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Oshoko… Soukous exponent returns with Ayade Our Governor 

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Soukous exponent and Ayakaya music maestro of the 1980s from the old Ogoja Division in Cross River State, Mr. Smart Oshoko, has stepped out with regale grace. This time, he has a new singles in service of good political culture titled Ayade Our Governor.

Oshoko is staging a comeback to active music career from where he had taken Sabbatical many years ago. Oshoko’s new work dwells on the developmental strides of the governor of Cross River State, Prof. Ben Ayade.

Oshoko, in an exclusive chat with The Guardian explained that he was driven to commend Ayade on the wonderful concepts he has introduced into governance. He stated that it was also to persuade him to run again for second term in office. He said Ayade has done well and there was need to sustain service delivery and complete all the legacy projects his administration introduced since inception.

He listed citizenry’s welfare as exemplified in the prompt payment of salaries and pensions as well as his lofty vision, as seen in the deep sea port, super highway, garment factory and agro-allied projects as some of Ayade’s legacy projects. Oshoko said such philanthropy initiatives towards the welfare of widows and orphans are some of the reasons he has sung in support of Ayade to continue as governor beyond 2019.

In the past, Oshoko had equally used his music as a tool to commend scholarship, industry, excellence and philanthropy among Obudu-Obanliku sons and daughters. He also deployed his music to address the seeming backwardness of his people.

While many of his followers have not heard from him in a long while, Oshoko argued that he had never left music completely but had only shifted attention to gospel music and broadcasting because of the many ills in the music industry, especially piracy.

According to him, “Once a soldier always a soldier! Well, my case can be likened to that saying. I never really took a break from singing. My motivation has always been the fact that music for me is a tool that allows for self-expression. I can express myself without inhibitions through the art of songwriting and singing.

Moreover, the era of music where meaningful songs existed is gradually fading away, and it is my duty as a veteran artist to remind folks of the good old days. I have always been an artist with an eclectic taste for sounds. So, my past works had infusions of reggae vibes, highlife and country tunes, gospel, Afrobeat, just to name a few. And my new works still fall under the same diverse category.

“This album is titled Landmark Achievement: Ayade, Our Governor would be released and presented to the public as soon as logistics isperfectedwhich I believe is pretty soon.

The public will be duly informed about the presentation. This new album is a tribute to Ayade for his groundbreaking accomplishments in the state – from infrastructural development, to education, prompt payment of salaries; I could go on and on really. It is going to be released under T&P Records Productions, a subsidiary of T&P Communications limited. That is all I can unfold for now.

“My main motivation, I think, is very clear. His contributions and achievements towards the development of the state cannot be overemphasised. A line from my song says “if you want to see, go there;” in a bid to urge people to go to the state to witness firsthand the positive changes implemented by governor Ben Ayade in the state.”

Oshoko also took time to explain what is lacking in the musical offering among the so-called Nigerian superstars making music today. He said a sound music education, the type old folks like him and others from the 1980s and before then underwent, is lacking and should be brought back to revamp the lyrical offerings that are empty and highly amoral.

According to him, “Why most Nigerian music is short of good lyrics is because most musicians today lack the true content and knowledge of what music is and again because budding artistes today are lazy. They are equally in haste to make it big quickly. They have no time for details and the meaning of what message their work is supposed to send.

“During our time, you must play an instrument to be called a musician. Analogue production brings out the true lyrics each time you hear a sound. Digital production has really killed what I can call true sound. What we hear today is noise and immoral lyrics that have corrupted our society. When I write and sing a song, it is just to pass a massage. That is why our stars today must go back to the drawing board. 

“Unfortunately, it appears that today’s budding musicians are not so much interested in skills and training because most of them are not interested in music clinics that people like us and some old musical folks are putting together to brush them up.

I run a sound studio that teaches morals and standard of music production, instrumentation and sound among other things. Pastors are the only people now sending their members to be educated in music. That is the reason why you may only get good and meaningful music in churches today.”

On the politics of Cross River State, Oshoko also reiterated that Ayade deserves a second term on account of his impressive service delivery, and implored the citizens of the state to support the governor in his quest to improve the state further.

According to him, “They should take a cue from the projects already achieved and anticipate more positive changes, while realising that Governor Ben Ayade has a positive plan for Cross River State.”

Past musical albums of Oshoko include Vestal Virgin,’ ‘Going back to Abanlikwo,’ ‘Ayakaya,’ ‘Born Again,’ and ‘King of Kings’ among others.


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