass them. Shortly, he subsumed Sakara and Apala but met a stiff obstacle in juju genre. Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey and King Sunny Ade remained pushful on stage and inside studios, dropping one popular elpee after the other. Juju posed a real threat but the soldier in Barrister always reminded him that he could not afford to run back to the trenches. He moved on. I learnt it on good authority that at private function, he would always engage a juju musician to perform. This might be a strategy to, at a close range, understudy the tricks of the genre beyond what he heard in their albums. A careful listener would pick some guitar rhythm which Barrister smartly and intelligently turned either to song or drum beats in his albums or at live performances. In line with his race, he was bringing western instruments, especially flute and strings, into his music. Aside mouth organ which was common among ajisari singers and which Barrister also used, he brought trumpet in 1981. And it spiced his live shows with a particular reference to a 1982 performance in Ilesa at which trumpet stole the show. He would go ahead and feature the trumpet in IWA album released a few months later, and the instrument made a significant difference through its occasional intervention at the back of percussion. The success recorded encouraged him to combine two trumpets in LOVE of 1983, and both are effective and won fans of juju and highlife for fuji. It seemed Obey and Sunny were getting that message, that Barrister clearly rebellious message, and accordingly upped their game. Yet, Barrister soldiered on, enduring sleepless nights and fixed his eyes on his destination. On his return from his Summer 87 trip to America, he combined piano with trumpet and gave us BARRY WONDER released in December 1987. This elpee, unknown to many, was the beginning of the journey to FUJI GARBAGE, FUJI GARBAGE Series II and FUJI GARBAGE Series III. Barrister repeated BARRY WONDER experiment in BARRY WONDER @40 some months after in 1988, and the triumph was unquantifiable. It was a bomb! Barrister shone. Fuji music and all good fuji musicians became instant beneficiaries having their patronage expanded. Still, he was not carried away by the applause over that album dedicated to his clocking 40 years on the surface of the earth. He kept on moving and recorded FUJI GARBAGE in which he strangely featured Hawai guitar played by one dexterous and colourful John Akinola. If you listen to Obey very actively, hawai guitar was a key string which often electrifies his percussion. KSA and other juju acts also use it. But because a section of Barrister’s fans was oblivious that it was an experimental elpee, they did not key into what sounded odd to them, accusing him of attempt to turn fuji to juju and kill their beloved genre. The cry, the justified fear though, of his critics notwithstanding, Barrister remained himself and hit the airwaves with FUJI GARBAGE Series II in December 1988. Few weeks after the release, the same critics turned 360 degrees, clapped for his ingenuity and also “danced to Fuji Garbage.” FUJI GARBAGE Series II did the magic, and Sir Sina Peters made attestation to how the elpee singularly inspired his Afro-juju to later record what became a chart-buster, ACE in 1989. Go and listen to SSP ACE and SHINAMANIA in particular and dance to a perfect fusion of fuji and juju derived from Barrister’s brain work. FUJI GARBAGE Series III did not come in quick succession of FUJI GARBAGE and FUJI GARBAGE II which were released some months apart in 1988. It had to wait for one whole year after Barrister had dropped CURRENT AFFAIRS in the mid-1989. And when FUJI GARBAGE III hit the market in December of that year, it was the completion of Barrister’s journey to his destination. He introduced a Caribbean Steel pan used as opening track, played on Basket ball as a coded language and used reggae instrumentation to background Mo gbere mi dode Osupa adini mi.’ Conscious that the first sides of the three ‘FUJI GARBAGES’ would cause distraction, especially with use of new instruments, Barrister deliberately reserved the flip sides for philosophical messages for which he is reputed. In those sides, brilliance of his team of drummers would be appreciated on how each expresses himself without disturbing others. The drummers speak with songs of Barrister to add meanings to the songs and produce more meaningful music to the fans. Barrister’s music essentially is not all about jumping and sweating on dance floor even though it is danceable, if you are gifted with dance skills. His music is exclusively about meditating on philosophy, sermon, admonition, warning, education, history, tourism and beautiful use of language, different languages including, of course, Arabic, Latin, French aside English. Are you still surprised on why his CDs are still selling as if he had just dropped them from heaven?