The night of the Friday, May 4, 2018, will remain etched in the memories of all that attended the Ariya Repete semi-final event at the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos Mainland. When Goldberg Beer decided to take the Ariya Repete semi-finals to Lagos, we all expected the thrills but no one expected the show would turn out to be one of the most exciting concerts in recent memory.
This was made even more remarkable considering that the talent hunt show centers on Fuji and Juju music, proving that these classic Yoruba music genres can still top provide top entertainment value when done right.
Those exact sentiments were echoed by veteran Fuji musician Saheed Osupa when he said in an interview that; “Fuji artist can still compete with mainstream musicians because they are Afrocentric and true to their roots.” If anyone was in doubt of how entertaining Fuji music could be, what followed was a vintage performance from Fuji and Juju’s finest.
The night which kicked off with an impressive performance from last year’s winner, Onimama never dropped momentum as artiste after artiste delivered amazing performances one after another, just as ace actor, Odunlade Adekola who MCed the event on the night, delighted the audiences with his quips and those priceless facial expressions that has made him Nigeria’s meme king.
The contestants who were vividly eager to impress the judges and the attendance certainly didn’t drop the ball, delivering stellar performances back to back. One contestant in particular, Olukotun, stole the show with her Fuji renditions which got all in attendance grooving to her tunes. Many are already tipping her to win the grand prize and become the second female winner of Ariya Repete competition, which by the way, has never been won by a male contestant in its two years of launch.
Sandwiched between all the excitement was a jaw-dropping performance by the legendary Adewale Ayuba. The King of Bonsue Fuji got the crowd off their feet with a performance that can barely be put in words.
Then came on Adekunle Gold who though cannot be completely categorized as either a Fuji or Juju artiste, yet delivered a fantastic performance that mirrored both. His was a soulful performance, showing just how much entertainment fuji-influenced music can provide when creatively crafted.
Sir Shina Peters also reminded everyone why he is so revered with a commanding performance, while Taye currency gave a good account of himself with a performance worthy of the night.
It’s safe to say that audiences were treated to a masterpiece in traditional Yoruba music, one that all fans and even non-fans of the genre will remember for a long time.
With only one more hurdle between the contestants and the grand prize, it will be interesting to see who emerges as the new king of Fuji when the competition wraps up next Friday.
Goldberg and Ariya Repete have clearly saved the best for the last and if this was only the “semi-final” we can’t wait for the final.
The Ariya Repete is an annual talent hunt organised by Goldberg Lager Beer, the initiative seeks to discover young talents in the Yoruba traditional music including Fuji and Juju genres. Auditions started on March 13 in Sango-Ota, Ado-Ekiti, and across eight cities in Nigeria.