Monday, October 31, 2011

Artist of the day - Ola Onabule

There are two words that sum up Ola Onabule’s career and music – passion and perseverance.

For nearly two decades, Ola has blazed a trail, leaving behind an education in law to become a singer/songwriter. Then he decided to work outside of the mainstream system of big record labels, setting up his own studios and his own record label.

 “Though my music is of a different idiom, I write with the heart of a folk songwriter and the desire for my lyrics to be heard and read.” – Ola Onabule

Ola was born in London, the eldest of six children born to Nigerian parents. When he was seven his parents returned to their homeland where he spent the next 10 years of his life. He was a natural performer, both at drama and with music. His friends called him Gramaphone, such was his love of music and natural talent.

He later returned to the UK to study law, leaving in his final year to take up a degree in art. He bought himself a guitar and did a few gigs around London, inspired by the music of James Brown and Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Electra Records (US) spotted his talents and signed him to an album deal, which ended a year later.culminating in Ola setting up his own label, Rugged Ram Records.

Ola has since released six albums of original, self-produced material, with the latest album, SEVEN SHADES DARKER to be released internationally in the Spring of 2012 which will  take him on tour dates to theatres and Jazz festivals across the world.

Related story: Video - Ola Onabule's hope for Africa

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