Adam Abdullahi Emir, popularly known as Fresh Emir or aku mai bakin magana, is a singer, songwriter, and actor. In this interview with Weekend Magazine, he talks about his journey in the music industry, how he initiated the Aku TV series, its impact, among others. Excerpts:
Weekend Magazine: How did your music career begin?
Adam Abdullahi Emir: My passion for music began from childhood. Professionally, I started in 2015 in a group of six friends known as Kano Swag Boys (K.S.B.). We later became two and changed the name to Double Kings.
WM: What genre are you most comfortable with?
Emir: I am a versatile artiste and that gives me the opportunity to explore different genres. However, I am more comfortable with Hip-hop, afro pop and a little bit of the traditional Hausa music. My songs are mostly about issues that affect the lives of the common people, things that happen in our society on a daily basis.
I believe music is one of the strongest mediums through which one can send a message to a large number of people within a short period of time. That gives musicians an edge. We battle with different issues in our society often, and they are not properly addressed.
WM: What is your view about Hip-hop in northern Nigeria?
Emir: Hip-hop is not well appreciated in the north and we are not getting the needed support. In some cases, such artistes are invited from the south to perform.
WM: You force an accent like you aren’t Hausa when rapping. Why is that?
Emir: It is a strategy to catch the attention of listeners. Our society has the mentality of not accepting anything that is from their own, so I figured that when they hear me, it would make them curious. That, for me, is my selling point, and it worked.
WM: Why did you initiate the ‘A Yau’ series?
Emir: Music is powerful and a medium to send a powerful message, so I came up with the series ‘A Yau’ and called myself ‘Aku mai bakin magana’ because Aku (Parrot) is a bird known to be talkative and I also have a lot to say about the issues affecting our society which is much and cannot be discussed in a single track. So far, we have completed season one of the ‘A Yau’ series, and God willing the season two will come up very soon.
WM: One of the ‘A Yau’ shows focused on the almajiri and became very popular. What inspired it?
Emir: I was inspired by the fact that they are not getting the attention they deserve. They are left almost completely by themselves and the society is not friendly to them. They live amongst us and we act like they don’t exist. It’s painful how we treat them and that doesn’t seem to change for good. This was why I decided to talk about it in my ‘A Yau’ series and it was widely accepted. It brought the show to limelight.
WM: When kids were reported to be kidnapped from the North to the South, you sang about it in your show…
Emir: That episode was necessary for me, because it was a national issue that the northern elders were not giving the attention it deserved. So, I had to use my medium to address the issue and call on those in power and the families of the victims.
WM: What are you working on at the moment?
Emir: I’m working on an album featuring some top artistes from the north. I will be dropping some videos too. I also want to push my regular songs across and go on radio and TV tours.
WM: What message do you have for your fans?
Emir: My appreciation is endless. I love them all and I want them to keep supporting me. All we do is for them, so their support is very vital.