Growing up in Nigeria was fun, and I had the opportunity to listen to lots of talented musicians/music artistes and groups from Africa’s most populous black nation ranging from the likes of Onyeka Onwenu, to Asa, to TY bello, to psquare, to wizkid, style plus and so many more.
But among all these, one voice was among the “special few” that did stand out. He was known as, “The masked one”. A lot of people still don’t know the face behind the mask of this music legend, though recently, he unmasked his face in honour of his daughter’s wedding.
His name is “Lagbaja”. cheesy
Lagbaja, originally known as; Bisade Ologunde, who is currently based in Manhattan, new york, USA is a Nigerian afrobeat musician, singer and song writer.
He was born in year 1960 in Lagos state. He is from Odogun’s compound, ijagbo community in Ogun local government area of Kwara state.
The Nigerian music icon, adopted the name, “lagbaja” ( meaning “anonymous” or “The faceless one” in Yoruba).
He is also an instrumentalist, who plays the saxophone. He made his debut in year 1993 into the music industry and since then, he has been able to fascinate us with his unique style of using traditional African drums/instruments.
His music is purely instrumental but sometimes, they are sung in Yoruba or English or a blend of the two. Most of his songs entertain, while some send a serious message which is most times, filled with humour.
He has won awards such as, Nigerian music awards in 2001, including artist of the year, producer of the year, and album of the year. He and his band performed on the African stage at the BBC music live festival over the Golden jubilee celebration at London’s Hyde park in summer 2002.
The songs and punchlines of lagbaja are still in use in our society today. From “konko below”, to “gra gra”, to “skentele”, to “nothing for you”, and a few more. His songs and style are ever green and will always be remembered by Nigerians and other Africans, who got wind of his talents also.
Lagbaja was like a breath of fresh air that blew and made us bask in the beauties of true music.
Many legends and class acts come and go. But in lagbaja, we have one who cannot be buried in the annals of history but will always live long in our memories.
There are spirits brave,
There are legends true,
There are legacies eternal and also talents extraordinary.
In the masked one, we had almost all these… smiley
He is truly one of Afrobeats’ finest of the finest and King of African Jazz….
Here’s to saying; “Lagbaja, some of us still miss you and your music which always offered laughter, entertainment, hope and love”.
Lagbaja is a true icon of music not just in Nigeria, but in Africa and till date in the 17th year of the 21st century, is still missed despite the boom in music dynamism and styles across the continent called, “Mother Africa”. Lagbaja was a genuine super Original.
Original writer: Makydebbie