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Get To Know: Michael Olatuja

19/11/2009

Michael Olatuja has taken be by complete surprise with his debut album. Up until a couple of weeks ago I had never heard of the British/Nigerian bassist (who also happens to be a composer and producer), but I had been hearing whispers that his project was well worth a listen and so I decided to take the plunge and purchase Speak.

Due to the sheer amount of music I listen to, blind (well almost except for a few snippets) purchasing is not a regular occurence over here, however a quick look at his bio information informed me that he has worked with some of THE greats, including Stevie Wonder and Chaka Khan, so he had to have a certain level of musicianship (by association). I was in for another pleasant surprise when I took a look at the tracklisting for the album as it features some of the ‘best of British’ on vocal duties, including Eska Mtungwazi, Ty, Terri Walker and the late Lynden David Hall, amongst others. This was enough to convince me it was worth a listen.

Well I think I can safely say it was worth the purchase, and then some. The album blends jazz, traditional Nigerian music, gospel and blues but what really binds the album together is it’s underlying soulfulness and Michael’s ability to craft a great song. Snippets of two of my favourite tracks on the album are available below, however this is one of those albums where to get a true picture, you need to listen to the album as a whole.

Michael Olatuja – Altar Call ft Eska Mtungwazi (snippet)

Michael Olatuja – Le Jardin ft Onaje Jefferson (snippet)

For a full review of Speak head on over to SoulCulture, and for more information on Michael check out his website.

The album is available via Amazon and iTunes so you have no excuse đŸ˜‰

 

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