A few years ago, I went to my favorite local record store in search of anything by Nigerian artist Fela Kuti. Upon first hearing his greatest hits album, “The Best of Black President 2“, back in 2013, I immediately fell in love with his band’s sound (his drummer, Tony Allen, is one of your favorite musician’s favorite musicians) and the political themes that he sang about.
They didn’t have any Fela in the store, but as the cashier helped me look up album prices, he mentioned another Nigerian artist by the name of William Onyeabor. He swore that if I liked Fela’s sound, I was sure to like Onyeabor’s as well and he was right.
Onyeabor passed away on Monday at the age of 70. Before I bore you to death, this All Things Considered story covers Onyeabor’s career, impact, and allure pretty well.
Below are two of my favorite Onyeabor songs and a documentary. Like Fela, his songs rarely clock in at less than six minutes, but they’re still worth a listen. And if you list to the All Things Considered piece, you’ll want to check out the Noisey documentary on their search for Onyeabor