- It’s not every day one hears of musicians who dedicate songs to lesser gods
- Well, Lekan Babalola isn’t your everyday musician
- The veteran musician chose to dedicate his new song to someone unexpected
In November 2016, NAIJ.com published an article titled 8 unknown facts about Lekan Babalola, Nigeria’s first Grammy award winner. That article served as an introduction for many Nigerians who had not heard of Lekan Babalola.
When most saw the headline, they assumed it was a lie. Who is this Nigerian musician with two Grammy awards that almost no one had heard of? Well, you can read the article again to know more about him.
Mr Babalola’s style of music is not what one hears every day. Focusing more on percussion (drums, bongo, conga and co), he has worked with the likes of Prince, Ernest Ranglin, Branford Marsalis, African Jazz All Stars, Roy Ayers, Pharaoh Sanders, Charles Lloyd, Sinkane, David Byrne, Damon Albarn, Kate Luxmoore, and Tony Allen.
His latest song weirdly titled Mr Lakaye is dedicated to Ogun, the Yoruba god of iron while the title is inspired by the deity’s Oriki (praise). Mr. Lakaye was produced by Will Angelero, a New York/ United Kingdom-based producer and co-produced by Babalola himself.
The release of the new song will coincide with the launch of his multi-city tour tagged Ebo Tour which kicks-off on June 17 at the Somerset Festival, England. In addition, Mr. Lakaye will also be the sound track to the musician’s new art installation in honour of late American jazz artiste, John William Coltrane.
Speaking about his inspiration for the song, Lekan Babalola detailed, “I was born in Lagos, Nigeria, into a Yoruba family. As custodians of Yoruba tradition of Ogun, Oro, Obatala and Ifa, my family taught me first hand Yoruba art and culture. Ogun is the patron of my father’s family - The Babalola of Ajibesin compound at Ile-Ogbo, Aiyedire local government of Osun State.”
You can listen to the song Here.
Watch Seyi Shay tell NAIJ.com about that time she performed on the same stage as Beyonce below: