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Listen to Some Rare Highlife, Afro-Funk & Juju Songs In 'Nigeria 70'

A new compilation of vintage gems from Strut Records.

Strut Records is readying the release of their new compilation, Nigeria 70: No Wahala: Highlife, Afro-Funk & Juju 1973-1987.

The fourth installment in their Nigeria 70 series, which started back in 2001, focuses on a time in Nigerian music when styles like juju and highlife became more influenced by Western jazz, soul and funk. And we're premiering it here today.

Duncan Brooker, the compilation's longtime curator, particularly wanted to feature some Ukwuani acts from the Niger Delta for this 12-song compilation—a solid collection of vintage gems that will have you hooked for days.


Prince Nico Mbarga. Photo courtesy of Strut Records.

"With the fourth and latest Nigeria 70 installment, the aim was to uncover more rare archive gems and regional styles not yet featured in the series," Duncan Brooker writes to OkayAfrica. "We have placed the spotlight on some great late '70s highlife with the sweet vocal style of unheralded session man Idowu Odeyemi and Prince Nico Mbarga's timely message about world problems, 'Sickness.' There are two killer Ukwuani dance floor tracks from the Western Niger Delta region from International Brothers and Rogana Ottah and we go back to the core of the series with some classic funk and afrobeat from Don Bruce & The Angels, Saxon Lee & Shadows International (featuring vocals from Pax Nicholas) and Felixson Ngasia."

"Familiar names include "Guitar Boy" Sir Victor Uwaifo with a funky ekassa and Etubom Rex Williams with a heavy psychedelic funk jam. There have been many Nigerian compilations released since the original Nigeria 70 album back in 2001 but hopefully this volume explores more uncharted territory with every track previously unreleased outside of Nigeria," Brooker adds.

Listen to our premiere of NIgeria 70: No Wahala below. The compilation is out tomorrow, March 29, on Strut Records.

Interview

Kofi Jamar Switches Lanes In 'Appetite for Destruction'

The Ghanaian rapper and "Ekorso" hitmaker presents a different sound in his latest EP.

The drill scene in Ghana has been making waves across the continent for some time now. If you're hip to what a crop of young and hungry artists from the city of Kumasi in Ghana and beyond have been doing over the past year, then you already know about rapper Kofi Jamar.

Towards the end of November last year he dropped one of the biggest drill songs to emerge from Ghana's buzzing drill scene, the popular street anthem "Ekorso." In the December and January that followed, "Ekorso" was the song on everyone's lips, the hip-hop song that took over the season, with even the likes of Wizkid spotted vibing to the tune.

Currently sitting at over 10 million streams across digital streaming platforms, the song topped charts, even breaking records in the process. "Ekorso" maintained the number one spot on Apple Music's Hip-Hop/Rap: Ghana chart for two months uninterrupted, a first in the history of the chart. It also had a good stint at number one of the Ghana Top 100 chart as well, among several other accolades.

Even though he's the creator of what could be the biggest song of Ghana's drill movement till date, Kofi Jamar doesn't plan on replicating his past music or his past moves. He has just issued his second EP, a 6-track project titled Appetite for Destruction, and it would surprise you to know that there isn't a single drill song on it. Although drill played a huge role in his meteoric rise, he wants to be known as way more than just a drill rapper. He wants to be known as a complete and versatile artist, unafraid to engage in any genre — and he even looks forward to creating his own genre of music during the course of his career.

We spoke to Kofi Jamar about his latest EP, and he tells us about working with Teni, why he's gravitating away from drill to a new sound, and more. Check out our conversation below.

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