Entertainment

Music stars of yesteryears: What are they doing now?

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 In the early 80s, late 80s, up till the 90s till early 2000s, there were musicians that were held in high esteem who made the airwaves to boom with songs that were sweet to the ears. Certain songs like “Omoge” by Mike Okri, “Kill me with love” by Jide Obi and so on we’re the rave of the moment. A party wasn’t it if those popular tunes were not played to the delights of those in attendance.

Between 2007 and 2008, if ‘Oruka’ by Sunny Neji wasn’t played at your wedding, the DJ was questioned. Today, those artistes are no longer heard! Some of them have completely faded into the background while others gotten involved in other line of business.

We decided to take a look at them to find out where they are, what they are doing and how they are faring.

AZADUS

He was quite popular in the late 90s and early 2000s with hit tracks like ‘You Is The One’ and ‘Madam’ . But today, he seems to be out of circulation and nowhere near the limelight. He released a song in 2015 titled ‘She wants more’ that featured Sound Sultan, but who really listened to that? In 2016, he was seen with Faze working on a music video with Blackface but that’s all we’ve heard or seen from him.

TONY ONE WEEK

Who can forget the very popular song he released during the Atlanta 1996 Olympics! It RULED the airwaves! He has since gone into politics, released a few singles in 2015 but nothing quite up to that rave that one song, “Gyrate” got. We wish him well in all his endeavours.

ONYEKA OWNENU

She was the very definition of class and elegance. Most female musicians today found their footing based on her ground work. Her first album, ‘For the Love of You’, was released in 1981. ‘One Love’, is still a great song that serves as a call to action anytime. She now mainly sings gospel and acts a little bit as well as does some activism but overall is an icon still.

TONY OKOROJI

His first album was released in 1976, however, his music really hit mainstream music in the early 80s with hits like “Mama & Papa”, “Juliana”, “Oriaku”, “Locomotion”, etc. He was also a music producer for the international company EMI. At 29 years, he became the President of PMAN (Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria). He remains the youngest president the association has ever had. He is now a writer as well as a public speaker and runs COSON.

PAUL PLAY

He came to the limelight in the mid-2000s with songs like “Mo so rire”, “You and me”, “Angel of my life”, “Forever” and “Mo wo dupe”. After a seven-year break, he came into the public eye again citing ill health as reason for his departure from the music scene. He dropped a few songs three years ago in a bid to announce his return.

RAS KIMONO

Our own reggae artiste with the iconic ‘Rum-Bar Stylee’ from the Album ‘Under Pressure’. This hit the airwaves in the late 80s with thunderous applause.The song ‘Under Pressure’ from the same album had a very energetic music video with a lot of fans trying to emulate his dance steps. He came out of the group The Jastix that Majek Fashek was a member as well. His secong album ‘What’s Gwan’ did even better than the first when released in 1990. He now does shows for select audiences and recently did a show in Florida, United States of America. He is still keeping the Reggae flag flying high!

EEDRIS ABULKAREEM

His songs like ‘Mr. Lecturer’, ‘Jaga jaga’ were hits in 2003 an d 2004 respectively. His ” Jaga Jaga song was so popular that it caught the attention of the then President, our own dear, OBJ. He was part of the group ‘The Remedies’ until they split in 2002. He formed his own record label in 2005 but that doesn’t seem to have done so well.

BEAUTIFUL NUBIA

Also now as Segun Akinlolu was the founder of Nigeria’s foremost contemporary folk and roots music group. With songs like “Seven Lives” he cemented his place in his chosen genre. He’s continued making music through the years with ‘Jangblajugbu’ in 2002, ‘How do you do? In the same year as well.He released music in 2004, 2006 and 2007. He came back in 2011 with ‘Sun No Dey Sleep’ and has been pretty consistent since. These days you can catch him on his University tour which is done almost every year or get the album he released late last year. He is still being booked for shows and performed in Ibadan earlier this year.

MIKE OKRI

He made his mark with the chart topper ‘Concert Fever’ and that brought in a new sound in the Nigerian Music scene. His second album ‘Rhumba Dance’ won some awards in the early 90s. He had even more success with the album ‘Cracks’ and thus wrote his name on the sands of time as one of Africa’s stars. Currently, he lives in California, USA and is getting set to return to the music world, according to information.

SUNNY NEJI

He released his first album in 1991 but the public really got to hear of him around the 2000s. His fourth album, ‘Unchained’ recorded in Ghana under the aegis of O’Jez record label had hits like ‘Oruka’, ‘Face Me’, and ‘Tolotolo’. He released ‘Sexy Thing’ in 2014. It’s unclear what he’s doing now but we won’t forget ‘Oruka’ in a hurry.

TONY TETUILA

With his wildly coloured hair, he was hard to miss! He was one third of The Remedies group and also found some success on his own after the group parted ways. Hits like ‘My Car’, ‘E go better’ and ‘My Heart Go Jigi Jigi’ had made him a household name. In 2014 he ran for political office in the House of Assembly in his home state, Kwara. He did this under the All Progressive Congress party.

FAZE

One third of the Plantashun Boiz, Faze found success on his own after the group disbanded in 2004. His first solo album, ‘Faze Alone’, sold over three million copies with hits like ‘Angel Gabriella’, and ‘Miss U’. His second album, ‘Independent’, sold over seven million copies proving to the music industry at large he was more than capable of creating chart toppers on his own. ‘Kolomental’ from the album reigned supreme in dancehalls. ‘Originality’, his third album went platinum in the first month. Originality became something of an anthem to everyone! He went in to action in 2011 as well as creating the movie soundtrack for the movie ‘Alero’s Symphony’ with which he won an Africa Movie Academy Award in 2012 for Achievement in Soundtrack. He still does music and has a new song out called ‘Perfect Woman’ that was released around Feburary this year.

STYL PLUS

The group made up of four original founding members was founded in 1997 in Abuja. After they lost one member, they added Zeal and hence changed their name and added the plus. They blazed on the scene in 2001 and mainly sang love songs and pop. Every girl could relate to their music! They were so good they were dubbed Africa’s ‘Boys II Men’. With songs like ‘Olufunmi’, ‘Call My Name’, ‘Run Away’, ‘Imagine That’, ‘Iya Basira’, and others they immortalized their name in Nigerian music. They were signed to Eskimo Records in December 2016 and released a single ‘Aso Ibora’ in 2017 that was a good sound but they quite haven’t found that past success.

MAD MELON AND MOUNTAIN BLACK

“Shebi you be danfo driver,Swoo…” That was usually the first line that got people started at any party in 2003. Their 2005 song ‘Kpolongo’, from their 2005 album also did quite well. They were seen or heard last when they granted an interview to Vanguard newspaper in 2014.

Other names include: ORITZ WILLIKI, JIDE OBI, BABA FRYO, CHRIS MBA. I’m sure there are quite a few others we have missed. Let us know who in the comment section you have missed, while we reminisce on these old but oh so good music.

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