Nigeria 70: No Wahala: Highlife, Afro​-​Funk & Juju 1973​-​1987

Along with a 20 year anniversary celebration, Strut Records gives us the very first in a new volume of the Nigeria 70 in close to a decade. Put together by DJ/ collector Duncan Brooker, it’s full of rare highlife, Afro-funk and juju from the ‘70s and early ‘80s, with tracks that have not seen an international release out of Nigeria. Brooker goes deep in this comp, when the heyday of highlife and juju were steeped heavy with Western jazz, funk and soul. With an emphasis on Ukwuani musicians like Steady Arobby’s International Brothers Band and Rogana Ottah, plus Don Bruce (who was influenced by many R & B artists from the United States), he also touches upon artists like Sir Victor Uwaifo, highlife goodness from Osayamore Joseph, the Nigerian / Camerounian hit maker Prince Nico Mbarga, Felixson Ngasia (a regage singer who moves effortlessly to funk and disco), more highlife from Etubom Rex Williams, and Pax Nicholas (Africa 70) among others. If you were even a little bit curious about highlife and juju, and the only thing you know about African music is Fela, than Strut’s compilations are indeed an education and a deeper look into the music, the musicians, and a truly remarkable time in African music history. There are some total gems on this compilation, and with the included comprehensive liner notes and interviews with the original artists, it’s for sure something that deserves to be on your shelves. Africa’s past music, diverse and rich with history is alive and well through these records, and Strut preserves this sound for future generations to come. Every day you should try to listen to something that you haven’t listened to before. Today is the day you discover deep African music. Listen to the compilation below and order it after the stream.

Get the record here.

Dig Deeper!

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