I didn’t adopt Ayefele’s style — Islamic singer, Ere Asalatu - SALIENT TIMES ONLINE

I didn’t adopt Ayefele’s style — Islamic singer, Ere Asalatu

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Islamic singer, Bukola Alayande, popularly known as Ere Asalatu, speaks about his career and other issues

How did you become an Islamic artiste?

I represented my Islamiya (Quoranic School) at Islamic music competitions and we often emerged victorious. That was how I discovered the music talent in me.


What is your educational qualification?

I was born and bred in Iseyin Local Government Area, Oyo State.  I am the first child of my parents. For my elementary education, I attended Anwaru Islam Nursery and Primary School, and Koso Primary School. From there, I proceeded to Muslim Secondary School, Iseyin. However, I did not make all the required credits for my Senior School Certificate Examination, so I enrolled at Muslim Secondary School, Abeokuta, Ogun State.

I went on to get an Ordinary National Diploma in Mass Communication from the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta.

What spurred your decision to start a music career?

During my days at the polytechnic, I used to compose songs for musicians and earned money doing so. As time went on, I attached myself to Origade Razaq, a producer and back-up singer to late Dr Ayinde Barrister. With him, I gained a lot of experience as we produced many albums.

After uncle Origade’s relocation to the United Kingdom, I became a full-time producer and that was how I produced my first album, Ere Asalatu, which shot me to limelight.

What are the challenges in the Islamic music industry?

I have observed that during Islamic festivals such as Ramadan, Ileya, and Maolud Nabiy, companies don’t engage Islamic musicians as their ambassadors or use them to advertise their goods and services, and that would have been a plus for the careers of the artistes.

Some people have said that Islam does not encourage singing and dancing. What’s your take on that?

When people listen to a story, they wouldn’t understand it the same way. Some would see the disadvantages while others would grab the advantages. In the Holy Quran, God did not condemn music but he talked about the ill behaviour of musicians. Also, Prophet Mohammed said there is ‘wisdom in music’. Those proofs make it clear that singing is not a sin in Islam.

Did your family support you decision to become a singer?

When I started my music career, my family members were not in support because my father was a civil servant. But as time went on, I gained their support.

Is music a hobby or business venture for you?

It is both a hobby (I have passion for) and business venture because it is what I live on.

Some have described your style as ‘Christian-like’. Why did you adopt that style?

My style of music is different and unique because I thought deeply about what I could do that had never been done before in Islamic music. I wanted my music to stand out from that of other Islamic musicians. Thankfully, I was able to achieve my aims and I even won an award as an ‘innovator’.

My music would only sound Christian-like in Nigeria but if you listen to foreign Islamic songs, you would notice that they are similar to mine.

A lot of people have said that you sing like Yinka Ayefele. Do you have any relationship with him?

Yes, I have a link to him. He is a good leader.

Did you deliberately adopt his style of music?

No, I didn’t adopt Ayefele’s style. When I released my first album, I listened to it with some people and that was when I realised it was similar to Ayefele’s style. I believe that whosoever God has positioned ahead (of one) should be given due respect.

Islamic artistes don’t seem to have active social media presence. Why is that?

We do have (other) platforms though they might not be as popular as others on social media.

Secular artistes often show off their expensive lifestyle. Is Islamic music also lucrative enough to afford one a comfortable lifestyle?

Islamic artistes should lead their lives according to the teachings of the Quran and the lifestyle of Prophet Muhammad which don’t support any form of oppressing others. I am satisfied though still praying for more.

How do you use your music to preach against societal ills mostly attributed to Muslim terrorists?

A real Muslim can never be a terrorist. No true believer of Allah would terrorise others. In most of my albums, I preach love, peace and fear of God. That is the only way I believe I can touch the minds of terrorists in society.

How do you like to dress?

My outfits are always modest and formal, whether traditional or western. I believe that the way one is dressed determines the way one would be addressed.

What are your hobbies?

My hobbies are singing, listening to music, making friends and travelling. I spend most of my vacation in the United Kingdom and Dubai (UAE).

What’s your most memorable experience since you started singing?

One of my most memorable days was when my band members had a terrible accident along the Ilorin-Ogbomosho expressway and they all came out alive. I’m forever thankful for Allah’s protection on me and my band men.

How do you get inspiration for your songs?

Nothing happens outside the will of Allah. I get inspiration in so many different ways including my personal experiences and those of my friends. Sometimes, I also get inspiration in my dreams.

Culled from Punch