Friday, July 17, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-King Sunny Ade and his African Beats

Artist:King Sunny Ade and his African Beats
Song:Ja Funmi
Album:Juju Music

King Sunny Ade was already a pioneer of Nigerian music when Island Records chose to promote him as kind of a world music successor to the late Bob Marley. The popularity of albums like Juju Music made Ade a global music icon. He was born Sunday Adeniyi Sept. 22, 1946 in Ondo, Nigeria to a Nigerian royal family. He started out in the 60s with the Federal Rhythm Dandies. Then he formed The Green Spots in 1967. He had success in Africa and Europe and eventually the band name was changed to African Beats. Juju is a traditional African belief. Ade says his music is party music, nothing too deep. After Bob Marley's death, Island Records owner Chris Blackwell was looking for a new artist to make a global impact. He was interested in Fela Kuti but Kuti had recently signed with Arista Records. Robert Palmer told Blackwell about Ade. Palmer heard him when he lived in Malta in the 60s. Blackwell was interested but he thought the length of Ade's songs would need to be edited to make him marketable. French producer Martin Meissonnier agreed and he produced the 1982 album JuJu Music. Meissonnier also produced Kuti's albums and US jazz artists living in Europe like Don Cherry. The album was a huge success and it made Ade a global music superstar. Ade sings lead on Ja Funmi and plays lead guitar. One thing you should watch for in the video clip is the steel guitar solo by Demola Adepoju. Ade released three albums on Island's Mango label and he was called "the African Bob Marley". So Island's strategy worked. Ade is still around. He last recorded in 2010. I don't think he's active right now. I'm sure his seven wives keep him busy. Here's King Sunny Ade and his African Beats performing Ja Funmi on the British TV show The Tube 1983.

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