Wole Joseph, also known as Josyno 1010 is a contemporary musician based in Akure. He speaks with Roving Reporters on his music career, Music industry and other issues.
Where Are You From?
I’m from Imoru in Ose Local Government area of Ondo State.
When Exactly Did You Start Music ?
I started music in 2008 and I have played for several musicians before I started my band in 2008, that was when I launched Unlimited Faaji.
What Brought About Unlimited Faaji ?
Unlimited Faaji is a way of reaching out to my fans. It was once in a year, after the party of the whole year, January to December, so, I use December to entertain my fans specially. So, my fans come from home and abroad to wherever venue we picked then.
We did it for like 4 years in Imoru, my home town. So, my fans will come from abroad, Osogbo and from other places to Imoru on the 30th of December, every year. But at a point, we stopped and we moved it back to Akure. It is always live on stage and we did it live on stage in Akure, twice before we started dropping it as singles, like once in a monthly. We shifted it to quarterly but we are just making sure that anything we are dropping musically, carries our tag, unlimited faaji.
So, How Many Unlimited Faaji Series Have You Dropped So Far ?
So far, we have produced Nine series. This present one is part of the series, it’s 9 but we didn’t put series because we just titled it “O’dijo, O’dayo”.
This “O’dijo, O’dayo” Seems To Be Getting More Waves. What Is The Secret ?
The secret with “O’dijo, O’dayo” has been God all through, but this one, I think we changed the modality, the production wise, the producer did a very good job on this, then, secondly, we changed so many things about the music concept. We try to bring in some progressions that is outside “juju” itself. For every music, there’s a lay down progression, like if you want to sing “Apala”, there’s a way we play it, imagine using hip hop rhythm or progression for “Tungba” , so, it’s good to be different, we always use able hands and that’s just it.
KINDLY CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO LISTEN TO OD’IJO, OD’AYO
Apart From This Series, What Other Projects Have You Carried Out ?
Yeah, I have had a lot of singles. I did “Ire”, I did “Awelewa”, I did “Je nma ba e lo”, I did “wa ba mi se”, “unlimited faaji, series 1-9 which is “O’dijo, O’dayo”. So, in total, I have more than 12 singles.
With all your kind of music, should I Say You Are A “Juju” Musician?
No. I will say I’m a contemporary musician. Because my music is diverse, I do all genres of music, I’m not basically a “juju” musician. I sing “juju”, I sing “Fuji”, I sing “hip hop”, there are ways I combine these genres of music together. So, that is contemporary.
Is That Not Challenging?
No, it’s not challenging. It’s been good, it helps me to multitask. I get my inspirations many times, I get inspired to sing hip hop, though, I’m not an hip hop artiste but while on stage performing, I have the urge to sing hip hop song, I wouldn’t be singing it the way the hip hop artistes sing it, I have to bring that hip hop down to my own tune. So, it’s not tasking, it’s been easy for me.
So, Are You Trying To Break In To The Hiphop World?
I’m not breaking in to the hip hop world. I don’t have the intention of doing that. Because I’m not an hip hop artiste and I don’t want to be one. There is nothing bad in it. I love hip hop artistes, I love all of them because they give good music. But in my own world, I’m trying to create my own world where in a track, you will be able to hear both the “juju, hip hop” and all the likes of music, the choice of your music, you will be able to hear it in one single…In “O’dijo, O’dayo”, if you are a musician or you are into music and you listen to “O’dijo, O’dayo”, you will be hearing like three different things at a time, you will hear my strings, doing “hip hop” and you will hear the vocals, doing “juju”and you will hear my talking drum and others. So, imagine the combination of all of those things. So, I don’t see any reason to break into the hip hop world.
How Do You Get Fund To Finance Your Projects ?
That is a big question. We bless God, it has not been easy at all, it’s challenging but we just have to keep doing it. We seek out for help from sponsors, we call them sponsors because anyone that can contribute something, no matter how small to your life is part of sponsor. So, I get little help from people who love what I do. And personally, I’m a musician like a live band, so, if I get bookings, I save some part of the money towards my next project, that’s how I get it funded.
So, Are You Fulfilled?
Yes, I am. But I’m hoping for a better fulfilment. I’m fulfilled because I’m contended with how God has helped me so far. I’m fulfilled because I’m doing what I love. I love music, I graduated from Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo, I studied banking and finance, but music is my passion.
It is what I love doing, with hurdles of the world, when I’m down, music is my strength. So, I’m fulfilled because I’m doing what my spirit wants.
Looking At Your Locality, Are You Satisfied With Music, Especially In Ondo State ?
I wouldn’t know, but I can say I am not satisfied and reason is because, it’s in two ways, one because we are doing good in Ondo State, whenever I have the opportunity to travel out and perform, maybe Ibadan or Lagos, the way they respect musicians from Ondo State gives me some ego.
Talking about musicians now, instrumentalists are part of them, so if you check Lagos, Ibadan or anywhere in the world before you count 3-5 musicians playing there, you will see people from Ondo State, so, in that aspect, I think the way music is going is fine. But on the other hand, why I am not satisfied is that I don’t think there’s enough love among the musicians in Ondo State.
There are set of classes and caucuses among us. I think that one is general, everywhere, caucus, if you don’t belong to a caucus, you will not be recognized. If this person wants to do something, he has his own caucus to invite, you will not be carried along, you know all those things, that’s part of it.
Don’t You Belong To Any Group In Ondo State ?
I don’t belong to any group in Ondo State. I’m independent. Because I don’t like association but I pay their dues. Whenever we are performing, they come with receipts and all that, I pay their dues but I don’t like association because of rules, most of the rules are not basically for everybody.
I think there are people that the rules they are making will favour and to me, I think I should be independent. I should be free on my own to do what I feel is right on my job. Not someone putting me in a kind of cage. To me, I think association curbs people and I don’t like to be curbed, I don’t like to be checkmated, I love to do my things the way I feel it pleases me.
So, What About Patronage And Level Of Acceptability In Ondo State ?
I think I’m doing well in the state, people love my music, there was a time I performed my first unlimited faji in Akure at Luna entertainment at Ajipowo, the person in charge of that place, I think his name is Larrykay, he is the owner of the place. After the performance, he asked if I was in Akure, he said he couldn’t believe there’s a musician like me in Akure. Everyone that came to ask him where he brought me from , he told them I came from Lagos because my music is from outside Akure and I told him I’m in Akure and he was surprised.
So, anywhere I go to perform, either in Akure or anywhere, even in Akure, people that have not heard me before, hear me sing, they are always surprised that there’s someone like me in Akure. That one gives me connection gradually, individually, and even if it is outside Akure, after performing, people ask me where I come from and I will tell them I am from Akure.
I think I am bringing pride to Akure itself because people tend to say oh! we have a musician like you in Akure, why don’t you come to Lagos, I will say no, I love Akure and I want to be in Akure. So, my music is accepted in Akure but everyone has their choices of musician, but then, I won’t deny the fact that I have my own space in Akure.
How sellable is your kind of music ?
Talking from the government perspectives, I think we should value ourselves. I think Ondo State government are not valuing what they have in general. I know of events where Artistes are invited from other states. I don’t think it speaks well of the state, having bunch of talents in the state, people that you can use your platform as a state government to promote, I think that would have helped us.
Imagine someone like me, if the government is hosting, maybe some government functions that notable people will attend and I got a link in one way or the other, government invites me to come and perform. Are you saying I won’t have one or two connections out of there ? With that, government has in a way sold me to the public space because for the government to handpick someone like me, it shows the government already ordained my music, Look at Tiwa Savage performing at the coronation of King of England, she has the fame already, she has everything but it has added to her fame. She would become the first musician to perform in such an occasion which can never be erased. So, for Nigeria, for Africa, it’s a better endorsement for her. So, imagine if Ondo state has done something like that, some occasions like gatherings of dignitaries and you are lucky to be the one that performs in such occasion.
But State Government Has Been Inviting Artistes From This State For Organised Events
Yes, there are events like that and I want to tell you, it’s based on maybe connections and most times, when you get offers like that, it doesn’t come direct, you tend to get those offers, you have to lobby for it which I think is not right.
So, You Just Want Them To Identify You From Your Social Media Handles ?
Yes. And they will ask, where are you from, you’re from Ondo State, this is my own person, this is my people. If I don’t enjoy the benefit of being an Ondo State citizen, where should I enjoy it? So, even if I’m outside Akure for the fact that I’m from this state, I think there are things that the government should do.
Where Do You See Yourself In The Next 5-10 Years?
With the help of God, I see myself hitting that spotlight because that has been my dream, hitting that spotlight, that place I will get to and be the helper and not the one being helped. God help us, we have dreams, we have things that we love doing but we are being incapacitated. So, in the next few years, I believe God taking us to that dreamed land.
Will You Be Able To Manage Your Fame When It Comes ?
Definitely, I wouldn’t know if you have other languages to use in place of shock absorbers. I have what is more than that, I trust myself because I built myself to this level and I’m still building myself with the help of God. So, and I believe, we are poor, not wretched. I know what it takes before I can get #1,000 and I have the ability to be able to manage 10 million when I see it because I know that money did not come on a platter of gold. So, to handle fame, to handle whatever comes my way in this line of my business, I’m capable of handling it.
Are You Married?
No, I’m not married. I’m single.
When Are You Getting Married And Do You Have Anybody You Want To Spend The Rest Of Your Life With ?
No, there’s nobody in any corner.
Don’t you think getting one will be difficult when fame comes ?
Yes, I will, definitely. You know, some things needed to be set straight. I don’t just want to be in a rush, I have responsibilities on me, I have parents, siblings on me. They are not pressure but I see them as my responsibilities. I am just there, but people actually taught Josyno has arrived, in the real sense, I’ve not arrived, I’m just still trying to struggle myself there.
So, What Are You Waiting For ?
I am waiting for the right time because most of my friends have done that, doesn’t mean that my time is right. There is time for everything. Not that I’m looking for a huge amount of money to settle down but I just want to be able to plan for my children.
Is There Any Plan Of Relocating Because Of Music?
If there’s anywhere I’ll like to relocate, it won’t be Lagos, I’ll like to go outside the country. If I have the opportunity to “Japa”, I will because even the music does well there. I have friends, I have people over there, telling me that if I come, I will make this and that amount. Sometimes, for me, it’s not the money but the passion I see, the surroundings I’m singing, like while on stage, I’m like a wounded animal because I devour the music itself. So, if I have the opportunity to leave the country to maybe UK, Canada, America, it’s not as if they don’t do music there, they still party there. I love Akure, I’ve had opportunities to go to Lagos but Akure is peaceful, it is accommodating, since I have been to Akure, I’ve never had any regrets, so why running away ? And I know that I don’t believe in the sense that “Japa” to Lagos, I know it helps, you cannot compare the economy of Lagos to Akure, they are different but then, if there’s any reason for me to relocate, I think “japa” will be the best option.
Once again, Lets Talk About “O’dijo, O’dayo“, What Inspired That Title ?
“O’dijo, O’dayo”, music of the moment, I’ll say categoricaly that it’s my best music for now, all of my singles have been hit, back to back, you cannot pick one and leave one but personally, I love “O’dijo, O’dayo”. Sometimes, we do somethings, we might not know it’s prophecy, so I believe that my situation is “O’dijo, O’dayo”.
Do You Have Any Plans Of Producing Videos ?
Yes, I have had plans of producing videos if help comes. All these projects need money, if we get helpers, if we get sponsors, if we get people that can bless us and are ready to help us in the industry. Why not ? Video production or video shooting in music goes a long way, you can’t take away that fact. So, if I get the opportunity or a sponsor to help us with the video shooting on any of my tracks, I have “Ire”, short music and if it is long music they want, I have it, I have both long and short, “Ire” and “Awelewa” are both hiphops, I did singles for hiphop, I just said let me try my space, I do contemporary, let me just do hip hop and I did it, it was successful, everyone loves it before I did “O’dijo, O’dayo”.