Sep 22, 2010

William Onyeabor - Atomic Bomb


William Onyeabor is a funk musician from Nigeria. His songs are often heavily rhythmic and synthesized, occasionally epic in scope, with lyrics decrying war sung by both Onyeabor himself and female backing vocalists. In recent years a number of his songs have appeared on various compilations, most often his biggest hit "Better Change Your Mind" which appeared on World Psychedelic Classics 3: Love's a Real Thing - The Funky Fuzzy Sounds of West Africa and Nigeria 70: The Definitive Story of 1970's Funky Lagos.



Over the weekend I was introduced to William Onyeabor's addictive blend of Nigerian electronic funk music and now I really HAVE to hear every single song he's ever written. Amazing stuff!

His music comprises of heavy afro beats and crazy soulful synth sounds from the heady days of a 70's Nigerian funk scene that until Saturday, I never knew existed. Some of the electronic sounds leave you doubting his songs were recorded in the late 70's/early 80's, but they really were and pretty much no one anywhere else in the world was making music like this back then.

From a quick glance around the internet I can see his music has a similar positive effect on a lot of people and finding copies of his recordings is akin to rare stamp collecting- albums sell for hundreds of dollars on ebay. Maybe it's time for a re-release?

Information about William Onyeabor is equally as rare to track down, Wikipedia had a little:

"William Onyeabor studied cinematography in Russia for many years, returning to Nigeria in the mid-70s to start his own Wilfilms music label and to set up a music and film production studio. He recorded a number of hit songs in Nigeria during the 70s, the biggest of which was “Atomic Bomb” in 1978. William has now been crowned a High Chief in Enugu, where he lives today as a successful businessman working on government contracts and running his own flour mill."



A1 Beautiful Baby
A2 Better Change Your Mind
B1 Atomic Bomb
B2 Shame
B3 I Need You All Life

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