Lekan Babalola is hosting a homecoming in Lagos.
Two-time Grammy award winning Nigerian percussionist, Lekan Babalola, is back in Nigeria to host music connoisseurs to an exclusive album listening party scheduled for Sunday, October 16, 2021.
It will hold at Ogidi Studios located in Lekki Phase I, Lagos.
This would be a homecoming for the percussionist since the release his new album, Mr Lakaaye on local and international digital stores earlier in the year.
Music lovers at the breezy evening of cool music would get a unique chance to see the master percussionist jam live with Ogidi Studios’ resident band, Gidi Gang.
It promises to be an eclectic blend of musical influences.
“We are privileged to have one of the greats amongst us and this is only the beginning as we tell his story,” Winifred Okpapi, Head, Strategy, Arts and Talent Affairs, said.
“Being a master percussionist and brilliant curator, we can’t wait to have you with us at the prestigious Ogidi studios to know more and see him at work.”
Lekan Babalola is well known for his innovative musical style, using his native Yoruba tongue infused with traditional music, Afrobeat and funky dance overtones.
His 11-track album is a mix of jazz, funk and world music with the signature touch of Afrobeat.
’Time Come’, the first track off the album is a tribute track to the percussionist’s father, Olayiwola Babalola for his contribution to gospel music composition.
Babalola’s father was a leader of the church choir and an accordionist. As a composer, his father would have him sit down to play the drums or the cowbell while he was composing and arranging songs.
This childhood experience became very influential in his music career.
Another profound influence on Babalola’s sound is the King of Afrobeats himself, Fela Kuti. Babalola is famed to be the first person Fela Kuti rented out his famous New Afrika Shrine in 1987.
Furthermore, he introduced the Fela Kuti fan club to the world, running it from his residence in Kalakuta, Gbemisola Street, Ikeja.
One of the songs in the album, ‘Your Highness’, which has a video shot in Lagos, precisely Lagos Island, is an Afrobeat track that eulogises Fela.
Babalola had first-hand experience in the evolution of Afrobeat and Fela’s promotion of African ideology.
This energy seeps into other tracks such as “Whirlwind”, a tribute to Oya, one of the Yoruba goddesses.
The album ‘Mr Lakaye’ has an overwhelming pop influence, re-evoking ‘80s pop and soul train fever.
Babalola’s voice booms in Yoruba over a bouncing tune enriched with infectious electronic elements and complemented with his signature percussion sound.
The Yoruba world-view forms a powerful crust in Babalola’s work. He satisfies the curiosity of his western audience with the bulk of mythology and history that he breaks down beat after beat. He produced the album himself while living in the UK.
Babalola is one of Nigeria’s most accomplished musicians and has twice won the Grammy Awards.
He won it for the first time in 2006 for his work on Ali Farka Toure’s In the Heart of the Moon, receiving credit on three songs.
He won a second Grammy in 2009 for his work on Cassandra Wilson’s album, Loverly.