This year’s Concert of Colors featured African Music Legend, King Sunny Ade and other notable musicians from all over the world. The Concert of Colors is metro Detroit’s free annual diversity-themed music festival produced by the Arab American National Museum with partners Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Institute of Arts, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, ACCESS and University of Michigan – Detroit Center. The festival itself attracted a lot of people from diverse cultural backgrounds within and outside Detroit.
After his rousing performance on the Meijer Stage, King Sunny took time out of his busy schedule to grant Wazobia Global Times an exclusive interview.
Otunba Sunday Adeniyi Ishola Adegeye popularly called King Sunny Ade (KSA) was born and raised in Oshogbo, South West Nigeria on September 22, 1946. After his elementary and high school education at the Methodist school and St. Charles Grammar School, he joined the Moses Olaiya drama group popularly known as Baba Sala Alawada group; which played music and theater at the time. KSA was later appointed head of the music department in the theater group.
Help came to him in 1966 when one of Baba Sala’s friends gave him musical instruments, he shared this with his boss who gave him the blessing to go ahead and start his own band. His first album sold only 13 copies. KSA first named his band “Sunny Ade and His All-Weather Band” the name was later changed to “Sunny Ade and His Green Sport Band.” Once KSA realized that his band shared the same name with Green Sport Cigarette, he promptly changed the name again as to not to appear to support cigarette smoking. He later changed the name of the band to “African Beat.“
KSA’s love for dancing and music influenced the choice of his career even though it took him three years before he could develop his own brand of music. He is of the belief that his greatest accomplishment in life is entertaining people and getting love from people in return.
When asked if he had any regrets at 70, he had this to say, “I don’t drink or smoke and this has helped me to focus on and off stage. I think I have tried my best in my career”. He also advised the youth to take it easy, build themselves a legacy by believing in what they are doing after they have found out who they are, “do your best today so that you can adjust to what tomorrow will give you and be mindful of your family name because if you mess it up, it may take you a longer time to fix it again”.
We appreciate, Mr. Bolaji R. Dawodo, President and CEO of World Audience Promotions, for facilitating the interview.