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With Ola Mi, praise, Ola Sax serenades fan

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Ola Sax


Despite his artistry at playing any of the wind instruments, Olawale Temidayo, better known as Ola Sax, settled for the saxophone, using it to thrill guests in churches, marriage ceremonies and other events.

Ola, who began with the trumpet over 15 years ago, took to sax, when he saw the way Kunle Ajayi handled the instrument, using it to play different songs and bringing out the beauty in them.

“I still play trumpet, but sax has taken the better part of me because of the tone, the melody and the joy I derive from it. Again, with trumpet, one needs other instrumentalist for backup, while sax can be done on solo performance,” he said, expressing his love for the wind instrument.

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Recalling how he had to pick up sax as his major instrument, Ola said: “ It all began when I saw my wonderful mentor, Kunle Ajayi play a song, which I also tried to replicate on trumpet, but could not get the exact tone. I tried many times with the trumpet, but could not get the right tone.

“As I was trying to give up, someone urged me to continue playing it as a good trumpeter, but I said no because Kunle Ajayi’s instrument is a sax, while mine is a trumpet and as such the tones can never be the same.”

Desirous to always get a perfect output, the saxist went back to his drawing board, got a sax, studied the play chat and began to imitate big acts. And from there, he progressed to become an instructor.

Although, his knowledge of trumpet hastened his learning, he never forgot to put in quality time and to experiment with diverse songs, including Afrobeat.

“I am a self-taught saxist; I sacrificed a lot to get to where I am now, and by God’s grace I have been able to teach many people how to play the instrument. I also teach children, teens and adults to play any wind instrument.

“To be on top of the game, a sax player must rehearse continually to be able to play diverse tones. Sax is one of the popular jazz instruments; it makes songs melodious with its unique vibes,” he said.

Satisfied that he has honed his skill, Ola went into the studio to produce two CDs titled, Ola Mi, followed by Praise and before the end of the year, he will be coming out with two more CDs.

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“I am currently working on two CDs titled, The History Of My Life and the other a hip-hop praise. I want to show the world that we can praise and worship God with any genre of music. The lyrics and dance steps of the hip-hop praise will be purely religious,” he hinted.

The YABATECH-trained mechanical engineer-turned artiste disclosed that he had to do Ola Mi and Praise as a way to thank God and to tell people that with God nothing is impossible.

According to him, the songs came when things were moving in the opposite direction for him until a pastor that loved his music came his way and made arrangement for him to go and play at an event in South Africa.

“I was happy that I had the privilege to travel outside the country and it was that experience that inspired me to do Ola Mi. It is a fusion of the contemporary and gospel songs,” he noted.

Speaking on jazz music, the Ola Mi crooner revealed that there were still a good number of music lovers that believe in jazz music and cannot do without it.

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According to him, jazz players, including Kunle Ajayi, Mike Aremu and Tosin Jazz, are doing quite well whetting the appetite of jazz lovers with new tunes perked up with African vibes. He observed that with this narrative there is a bright future for the music.

On people’s perception of sax, Ola noted that many people find the instrument interesting, adding that sax is neither a male nor female musical instrument, but rather one’s ability and not the gender distinguishes one player from the other.
At your current level do you still see Kunle Ajayi as a mentor?

“Yes, I cannot deny that; it was the way he played, Kini e le se Olorun mi, Kini e le se on sax that thrilled me to begin to play sax,” he said.

Corroborating the views of some educationist that playing musical instrument boosts a child’s intelligence, he said: “It is very true because understanding the major eight notes that would enable one play the 24 keys of the instrument is not a child’s play, less playing and singing.”

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