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Periscoping Highlife, Mainstay Of Kuta Nigerian Music

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Highlife was the most popular music in 1960 when Nigeria gained independence. Before then and down through the 1960s, highlife has always been a mainstay of the Nigerian music industry. It was West African pop music seeping into the country from Ghana.
Following World War ll, Nigerian music started to take on new instruments and techniques including electric instruments imported from the United States and Europe. Rock n. Roll, Soul and later Funk became very popular in Nigeria and elements of  these genres were added to Juju by artistes such as I.K. Dairo.
Meanwhile, highlife had been slowly gaining grounds among the Igbo people and their unique style soon found a national audience, at the same time ‘Apalas’ Haruna Ishola was becoming one of the country’s biggest stars. When the Union Jack was lowered for the last time by the British colonial masters in Lagos and Nigeria’s Green while Green flag was hoisted, highlife was the ruler of the streets.
Ghana had a lot of influence on our music, right from the 1950s and 60s, Ghana had always been Nigerian’s big brother when it comes to music.
Ghanaian highlife stars dominated Nigerian social scene and night clubs due to the authenticity of their sound and immersive melodies. Ghanaian stars were the toast of Lagos and played in night clubs raking exclusive money for many Nigerian bands.
Nigerian artistes had to travel to Ghana to gain knowledge in music before returning to Nigeria to replicate that new direction.
Even Fela Kuti was influenced in Ghana. In 1963, Fela moved back to Nigeria, reformed Koola Lobitos and trained as radio producer for Nigerian Boardcasting corporation (NBC).
He played for sometime with Victor Olaiya and his All Stars. In 1967, he went to Ghana to soak up their songs and think up a new musical direction. That was when Fela first called his music Afrobeat. Fela was later banned form Ghana by the Ghanaian government in 1978 after riots broke-out in Accra during his concert when he was performing the song “Zombie”.
While in Ghana high life music held more significance, in Nigeria it was feel good music carrying mundane themes and made specifically for dance; the same way we currently have pop songs about nothing, highlife filled that void in the 60s.
Music was recorded and played live and the best spots to consume live music was at the Lagos clubs which had a mixture of  Ghanaian and Nigerian highlife stars, the music was played by bands. The Ghanaian E.T. Mensah easily the most popular highlife performer of the 1950s toured Nigeria frequently, drawing huge crowds of devoted fans.
Bob Benson and his Combo was the first Nigerian highlife band to find audience across the country. Benson was followed by Rex Lawson &  The Mayors Dance Band who achieved national fame in the mid 70s ending with Lawson’s death in 1971. During the same period, other highlife performers were reaching their peak. “They include Prince Nico Mbaga whose Sweet Mother, was a Pan African hit that sold more than 13 million copies, more than any other African single of any kind.

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Why I Am Not Ready To Have Kids Yet-Burna Boy

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Grammy-winning Nigerian singer, Damini Ogulu, aka Burna Boy, has opened up about why he is not ready to be a father yet.
According to the 32-year-old, he is not ready to have kids yet because he can not give them the attention they deserve.
Burna Boy disclosed this while responding to questions from newsmen, in a recent interview.
He explained that he would have children when he is settled or married.
“Why have not I had kids yet? Bro, because I don’t want to have kids yet,” he said.
“Have you seen my mum the way she loves me? Have you seen my dad the way he loves me?I know I can not give that to anyone right now with the life I’m living. So until I’m settled and I can be there for my children everyday, I’m not having no kid.
“I feel like my kids deserve better than I got. And I got both my mum and dad so you understand?”
On the allegations that he is impotent, Burna Boy said, “When I see the bants and the things people say about me not being able to have kids, I said this is unimportant. Let’s assume that it is true that I could not even have kids, you know that there’s something called IVF? But that is not even true,” he summed up.

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2Baba’s  20 Years Anniversary Of  ‘Face 2 Face’

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May 15, 2024, made it 20 years since Nigerian seminal superstar, 2Baba released his debut album, ‘Face 2 Face’.
Before 2Face Idibia (Now 2Baba) left the boy band Plantashun Boiz to chase a solo career, he was adjudged by many to be the band’s most talented member.
In fact, superstar rapper, Eedris Abdulkareem could not resist the urge to point this out in ‘Wackawikee MC,’ where he dissed former Remedies members, Tony Teitula and Eddy Montana as well as the Plantashun Boiz.
It was this huge expectation based on proven talent that preceded the release of 2Baba’s debut album, ‘Face 2 Face’ which was an emphatic statement of his ability and ambitions.
The Tide Entertainment reports that released under the iconic Nigerian music label, Kennis Music on 15th May 2004, ‘Face 2 Face’ would carry the zeitgeist of Nigerian pop music in the 2000s with heavy hip-hop and RnB influences.
For 2Face, the album was crafted to position him for commercial success justifying his decision to leave the Plantashun Boiz. ‘Face 2 Face’ would achieve this as it houses some of the biggest hit tracks that defined the 2000s and rocketed 2Baba as the face of Nigerian pop music.
‘Face 2 Face’ welcomes listeners to 2Baba’s world where he shares his many thoughts through mind- blowing lyrics, melodies, and compelling versatility.
“Today is the first day of the rest of my life,” he says in the hit song ‘Nfana Ibaga,’ where he delivers his statement of intent that will alter the direction of change in the Nigerian soundscape.
2Face had many things to share and he found exciting ways to communicate these thoughts. When he raps about love on the hit track ‘Ole’ he effortlessly molds melodies in unprecedented fashion.
2Baba is arguably Nigeria’s most gifted artist and his unbelievable ability shines in elevated lyricism, remarkable shapeshifting, and mind blowing delivery.
The acceptance of his fallibility offers food for thought on the lyrical masterclass ‘U No Holy Pass,’ where he cautions his critics who have a lot to say over his decision to leave Plantashun Boiz and the way he chooses to live his life. This record is one of those songs that reminds listeners that there is about nothing 2Baba can- not do as he effortlessly flows over the strings and drums of Rock music.
While the album carries significant hip-hop influences, it also has the palpable RnB music that shaped the American soundscape in the early 2000s.
On ‘Right Here’, 2Baba pours out his heart on a brilliant domestication of RnB and hip hop hybrid popular with Western RnB stars like Usher, Craig Davids and Joe.
The album’s biggest song is the classic guitar ballad, ‘African Queen’ which will break the commercial roof of Nigerian and African music. If there is any such thing as a perfect song, it will be ‘African Queen’ as the writing, delivery and production make for a perfect combination that is one of the most important records in the history of Nigerian mainstream pop music.
The success of 2Baba’s ‘African Queen’ transcended the shores of Africa as it was used in the 2006 Hollywood movie, ‘Phat Girls’ which was one of the earliest exportation of Nigerian mainstream pop music.
2Baba is known for being an artiste who constantly uses his music to speak on social justice and this is a trait that runs back 20 years ago.
On ‘police Skit,’ listeners get a commentary on the state of the Nigerian Police who are hardly distinguishable from armed robbers.
2Baba is one of Nigeria’s music’s most indefatigable hitmakers and he laid the blueprints for what is to come on the groovy party-starter ‘Keep on Rocking’ feat Natives & Lil Seal where he effortlessly switches language and flows.
‘Face 2 Face’ is a product of an era when artists craft wholesome albums with something for every listener and a concerted effort to carry a national outlook. Tracks like the gospel tune ‘Thank U Lord’ and ‘Odi Ya’ feat Black Face where he showcases his Benue roots point to this effort.
20 years after its release, ‘Face 2 Face’ is celebrated as a hall-of-fame Nigerian album that laid the blueprint for the hit projects in the Nigerian mainstream.
‘Face 2 Face’ showed listeners many sides of 2Baba – the singer, the rapper, the songwriter, the sage, the hitmaker, and ultimately, the pacesetter.

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Davido Reacts To Report Of Sacking His Lawyer

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Nigerian Afrobeats singer, David Adeleke, popularly known as Davido, has debunked reports that he sacked his lawyer and longtime friend, Bobo Ajudua, over embezzlement.
The Tide Entertainment gathered that Davido recently sacked his long-term business partner and lawyer, Bobo Ajudua for embezzling $370,000.
However, reacting, the singer said, that was not the case.
He clarified that they are still friends even though they are no longer business partners.
”This was not the case at all! We are still very good friends! In business, things evolve and change all the time! Please, everyone disregard this narrative.”

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