King Sunny Ade And His African Beats
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King Sunny Ade And His African Beats Biography
For 30 years King Sunny Ade has been thrilling audiences and listeners with dynamic live performances, creative videos, and innovative recordings.
King Sunny Adé was born. Sunday Adeniyi, September 22, 1946, in Oshogbo, Nigeria. When Adé dropped out of school in 1963 in order to play with Moses Olaiya & his Rhythm dandies, a Lagos juju band, his parents - from the royal family of Ondo town - were horrified. In Nigeria, as in much of Africa, music was regarded by 'respectable' people as a very low-caste occupation.In 1966 he formed his first band the Green Spots, in 1974 he renamed the band the African Beats. By 1975, he felt sufficiently powerful and financially secure to set up his own label, Sunny Alade Records which was his main recording vehicle through 1990. In the 1990's he set up Sigma Disc records now a major independent in Nigeria, and Masterdisk Nigeria Ltd., which releases all his domestic releases.By the early '80s, African music was finding a growing audience in the UK, where a number of the more adventurous labels were looking around for African artists to put under contract. In 1982, Island Records signed Adé for Europe and North America (promoting him as 'the African Bob Marley'). The three albums were - Juju Music, Synchro System and Aura. When the artist and the label ultimately disagreed on the artist¹s future artistic direction, they parted ways amicably. For almost ten years, King Sunny Adé continued to release records and dominate the domestic music industry in Nigeria, while only vinyl imports trickled out to the rest of the world.In 1996 Adé signed a new deal with Atlantic Records subsidiary, Mesa/Bluemoon under which he released three records. E Dide / Get Up. Odu, and Seven Degrees North. It was only when Odu, a collection of early rearranged classics and new material was released that it re-confirmed that King Sunny Adé could still create brilliant albums; the album was nominated for a Grammy.Adé has remained a powerful force in Nigeria.
Not only is he a pioneer in juju music; using hawaiian guitar and reggae-style effects; A sort of capitalist-cum-philanthropist, King Sunny has channeled the monies earned as a music superstar into holdings in a multitude of companies, including an oil firm, a mining company, a nightclub, a film and video production house, record labels, pressing plants, even a PR firm. Ultimately, it appears King Sunny's greatest investment is in the lives of others. He estimates that over 700 people work for him in one way or another, with 200 of them directly employed in music.In January 2002, he completed a four year term as President of The Performing Musicians Assoc. of Nigeria (the national musicians union) Still performing weekly at a wide variety of parties and events, both public and private, King Sunny Adé intends to use his newly recaptured free time to focus on his music. With 111 albums to his credit already in Nigeria, African music fans can surely look forward to more great things to come.Juju Music Juju music is a music of broad social messages. Rooted in the ancient Yoruba tradition of conveying broad social and cultural messages. Musically it is a thrilling hybrid of Western pop and traditional African music that incorporates electric guitars and synthesisers with such indigenous instruments as talking drums.