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Country Nigeria UK USA Genres afrobeat dance Website www.wunmi.com Festival Sauti za Busara 2014 Recordings
African Living Abroad (A.L.A), 2007
Wunmi is an artist that effortlessly joins the dots between Nigeria's Yoruba and Afrobeat heritage, New York's house pedigree, and London's jazz, broken beat and classic street soul sounds. The enduring image from Wunmi's early years in music was in summer 1986 as the dancer who codified the style of SOUL II SOUL's iconic first album 'Keep on Moving'.
Wunmi's first recordings were as featured artist on the tracks of some of House music's reigning producers: Dennis Ferrer, King Britt, Jerome Snydenham, Osunlade, M.A.W., Bugz in the Attic, Ron Trent, Pasta Boys-- Her first songwriting credits were in collaboration with the legendary Roy Ayres.
Her first solo album, A.L.A. (African Living Abroad), was lauded by Gilles Peterson as 'an essential release from a unique artist' and from DJ Carlito: 'A.L.A. is an afro-electric-house music masterpiece.... the beats are irresistible, the lyrical content is rich and diverse... before you realize it..you'll be a dancing fool!' and Danny Krivit: ' Do yourself a favour and get some Wunmi now!' On-stage, Wunmi is a revelation.
The Wunmi stage show has become known for its explosive energy with her trademark outfits, hi-octane dance moves, a super-tight band and an infectious spirit that draws in crowds wherever she plays. This is Wunmi's world and there is nothing else quite like it. Her bass heavy, funky Afrobeat rhythms transform any venue into a sacred temple of pure joy. She has rocked crowds from Barbicon in London, Summerstage, Sapporo Japan, Zenith Paris to Big Day Out Australia.
Born in the city of London, grown in the center of Lagos, returned to London as a teen, then a move to Brooklyn as a young adult, Wunmi's song will be expressed in costume and dance until, after years of coaxing and taunting her voice is released, and her stage is claimed. In Lagos she lived above the music store of her great uncle, the legendary musician Dr Victor Olaiya. Airways were steeped in the sounds of High-Life music, the local audio takeover known as Afrobeat, and the Roots movement coming out of Jamaica.
Music was suddenly an obvious format for (combat) revolution, as new genres were consciously evolving from very distinct musical traditions. Intrigued by a vast range of instruments she was forbidden to touch, and steeped in the live sounds of local greats such as Fela Kuti, Wunmi was drawn to the lyrical content exemplified by the roots movement coming out of Jamaica as well. These vibrant trends were evident in all aspects of daily life in the Lagos of Wunmi's childhood.
Her sense of individuality would first be seen; as she would carefully choose her outfits to meet the sights that inspired her as she gazed from her windows onto the bustling urban center that is Las Gidi. Wunmi was determined that she should not go unnoticed, and that visceral drive has spurned her into surreal heights of self expression.