By Novell Zwange – Here is a multi-talented young man who has more than paid his dues to achieve his status that he so deserves. Olufemi is one of the finest, amazing saxophonist who is ready to make Africa proud by combining west African flavour with the Southern African flavour, creating his own unique style which he calls Afro-South West Fusion.
Olufemi is currently based in Johannesburg, South Africa where he performs with his band. Acknowledging music as a life-giver i.e food for the soul, Olufemi concluded saying “MUSIC IS LIFE”. It all started when he was a kid, he dances around the village when the traditional drummers play in his father’s compound in Akio town, Ikorodu Lagos Nigeria in the very early 80’s. Olufemi Ogunkoya started playing trumpet as a choir member in his local church. At the age of 24, he turns professional in his country (Nigeria). Amongst other styles of music, Afro beat, Highlife and Jazz is Olufemi’s preference; he plays for the love, power and energy of music. The multi-talented musician sings and play all brass / wind instrument and piano. Great musicians like Fela Kuti, Bob Marley, Manu di Bango, Hugh Masekela, Salif Keita, Kola Ogunkoya and some other Jazz fathers have influenced Olufemi’s musicianship.
Olufemi’s relocation to South Africa is a step to a dream fulfilment. After playing with renowned musicians both in West and Southern African, he created his own style of music called “Afro-South West Fusion” with the element of Afro beat, Reggae, Mbaqanga, Jazz and
Highlife with his amazing saxophone flavours. He is not only a Saxophonist, but also a songwriter and an arranger. Olufemi has a nine piece big band for festivals, 4-5 piece for small functions, he also performs as trio, duet and as a solo artist. Sky is the starting point of Olufemi musical style. His musical style, birthed in the influences of pioneers such as Manu Di Bango, Fela Kuti, Bob Marley and his own brother and mentor Kola Ogunkoya, is an olla podidra of what he himself terms as a South-West Afro Soul Fusion.
This is a unique and rich blend of the Afro beat, West African highlife and a twist of the nostalgic Sophiatown flavour, deep and sultry jazz beats and contemporary groove. Olufemi’s music is a true reflection of new and culturally integrated African performances. This genius has been evident in the way he has overwhelmed audiences with the ‘Da Natives’ to restaurant audiences in places such as Moyo’s and Shivava café in Newtown. It is not uncommon to witness people abandoning their meals to gape with heads tilted in admiration as a fiery Olufemi passionately serenades them out of their daily stressful demands. He has graced big concert stages alongside, John Legend in his Last tour, in Cape Town, stood tall among South Africa ‘s greats such as Themba Mkhize and feya Faku when the Johnny Walker’s Pioneering Spirits of Jazz were being honoured by their own and left high flying audiences at the Luxurious Madikwe Lodge gasping for more. Other colourful festivals such as the Calabar Festival in Nigeria have felt Olufemi’s hypnotic music, right up there alongside one of South Africa ‘s great sons. Lucky Dube. Even famed American shaggy has beenin the presence of this young sensation.
Some of the events Olufemi performed at include, Crowning of Miss World 2008, Johannesburg, South Africa, Globacom Launch in Benin Republic, 2008, Nigerian Vice President Welcome Dinner, Pretoria, South Africa 2008, Johannesburg City & Tourism Show, Johannesburg, South Africa 2008, FIFA Confederation Cup Draw, Sandton, South Africa 2008, (CAF) Confederation of African Football Awards, Lagos, Nigeria 2009, NEPAD Summit, Sandton, South Africa 2009, Rebranding of Brandy Smooth Event, Cape Town, Durban & Johannesburg, 2009.
OLUFEMI’s debut album “JUST IN NEWTON” is out now.