Fatai Rolling Dollar
Dr Saheed Osupa
plus DJ John Armstrong
Saturday, 26 April, 10pm till very late
Dex Club, 467-469 Brixton Road, London SW9 8HH (opposite Ritzy Cinema), nearest tube: Brixton, www.dexclub.co.uk / 020 7326 4455
£12 before midnight, £15 after
Bank Holiday Monday, 5 May, 8pm till 1am
Cargo, 83 Rivington Street, Shoreditch, London EC2A 3AY, nearest tube: Old Street, www.cargo-london.co.uk / 020 7613 7736
£12 before midnight, £15 after
Fela Kuti's Afrobeat legacy made such an enormous impression on the international Nigerian music-lovers' scene that much subsequent music in this most versatile of all African nations has been overshadowed – or just plain overlooked - outside the home market and the expat Nigerian Diaspora. Afrobeat was amazing – but believing that Nigeria has rested on its musical laurels since the heyday of Fela, Sunny Ade and other 70s and 80s superstars is like claiming that British pop ended with Punk!
This, the first-ever 'overground' UK shows of Naija Beat (contemporary Nigerian popular music), brought to you by well-known promoter and manager Kayode Samuel and DJ John Armstrong as part of their long-running AFRIKLUB concert series, sets out to correct the imbalance with a panorama of contemporary Nigerian stars whose joint talent is matched only by the amazing diversity of their musical roots. A couple of these artists have previously made low-key appearances in the UK before, but this is the first time that all have appeared on the same bill- and in two top London venues, at that.
Hip-hop/ Naija-pop artist Tony Tetuila is recognised as one of the top Nigerian stars of this generation. Albums like 'My Car', 'He Go Better' and his 2006 smash 'First Soldier' and MTV hit video 'Two Women' (with Ghana's hip-life crew VIP) are inescapable on the Lagos airwaves.
Dr Saheed Osupa – aka Vadisco The Genius Fuji Wizard – takes traditional Fuji talking-drum beats places they've never been before on tunes such as 'Gbedu Hip Hop' – the dancefloor pick from his 2008 album 'Endorsement', which garnered a million copies in pre-sales alone when released in January this year – an unheard-of feat for a Fuji album.
Still on the immensely popular Fuji tip – but from a different angle – comes Remi Aluko, who performed to a couple of rammed expat shows in the UK last year (including Afriklub in November 2007). Remi's current tunes 'Omo London' and 'Ibadan Rumour' are favourites for those who prefer their Fuji uncut, hard, rough and political.
Back to the blossoming fields of Naija hip-hop: we're proud to present, for the first time in the UK, the sensation of the Nigerian Hip-Hop World Annual Awards 2008: 9ice. 9ice, aka Da Nigerian Hook Man, aka Abolore Akande, won Vocal Performance of the Year and Revelation of the Year for his massive hit 'Gongo Aso'. Expect a unique blend of hip-hop, Afrobeat and R'n'B.
But every Nigerian show of this kind pays homage to what has gone before, and what is rich enough still to be with us – in this case, the mighty, legendary King of Palmwine blues, Nigerian mambo and adgidibo – the one and only Fatai Rolling Dollar. Fatai was playing Lagos club gigs 7 nights a week when the Stones and Beatles were in short pants, and he is still doing it now, at 82 years of age.
DJ John Armstrong will be supporting with an exclusive set of current recent and unreleased Naija tunes.
Friday, April 11, 2008