For the next selection on the highlife turntable, I have selected the track OgBeingbene Special by Professor I.K. Belemu from his Felix Record release Ogbeingbene Special.
I have a few records by Professor Belemu. According to am interesting article by Sunday Rudolph in the dawnjournal.com:
The owigiri dance originated in 1985 through a particular music composed by a foremost Izon musician in Bayelsa State in Nigeria called I. K. Belemu. Although, I. K. Belemu did not invent the owigiri dance style, his song, which was responsible for the creation was more of call to dance.
According to a traditionalist in Izonland, Emeka Odogu, the owigiri dance captures the lifestyle and mood of the Izon man in his daily activities. He states further that: The owigiri dance is a way the Izon man expresses his feelings at a particular time. The dance has a variety of dance steps that will
suit any music, so the dancer can pick any dance step that can indicate his state of mind at any point in time. if he is happy there is the bright and energetic “agene” dance step to indicate this and if he is unhappy he can dance the slow and smooth “abalande” dance movement to match his mood…
Bestman Peres Doupere, the son of Bestman Doupere, added:
The Late Professor I. K. Belemu is the founder and orginator of Ijaw Owigiri highlife music and that IK was playing more of a dance hall owigiri, while King Robert Ebizimor (another popular Ijaw singer) combined both dance hall music and philosophical songs.
The upbeat vocals and tight guitar playing certainly create a very dance able sound. Check out the way Professor Belemu's vocals open up the song and the fluidity of the rhythm section throughout the song. I hope you like.
For those interested in reading more on Owigri dancing please see
I am sorry it has been so long since I posted anything new, but I spent the summer upgrading my rig and am finally beginning to record again. I'll be posting some more music shortly.