Monday, January 30, 2012

Stephen Osita Osadebe

Delightful jangly "highlife" from Nigeria circa 1975 as the LP title suggests. Another Cheshire Street or Brick Lane market purchase from the 80's. I thought I had featured it before but seems this is the first time.

Wikipedia says -

"In March 1936, Osadebe was born in Igbo town of Atani, in Southeastern Nigeria. He came from a line of singers and dancers in Igboland. His genre, Highlife encompassed Igbo musical elements. Along with this, calypso, samba, bolero, rumba, jazz and waltz were also present in Osadebe's musical style. It was in his high school years in Onitsha, a major commercial city near Atani, that Osadebe grew interested in music.
Osadebe started his career performing at nightclubs in Lagos in the southwestern region of Nigeria. He gradually worked his way up to releasing his first album in 1958. In his career Osadebe went on to write over 500 songs; half of these songs were released commercially. He had been a part of The Empire Rhythm Orchestra, led by E. C. Arinze in which he had learned much of his music skills.
As he became better established, Osadebe's style matured to include social commentary, similar to, but not as confrontational as Fela Kuti. Personal trials and tribulations was usually the main topic of his commentaries. Osadebe often extended his tracks for his audiences enjoyment, allowing room for 'people on the dance floor' to indulge in the songs.
Following the Nigerian Civil War in the late 60's, the massive exodus of the eastern peoples of Nigeria (especially the Igbo) out of western Nigeria had caused the death of the Highlife's prominence in the then capital, Lagos. During the war and after the war Osadebe maintained his scheduled live performances. Juju music and later Afrobeat took precedence in Lagos, and in the 70's James Brown and various other music forms became popular in the city. In this same decade Osadebe's career had reached its zenith. After turning 50 in 1986 Osadebe started to give priority to fatherhood and gave more of his time to his son Obiora and his other children from his wives. One of Osita Osadebe's last revered album's is "Kedu America".
Osita Osadebe died in St. Mary's Hospital Waterbury, Connecticut on the 11 May 2007 after suffering from severe respiratory difficulties."

Tracks are as follows -

1. Onu Kwube
2. Ejim Ofor Aga
3. Instrumental 1

Stephen Osita Osadebe - Side One

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