Just when I thought I had a firm grasp on Nigerian music, NPR tipped me off to Brand New Wayo: Funk, Fast Times and Nigerian Boogie Badness 1979-1983, a new compilation album that highlights the golden years of Nigerian boogie. There’s certainly an element of Nigeria’s signature afrobeat sound embedded in these tracks, but these songs tend to be less political and more dance oriented. Produced and compiled by Uchenna Ikonne, this compilation is full of songs that are just as fun and upbeat as you’d expect from a genre that combines elements of jazz, funk, and disco, and then then polishes them into a sleek commercial sheen. The title track, “Brand New Wayo” by Mixed Grill is indeed representative of the entire movement – a rich mix of funk and afrobeat, steeped in the culture of excess and graft of late 1970’s Nigeria (listen below). Other artists include Amas and pop star turned rock-star pastor and politician Kris Okotie. Do yourself a favor and delve into this forgotten, but immensely progressive genre of Nigerian music.

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