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Nigerian Jazz Music: Meet Femileye

Nigerian born musician, Ogunleye Oluwafemi popularly known as FemiLeye is a talented guitarist, music director, composer, producer, singer and songwriter. Born in the city of Lagos, although a native of Ekiti state.

Femileye who has over a decade experience in the music industry has over time built his style into what we now know, hear and love. His childhood dream was to become a surgeon and save lives. Well, that plan didn’t quite come to life so instead, he studied Food Technology at the Federal Polytechnic of Ilaro, Ogun state. The afro jazz artist has no regrets as to the fact that he didn’t get to use his degree professionally. I guess everything worked out well to have him bless us with such amazing music.

In 2015, Femileye released a collaborative project with ace producer “chopstix” which he titled “IBUKUN”. A few months later, Femileye also released another project, his debut album which he titled “EKAABO”. “Ekaabo” is a Yoruba phrase meaning ‘welcome’; we believe Femileye welcomed us into his world through his music, giving us a taste of his own sound and musicology. A little while later, Femileye released a live version of Ekaabo where songs from the Ekaabo album were played live. The live album was also a huge success and as I’d always say, nothing beats live music.

There is indeed no doubt with anyone who has heard any of Femileye’s projects that he is an exceptional musician with a unique style. He features in the afro jazz genre, one that I personally think has been a little underappreciated with Nigerians. However, Femileye and his music are gaining ground fast as the sweet melodies from Ekaabo and his previous projects pierce the hearts of its listeners.

Femi’s musical prowess has earned him the opportunity to work with top acts both internationally and locally. Femi has worked with the likes of Grammy Award-winning Senegalese musician “Yossuff Ndour”, Mavin’s boss “Don Jazzy”, Chidinma and a whole lot of other people. Femi has also played at various major events within and outside the country. Some of which include The Lagos International Jazz Festival, iRep Film Festival, The relighting of the National Theatre, Industry Night Dubai amongst many others. He has also directed stage play productions like “Band Aid” and “a true story of Christmas.”

In recent times, after the launch of the Ekaabo live album, Femileye hosted a show at the mall where he did some of his songs from and outside the Ekaabo album. Femileye feature in remixes of Reminisce’s hit single “Ponmile” done by Chidinma and Aramide.

Femileye definitely has big plans for the future. In an interview with PZI media, he told them of his plans for future collaborations with the likes of Adekunle Gold and also with international acts like Grammy award-winning blues guitarist “Gary Lee Clark, Jr.” and also famous DJ David Guetta.

We definitely look forward to more projects and collaborations.

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David Nwaoha

Nwaoha David is currently studying economics at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He is a drummer and generally loves entertainment.

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