Monday, 16 August 2010


victor olaiya

Olaiya's music bridges between Ghanaian highlife and what would become Afrobeat. His musical style was strongly influenced by James Brown, with horn parts harmonized in Brown's style, as opposed to the mostly unison lines of Afrobeat. The music includes the swinging percussion of Tony Allen, but not the syncopated style that Allen later pioneered.
His music is infectious, typifying highlife music, played with great energy. The unique style of some of his recordings is inimitable.
He played with highlife artist E. T. Mensah of Ghana, and released a best-selling joint album with Mensah.
Both the drummer Tony Allen and vocalist Fela Kuti played with Olaiya and went on to achieve individual success. Kola Ogunkoya played in the All Stars Band from 1986 to 1987 and went on to have a highly successful career with his own Afrobeat band.


Dele Taiwo
 was born forty years in Lagos to a Cleric father who founded Cherubim and Seraphim Church (Oke-Iyanu) Agege, Lagos. While growing he attended Bishop Oluwole Memorial Primary School, Iju, Agege. He later got admitted into Anwar Islam College but eventually graduated at Iloro Grammar School. His flair music grew with his age. While he was writing his final examination in secondary, himself and a few friends formed a band known as “The Young Shall Grow Band”. The band later metamorphosed into 'Gentle Man
Dele Taiwo and his Funky Juju Band'

Celestine Ukwu

Celestine Ukwu
began his musical career during the 1960's with Michael Ejeagha's Paradise Rhythm Orchestra in Enugu, capital of the former Eastern Region of Nigeria. He left four years later to launch his own band, the Music Royals. Following a hiatus caused by the Biafran war of independence from 1967-70, the Music Royals were resurrected as the Philosophers National, who distinguished themselves with a series of sparkling, subtle highlife releases during the 1970s. Ukwu's signature tune is undoubtedly 1970's "Igede (Pt. 1)," an instrumental piece based on Igbo folklore. Its haunting melody was the basis for the tune "Elozekwana Nwanne Gi" by Enugu chanteuse Nelly Uchendu on her 1978 LP "Aka Bu Eze" (Homzy HCE 012). Ukwu's crowning achievement was arguably 1975's "Ejim Nk'onye," which combined Igbo poetry with passages of instrumental brilliance. Sadly, Ukwu perished in an automobile accident in 1977, depriving Nigerian music of one of its shining stars. Titles in this discography for which there are no track listings are taken from Ronnie Graham's "Sterns/DaCapo Guide to Contemporary African Music."

Celestine Ukwu & the Philosophers National also released issued many 45's in the early '70s

Rex Jim Lawson (1935 - 1971),

 known as Cardinal Rex, was a singer, trumpeter and bandleader from Kalabari (Ijaw), Nigeria. One of the best-known highlife musicians of the 1960s, Lawson took highlife music to an intoxicating peak that has hardly been heard again after him.
Lawson played with Sammy Obot, Bobby Benson, Victor Olaiya, Chris Ajiko, and other Ghanaian and Nigerian musicians and bands. His greatest success came as the leader of the Mayors Dance Band; their recorded hits include So ala teme, Yellow Sisi, Gowon Special, and Jolly Papa. His most popular hit is probably Love Adure, which is still a sure floor-filler in Nigeria to this day.
A highly emotional and deep musician, Lawson was known to weep and shed tears while singing his own songs on stage, notably the haunting So ala teme. The late Sir Maliki Showman, the famous Nigerian tenor saxophonist who played with Rex Lawson, Bobby Benson and Victor Uwaifo, remembers Lawson as always placing music over money. Lawson is famed for his infectious gregariousness, his musical vision, talent, perseverance and individuality.
Lawson died in 1971 in a car accident on his way to play a show in Warri, Nigeria. He was 36 years old.
His music is loved to this day in Nigeria. His songs are regularly performed and danced at live band shows in Nigeria, and a number of young musicians have resang some of his old hits, and his relevance continues to be felt.

I.K. Dairo

I.K. Dairo

I.K. Dairo is often called The Father of Juju Music. In the 1950s and 1960's Juju was considered music of the 'poorer' people because it wasn't modern enough for the elite of the class-conscious Nigeria. After independence, I.K. Dairo was the chief reason Juju took off.
In 1957 I.K. Dairo founded his band, the Morning Star Orchestra, later to become the Blue Spots. He incorporated rhythms from all over the country, and even introduced the accordian and slide guitar. Dairo's lyrical skills gave him a string of hit records. In 1963 Dairo received an MBE for his achievements, the only African musician to ever hold such a title.


Born in Kaduna , Nigeria to parents of Abia State origin, Buchi’s early education began in Enugu and took him through Methodist College , Uzuakoli and Federal Government College , Enugu . In 1983, he came to Lagos to study English Language and Literary Studies at the University of Lagos , obtained a BA in 1986, MA in 1988 and later the same year took up an appointment to lecture at the same institution alongside a PhD programe. Buchi remained at the Department of English until 1994 when he yielded to the higher calling to propagate the gospel of Jesus through writing and singing in the reggae genre.

While in the university, his casual involvement in black activism through reggae club grew more intense after listening to Oliver Thambo and the officials of ANC (African National Congress) from South Africa, during the club’s exhibition on “Apartheid in South Africa” Again, having studied the black activist literature of Dennis Bruts, Wole Soyinka, Muta Baruka and the likes, Buchi’s preoccupation with reggae music as an “outcry against oppression” became deeper. Little wonder he also became involved in one of the campus confraternities which at the time prided themselves as anti oppression movements. This preoccupation with reggae music took a new turn when his friend Ras Kimono invited him to join the team of deejays on the Floating Bukka - a reggae nightclub situated on a docked vessel on the Marina , Lagos Island .

Foremost on the list of Buchi’s strong musical influences are Eric Donaldson, Joseph Hills , Burning Spear and Frankie Paul. In 1992, Buchi gave his life to Jesus in Christ Embassy Church and transmitted from the nightclub to the choir of that ministry, where he has remained till date. 1st album released 1999 (These Days) 2nd album released 2002 (So Beautiful) 3rd album released 2005 (What a Life) Married to Jane with 4 children Has ministered in church concerts including Reinhard Burnke’s stadium-packed outreaches. Multiple award winner including prestigious AMEN for Best in Gospel Category, 1999 Faith, POMP and TOMA Awards for Best Artiste, Reggae Artiste and Gospel album of the year variously.


At a national gospel concert in 1991, a sold out crowd awaits their favorite performance. The children’s gospel choir has rehearsed their hearts out and is waiting for their cue. Everyone seems ready. The music starts. Suddenly the young soloist looses her nerve and bows out. In a state of panic, his peers urge an untried youngster to sub in and take the microphone. Banky Wellington rises to the occasion, and at the tender age of 10, a star is born. Encore after encore, the entire crowd rises to a standing ovation. To this day, Banky Wellington has never looked back.

Blessed with an incomparably smooth voice, excellent writing and production skills, as well as uncanny showmanship and crowd pleasing dance ability, Banky is poised to take on the music industry.

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A first glance taunted a comparison with Tracy Chapman. However, once I got over the dreadlocks and the guitar and got into the groove, I quickly realized that there was something far deeper in the soul searching vibes, something far more cultural than the fact that she sings in Yoruba.
As I started to get comfortable with her flow, I made a second attempt to define Asa… Songs like  Soul (featuring silver saddih), Fire On the Mountain, No One Knows, Burn, Jailer and even Eyin Mummy threw me off completely. I found myself right back at square one, left with nothing but respect and admiration at the sheer depth and breadth of her musical expression.
In a kinda bluesy, Jazzy, finger snapping way, Ilu (Nation) challenges our leaders and asks them what they have done with our great country. She reminds us of a time when the Naira was stronger than the dollar, of a time when police checkpoints were unheard of. “Dollar je Naira lowo… Ko si wetin you carry”. – Fela would be proud!
I had to remind myself to breathe while listening to Eye Adaba (Birds in the sky). Her rendition in English of the same exact song was a fresh experience that was just as amazing as the original. (I wan craze!). Mama (mother)/So Beautiful, a slow dance in honor of her mother highlights the sacrifice, selflessness and pricelessness of motherhood. I think I now have enough songs for my “Sweet Mother” mixtape. MAJOR brownie points coming my way on mother’s day! Iba (praise) brings it back to earth by giving thanks & praise to Heaven for all the things we tend to take for granted.
I’m not sure if it’s the sincerity in Bibanke (When I cry), the high from soaring with the birds, the rain outside or the vodka inside but um… Asa… will you marry me?
Asa has seriously raised the bar and set the standard in the “Yoruba Acoustic Soul” category.



I started playing music as a member of the church choir. I sang alto, bass among other numbers. I was about 10 years old then. Later when I gained admission into secondary school, my interest in music grew tremendously. Earlier, I was initiated into the tradition (Igborokiti) music of my people. I was then a pupil of Eke Oba Community School in Umuahia, Abia State. Igbokiriti is a genre of music played by the elders during funerals and other important festivals. Right from childhood, I gained popularity by entertaining people with a local guitar.

But in my secondary school, I used to play the music of George Benson, Bobby Benson, Hot Chocolate and other reigning musicians in those days. In my second year, I started leading the schools cultural music group. Other students loved me so much that the senior students stopped punishing me because I used to entertain them with my music. My nickname then was Ocean and the senior students called me Chimezie and the Ocean Band. I soon became a household name in the school because I used to play some funny sounds with my hand placed under my armpits.

Between education and music
As a member of the Literary and Debating Society, we had a programme billed for the television but I was not selected to represent my school and that made me sad. I wanted to appear on TV. But there was nothing I could do. So, I made up my mind that if I could not appear on a TV as a debater, I could appear as a musician. I wrote a letter to Pal Akalonu and Stoneface Iwuagwu who were then the producers of Now Sound asking them to feature me in their programme. Threafter I did not receive a reply.

Meanwhile, I was surprised one day when Stoneface Iwuagwu arrived at my School asking for me. He went to my principal and showed him a letter from the director of NTA asking me to come for recording. That was the happiest day of my life. But my happiness was short-lived. My parents did not want me to be a musician. In fact, I did not want to tell them that I was to go to Aba for recording. I knew they would have stopped me. But I had to raise the money for the trip to Aba.

First recording/band
Since I found it difficult to raise money, I had to engage in farming to raise eight shillings (80k). With the money in my pocket, I went to NTA Aba. During the recording, I sang Eddy Grants Neighbour, Neighbour, among other songs. I did it with some degree of maturity and the producers were thrilled. I was so excited that I would soon be featured on television.

I told my parents about it but they did not believe me. My parents had no TV then, but we all gathered round my uncles TV set and the programme was transmitted. My parents were astounded. I became an instant hero in my town. After my secondary education, my father insisted that I should proceed to the university. But I did not want to go. I established the Modernised Odumodu Cultural Dance Group and we became so popular in the whole of Eastern Nigeria. The group specialised in story telling through music. We told the story of Okonkwo in Chinua Achebes Things Fall Apart. Actually, Chinua Achebe influenced me a lot, along with Cyprian Ekwensi, Elechi Amadi and other novelists. We were moving towards singing authentic Igbo rhythm with modernised songs.

That was why we called ourselves Bright Chimezie and the Modernised Odumodu Cultural Group. That was the beginning of what you know today as Zzigima Sound. In 1979, I disbanded the group because there were clashes among the members. I later left home for Lagos where I stayed with my elder brother at Ajegunle.

Philosophy/live shows
My aim in those days was to play traditional music that would be accepted worldwide. I was bent on internationalising our traditional music. But in those days, I could not play the guitar. In fact, I owe a debt of gratitude to Joe King Kologbo who used to live in Apapa then. He was the first person to teach me how to play the guitar. He also featured me in a TV programme, Why Dont you be a Star at a time when the contract fee was only N15. Deinde Gilbert also featured me in a programme and I played at several night clubs such as Phoenician Night Club, Gondola Club (at Yaba) as well as Tee Mac Connection at Mama Koko Hotel, Ebute-Metta.

In 1980, I learnt that there were vacancies in the Customs and Excise Dance Band. I applied and was successful. I was there from 1980 to 1983. During this period, I combined my music with the job. I also featured at the Cultural Centre, University of Lagos on many occasions.

First album, Respect Africa
While working for the Customs, I was also busy shaping up my brand of music by producing demos. But the more I prepared the demo cassettes, the more they were rejected. In 1984, I was informed that Rogers All Stars Recording Company was interested in traditional African music. I went to Onitsha to give him my demo. He listened to it, and made his decision to release me. That was the birth of Respect Africa, the album that shot me into limelight.

Zzigima sound
Zzigima means Ozi I Ga Ma in Igbo language. It means the message that everyone (Africans) should know. My music is rooted in the cultural music of my people. I am out to promote African culture and African ways of life. Our people have become copycats in their manners of eating, dressing and even talking. All these have to change. Otherwise, Africans would not be different from bats that neither belong to the air nor to the land. We have to retrace our steps to our African ways of doing things, which are even superior to the European an American ways which we now imitate. That is all about Zzigima sound, the message for every African all over the world.

I was conferred with the Duke of African Music Award by the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Tribune Chapel, Ibadan on February 14,1998. I also bagged a chieftaincy title from Oba Omowonuola Oyeyode Oyesosin II, the Ogiyan of Ejigboland in Osun State.

Lagos — He pervaded the Nigerian music scene for several years with songs and a unique voice that touched several souls.



Although you may not think you have heard the name Brian Temba before, you will have heard his voice. Brian Temba started his career in his native homeland South Africa, where he sang for the likes of Jonathan Butler and Nelson Mandela. Nelson Mandela and Brian both come from the Tembu Xhosa tribe. Brian is now based in London where he has lived for the past 8 years.

With the likes of Amy Winehouse and Adele being celebrated for their great soulful sounds there has never been a more opportune moment for a male counterpart. Brian Temba is like a phoenix rising waving his own flag for the UK and delivering solid songs that touch your heart and move your feet.

Brian Temba's first single “Dominoes” displays classic guitar riffs and haunting strings while delivering emotive lyrics which capture the very essence of surrendering all when you have no place to turn. “Dominoes” with its vintage feel was produced by Steve Anthony formally one part of the great production outfit Blacksmith. (Lemar, Jamiroquai Craig David)

Due to Brian's background it was expected of him to make a living on the crime ridden streets of Pretoria but he had a once in a life time opportunity in 2000, Brian was part of the original cast for Disney's The Lion King in LA.

The success of his LA performance led to Disney promoting him to the role of Simba in London's West End run of the show. Since he left in 2005, Brian has been working on his debut album and he now has a story to tell because men where he grew up have not experienced this type of journey.

Brian says “It's a crazy and amazing time for me right now. I finally get to sing and write the kind of songs I have always wanted. I am influenced by a mixture of music from gospel classics like Kim Burrell to old soul greats like Stevie Wonder.”

The debut album “Something Better” will be release

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The sixth album of Reggae star, Nya Edward Inyang (Blackky) entitled Reggae Icon was launched recently at Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos. It was indeed an afternoon of fun for the guests who graced the ceremony as they were treated to beautiful tracks from the new album. The artiste who entertained guests with Rossie, one of the hit tracks in the album also used the opportunity to thank his fans, colleagues and well-wishers for always being there for him.
‘I feel very glad, I appreciate the presence of all my colleagues, fans, friends and loved ones who have come to witness this event. From the first song, Baby girl, currently enjoying airplay, we are overwhelmed by the response, which shows that the fans are welcoming me back in a grand way.

The duo of Charles Oputa (Charly Boy); President of the Performing Musician Employers Association of Nigeria (PMAN) and Oritz Wiliki, Second Vice Chairman launched the album with the sum of N100,000. After that, the floor was opened for interested individuals to launch the album and got them autographed by the artiste. 

In an interview with Daily Sun, Blackky shed light on why he chose the title Reggae Icon, saying: "I chose that title because over the years, people have come to know me as a reference point when it comes to contemporary reggae music in Africa. Speaking on his expectations from the album, the musician said: "As far as I am concerned, in all my albums, I have never expected hits. What I do is to play and compose my songs the way I can and leave the rest to my fans to decide.” 

Meanwhile, there was no dull moment on the occasion as the duo of Basketmouth and Teju Babyface spiced up the event with jokes. Guests who graced the occasion include veteran TV presenter Ruth Benamasia - Opia, former Miss Nigeria; Vien Tetshola, Esse Agesse-Ogoro, Tony Okoroji, Patrick Doyle, Sound Sultan, Zaaky Adzay, Muma Gee, Agatha Amata, and Azeezat, among others.
Blackky, a graduate of Sociology from the University of Lagos began his musical career as a DJ in 1986. As a student, he was a regular feature in concerts usually at Lekki during festive periods of Easter and Christmas.

Inyang however, got his break in 1990 when he contested and won the Lekki Sunsplash talent hunt contest which gave him a record deal with the then Polygram Records. 
In 1991 when he released his first album; About Tyme containing hit songs like Rosie, Blakky Skank and Sugar Stick. Between 1991 and 2005, he has released six albums and won many awards to his credit.
The Reggae Icon is also credited with hit tracks like L.M.A. Leave me Alone, Babygirl, African Dance Hall King, Delilah and Wife among others.


Ayinde Bakare
was a pioneering Yoruba juju and highlife musician. He began recording on the HMV label in 1937 and is thought to have been the first juju musician to use an amplified guitar, in 1949.
He was extremely popular with the socialites across Yorubaland, especially in Lagos and Ibadan in the 50s/60s. In the early 70s, during one of his performances in Lagos, Ayinde Bakare suddenly disappeared and he was later found dead.[citation needed] It was rumoured that he was called to the backstage by some unknown individuals who had pretended to be his fans and admirers.
His many records include a 1968 LP Live the Highlife, (Melodisc MLPAS 12-140).[3] Tribute to the late J.K. Randle / Eko Akete (Lagos Akete) / Adura Fun Awon Aboyun (Prayer for the Pregnant Women) / Ibikunle Alakija /Iwalewa (Your Manner is Your Beauty) /Ore Otito O Si(There's no true friend) / Mo b'eru Aiye (I fear the humanity) / Ile Aiye Ile Asan (Life is vanity upon vanity) /Agboola Odunekan / Olabisi Arobieke /Akambi Balogun
MLP 12-134 Great African Highlife Music Vol 2 Various Artists -includes Ayinde Bakare – Iwa Lewa/ Adura Fun Awon Aboyun / Se Botimo / The Late J.K. Randle
Singles Melodisc 1406 The Late J.K. Randle/Ibikunle Alakija