Music Company eulogises late Victor Olaiya, 4 years after

The Evergreen Musical Company on Tuesday eulogised late veteran trumpeter and highlife musician, Dr Victor Olaiya, four years after his death.
Olaiya died on Feb. 12, 2020 at the age of 89, after a brief illness.
The Evergreen Musical Company is known to be the biggest custodian of Nigeria’s traditional music, ranging from highlife to Juju music, Apala, Fuji and many other genres.
Bimbo Esho, Managing Director of Evergreen Musical Company in a statement recalled late Olaiya as having a unique dress sense.
“Dr Victor Olaiya was the Evil Genius that had a unique dress sense with his golden trumpet and white handkerchief, the symbol of his success.
“His ability to pen down philosophical melodies, love songs, and songs touching on socio-economic issues and vanities of life stood him out.
“He was one musician who was able to adapt traditional music of different tribes in his highlife repertoire,” she said.
According to Esho, late Olaiya with fans among all socio-economic classes and age groups, dominates the highlife music terrain affecting generations with his melodious and soothing evergreen songs.
She said that during his active years, he dictated the pace of highlife music with his calm and ballad like orchestration.
“It didn’t take him long as he took the center stage during the visit of Queen Elizabeth 11 to Nigeria in 1956.
“In 1960 his band was the official band that played during Nigeria’s Independence. Also in 1963, when Nigeria became a Republic, he shared the same stage with Louis Armstrong.
“I have some of my all time favorites among his songs like ‘Ilu Le’, first released in the 60’s, talk about the adverse austerity biting hard on the Nigerian masses and the different coping strategies taken to overcome it.
“In ‘Aiye Soro’, he admonished those who have everything going for them to soft pedal because nobody knows when the pendulum can swing back.

“The song ‘Gbasolode’, sang in Urhobo is a love song where the lover man Victor tells his lover to stay with him through thick and thin,” she said.
Esho also highlighted ‘Adogan’ where he lamented the perceived sweet pain of pint sized men who are into relationships with fat women satirising their perceived suffering.
She said the song ‘Se Fun Mi’ which he dedicated to one of his wives showed late Olaiya professing intense love and affection to his wife, Bimbo.
“One could feel a sizzling thrill in his Ghanaian songs like ‘Yabonsa, Anyako koro’, done in collaboration with ET Mensah.
“His song ‘Iye Jemila’ sang in Ijebu dialect talks about Bride Price and his lamentation for the dead could be felt in the dirge ‘Ewele We Ku Ewele’.
“One will feel a touch of folklore in songs like ‘Pariboto Riboto’ and ‘Lekeleke’.
” ‘Soro Jeje Fun Arugbo’ is a song that should prick the conscience of those who carelessly disregard the aged in the society.
“He dedicated a special love song titled ‘Omo Pupa’ to fair skinned ladies where he promised them ticket money to meet him in London.
“One cannot ever get tired of listening to his ‘Baby Jowo’ which has been sang and rebranded by different artistes and bands.
“It has been four years without our Victor but his memory lingers on,” she said.

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