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Sikiru Adepoju: The Only Nigerian Ever to Win a Grammy



The Grammys, over the years, has seen many Nigerians being nominated in various categories but none except Sikiru Adepoju has ever gone home with the award. He remains Nigeria’s one and only Grammy Award winner.

You may be wondering who Adepoju is as not a few Nigerians will readily recall who he is. Adepoju is a Nigerian percussionist and recording artiste who at various times in his career worked and toured with likes of Sir Shina Peters, Orlando Julius, Commander Ebenezer Obey and the Inter-Reformers band in the 80’s before meeting American artistes, Mickey Hart, Carlos Santana and so forth with whom he won the Grammys. He worked with Orlando Julius from 1985 till 1992.

He pulled out of Orlando Julius’s band because the crew moved from California to Tennessee. The now US-based percussionist sometimes forgets he is a recipient of the Gramophone Award as it’s originally called. “Sometimes, I just forget that I’ve won a Grammy,” he gladly revealed during a recent interview. He had won it for an album titled Global Drum Project at the 2009 Grammy Awards, alongside Mickey Hart, Giovanni Hidalgo and Zakir Hussein, a group he met through Babatunde Olatunji; a Morehouse educated Nigerian drummer who had carved a niche music of the African brand in America. Adepoju could have had his first Grammy awards with Mickey Hart in 1991 as a part of Mickey Hart’s group Planet Drum, whose title album won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music Album. That was the first time there was a Grammy in that category.

However, they didn’t realize that they all had to be named the primary makers of the album to get Grammy gongs. Mickey Hart was the only one named as owner of Planet Drum. Instead of getting nine gongs, they got one gong and eight certificates. Adepoju got a certificate because he was only named as a collaborator and not a primary creator.

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That changed in 2009 when Adepoju walked onto the biggest stage in global music with his longtime friend and collaborator, Mickey Hart to get presented with the famous gramophone. He said: “It’s the Grammys – everything changed.

The fees changed, the perception changed, life changed and even the way I walked changed. I will never forget that night.”
A master of the talking drum, Adepoju comes from a musical family from Eruwa in western Nigeria. He was born into a lineage of drummers on November 10, 1952. His great-great-grandfather down to his father (Chief Ayanleke Adepoju) all carried the name, ‘Ayan’ which means descendants of drummers.

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A-Q leaves chocolate city to partner with Africori



The Nigerian Hip-Hop artiste has marked a joint endeavor to manage Africa’s greatest music appropriation stage, Africori Music Group.

Along with Africori, he will go through the following year and a half finding and subsidizing artistes’ vocations across Sub-Saharan Africa.

“I had a wholesome experience at Chocolate City, and I’m happy to have been part of the label’s journey to profitability”, A-Q says.

Credit: jaguda

“I’m even more excited about my new business venture with Africori; I’m very passionate about discovering and nurturing talent. We are confident that the music incubator is what African artistes need right now.

We all know access to funds is very limited for young acts across the continent’, A-Q adds.

Founder and CEO of Africori, Yoel Kenan says “I am very excited to be partnering with A-Q on discovering and nurturing a new wave of talented and soon to be very successful artists from the continent”.

Heading issues at Chocolate City Music for around four years, A-Q helped to establish 100 Crowns, Choc City’s first subsidiary zeroed in on the Hip-Hop classification. With 100 Crowns, A-Q marked BlaqBonez, Chocolate City’s greatest artiste right now and administered the arrivals of music ventures from Loose Kaynon and M.I Abaga.

A-Q additionally dealt with and co-executed seven versions of The Coronation – a live melodic occasion just as the viral Martell Ciphers recordings.

Different missions incorporate the Monster Verse web-based media rap challenge.

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Don Jazzy to celebrate birthday with 20 fans



Nigerian Label boss, Don Jazzy as of late took to his official Twitter page to share his arrangements for his forthcoming birthday celebration.

As indicated by Don Jazzy, he would spend his birthday, which will be coming up on Thursday, November 26, with 20 of his fans.

Noticing that picking 20 fans to eat with him will be a ton of difficult work, the artist gave them a condition to meet before they can fit the bill for the chance.

He wrote; “My birthday is on Thursday. And this time around I want to have dinner with 20 of you. you know to pick only 20 people is not beans. That said I am only going to be picking people that use my bank. #Vbank . I will be selecting later tonight”

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One of the truly unforgettable effect of the #EndSARS protests, and the ongoing movement for a safer and saner Nigeria, is the emphasis on decentralisation. The common rhetoric of the past few weeks it that every concerned Nigerian youth is a leader of the demonstrations, and that includes celebrity figures who would have somehow become arrowheads in these sort of moments, due to their influence.

During these trying times, many celebrities have opted to use their platforms in amplifying the agitations against police brutality, rightly joining in the fight for change, rather than leading. Although conspicuously radio silent for the first few days of protests, Burna Boy has been one of several prominent Nigerian artists playing their part in the fight for change which the Nigerian youth populace have been so passionately pushing for.

Towards the end of the first week of agitations, the first couple of #EndSARS billboards were spotted in Lagos and other parts of the country, which were apparently sponsored by the Nigerian singer. During that period, Burna Boy also put out a statement showing his solidarity with the protests and announcing that he had set up Project Protect, an initiative to help in providing financial, medical and legal resources during and after the demonstrations. He’s also remained vocal on Twitter, sharing reactions to real time happenings, even briefly sharing an extended snippet of a tribute song to peaceful protesters killed by Nigerian soldiers on October 20, 2020.

Continuing to use his voice of activism, yesterday, at the 15th edition of the BET hip-hop awards, Burna Boy dedicated his performance to all victims of police brutality. Aired during the ceremony last night, Burna performed the raging socio-political cut, “Monsters You Made”, a standout track off his last studio album, ‘Twice As Tall’. The Chris Martin-assisted song received a symbolic music video soon after the album release, and Burna heavily interpolates the rebel universe of the video into the set of his performance.

Backed by his band, the Outsiders, with Chris Martin singing his parts remotely, Burna delivers his impassioned set while a montage of real life clippings showing police brutality on peaceful protesters – from Selma in 1965 to Lagos in 2020 – is projected unto a large screen. The set also includes extras dressed in the same vein as the music video of “Monsters You Made”. As is customary during his live shows, Burna’s vocals are crisp and clear, painfully so this time around, due to the poignant nature of his lyrics and how much they relate to current happenings.

As the #EndSARS protests have been sustained, the Nigerian government are resorting to gas-lighting the Nigerian youth, from demanding an end to protests, even though we’ve not seen concrete steps towards implementation; to deploying thugs against peaceful protesters; to pinning the destruction of properties on demonstrators who have always ensured to clean up after themselves. Instead of actually paying attention to the demands of protesters, the list of counter-responses has been long, painting us out to be unreasonable – or, in other words, monsters.

On the first verse of “Monsters You Made”, Burna mirrors the attitude of government towards citizens who dare ask for change, after long years of enduring unideal conditions. You could say the song is prescient, considering what is going on, but it fits quite easily, mainly because Nigeria’s governmental challenges haven’t really evolved in our 60 year, and a lot of activism-driven songs remain relevant till date. By honouring victims of police brutality in Nigeria – Tiamiyu Kazeem, Kolade Johnson, amongst others – Burna’s BET hip-hop awards performance is a resounding reminder of the urgency with which change needs to happen.

Watch the performance here:

Curled from Nativemag

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