In the early 1990s Hip-Hop music wasn’t as popular as they are now in Nigeria, Most of our parents and elders during that time were entertained by pure Afro-juju and highlife music, which usually were live performances with a band and musical instruments.
Afro-juju and highlife music was borne out of raw talent and has it origin amongst West African countries like Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Gambia, and Nigeria. back in those days, musicians like Sunny Ade, Osita Osadebe, late Fela Kuti were the rave of the moment and they were a great inspiration to modern musicians.
Here is a list of veteran Afro-juju and highlife singers who rocked the Nigeria music scene in the early 1990s:
#King Sunny Ade
Sunday Adeniyi popularly called King Sunny Ade is a very popular Afro-juju musician who still rocks the music industry today. Not only is he a musician, he is also a multi-instrumentalist. He is one of the most influential Afro-juju musician today, He is about 75 years old and he still plays at events and called to perform for dignitaries and at international scenes.
Sunny Ade style of music is very peculiar to the use of talking drum and he is very much skilled in playing the guitar while he dances and entertains his fans. King Sunny was the first African to be nominated twice for a Grammy.
Currently, King Sunny Ade runs his non-profit organization called the King Sunny Adé Foundation and is also working with the Musical Copyright Society of Nigeria.
#Chief Osita Osadebe
Stephen Osita Osadebe is of Anambra Origin of Southeastern Nigeria. He is very popular amongst the Igbo but his music was generally accepted among other tribes in the country. Stephen was born into a family line of Igbo singers and dancers which gave him his musical background, he was also exposed to western music which were infused into his music style, calypso, Samba, bolero, rumba, jazz and waltz .
He was given the title of ‘High chief in Igboland’ because of his music. He is the father of Igbo highlife music because he made highlife music viral amongst his people.
His music career span over 40years before he passe away in 2007. He wrote up to 500 songs with half of them commercially released, one of his notable amongst his music album is the ‘Kedu America’
#Fatai Rolling Dollar
Prince Olayiwola Fatai Olagunju was born inOyo State of Western Nigeria. He is one of the early players of Nigeria Juju and highlife music and he is described by BBC as a “nationally celebrated performer”. He was well known for his skillful use of the guitar during his performance
His band gave birth to famous musician like Ebenezer Obey, the late Orlando Owoh who were singers in his band.
Fatai Rolling Dollar started his music career in 1953 and died at the age of 86 in 2103 one of his last hit song was “Won Kere Si Number Wa”.