Popularly known with his stage name ‘Yusuph,’ MTN Project Fame star Yusuf Kuforiji is back with a hot new single titled ‘Yara’, a wedding song that admonishes and advises. Yusuph says he is excited as the single which is the second to drop from his stable, will make even a greater impact.
You dropped a single some time ago, how did that do in the market?
It did well though I expected more. People loved the song. It was well received but I guess it didn’t burst the charts as I expected it to. People craved to hear the song but I couldn’t push it as I would have loved to in terms of marketing and publicity because I had my limitations then. But notwithstanding, that single did more than average.
Between then and now, what have you been doing?
I’ve recorded about fifteen songs so far, and having done well at my last outing, I knew I couldn’t do anything less because people have a big expectation especially when it concern for my music. I didn’t want a song that will last for just a couple of months. I wanted a song that can last in people’s minds for years. So I finally settled for a wedding song. The union of a man and woman is always unique. The memory usually lasts a lifetime and the frequency of wedding celebration is more or less every week. So I settled for wedding song, a song that will stay in the hearts of the people.
Aside wedding songs, what other themes do you sing about?
Initially what I wanted to do was a song about my environment. But this latest one is a fusion of RnB and Fuji. I needed content, so I came up with ‘Yara’ which talks about a union. You know, once you are in a marital relationship, separation is hard. So in the song, I’m trying to pass a message on how a woman can keep her home. That’s because, as far as I have learnt from my parents, the union between a man and a woman, is majorly held together by a woman.
The man has the responsibility to cater for the home but the woman is the main person that makes the marriage last with her respect, gratitude and taking care of the home for her husband. Unfortunately these days so many ladies are about being the boss to their husband. Well, a lady can be a boss at work, but when at home, she has to give way to her husband being the boss.
What advice would you give to young married ladies?
In the song generally I talk about how a woman can cater for her husband. The way to a man’s heart is through his belly. Feed him well and make him happy. I know when men eat good food, they tend to love who cooked the food. And if it is their wife who cooked it, they tend to love her even more. The song also has good advice for a woman who brings her friends into her matrimonial home. That is because most times we cannot read through the thoughts in our friend’s minds.
So, women have to be careful with friends once they are married. So we should think more of how to keep a home not just how to keep the house. They are two different things. The whole essence of the song is to teach and advice couples o the importance of the home and how to keep it in the true context of ideal marriage.
When are you going to drop the song?
It will out in a couple of days. The video should be out soon too. We are shooting at a live wedding scene soon. We will also on that day be giving out promo materials and lots of gifts to my fans and others who will be attending the wedding. It will be shot at Abeokuta.
What plans do you have for the song?
Getting a song out there for someone like me is easy but I still have to concentrate more on the promotions aspect. Nevertheless, we have structured out a plan to get the song out there: Particularly to make reach a lot of people through popular available means.
What is your opinion of the Nigerian entertainment industry?
It’s a vibrant industry, many of us are doing well, and more youth vibrancy is coming on. But emphasis is more on entertainment and not education. I guess our musical works should also educate and not only entertain. Lots of people are doing well with content in their music.
Which particular genre are you comfortable with?
I do Fuji fusion a lot. Like this new singles, I have fused highlife with Fuji.
Does it mean that for now we should just be expecting singles from you rather than an album?
Yes, singles for now. But as soon as my song takes over the industry with extended play, then I will start working on an album. One cannot tell; it may even be soon. Also, I am working on more shows. And I will be dropping more songs in near future.
You started out as a campus star, have you been going back to campuses for shows?
Yes, campus has really been fascinating and captivating for me. I am equally happy the way I am celebrated on the campuses where I hold shows. I get to some institutions and I am shocked on how I am celebrated. I didn’t know that my fan base had really grown to that extent. People sing my song along with me; they get fascinated the way I perform. It’s really wonderful. The recent ones were at Tai Solarin university campus at Ijebu, University of Ilorin, and Lagos Polytechnic.
I feel the genre is losing its value, so I want to revive the interest in it. And to a large extent, I’ve noticed that more people are getting to know and love Fuji. More so, as I fuse it with other interests, I actually plan to take my genre of music beyond Africa.
As a young man in music, how are you handling women?
Ladies are the first that admire an artiste. When they do, it means your music will move into success, that’s because ladies know good music and enjoy good music. I have lots of women friends. They are supportive. They understand my music and enjoy it. As a young artiste, I need them and God knows it might be from one of my fans that I will eventually find my woman when I am ready: Though I am not in a relationship now because it is not a priority right now. But also that doesn’t mean they are not there right now, they are there.
Have you been embarrassed by any female fan?
Of course I have been embarrassed. I was on stage when I removed my agbada during performance. At the end of the performance, still half clothed, I left the stage and a lady blocked my path, grabbed and kissed me full mouth! I was dazed and helpless as I stood frigidly to the spot. She kept saying ‘I Love You’ repeatedly.
You seem to love African dress and you also have this special styled haircut. Can you explain?
Looking good is good business and as an artiste, I have to brand myself. I have to be consistent about what I do. If I can’t be consistent about my hairstyle, then I may not be consistent with my music. So I keep it going.
Tell us about your hair, we see different colours, what does it stand for?
I have two parts, the lower side and the upper side with a parting going in between. The lower side is the place I am now, while the upper side is where I am going to. The parting between the two sides is the road that I have to pass through to get to that upper side. If you notice the parting is tiny, that means that the road to success is very tiny, one can fall, so I have to be careful as I journey on.