Singer, writer and a daughter to the late comedian, Baba Sala, Oyindamola Adejumo-Ayibiowu, has opened up on some of the challenges that come with maintaining a band.
She made the revelation while speaking in an interview with Sunday Scoop, she said; “Any musician that is not ‘solid’ cannot maintain a band. Music is not cheap but some churches don’t realise that. A musician cannot go alone to perform, they have to go with their band. Meanwhile, these instrumentalists are professionals and they make a living through music, so they need to be paid. I have maintained the same band for about 15 years. What has helped me is the fact that I am financing my music career from another source, and it has not been easy.”
On her current projects, she said, “I sing traditional and contemporary gospel music. I am also a researcher and development economist. Basically, I am a multi-faceted person with many sides. I am currently building an ultramodern live studio. The motive (for building the studio) is so that I can produce regular live worship sessions. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way of doing things. Now, the best way for most musicians to reach their fans is through live recording and online streaming, not concerts like it used to be. Not having my own studio was a barrier because if I wanted to reach my audience, I would have to pay for studio sessions and bring in instrumentalists. But, those things are not sustainable. I am also working on a new album but I want to record it in my own studio.”
On what motivates her as a writer, Adejumo-Ayibiowu, said, “It depends on what motivates (the particular book). Writing takes so much time and for me as a gospel artiste, it is not something I would have been interested in. But because of my job, some of those books were written to build my career, and some for inspiration. For example, my book Black and Bold was written to inspire black people. I believe in African solutions for African problems. I realised that in most inspirational books, Western personalities were used as role models. However, these are people that do not face what we go through here in Africa. When my father died, it struck me that he was a great man and there were many things to be learnt from his life. So, that was motivated me to write the book. I have also written books on tax processes and other issues.”
On challenges she faces in her career, the gospel singer who holds a PhD in Development Studies from the University of South Africa, said, “There are a lot of challenges but the major one has to do with finance. And that is why I’m working, so I can raise funds for my music career.
“Another challenge is the issue of marketers. There was a time I took a car loan from a bank to finance my fourth album, yet the marketers sold it and did not give me my money. Even at that, they (marketers) did a meeting that they should not market my albums. It took me five years of praying before a marketer told me what actually happened. However, with the Internet, marketers are not as powerful as they used to be. Recalling some of the life lessons she learnt from her dad, Adejumo-Ayibiowu said, “It is very important to obey one’s parents even if it is not convenient. When I was younger, my mother insisted that I should focus on my academics, and she discouraged me from doing music. It felt like she wanted to kill my career. But, I later realised that she was right. If I did not have another source of income apart from music, things would not have been easy. It does not mean I’m not talented or anointed but God follows timing. Perhaps, I would have done something untoward out of frustration.”