Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Guardian: Olabode seeks to emulate success of 'Akin Euba, Laz Ekwueme, and Ayo Bankole'

[Akin Euba (b. 1935) is a Nigerian composer and musicologist whose theories include “African Pianism”.   He is profiled at]

The Guardian
Lagos, Nigeria
By Osa Amadi
"AT his age, he should have been flapping his hands in the air, hopping about the stage like a monkey, and barking out meaningless words for music as young people do these days in the name of Hip-Hop music. But instead, Ogunboye Paul Olabode has in his musical career, chosen a part more responsible, dignifying and projective of the rich African culture. That part is the composition of classical music in African idiom. Listening to the piano rendition of his composition like Jesu Wa Ja Funmi (Jesus come and fight for me), Gbadura Funmi (Pray for me), Oluwa Mi (My Lord), Ose O (What a pity) and his popular Ekitisonic, performed by Geir Henning Braaten, an acclaimed Norwegian pianist during a musical concert organised by Royal Norwegean Embassy last February at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, one cannot but feel proud that Paul is a product of Nigeria.

Those are just a few of his works. He has over 20 compositions in his kitty. And apart from his gift in musical composition, this quiet, humble and amiable young man is fantastic on the piano, which of course, is his working instrument. He conducts orchestras and choirs but has lots of passion for transferring his musical knowledge to others through teaching.” “Where is he headed to? 'I would like to attain the level Akin Euba, Laz Ekwueme, and Ayo Bankole have attained in music. If Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe and the rest are using literature to project African culture, I should be doing the same thing with music. I would also like to write for films and advertisements.'"

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