Femi Koya is one of the artists who will be performing at this weekend’s edition of Park Acoustics in Pretoria. I recently had a chat to him about this and a few other things. This is what he had to say…
Park Acoustics is a milestone for many up-and-coming musicians in Gauteng. Can you tell us one of your favourite highlights on the Park Acoustics stage?
One of my favourite highlights is watching Grassy Spark hit the stage of Park acoustics, I loved their energy and sound and of course Bye Beneco and Diamond Thug – some forces to be reckoned with, I love them.
You have performed at many a stage in SA since 2005, yet there are still many people that haven’t had a chance to see you in action. What can they expect when you hit the stage on Sunday?
2005 – I was a fresher on the soil of South Africa playing with all different types of bands – from Jazz to Maskandi to Blues. This was going on until 2009, when I launched out as Olufemi. That existed for 3 years, then I stayed out of the music industry for 2 years and then I rebranded as Femi Koya in 2015 (when I released my Iba album).
Femi Koya is so far a 4 year old artist with 14 years experience. Expect pure crazy love for the month of love and the love African Party on stage at Park Acoustics this weekend.
“We don’t want no Wahala” is a phrase many of your fans will have heard. Please can you explain this philosophy for us to understand better?
“No wahala” translated into original English is “No trouble” or “we don’t want trouble”. We are here for a jol, to party, to make people happy. Leave your trouble at home and let’s have a good time. Some things in life need to be left alone. Do your best and leave the rest.
You are known to throw a Fela Kuti cover into your set, how has he influenced your music? Furthermore, how has your time in South Africa influenced your creativity with regards to music?
Fela Kuti is a force inside of me. I sometimes do a cover of Fela because I believe in the Legacy of the great musical prophet and that sound must not die.
He stood for many truths that I believe in and it is obvious I can never be Fela. I can only be myself, but I draw a lot of inspiration from him and that does influence my music and my sound. Nevertheless, Fela is Fela and Femi is Femi.
No one will deny that when you are on stage you stand out, with your bold colours, dance moves and theatrics. What, in your opinion makes for a great musician / showman?
The secret is people drink and smoke to get high – When I pick up the sax and get on stage, my music makes me high – hence my acrobatic scene begins. Sometimes I can’t contain it. Truth is I cannot leave my house and get on the stage and be worried, I came to dance.
Bold colours is what I was born with as a Nigerian, we like to dress up so I translated it into a performing style with a statement that you cannot deny the sight of me.
Musicians are the world’s storytellers, able to find rhythmic interpretations of memories and emotions. What inspires you when you write?
My past, my present, my beautiful future – everyday life activities, joys and sadness in the world we live in. most importantly is positive vibrations.
With so many amazing events in 2019, What is next for the “Real Makoya”?
2019 is one amazing year because it started by telling me to buckle up (which means I am preparing the jet into the globe). I just got back from a week tour in Cape Town with 9 shows back to back. Park acoustics is my first festival in Gauteng so it means so much to me. I will be in East London in April, back in studio in May for the next Album and then Europe is calling.
For many musicians we all dream of achieving a major milestone in our careers. What would be your ultimate accomplishment as a muscian?
Oh of course, I will like one or two Grammys just for the name sake, but my ultimate accomplishment is having my Kolanut Foundation running where I can assist struggling creative minds and also give back to the needy and homeless. I entertain and give joy to the depressed.
Our leaders are messing Africa up with corruption and drowning the continent. Many are losing their lives. They have no food or no shelter. Now I do my part in assisting. That is an ultimate achievement for me.
There are many amazing bands in South Africa looking to become the next big thing? Do you have any tips or lessons you have learned that would aid them?
No tips, no steps, no principles – Just find what makes you happy and do it like you made it. Make sure you are different from everyone else.
If you can leave our readers and your fans with one wish for 2019 what would it be?
Just one wish for 2019, hehe, I wish for a loadshedding free 2019 and a fair election.
Last but not least, we have been tracking this missing persons case for quite some time now. Has there been any word from Lerato yet? Is there a chance we might see her this Sunday?
Oh goodness me, I am prepared to look for Lerato at the Park Acoustics with my bold colours, I got a ping she will be there so I can’t wait. Hehehehe.
I’d like to thank Femi Koya for this interview and I wish him all of the best with his future musical endeavors and his set at Park Acoustics this coming weekend. If you don’t have tickets for this weekend’s edition yet, get yours HERE.
Watch this space for regular updates in the Music category on Running Wolf’s Rant.
Vocalist and harpist for the funk ‘n roll outfit, The Lectric Monks. Involved in many upliftment projects like Good Guy Vibes, The Jam Shelf and Bandustry.