Disappointed by the new Arcade Fire album? Don’t despair! Don’t give up on disco! Listen to this killer Shina Williams and His African Percussionists track, the pinnacle of late ’70s Nigerian afro-disco. The song is re-released via Strut, a UK reissues label specializing in soul, funk, world sounds, disco, post-punk, and industrial music.
“Strut present a brand new 12′ reissue of Shina Williams’ monster Nigerian disco anthem ‘Agboju Logun’, pairing the rare original album version (originally released on Phonodisk Nigeria) with the more sparse 12′ remix which surfaced later internationally on Earthworks. This is the third release on STRUT’S new Original Masters Series.”
Originally released in 1980, Joe King Kologbo‘s underrated ‘Sugar Daddy’ LP will be reissued next month. The rerelease of the Nigerian musician’s rare LP will kick off a string of new reissues of other excellent gems from across Africa and the Caribbean.
Some more info via the Bandcamp credits:
“Strut present the first in a series of essential original LP reissues exploring rare and under-rated African, Latin and Caribbean music classics, curated by Duncan Brooker. In January 2017, the series kicks off with ‘Sugar Daddy’, an experimental highlife / disco outing by Nigerian highlife guitarist Joe King Kologbo. Building his career as a composer and player with Eastern Star Dance Band at their residency at the Atlantic Hotel in Aba, Eastern Nigeria, Joe King Kologbo was forced to flee to Ghana when the Biafran War broke out in 1967. As his son Oghene recalls, ‘when war came, everything just scatter. He lost his house, everything.’
Joe King played with a variety of bands in Ghana including Real Ruby’s, a jazz highlife big band, before returning to Lagos in 1971. By the time he recorded the ‘Sugar Daddy’ LP for the tiny Electromat label in 1980, he was one of the older musicians on the circuit. Oghene Kologbo remembers, ‘My Mum used to say, ‘I hope you don’t go and play guitar everywhere and play around, don’t go and be Sugar Daddy!’ All my father’s friends nicknamed him ‘Sugar Daddy’ so he did the song in a fun way. He was a nice man. He never did ‘playboy’.’
‘Since he was based in the East during his early days, he was not as well known nationally as some of the other highlife players of the time,’ continues Oghene,’so it’s nice that this album is coming out again. It brings back good memories.’
Joe King Kologbo’s ‘Sugar Daddy’ is released in its original artwork and features new interviews with Oghene Kologbo and Sonny Akpan of The Funkees. The album comes remastered by The Carvery, with vinyl pressed at Pallas.‘”
The entire LP will be available next month. In the meantime, enjoy “Sugar Daddy.”
Lagos-born and Dubai-based musician Santi (also known as Ozzy B) is one of the many voices of Nigerian afrobeat’s newly rejuvenated sound, which Santi calls “New Africa.” This New Africa sound is atmospheric and beautiful, with a blend of auto-tuned crooning and acoustic instrumentation that’s both upbeat and calming.
HEADPHONE NATION IS BACK FROM MINI-VACATION BACK TO WORK!
Nigerian R&B/Soul singer Praiz has a new single out, featuring Burna Boy and rapper Ikechukwu. It’s called “69” and it’s about exactly what you think it is. At least the song sounds good, with Praiz producing the song himself and adding subtle guitars and sparse production that has all the peaks and valleys of a good Frank Ocean song. You can find Praiz over at X3M music.
OkayAfrica declares Yemi Alade‘s latest song, “Want You,” to be this year’s feel-good summer jam, and I agree. Produced by Maleek Berry, the Nigerian Afropop singer’s latest release is the follow-up to her last album, this year’s Mama Africa (The Diary of an African Woman). Hopefully this is a preview of a new album, but at the very least, the upbeat, electronic Caribbean groove stands strong on its own as a welcoming late-summer hit. The video, directed by Ovié Étseyatsé, is equally sunny, with Alade dancing on the California beach with her friends (I need friends who can dance as well as Alade’s friends. Also, I need to live near a beach.)
Nigerian Afropop, as Pitchfork noted a while back, was one of the world’s most exciting scenes that most Americans weren’t paying attention to. In our defense, we don’t pay attention to most things outside America (and Alade’s 2014 hit, “Johnny,” did get some decent airplay here), but we need to do better. If Alade is any indication, Nigerian Afropop is still alive and well, and Americans need to shape up and listen.