Beautiful Nubia and the Roots Renaissance Band

Beautiful Nubia and the Roots Renaissance Band

 Lagos, Lagos, NGA
BandWorldFolk

"Nigeria's King of Melody!"
Beautiful Nubia and the Roots Renaissance Band is Nigeria’s foremost contemporary folk and roots music group. Formed and fronted by songwriter and poet Segun Akinlolu, the group’s songs and albums have achieved cult status among their loyal fans around the world.

Biography

Beautiful Nubia and the Roots Renaissance Band is Nigeria’s foremost contemporary folk and roots music group. Formed and fronted by songwriter and poet Segun Akinlolu (aka Beautiful Nubia), the group’s songs and albums have achieved cult status among their loyal and growing fans spread across the world.

Beautiful Nubia’s songs are built on rich folkloric traditions and native wisdom but his message is universal in thrust and theme. The music speaks for the voiceless and champions the dream of a balanced society where individuals are truly free and equal. It preaches love and tolerance but also urges people to stand and defend their rights when trampled upon anywhere in the world.

Born in Ibadan in 1968, Segun started writing songs at a very young age. He drew his early influence from the traditional culture which was prevalent in the form of oral poetry, theatre, music and folklore. In 1994, with enough resources to produce a demo, his timing coincided with the departure of major record labels from Nigeria. In response, he established EniObanke, a music production and marketing company under which his first album was released in 1997. In November 2010, the company commenced the first folk and roots music festival in Nigeria, the EniObanke Music Festival (EMUfest).

Reward came for the group in 2002 with the release of the ground-breaking third album Jangbalajugbu. It is estimated that more than 50 million Nigerians wake up each day to “Owuro L’ojo (How D’You Do?)”, one of the hit tracks in the album. To date, Jangbalajugbu has sold in excess of a million copies. Since then, the band has released five other albums which have cemented the artist’s reputation as an advocate for social justice. It is the combination of enjoyable entertainment and provocative thoughtfulness that has come to define BN’s style.

Notable Industry Nods:
Best Artist from West Africa Nominee - Kora All-Africa Music Awards - 2000
Best Group from West Africa Nominee - Kora All-Africa Music Awards - 2001
Best Political Song – Ontario Council of Folk Festivals - 2004
Awilele - Number One on the !Earshot International Charts - 2005
Favourite World Music Artist Nominee – Canadian Independent Music Awards - 2006
Kilokilo - Number One on the !Earshot International Charts - 2008
Favourite World Music Artist Nominee – Canadian Independent Music Awards - 2009

Lyrics

Seven Lifes

Written By: Segun Akinlolu

In my journey through the world, over land and over sea
I see different cultures and different people's ways
I was born where the sun never sets and never rises
I was born where the heat is like a second skin
Children crying on the streets, automobiles making noise
The land is growing dry and weak, spirits dying low
The forefathers are calling me: never tire, never weaken
The pride in me is bursting loose - I'm an African boy.
On the farm my father called me down behind a tree
He said, “Prostrate at my feet and say a few prayers”
Then he told me all the stories of my brave ancestors,
"Look into my eyes son, you were born to be great"
So in the twilight I went home behind my father with a hoe
Listening to the songs of birds, whispers of the night
Singing: seven goats, seven beads,
Seven cowries, seven nuts,
Seven lifes that's what I've got, I'm an African boy
Over sea, over land, over mountains and in the wild
I'll be brave and I'll be strong, I'm an African boy.
In the evening, mother called me down into her hut
She said, "Lay upon my bosom and say a few prayers"
Then she told me to go forward never looking back
"The spirits are with you and you will never fail"
So I go into the world, into the deeps, into the wild
In the market place I danced the sound of bata
Dancing - seven jumps, seven wriggles,
Seven cowries, seven nuts
Seven lifes, that's what I've got
I'm an African boy…

Discography

Sun No Dey Sleep (EniObanke Music, 2011)
Irinajo (EniObanke Music, 2009)
Kilokilo (EniObanke Music, 2007)
Fere (EniObanke Music, 2006)
Awilele (EniObanke Music, 2004)
Jangbalajugbu (EniObanke Music, 2002)
Fire On The Roof [single] (EniObanke Music, 2001)
Voice From Heaven (EniObanke Music, 1999)
Seven Lifes (EniObanke Music, 1997)

Set List

A typical show for us includes two sets of 50 to 90 minutes each. We also can play a single set stretching for up to 5 hours uninterrupted. The beauty of our music is, we can stretch it out with percussion breaks or keep it short and tight, depending on the audience and the time available. Below is a sample set list for two 40-minute sets, roughly 5 minutes per song.

A
Iba F’Olojo
Jangbalajugbu
Come, Warrior
Kilokilo
Tables Turn
Lekeleke
Ikoko Akufo
Oruko rere
Everywhere You Are

B
Onile Ayo
How do you do? (Owuro L'ojo)
Je Je Je
The Small People's Anthem
Muki-i-muku
Ominira
Seven Lifes
Brother In Arms (Ise Mbe)
Prayers For You