Who says musicians don’t make good business men? That is a big lie because there are a few of them who have well and are still doing well in business.
Yinka Ayefele is one of them. Not many people know that this talented act sits atop a flourishing business empire. He owns a hotels in Ibadan called Downtown Hotel. He owns a radio station called Fresh FM which recently turned 1. He owns a music production company that produces jingles, voice overs and adverts. He owns a full fledge band and all these represents for him a multiple stream of income. So that keeps him busy and that makes him truly successful.
Recently, City People Publisher SEYE KEHINDE spent some time with him at his Ibadan radio station where he spoke about not only his life as a radio presenter. “I started from Radio and I am back to Radio,” he told City People. “I have evolved over time and I am today back to the profession I started with at FRCN Ibadan. “Now, he has his own radio station and he currently presents 2 popular programmes.
Congrats on your radio station, Fresh FM. How has it been?
It has not been so easy. We just started, and we have to put a lot of things in place, to make it work the way it supposed to be. Our watch word here is Professionalism Nutured By Experience. So not just doing it the way they are doing it now. We want to do it the way it should be done.
But like you know it is always difficult to enforce change. It is difficult to change a lot of thing especially the OAP’s that are used to the modern day presentation. We need to put a lot of things in place to make sure they get it right.
What is the concept that you have for fresh FM?
It’s a simple one. I just want to change the face of broadcasting, not only in Oyo State but in Ibadan. I also want to make sure that I reach out to Nigerians in the diaspora.
I want to give them the content which they enjoyed when they were at home to let them feel what they use to feel when they were at home.
I also want to reach out to the immediate community, immediate listeners here at home in this area. I want to give them good programming that will be educative and entertaining.
What is the reach of Fresh FM?
NBC has rules. You can’t go beyond your city. They call stations like ours City based stations. They don’t expect us to go beyond Ibadan. So, our transmitter should not go beyond Ibadan or at most the environs. But internationally, I will tell you we have the largest listeners on the internet. We stream our life transmission as well. We have the highest listeners on-line as far as Nigerian radio is concerned.
In terms of content what stands Fresh FM out?
Our content is different from that of other stations. Its different from the usual of broadcasting, especially in Ibadan. We have Morning Belt called Freshly Pressed. We have Afternoon Belt called Mid Day Café then, we have Evening Belt called Road Drive. We have different OAP’s that handle cash segment. We have other programmes that are catchy, that you will want to listen too. It will make you stay glued to the station.
Can one say that your interest in setting up a radio station is because of your having worked in radio years back?
Its more of the reason for having a radio station. I have a passion for broadcasting. I was a broadcaster and I am still a broadcaster. I still present programmes on radio. I have my programmes on radio.
I do Lets Talk About It every Tuesday and I do Opeyemi on Sunday mornings. I still have my programmes on radio and I co-ordinate everything that goes on here.
I will say it because of my experience and my passion that I have for broadcasting.
How did you get into Broadcasting?
I joined FRCN Ibadan (National Station) in 1989 as a freelance Commercial Assistant then. In 1989-90 I started as their yearly father Xmas. Later I graduated to presenting request programmes on Sunday afternoons, later I began to present early morning chit-chat programmes. On Wednesdays.
That was how I joined FRCN Ibadan National Station and it was there I started my broadcast career.
At what point did you join OGBC?
That was after I left Radio Nigeria. After I left I started freelancing with different radio stations. I worked in OGBC, OSRC, BSES (Voice Of Ekiti) and other radio stations. I was doing different programmes. I had Ayefele on FM on Ekiti radio. Even after my accident I still presented my programme. They were different programmes.
Then, I do co-produce Iriri Aiye with the late Kola Olawuyi. I produce virtually all the jingles that go on his programme and the musical tunes he used on his program then.
Then I produce musical tunes for radio programmes as well, for news, for different programmes as well. That is what made me stand out then. I did jingles for products then.
At what point did you now go fully into music and left radio?
It was after the accident. I never knew music was eventually going to be my profession. I love broadcasting and that is why I have put a lot together to make sure that I show my love for broadcasting.
It was after my accident that I discovered the talent that I have in music. And then the acceptance after my 1st album Bitter Experience.
Although all along I have been producing music. I had been a Guitarist I played for other musicians. I played for Wale Thompson, Toye Ajagun, Oga Micho Ade. I was like their guitarist then. I joined that with my broadcast job.
It was after my accident that I was trying to raise some funds and trying to put some things together to go for further treatment abroad that I saw the acceptance of the first album.
The acceptance emerged me to go more into the next level of music. It was later I discovered that I earned more money in music then broadcasting.
At a point, I concentrated more on music. That was when I formed my band, after my accident.
All along I have been a Church band leader. I was with the Assemblies of God Church, Message Of The Time band at NTC Road, Oke Ado here. I did one Cassette, album for them then titled NIGERIA Is For Jesus.
I will say that was my 1st album. That was in 1987. That was my 1st cassette. It was recorded by Here & There then.