Lekan Babalola, a Grammy award-winning jazz percussionist, has described Olamide Adedeji, an indigenous rapper, as the “Olamide is Fela [of] Afropop”.


The founder of Eko Brass Band said the street appeal of the YBNL Records head honcho comes from his simplicity and playfulness.

Afropop, Babalola said, is crashing down gates of socio-economic class and struggles.

Of this generation of new acts, Olamide, Babalola says, is “breaking that gate” of class down.


“I just think the guy is bad. I think Olamide is Fela Afropop,” he told TheCable Lifestyle in a yet to be published interview.

“I think Olamide, he doesn’t say much.

“Olamide is that Bob Maley – when [the] music hits you, you feel no pain. Olamide is the guy for me.”


While expressing his love for the Afropop genre, he said: “I love the groove. My house, my children. That’s what the whole world is listening to.

“What I find limiting at the moment is that everything is drum machine sound. It is not human playing. And I want to be able to bring my musicians, fellow musicians, into the Afro-pop world.

“I think it would be a great collaboration because we are musicians and they too are artistes who have used technology to the best advantage. So I think a combination of both, we will create something magnificent.”

Babalola has twice won the Grammy Awards – with Cassandra Wilson and Malian guitarist, Ali Farka Touré.


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