Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music
(b '42, Idogo, Nigeria) Singer, composer, guitarist, bandleader. The most popular and influential juju bandleader in Nigeria. Infl. by I. K. Dairo, the father of moden juju, he began '54 with the Royal Mambo Orchestra, moved to the Guinea Mambo Orchestra '58, also played with the Fatai Rolling Dollar and Federal Rhythm Brothers, formed own International Brothers '64: soon released first single 'Ewa Wowun Ojumi Ri', with a unique blend of talking drums, guitars, vocals and percussion. By the time of first visit to London '69, they were releasing four LPs a year, incl. hits In London, Board Members, Christmas Special, The Horse, The Man And His Son. He renamed the band InterReformers '70 and made dozens more LPs incl. Around The World '74, Edumare Dari '75, Murtala Muhammed '76, Adam And Eve '77; by this time he had christened his music the Miliki System, opened night club the Miliki in Lagos as a permanent base. A devout Christian, he is concerned in many songs with morality and honesty, others maintaining the traditional praise-singing of Yoruba music. As each new release chalked up advance sales of 100,000 or more, he began to look at the international market, licensing records to the Oti label in London '80: Current Affairs, Eli Yato, What God Has Joined Together, also hits compilations. Emulating his great rival Sunny Ade, he released Je Ka Jo and Miliki Plus '83 on Virgin, the latter a compilation incl. 'What God Has Joined Together' (double cassette incl. both albums), then Solution '84 on London-based Stern's label, all the while maintaining phenomenal popularity at home and touring with the 18-strong InterReformers. CDs Get Your Jujus Out on Rykodisc. Juju Jubilee on Shanachie, Juju Jubilation on EMI.