Bola Kosoko, popularly known as Ayala 1, was born into the Kosoko royal family in Lagos. But even though his family is prominent, it is music that has shot him into the limelight. When he decided to settle down into music, he opted for a fusion of juju and fuji.
That, of course, looks like a very unlikely option for one that had stayed in the United States for a long time. Hip-hop or R and B would look more like it, but Kosoko has his reasons for sticking to juju music.
He said, ?I grew up loving juju music. I was also exposed to fuji music as well. There was no way you would grow up in the 80?s and would not be influenced by both brands of music. ?
But he said he had had to spice these brands of music in order to take them to another level. ?I felt it was about time our traditional music was taken to another level. We have had King Sunny Ade ruling the juju music scene and we have Ayinde Marshal ruling the fuji world. I felt it was time the two genres came together. That was when I conceived the idea of what I call jufuji.?
To that, Kosoko said his love for music started when he was very young. ?I have always been a music lover,? he said.
Although he was passionate about music, he happened to come from a family that insisted that education must come first. ?To please my family, I had to satisfy my parents,? he said.
So, it was in a bid to satisfy his parents that Kosoko travelled to the United States for his formal education. ?I I studied Management and Business Marketing in Texas University,? he said.
Then, how come he became a professional musician rather than stick to the training he had in the US?
Kosoko explained, ?Music has always been my first love. I have always loved it. Like I said earlier, even if I did other things, music would top the list.?
All this happened at a time that many thought that music was meant for dropouts. But Kosoko is all the more happy that that perspective has changed tremendously. ?You can imagine that a lot of graduates and undergraduates are now into music,? he said with a tone of triumph.
But he reckoned that the misconception a lot of people had about the music industry was not going to stop him from becoming a musician. Once he had satisfied his family?s urge, he realised that it was time to fulfill his heart desire.
?I am through with academics,? he said. ?I am now into full time music. It is time to fulfill my own dreams. I love what I am doing. I am not into it for money, but I know that I will be successful and I will enjoy the financial benefits.?
Kosoko believed his debut album was a moderate success. He is now set to hit the airwaves with his latest album, Modupe, whose hit track is Ijo Iyawo.
?I am set to launch the album later this month. Aside from the hit track, we decided to praise God in some other tracks in the album,? he hinted.
Produced by Yellow Fellas, Gabriel Olorunowo and Ayala 1, Kosoko said his latest album would be one of the best things to happen to the entertainment sector.
?Nigeria?s entertainment industry has gone beyond anybody?s wildest dreams. We are ready to storm the industry. We have shot several videos, but we decided to release just one, and it is on air already.?
Kosoko said he was in love with his family as well.
?I married an American. We have four lovely children and they are all in the United States. I have done one or two things to let them know that they are Nigerians and for them to be proud of their country anywhere they go. In my own way, I think I have contributed my own quota to the nation?s pride.?