Oliver De Coque
There is no dispute that Fela was the originator of Afrobeat and ultimately laid the foundation for the birth of Neo-Afrobeat or Afro-fusion as some might called it. But there were also two prominent musicians that contributed to the making of the modern Afrobeats. These two great men of traditional highlife music were Chief Osita Osadebe and Oliver De Coque.
Osabede sound was more of melodic and gyrated rhythmic music, usually perforated sound of slower tempo that was punctuated with tapped talking drums. The sounds of guitar in his songs are similar to that of a country music, which is laced with sentimental stories that can be danced or listen to for relaxation.
As for Oliver De Coque his music is fitted into quick pace sound. A fast high tempo music that relied more on the acoustic guitar than on the echoing drum sound on the peripheral background. His music can be classified as light rock music for the sound of the treble guitar determined the flow of the music rather than the chapping of the drums struggling in the background. Most of his music was made to dance to rather than for listening relaxation and his lyrics of music were saturated with praises and adorations of vanity. Some of his past records can be soothing but that was not his conventional type of music.
When you listen to Afrobeats musicians like Ckay, Flavour and to certain extent Burna Boy you will detect some elements of familiarity to both Osadebe and Oliver De Coque sounds. Flavour gives more vibes of sound that acknowledges Osadebe melodic disposition and Burna Boy sound gives out a similar vibe to that of Olive De Coque. These contemporary Afrobeats singers may not be necessarily aware of the familiarity to these pioneers because it was not their intention of sounding akin to these two men of highlife music.
Music is is a mixture of influences that may manifest in a given sound track unconsciously. Variety of music of different genres influence and affect each other without the music maker and songwriter doing so consciously. Music is related and its effect becomes evident due to the environment and exposure to variety and different sources of music. This shows that African music cannot be separated from each other because of their foundational source including intra influence and effect on each other.
Chika Obidalu says
Osadebe. ’75 is most possibly his best song. The song that cane out in 1975 captured Chief Osita Osadebe at the climax of his music career . Though narrated in Igbo language can be a universal song. Thank you for remembering his contribution to the making of afrobeats.