Lagbaja at 60

As the iconic Nigerian musician, Lágbájá clocks 60 today, we have decided to write about some of his musical exploits.  Bisade Ologunde, popularly known as Lágbájá is a popular Nigerian musician and percussionist.

His limelight in the Nigerian music society emerged in 1993, when he first released his album. From his name Lágbájá, which literally means ‘nobody in particular’ in Yoruba language, rendered his art unique.

As growing kids between 2000-2007, we would hear some say it’s an abomination for him to unmask his face. Some would say even his wife never saw his face. Nonetheless, his beautiful saxophone rendition and the towering gèlè(head gears) of the women in Skentele Skontolo, thrilled us viewers.

 Lágbájá, a man making impacts on the home soil from the diaspora, has once said his mask is a metaphor for man’s facelessness. From ‘Never Far Away’ in which he featured Ego Ihenacho to Skentele Skontolo to 200million Mumu, his uniqueness was widely acclaimed by music critics.

He’s been said to be an Afrobeat musician, but that he never agreed too. His music, embroiled in jazz and rhythmic use of Yoruba drums like Bata and Sakara, including vocals laced with humour and quality satire, it is one that can’t be matched.

It is no gainsaying that he celebrates the late iconic Afrobeats music legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti and that he takes Fela’s legacy as his touchstone into non-conforming music.

200 million Mumu is a song aimed at satirizing the Nigerian Government and the failed bid of President Olusegun Obasanjo for third term presidency.

“You no different from them at all

The same the same

Babangida, abacha, obasanjo, ati ire gan gan…

Eyin mererin oka o ko ohun”

In the conscious song, he explains why he uses his mask to represent the faceless man, the common man, the voicelessman.

“Them say make I yab them,” he says what is common to the late Fela Anikulapo Kuti.

Lovers of the 90s will have ‘Never Far Away’ ingrained in their memories, as it was a love song which took over the wave then.The astute drumming of the Bata drums in Konko Below, made his listeners dance to the brim of pleasure. Lágbájá became a sensation in Nigeria and abroad, as his art is celebrated widely.

With a discography of more than 10 studio albums, Lágbájá has remained a legend to Nigerians and his kind of conscious music with messages delivered comically is nowhere else to be found.