The footprint of Fuji music in the sands of time can never be filled, replaced, or compared with any other musical genre. To say otherwise will be an open admission of ignorance concerning Fuji music and its evergreen nature in the musical universe. The African-inspired genre seems not to be fading out anytime soon – and might be here longer than we have assumed. Of course, this feat cannot be applauded without a due appreciation to the innovative approach of Fuji A Opera in preserving one of the best musical genres exported from Africa.
Fuji A Opera announced its presence with a pioneer Fuji exhibition that became the talk of the town many months after. A significant section of Nigerian social media was flooded with pictures and videos from the attendees. No doubt, the event reawakened public interest in Fuji Music at a time that coincided with the 10th commemoration of the genre’s founder, Sikiru Ayinde Barrister. Unarguably, this event redefined the position and perception of Fuji music in the Nigerian music industry and much more, creating a renewed acceptance for Fuji music on the global scene. A panel session of veterans in Fuji music followed in discussing and articulating clear plans for the future of Fuji music.
While Fuji music was still in its formative years when Nigeria gained independence in 1960, the 2021 celebration anniversary of Nigeria’s independence was very symbolic as Fuji A Opera took Fuji to the gardens and gave Nigerians a warm evening of sounds from the percussion led genre. Fuji might have had its real breakthrough as a genre with the oil boom of the 1970s, Fuji A Opera is taking creative steps in increasing its appeal and visibility to all sections of the millennials and Gen-Z music lovers. Already, a fraction of the tech and creative industry has adopted Fuji music as a tool of relaxation. In a bid to re-import Fuji music back to its original audience and root, Fuji A Opera has also taken the music down to the streets with its Fuji Vibration Series which held at Yaba, Ikeja, and Victoria Island, Lagos, in a bid to connect the genre with its existing audience and newer generations.
Most significantly is the buzz and conversation Fuji A Opera is generating on social media and the streets. On one hand, there’s a running podcast, on the other hand, there’s a Fuji On The Street VOX POP and this is captivating people both online and offline. Metrics show that trending Fuji hashtags and topics in 2020/2021 have been led by Fuji A Opera. The increasing rate of discussions centered on Fuji music most especially on Twitter spaces is a testament to its renewed acceptance by the new generation.
Deliberate efforts have been put into capturing a new audience for the genre and this was seen at the Fuji is Art digital artwork displayed organized where a whole lot of the targeted audience came to witness Fuji as an expression of art and made a vital connection to the borderless expressive nature of the genre.
While we wait for what’s to come next from the stable of Fuji A Opera, their recent works have shown that Fuji music isn’t just an item of nostalgia, it’s the past, the present, and with all indications, a vital part of the future.
While many may be tempted to consider Fuji as a slowly dying genre, this can’t be farther from the truth. A more appropriate and sophisticated position will be such that views Fuji sound as an evolving form of art, which has nevertheless retained its uniqueness, vigor, and largely its originality with which it has tantalized listeners for decades. With creative and bold projects such as the Fuji A Opera being led by visionaries Bobo Omotayo (creator) and Tosin Ashafa (Executive Producer), the world is about to witness an unprecedented resurgence in the wave of timeless, cross-generational Fuji music.