Who is William Onyeabor?
70’s Funk Maestro William Onyeabor released 8 albums during the 70’s and 80’s before abandoning his career altogether and becoming a born again Christian. Those sought after albums are now being re-released and a star studded live show is set to bring Onyeabor the musical recognition he oddly no longer seems to want… What the funk?
I didn’t realise Nigeria circa 1975 was a hotbed of synth mavericks?
No one really knows how Onyeabor’s musical voyage started. Some say he studied cinematography in Soviet Union before returning to Nigeria in the 70’s, others that he was a lawyer or a consummate businessman. So what do we know? Well, he was a man of funk and he had an exceptional hat - that much is true.
He was a pioneer of electronic music in Nigeria and one of considerable talent considering the stir that his rediscovered records have been making. His live show has drawn collaboration with some big names including members of Hot Chip, LCD Soundsystem and Bloc Party.
The show in Bristol is one of only two to take place anywhere in the world. Todd Wills, head of programming at Colston Hall explains:
“It’s extremely exciting to be able to bring this show to Bristol, as it’s one of only two happening in the world, and it’s a real celebration of a great musical discovery. In an age where you can find out anything about an artist in a quick Google search, it’s refreshing to come across someone that nobody knows very much about.”
‘Atomic Bomb – Who is William Onyeabor?’ takes place on Wed 2 Apr 2014 at Colston Hall, with a smattering of tickets still available via the Colston Hall website. Full review to come.