Dec 8, 2010
Nigerian Afrobeat: Dede & The Underground African Sounds
...... .... Dede Mabiaku is a versatile musician, who has come a long way in the Afrobeat, Highlife & Jazz music genres. He has over the years proven himself a force to reckon with in the Nigerian music scene, within and outside the shores of Nigeria. His display of stagecraft, showmanship and knack for audience participation are in present day Nigeria, unequalled A protégé of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti the legend, Dede indeed learnt at the feet of the master himself. For more than 10 years, he was an integral part of Felas daily life and his band Egypt 80. Dede opened all Felas local & international shows, performing on vocals & playing the saxophone. Today he is unchallenged as the best Afrobeat artiste! Closely at the heels of his tutor, Fela! This energetic and dexterous artist is indeed an asset to Nigeria and Africa as a wholeready for the world to embrace his craft! Any concert featuring Dede & his band The Underground African Sounds (a 25 piece African Orchestra) are bound to attract huge audiences with the promise of box office sell outs, as is usual and well known with Dedes gigs! Dede is what one would describe as a total re-invention of the dialogue that occurs between Music and the listener; he brings with him a total new concept of the African music in this new dispensationDede and his band bring on stage an embodiment of TOTAL Theatre! Be ready to embrace this phenomenon as he comes to you bringing, Something special, Something different, Something never seen before! Ladies and Gentlemen, Madams est Messieurs, we give you Dede Mabiaku!
An article ...
At the Cultural Center in Calabar people travelled from different parts of Nigeria to participate in the auditions, which marked the last phase of the Idols West Africa regional auditions, after the successful feats of Lagos, Abuja and Accra.
With the first man in the queue traveling about eight hours from Lagos seated as at 5am, (he missed the Lagos auditions), Nigeria's ambitious youngsters from Bornu, Anambra, Abuja, River and other States held the judges spellbound with spectacular and striking acts. The ambience was charged with thrilling jives and vibes and resplendent appearances.
Surely, the judges, Dan Foster, prolific American broadcaster, Abrewa Nana, the Ghanaian Diva, and Dede Mabiaku 'The Critical One' (and Fela Anikulapo's musically begotten son) have a big job on their hands to separate the sand from the sound amidst the sea of talents Calabar has attracted. 10 contestants qualified for the next round of the show at Planet 1 in Lagos.
78 contestants have therefore emerged from auditions thus far for Phase 2 of Idols West Africa: fourty-seven from Lagos, twelve from Abuja, nine from Accra and ten from Calabar.
The judges say they have seen youngsters with notable music aptitude and of plenty comedians disguised as artistes, out of which a West African Idol that will move and shake the world will surely emerge
Judge and popular radio DJ Dan Foster says the game has just begun, yet he acknowledges he has seen musical whizz kids who are sellable, marketable and can compete on the world stage. He believes it's too early to guess the region where the winner will come from.
Dede Mabiaku, 'The Critical One', says the contestants who emerged from the Abuja auditions with give the Lagos folks a good run for their money. “Lagos had the best voices so far,” he conceeds.
Abrewa Nana, the ever unruffled judge, voices that she has seen outstanding acts from all the auditions but says the Idols' show is full of surprises. She notes, “You are likely to see some wonderful acts when we get to Planet 1 from those who didn't do that well earlier, but who showed raw promise.”
Idols judge, Dede Mabiaku' is legend in Nigeria and is ensuring that Afrobeat stays alive with his own (mostly unreleased) material and his rhythmically tight tributes to his mentor Fela, available in Nigeria on VCD and live in various venues (where Dede's unmatched stage craft and cool moves really come to the fore).
If anyone is in any doubt about this particular Idols' judges' credentials (and the bragging rights to be the 'bad boy' of the judging trio) should check the history books: a protégé of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, Dede learned at the feet of the master himself. For more than 10 years he was an integral part of Fela's daily life and his band Egypt 80, opening all Fela's local and international shows with stunning vocals and saxophone playing. His awesome aural antics continue to this day.
Almost unchallenged in the field of modern Afrobeat, he infuses the brew with his own particular energy alongside his band The Underground African Sounds (a 25 piece African Orchestra). Dede has informed the Idols West Africa site that he's also still working with members of the Egypt 80 crew, and that he has three albums of studio material just waiting for the right time to see the light of day.
Dede places a lot of emphasis on the performance aspect of the musical art in his numerous live shows, both in Nigeria and abroad. His mission, he says, is, 'A total re-invention of the dialogue that occurs between music and the listener.' However, many are simply turned on by the good grooves and - of course - the fine girls, who do a double-act as sexy dancers and backing vocalists!
Living the high life, Dede has African music in his blood and provides unparalleled – and often cuttingly abrasive – critiques of the Idols wannabes. Check out just how abrasive he can be when Idols West Africa premieres.
... a couple of songs at his myspace page!!!