Day I was embarrassed as a saxophonist- Desanya(Sax Maestro]
Desanya(Sax Maestro) is undoubtedly one of Nigeria’s most sought after saxophonists at the moment.
In this interview, the gifted musician opens up on how he began, challenges, amongst other issues.
How did music begin for you?
For me, music has always been inborn. My recorder was my companion. This dates back to primary school and then my Junior Secondary school. During the school assembly, I was always with my recorder(or flute as some call it) and this made me interested in sounds and melodies which was further enhanced with more trainings.
Have you always wanted to be a musician?
I had always been a young chap who is endeared to great and pleasant sounds. This comes to me naturally. I was in the science class and an instrumentalist in my local church in my early teenage years which was a fantastic combination. I knew I was always going to develop in the instruments I played but maybe not as a full time artiste.
What were your parents’ reaction when you started?
They were supportive after some initial reservations just as every parent would. However, the excellence I had in my academic path left them in awe. After success in my WAEC with 8 distinctions, they were sure I knew what i was doing and did not discourage me from doing music in my university days as an engineering student. Eventually, I graduated and didn’t disappoint them .We thank God for the journey so far.
Who are your major influences as a saxophonist?
There are quite a number of them which I have grown to love both locally and internationally. As you know, we are what we hear, read and meditate upon. To this end, various artistes have affected my music positively and perhaps I would mention a few names as we go on.
What were the challenges you encountered when you started out?
Finance was a major one initially. After getting the instrument, you need money to attend trainings, network with people and even get internet subscription for self -study. Back then, it wasn’t this easy as it is now. Gradually, the advent and popularity of social media and various applications have made things “softer” if I may say.
What is the greatest price you have had to pay as a saxophonist?
I determined I wasn’t going to give up on my dream as a saxophonist even while in the university. To achieve this, I had to double up big time. I was the Saxophonist in our RCF fellowship up until 300level. However, I began in a Lagos church when I was in 400 level. I was always in and out of campus on a weekly basis as I was playing in a church from when I was in 400 level. I figured that 5 years away from the scene would make me run out of ideas on the saxophone and I needed to be in form. This was one of the greatest prices I have had to pay. I can’t say It’s the greatest really, but it sure has its place in my heart.
What inspired your new song ‘Zamar’
After a successful praise and worship event, we listened to the recordings and it was soul-lifting. We then decided to take it to the studio for post- production which gave birth to the Zamar album and the song “Zamar” is the Track 4 which means “To praise with instruments” in Hebrew.
Who is that one artiste you would love to collaborate with?
There are a few artistes whom I really loved growing up. Their music (which were not necessarily gospel music), changed a few values in the society. For example: ‘Motherland’ by Sound Sultan and a number of songs from 9ice. I have always imagined having them on an evangelistic album glorifying the name of Jesus together anyways. Never say never right? We have a world to change! As a born again Christian now, there are spirit filled musicians here in Nigeria i hope to work with also.
Do you think Nigerians appreciate saxophonists enough?
Absolutely not! However, Nigerians are not to blame. One of the laws of motion states that action and reaction are equal and opposite. The level of rewards we saxophonists are getting is simply because there was no industry before now.
We had (and still have) very good saxophonists but people identified with them as individual stars and did not see the instrument to be of great importance. However, that has been changing with time and its already getting better.
The saxophone in itself is a voice. The same way you have ten singers come to a programme and probably sing the songs we already know. No two saxophone players sound exactly the same and can also be called up separately at an event.
Can you share an embarrassing moment as a saxophonist?
Yes, I have had many embarrassing experiences. The one that comes to mind now will be when I went to represent another saxophonist at an event 6years ago .The clients almost swallowed me because I wasn’t who they were expecting.