The ironic beauty of modernity in music and other forms of arts is that it usually takes its source from the past. This applies to many contemporary Nigerian artistes who like to explore new genres and styles.
Interestingly, they still have to lean on some old forms to establish identity. That is why many of the hip hop acts reigning now – Olumide, Phyno and even Flavour – are borrowing heavily from old songs and indigenous languages.
On a similar note, sax freak, Olu Jazz, has released an album in which he remixes popular songs of highlife/juju greats that include Victor Uwaifo, King Sunny Ade, Ebenezer Obey, e.t.c. Coming in a jazz version, the lead songs in Maestro are taken with the saxophone while cool choruses trail them.
Different artistes have at one time or the other remixed some of the highlife songs. But what they largely did was to take a particular number and probably combine it with their own tracks to make an album. But in the case of Olu Jazz, he is presenting a collection of the songs he describes as great.
He says, “I compiled the evergreen songs and remixed with the saxophone. Many people have accepted the songs, as it happened when l performed them in London. They all urged me to shoot the video, especially ‘Joromi” by Dr. Victor Uwaifo.”
He adds that the legendary musician has given him the permission to do so.
“This album is to salute the musicians that came before us. We are trying to celebrate them. They are a source of inspiration. When I was growing up, I listened to all their songs, so this album is a mark of appreciation to them,” he says.
The artiste who started singing as a choir boy in the Celestial Church started playing the sax in 2003. He notes that although he can function in different kinds of music, he is more at home with jazz.
He adds, “l used to play agogo (gong), drums, keyboard and trumpet, but I later discovered that saxophone is really my calling. “Ever since l picked a Saxophone, I have been progressing” and it has made me what I am today.
The artiste who has a trail from Ondo and Kogi State, who is a graduate of the Lagos State University, Ojo, says he has seven saxophones.
Other songs he remixed in the album include Oritsefemi’s ‘Double Wahala, Sunny Ade’s Merciful God, Patoranking Girlie O, John Legend’s All Of me Midnight Crew’s ‘Igwe’ and Infinity’s ‘Olori Oko’ e.t.c
His Yet to be released evergreen album, will be released on Itunes, Spotify, Rhapsody, Amazon e.t.c for purchase all around the world.
He added “Someday I will do Nigeria proud by winning a grammy”.