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Grammy award-winner, Lekan Babalola dedicates new song to the Yoruba ‘god of iron’

By Benjamin Njoku

Nigerian percussionist, Lekan Babalola will sate the appetite of his teeming African fans with the release of a new single entitled, Mr. Lakaye. The release of the song will coincide with the launch of his multi-city tour tagged ‘Ebo Tour’  which kicked off  yesterday, at the Somerset Festival, England.

The album jacket

Mr. Lakaye was produced by Will Angelero, a New York/ United Kingdom-based producer and has Lekan Babalola on the co-producer’s credit roll.

Babalola’s voice booms in Yoruba over a bouncing tune enriched with infectious electronic elements and complemented with his signature percussion sound.

According to the two-time Grammy Award-singer, the song is dedicated to Ogun, the Yoruba god of iron while the title is inspired by the deity’s Oriki (praise). In addition, ‘Mr. Lakaye’  will also be the sound track to the musician’s new art installation in honour of late American jazz artiste, John William Coltrane.

According his management, Temple Management Company (TMC), ‘Mr. Lakaye’ is available on all digital stores to all the fans of the Grammy Award winner. Speaking about his inspiration for the new song, Lekan Babalola said, “I was born in Lagos, Nigeria, into a Yoruba family. As custodians of Yoruba tradition of Ogun, Oro, Obatala and Ifa, my family taught me first hand Yoruba art and culture. Ogun is the patron of my father’s family.’ The Babalola of Ajibesin compound at Ile-Ogbo, Aiyedire local government of-Osun State, South West Nigeria today.”

Lekan Babalola is one of Nigeria’s most accomplished musicians and has twice won the Grammy Award which is the Holy Grail of Nigerian music. He won it for the first time in 2006 for his work on Ali Farka Toure’s In the Heart of the Moon, receiving credit on three songs. He won a second Grammy in 2009 for his work on Cassandra Wilson’s album, Loverly.


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