Fada fuji: I started singing fuji from the streets
Rev. Fr. Lawrence Adelana, a.k.a Fada Fuji is a Catholic priest and fuji artiste. He spoke to INNOCENT ANORUO on how he found himself in this genre of music and why he hungers to perform at The Experience, a yearly gospel concert organised in Lagos.
What inspired your kind of music, fuji gospel?
As a boy in secondary school, I was playing instruments, which I started from the street. I went to a mixed secondary school and was going to the church to play musical instruments. I took the (street music) culture along when I entered the seminary and discovered that the environment was promoting it because the seminary is a very creative environment. We were asked to be ourselves, be human, real. I never knew the Lord was preparing me for a ministry like this. I just went to the studio to do a song and by the time it came out, I wasn’t the one who gave myself Fada Fuji. People started calling me the name and it took me long before I accepted the name. I just thank God for how far he has taken me and I still believe there are more to come.
At this year’s Catholic Praise Concert, you came to perform because you are a Catholic. If it is a Pentecostal church that invited you to do a gig like The Experience, will you accept the invite?
I think it’s high time we went to The Experience, not because of the money. Those guys have been doing a lot. This year will be their 14th. For some time now, I have been trying to hook up with them, but they always tell me to have a line of artistes. It’s about Jesus and the gospel. I want Christ to be represented and for people to see the Catholic Church in a bigger way. We (Catholics and Pentecostals) are doing the same thing (Catholic Praise Concert and The Experience) and have got to the point where we really need to merge because God is glorified when people come together for him. Irrespective of our tribe and religion, what matters most is Christ.
Do you go commercial, like getting paid for shows?
It’s highly commercial music, whether I accept it or not because there is what we call freestyling. Going commercial doesn’t mean you are selling the gospel; anything that has to be commercial doesn’t mean you are taking money back for it. But if it has to go commercial for Christ to be heard, then let Christ be heard in any way.
So, you have performed and got paid?
Of course, I have done that. What I really like most is you see the need to come together.
What would you have to say about the Catholic Praise Concert?
I see that the sky is the beginning. I believe we need to do more. A lot of people out there don’t know about Catholic Praise Concert. I think we need to push more not only at the concert level, but awareness needs to be created about funding and supporting the team. The vehicle for the gospel is money. Stakeholders should come on board. There are also people who are talented, who can brainstorm and give us advice on how we can partner with giant companies, multinationals who can support.
Catholic is one of the richest churches and there are some rich individuals in the church who can sponsor. Does it mean that the organisers are not reaching out to them?
There are lots of blessed Catholics. At the same time, the missionary church is suffering, especially those in local communities that cannot even feed their priests or buy a car for them. When the church gets to the grassroots, that is when Christ is truly present because Christ was incarnated. Meaning that Christ became human. It’s the same way with our lives.
What we do has to get to the grassroots in terms of people understanding Christ and knowing how to support.