Timeless by Gabriel Ashibi: The full album.

The album Timeless by Gabriel Ashibi has been released in digital stores worldwide and on Ethnikhouse Entertainment Label.

It is quite an interesting work because the recording was done about 15 years ago but could not be released for several reasons including the loss of some of the files until recently and other technical reasons.

The songs typically represent the Afro Hip Hop sounds that were prevalent in Nigeria during that period and kind of reflect the struggles of the budding artiste who was then known as Breeze and also known as Paparazzi . Click the link to play and enjoy on BoomPlay.

My thoughts on Nigerian artistes shifting to Amapiano sub-genre.

In recent years Nigerian music artistes have started moving into the Amapiano sub-genre. Amapiano is basically an upgrade on Kwaito with a fusion of South African house music, jazz and some other sound. My personal opinion is that moving massively or wholesale into Amapiano may lead to our losing our musical identity and the magic bullet Afrobeats that gave us the recognition and awards in recent years.

The Headies 2022: The Irk and Rave of an Award that Made Nigerian Music History.

The 15th edition of Nigeria’s premier music award took place early today 5th September 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia, The United States of America in the process of making history as the first and biggest Nigerian music award to be held out of the shores of the country.

The award ceremony has been received with mixed feelings among music lovers in Nigeria going by the comments on social media on the eve of the award and hours following the ceremony. some individuals have been so irked by the seemingly unpatriotic act of the organizers of the ceremony, while some have received the off-shore award ceremony as a compliment to rave of-the-moment music genre Afrobeats which is created, curated, polished and perfected in Nigeria before being sold to the world.

This write-up is presenting the views of Nigeria’s leading music history site music in my ears and our perspectives are as follows.

It would have been very good and patriotic if the Awards were held in Nigeria. However, the Awards is a property of a private business concern that would have taken into consideration all prevailing circumstances and projections related to return on investment, and tangible and intangible deliverables to be gained in taking the ceremony out of the country.

Secondly, the organizers were very clear in their gaol and objectives which is summarized in the theme of their first Award Brunch which took place in Los Angeles and is ‘Unveiling the first ever Global Awards for Afrobeats Music’.In this case, it is a very patriotic act for the awards to have been moved offshore because Afrobeats music is one of our biggest export commodities at the moment and the awards ceremony serves as a big roadshow to further support the fledging global genre. We must not forget that Ayo Animashaun and his team at the Headies are one of the biggest support structures of the music industry in Nigeria, In following the award theme, the organizers introduced more categories that capture the essence of their global intent. The categories include ‘Best International Collaboration’,’Best African Collaboration’, ‘International Artise of the Year’ and ‘African Artiste of the Year. There are other sub-regional categories.

Thirdly, Afrobeats as a genre is just beginning to gather momentum and this is the time to nurture the music form like a mother nurtures a toddler. Afrobeats is still grouped with world music or international music at the Grammys. All efforts should be geared toward creating a separate category for the genre at the Grammys and other international awards. This is where the owners of the Headies are thinking ahead of the rest of us. If Reggae has a separate category, then it will not be out of place for Afrobeats to have its separate seat at the Grammys. Indeed the Headies taking place on American soil might just be a wake-up ‘tonic’ or ‘ginger’ for the Grammy people.

Additionally, some people have made comparisons with the fact that Grammys are not taken out of American soil. But it is very clear that the playbook that the Headies copied from is very American in nature which is exactly a bigger brand like NBA does by taking some exhibition games out of America and developing franchises around the world.

From Music in My Ears we say a big congratulations to Ayo Animashaun and his team for a successful ceremony. We trust that Headies will make a big return to home soil maybe by next edition.

The Strangers of Owerri were really no strangers in Nigerian music history

Summary

Years Active: Late 60’s – Early 70’s

Members: Bob Miga, Felix Umeoffia, Eddy Duke, Gab Ozani, Ani Hofnar Umebuani, Geoffrey Imadhebo, Joe Arukwe, Joni Haastrup, Samuel Ifeanyi, Samuel Mathews, Tammy Evans and Timmy Nebuwa

The Strangers were one of the early funk rock bands of post-civil war Nigeria and had a significant impact in the Eastern part of the country in the late 60s and 70s. The Owerri-based band was founded by late organist Valentine Soroibe Bob Agim, more popularly known as Bob Miga.

Miga was with the Hykkers, a Lagos-based military-affiliated band that toured the South East States. It was time to return to base in Lagos, but Miga preferred the band to remain in Owerri where the band had already established a strong fan base and convinced the Military top brass to that effect. While other Hykkers members returned to Lagos, Miga remained in Owerri and regrouped with new band members to form the Strangers of Owerri. The band also had Joni Haastrup in its lineup who later formed the Lagos band Mono Mono .

On the band’s disbandment in the late ’70s, Bob Miga relocated to London until his death in 2014, Some band members had moved on to form One World Band.

The Strangers scored a few hits including

‘Nobody Called Me’ 1972 HMV Records

‘Love Rock’(Single) 1972 HMV Records

‘Survival’  HMV single.

Introducing Gabriel ‘Breeze’ Ashibi and my credentials in Nigerian music history

Summary

It took a whopping 15 years of recording songs for an album to get to the point of releasing the album. Quite unusual, but sometimes things don’t always turn out the way you plan. So today we are promoting a Single ‘Caro’ by  Gabriel Ashibi a.k.a Breeze a.k.a Paparazi. The two version Single was recorded way back in 2007 or at most 2009 under my record Label EthnikHouse Entertainment. The full album was equally ready. Due to certain circumstances the album contract, missing tapes and other technical reasons, I became the only audience of the songs for many years. At some point ,I couldn’t find the file of the songs on my computer. Breeze also has no copy. Running a Label has always been a fantasy business for me when I read about Berry Gordy of Mowtown, Dick Giffrey of Solar and coming down to Nigeria I don’t know how many people realise how much late chief Haruna Isola contributed to the Nigerian music Industry with his Ijebu Igbo based Phonodisck Records, just one example will suffice in Kris Okotie. or Cheif GAD Tabansi of Tabansi Records. I look forward to being like them, But, running a label is not cooking beans. 

Well, we have released the Sigle on Audiomack but will follow up with the album which should be on almost every digital store soon. Yes, the music has changed because Breeze came in the Afro Hip Hop era, but then that was the beginning of the renaissance until we landed at Afrobeats. 

This episode of the podcast is just to introduce the artiste Breeze, who has been doing his thing since then and the Single which is in the public space for the first time and also to flaunt my little credentials in Nigerian Music History. 

Transcription

Presenting the story of The Doves Band

The Doves Band of Nigeria

The Doves were a top-rated band in the South Eastern State of Nigeria which was later renamed Cross River State before it was split into Cross River and Akwa Ibom States. Despite their fame and popularity in the easternmost border state of Nigeria and in Umuahia which was their musical home, national acclaim was a bit elusive to the band. The Doves by all means were a great band with thirteen active years spanning 1974 to 1987 delivering eight albums and six singles, they were quite ahead of their contemporaries in terms of longevity and output.

With lineup changes over the years, the band’s primary members include a multinational and multiethnic grouping from Nigeria, Cameroun and Senegal. It is not hard to understand the influx of talented Camerounians who only need to cross the sea border at Oron or Calabar to hop into Nigeria or Cross into Ikom from Mfum border. Billy Baynak Eugene and Tony Ngon and the Band’s late lead singer Lawrence Ebanga represent a typical case of the Cameroon contingent. Saint Myron Kalla comes through from Senegal while the Nigerian contingent featured, Maxwell Udoh who took up lead vocal duties after the tragic death of Lawrence Ebanga in a car crash in April 1976. Al- Jackson Nakwe worked with Etubom Rex William the Highlife Supremo before jumping on the wings of The Doves while Levis Esso, Dominic Ikpe, Chikodiri Eze, Etienne Keston, Emmanson Ekeagwu, Sam Joseph were all part of the groupings. There is a certain Patrick Udoh famously acclaimed as the leader and main songwriter of the band, but the band credits are often limited in this regard, but a few occasions, Patrick Udoh actually runs the show either with a different lineup or as a label executive. 

Most members moved on to pastoral work and other music-related endeavours, Maxwell Udoh became a solo artiste delving into calypso-flavoured afro music and later got caught in the Reggae frenzy of the mid-1980s sadly, Maxwell Udoh passed on in December 2014 after a protracted illness.