Unpretentious, reserved, meek, disciplined and gentlemanly are few of the words that best and rightly describe him. His name is Laolu Akins.
He breathes music and his passion for music is second to none. He remains, till date, the brain behind Evergreen Songs of the originals, a recognition which earned him Platinum Disc Award and Best Producer Of The Year Award in 1991.
Together with Beckley Jones and Mike Odumosu they formed the popular Nigerian music group BLO in 1972. The group which reigned for about 10 years, fused the afro sound with gunk and western rock sound, delivering a completely unique sound that defines the full spectrum of black music.
Laolu Akins and the Lijadu Sisters were members of the Afro Collection Band, led by Tee Mac Omatshola Iseli, the popular and highly respected Nigerian flutist. The band was a resident band at Batakoto, Lagos.
Iconic world drummer, Ginger Baker’s visit to Nigeria was a major turning point for Laolu Akins. When Ginger Baker met and watched Laolu Akins performance at Batakoto, in no time, he formed the group, SALT, comprising Laolu Akins, Taiwo Lijadu, Tunde Kuboye and Berkeley Jones.
The group toured Germany, Canada, United States and England in the United Kingdom (UK) before they returned back to Nigeria.
Laolu Akins’ Evergreen Contributions
Laolu Akins produced Ace and Shinamania by Shina Peters in 1989 and 1990, respectively.
He produced Bubble and Mr Johnson Play For Me by Adewale Ayuba in 1991 and 1992, respectively.
He produced Mike Okri’s debut LP, Concert Fever, in 1989 with popular songs like Omoge and Time Na Money.
Laolu Akins led the drum percussion of Kris Okotie’s song, I need someone
These songs without doubt changed Nigerian local vibe for global acceptance and became the authentic beats of the future.
Laolu Akins deep knowledge of sound is legendary and worthy of study…From Afrojuju, to Fuji, to R n B to Afrorock, et cetera.
As the legendary Laolu Akins turned 76 today, I join his numerous fans and admirers to say happy birthday to the Star behind the stars.
•Esho is the Managing Director, Evergreen Music Company Limited, Surulere, Lagos.