“Water is My Performance Enhancing Drug”- Lai Addis

Describe Olayiwola Adisa Adejumo as God’s gift to the music world and you will not be wrong. With his imposing frame, he is unmistakable anywhere he is. He simply stands head and shoulders above everyone. Fondly called ‘Lai Addis’ by fans across the world; he is the boss when it comes to Goje, a genre of music he created with the fusion of Juju and Fuji. His creativity has not gone unnoticed; Lai Addis got crowned as the ‘King of Lyrics’ in the most unusual of places; on a prayer mountain! He was at the famous ‘Ori Oke Baba Abiye’ in Ede, Osun State when Prophet Funso Akande poured anointing oil on him in a Davidic manner and pronounced him King.

Typical of the sounds appreciated by kings, Lai Addis’ music embodies intelligence and wisdom; which make him one of the most sought after artistes, especially by fellow musicians. Music comes to him naturally and that perhaps is explainable in that both his parents were musicians. His father played Apala while his mum was a Waka singer. Little wonder he composes songs for many popular musicians. As a multi-instrumentalist, he also learnt the ropes as he played the Hawaiian guitar for Chief Ebenezer Obey for decades.

Lai, who neither smokes nor drinks, says his only performance enhancing substance is water. “It is my own tramadol”, he said. Giving reasons for his abstinence from alcohol and tobacco, he said “I only take water. I don’t think I need to take anything again to enhance my performance because there is enough talent from God. If I decide to take anything again may be my head will scatter and also if I am taking any form enhancement it is as if I am challenging God that the talent he gave me is not enough, I don’t even drink carbonated drinks and I have never smoked in my life”.

Explaining why his songs never contain lewd lyrics, Addis said “singing vulgar lyrics means I don’t want to be remembered. What is important to me is the future. Look at Chief Ebenezer Obey, look at King Sunny Ade and Barrister of blessed memory, their songs are evergreen. When you do evergreen records, even when you are no more people we still buy and listen to your records, so I took that from people like Obey, Sunny and Barrister. In everything we do, creativity is very important. There are so many things to sing about instead of singing about irrelevant things”.

He is also of the firm belief that musicians are not doing enough to stay relevant. To him, weekend shows have made musicians lazy. “The only and candid advice I have for younger musicians is for them to go and lock themselves up and crack their brains to give out their best and stop looking for weekend shows. This will enable them to develop their creativity and give themselves quality identification”, he said.

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