Profile of The Fuji Icon Adewale Ayuba Mr. Johnson


Here is Dr. Adewale Ayuba, the Bonsue Fuji king. This is his first outing at Iperu Remo, on the 26th November 1979. He was then known as Sir Sunny Ayuba & his Ereke Fuji.

“Mr. Johnson” redirects here. For other uses, see Mr. Johnson (disambiguation).
Adewale Ayuba, born on 6 May 1966, commonly known as Mr. Johnson, is a Nigerian singer known for singing Fuji music.

Bonsue Fuji creator, Adewale Ayuba, has over the years been peculiar among other Fuji singers due to his unique qualities.

Aside being refined, the fact that he claims to be a born-again Christian, even though he operates in the sector of the music industry that is oriented by the tenets of Islam, has stood him out.

Adewale is one of the few Yoruba musicians married to a wife from a different ethnic stock, being Igbo.

Adewale is not given to showcasing his wife or any member of his family, but in the spirit of socialising, the musician and his wife, Azuka, stepped out at a grand party in Lagos one day and they were cynosure of eyes at the event.

Adewale Ayuba is popularly known as Ayuba, Mr. Johnson, and the Bonsue-fuji maestro. He was born on the 6th of May 1966 in Ikenne Remo, Ogun State, Nigeria. He grew up as as a very young singer, and by the age of eight he had started singing at local musical competitions and fiestas in Ikenne.

This led to him pursuing music as a career after his secondary school education at Remo Secondary School, Sagamu, Ogun State.

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Although he had gained admission to study Architecture at the Ogun State Polytechnic in Abeokuta, his music career took center stage. To carve a niche for himself, he released his first album Ibere (Beginning) at the age of 17 and as a result he rose rapidly in the Fuji music scene. In early 1990, Ayuba signed with Sony Music (Nigerian) to record an album, Bubble, which was released in 1991 and brought Ayuba into international prominence.

Bubble marked the first time in history that a Fuji Music album gained widespread recognition, topping music charts for six consecutive months and winning multiple awards at the Nigerian Music Awards (NMA). It also won Ayuba the coveted Artiste of the Year Awards, including the Album of the Year Award, Song of the Year Award, and Best Fuji Album of the Year Award—four in all.

With the success of Bubble, Ayuba hits the pinnacle of his career in Nigeria.

Ayuba’s high-tech instrumentation and distinct voice changed the face of Fuji Music. For the first time in History, the Nigerian Elite, who until then had ignored Fuji Music, embraced it. After the success of Bubble, Ayuba released a follow-up album, Mr. Johnson Play For Me (also on the Sony Music Nigeria label), which also became an instant success in 1992. In 1993, Ayuba was signed to Premier Music (Nigeria) before embarking on his first West Africa coast tour, performing in several African countries. The success of this tour led to his first US tour, also in 1993, during which Ayuba performed in over ten states.

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He also successfully performed at the world-renowned New Orleans Jazz Festival. In addition, he was awarded the Key to the City of Providence, Rhode Island by its mayor after two successful concerts there. His Los Angeles debut was also a success, and C.C. Smith of Los Angeles Weekly Magazine wrote that “Ayuba bases his Fuji on two elemental forces—rhythm, and the human voice—to create compelling, enchanting and powerful sound. Expect frenzied dancing style and colorful costumes, exultant fans and enough talking drums and percussion to remedy even a terminal case of sensory deprivation.”

After his return in 1993, Ayuba released another chart-topping album, Buggle D, on the Premier Music (Nigeria) label. It gained even more recognition than Bubble and won multiple awards at the Fame Music Awards, topping the music chart for several months. In 1994, Ayuba took a bold step with a vision to “[internationalize] Fuji Music” and toured the UK and the US with his band. He recorded while in America in 1995, and he performed at various international concerts including the 1996 Summer State Concerts in New York, the African Mondo Concerts of 1996 and 1997, the New Orleans Jazz Festival of 1997, the 1997 International Festival in Houston, Texas, and the Black Entertainment Television Jazz USA Concert.

Ayuba was signed by US-based Q-disc Record Company for a year contract and released Fuji Time on the company’s label in 1996. In 1997, he released Fuji Dub on the Agogo Music Label in London.

Credit : Yotomi Telifisan

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