The singing group, founded by Ayo Ewebiyi, (popularly known as Mama Oriki), is known for its traditional Yoruba folk songs, which are blended into sweet music for the audience. The group is set for new height writes AGOZINO AGOZINO
At the time Ayo Ewebiyi resolved to study creative arts at the University of Lagos, not many parents would encourage their female child to pursue such course of study, because then, people had negative impression of stage dance performers.
Ewebiyi , a lover of songs, especially, Yoruba traditional songs, was not dissuaded by this. She envisioned a prosperous creative career, and worked towards it. However, fate said Amen to her ambition and gave her a thrilling magical voice.
Today, Ewebiyi and her Alayo Voices International Band are not just making waves, but, the all-female voice band she founded has toured many parts of the world, singing and entertaining large audience.
“I have always been interested in culture, in folkloric Yoruba, the Oriki songs ever since I was a child. And that dream never disappeared even while I was in UNILAG”, she said with a smile, at a recent performance in Ikeja, Lagos.
Her band, an all young female group, will arrest your attention anywhere you see them. Aside the colourful costumes, their well coordinated voices, celebrating the rich Yoruba culture and traditions, would thrill any audience anywhere.
The graduate of Creative Arts, who started out early in life at Ebute Metta, Lagos, had actually wanted to read Chemical Engineering before actualising her dreams in creative arts.
Since steeping into her dream, she had performed in places like New York, Rhode Island, Alabama, Maryland, Connecticut all in the United States of America. Her songs are all about roots, especially, Yoruba cultural heritage. She calls her group the promoters of Yourba traditional heritage and the beauty of the black woman through songs. “I am very happy for what we have achieved, though it has not been easy, today, people are happy because of our songs”.
She said her music is produced through traditional instruments and voices to pass across the message of culture so that the younger generation would be proud of their African heritage.
According to Ewebiyi, the songs are spiritual because they touch on the culture, which is appealing to the people. However, she said the group often relies on God in whatever they want to perform so that people do not misunderstand their mission.
She added that through the group’s music, people are always eager to invite them to cultural events, but, one of the greatest challenges of the group is fund, an obstacle, which, she said with confidence, that the group would overcome.
“Our goal is to carry the music to all parts of the world. We have been doing it and we will continue to do it, because, there is nothing like the voice of the African woman”, Ewebiyi said.