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Musicians Of Yore: Where Are They Now?

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From time immemorial music and musicians have always been part of our lives and upbringing. We hear their music at home from the turntable machines, cassette stereo and DVD sets, we dance to them at parties and in religious houses. From community entertainers cum musicians to part time or professional and established musicians, they are personalities we adore, cherish and loathe sometimes.

In secular and religious music, there is a long list of musicians who made waves and got wide acceptance. In this two-part series, in no particular order, you will and get educated about the musicians of yesteryears. Some left the shores of Nigeria for want of a better life, conditions and perhaps a more fulfilling career and some are still in Nigeria, stepped onto other endeavours while others are combining livelihoods with their passion, music on a low key, as they say music is medicine that soothes the soul.

 

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Lord of Ajasa

He is credited to have started indigenous rap in Yoruba. Olusegun Osaniyi known by his stage name ‘Lord of Ajasa' rode the airwaves in early 2000 even before the likes of Da'Grin, and were associated with the genre.

Lord of Ajasa had collaborated with 9ice, , among other Nigerian singers. He was diagnosed of peptic ulcer left the to face other businesses, as a graduate of Quantity Surveying. He also joined the hosts of musicians that relocated from Nigeria to the US, Houston, Texas precisely. Lord Of Ajasa who is married to Funmi Kasali Osaniyi, is now the CEO of Apashe Records. Reports have it that, Osaniyi is back to what he loves best, making music.

 

Aladin

In the times when Nigerian music got a boost, Aladin was a musician with a different flavour. The musician, who sings melodic music of genre from Northern Nigeria, was a toast of many from the late 2000s. Music fans gyrated with his music in an era when the Afro pop genre was at his early times in the Nigerian music scene.  Now, based in Austria, a European country, Aladin has a wife from Bulgaria and his children in the Eastern European country.

 

Daddy Fresh

If you have been following Ghetto music in the 90s, a description of a brand of creative music genre from Ajegunle-Apapa area of Lagos where creativity is forged out of the crucible of poor living conditions, then the name Daddy Fresh will more than ring a bell. Onyebuchi Michael known as Daddy Fresh was an item with the famous Daddy Showkey as they made a formidable group named ‘De Pretty Busy Boys' comprising of Daddy Showkey, Cashman Davies and Sexy Pretty in the late 90s. Daddy Fresh who recorded music a decade ago, was reported to have been down with partial stroke early this year in February. He made a video which went viral asking for help and funds to treat the illness and recuperate.

 

BOUQUI

Bukola Folayan professionally known as Bouqui is a self-styled female rapper who made waves. Rap music in Nigeria being a difficult terrain and genre in terms of staying power, have had Sasha P, Weird Mc, Kel, Chemistry, Eva Alordia, all female rappers but Bouqui was different.  She made her debut, self-titled album titled B.O.U.Q.U.I which means ‘Born Once More Unto a Quickened and Unparalleled Image', with gospel hits and it went mainstream earning her different awards and recognition even at The Headies in 2007. Having started her solo career in 1999 with singles, Molejo, Vanity and ‘Get it Started' which made her debut album in 2007.

Bouqui who relocated to the United States in February 2014, released ‘Unstoppable' In March 2019, was ordained as a Reverend in the US and is presently the youth pastor of Victory Christian Fellowship in Delaware. The amiable singer who's now a youth pastor still communicates some of her messages in music.

 

D Prince

Charles Enebeli better known as D'Prince, was part of the heroic Mo' Hits Crew founded by Don Jazzy, his elder brother. D'Prince in 2005 was asked to be a part of the Mo' Hits Records in 2005 after Don Jazzy came back from the UK to promote the record label in Nigeria. He wasn't the main singers in Mo' Hits and was much under the shadow of D'Banj, and others. In 2012, D'Prince released his album under the record label with little success. He performs in Igbo, English and Pidgin English. Presently, he is not doing music but has transited to a record executive having founded the Jonzing World Record Label in 2019, through which he signed award winning singer .

 

Blacky

Blackky became famous in the early 90s as a dancehall artiste with a twist. The singer whose real name is Edward Inyang made dancehall/Ragga music popular and the clubs embraced his music, a time when dance hall and raga, both genres which emanated from reggae music, had a global appeal with musicians like Shaba Ranks, Patra.

After winning the Lekki Sunsplash Talent Hunt in 1990, Blacky got signed to a record deal with Premier Records and after his career shone brightly even as a UNILAG student. With songs like Rosie, Bang Belly Blackky Skank, Killer Disease the artiste with a dance style, was and is still a free-spirited man whose songs were club bangers, some of his songs like sugar stick and another had lewd lyrics.

Blacky is still doing music on a low tune as the times and trends had passed him when he was one of the most sought after as 2015 was his last official recording. ‘Rosie' is his biggest song so far. He inspired many including today's stars like , .  He commemorated his 25th year on stage years ago and got a Special Recognition Award in 2016 for his contribution to Nigerian music over the years, from 1991 to date.

 

Lara George

She is a songstress who became a gospel music artiste after making fame in 2000s as a girl group named Kush while in University of Lagos. Lara George released her debut album ‘Forever in My Heart' in 2008 and it included the hit single ‘Ijoba Orun', which earned her several awards and nominations. She has performed at notable events and appeared on BET International as one of the first Nigerian artists to be aired on that show.

She resides presently in the Alpharetta, Georgia in the United States with her hubby, Gbenga George and family. Lara George who spoke in an interview with yours sincerely while still in Nigeria, disclosed that another of her hit, ‘Dansaki' was inspired during a tough moment in her life which later turned to God's glory.  She is the Vice President of SoForte Entertainment Distribution Ltd., the first home-grown structured entertainment distribution company in Nigeria.

 

W4

In the annals of Nigerian music, the versatile musician W4 (Adewale Adepoju) will be remembered especially with his melodic debut titled ‘Solo.' His sophomore release, ‘Wa Gba Kontrol' in 2012 inspired the Afro-pop genre promoters and lovers then. The popularity of the song was intensified after protesters improvised the title as ‘Wa Gba Petrol' for their campaign slogan, during the fuel subsidy protest in Nigeria. W4 also scored a hit collaboration with late Sound Sultan and the legendary 2Baba whom he was once signed under his label on the track ‘Bush Meat.' Now, W4 and his music seemed to be in background as veteran musicians reel under the force and dynamics of marketing their music accompanied by having a deep pocket and being deliberate about sustained promotions via the social media.  In 2022, he had collaboration with today's artiste, formally known as BUJU in a single titled ‘Let Me Know'.

 

KONGA

He came on the music scene with the danceable street song, ‘Konga'. His real name is Lawal Olalekan Olumo having started his musical career in Nigeria on the streets of Ebute Metta. He released Baby Konga in 2004, the hit song that was a party favourite. Konga did the popular hit track ‘Lorile, Odi gombe' in collaboration with another artiste, X-Project in 2009/2010 and this brought him limelight. Olalekan had narrated his harrowing experience and that of other artistes in the hands of pirates who copy and sold all his works, milking on him without the singer making personal gains. He further explained how talented artistes have been sent to unexpected indebtedness which arose from losses incurred after investing borrowed funds to undertake original works of arts only to be pirated freely by criminals who mass produce and sell what doesn't belong to them. However, the Ilorin born artist strived and continued making music and in 2021 launched ‘AWOL' in Ilorin. Dorosi Konga, his recent song was released in May 2024.

 


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