Rediscovering 1970s Nigerian Rock With ‘Wake Up You!‘

The Funkees played their first show the night the civil war effectively ended, and quickly became the most beloved band in the former Biafra. They moved to London and broke up, but members went on to play with Osibisa and Eddy Grant.
The Funkees played their first show the night the civil war effectively ended and quickly became the most beloved band in the former Biafra. They moved to London and broke up, but members went on to play with Osibisa and Eddy Grant. Courtesy of ‘The Guardian’
The Funkees played their first show the night the civil war effectively ended, and quickly became the most beloved band in the former Biafra. They moved to London and broke up, but members went on to play with Osibisa and Eddy Grant.
The Funkees played their first show the night the civil war effectively ended and quickly became the most beloved band in the former Biafra. They moved to London and broke up, but members went on to play with Osibisa and Eddy Grant. Courtesy of ‘The Guardian’

Rediscovering 1970s Nigerian Rock With ‘Wake Up You!‘

When it comes to 1970s rock music, Nigeria probably isn’t a country that comes to mind. But the seventies had the African country churning out sounds as distorted and fuzzy as any American or British band at the time.

Most of the music never made it out of Nigeria when it was being made, but over the last few years, music lovers from around the globe have gotten the bug thanks to numerous compilations and histories.

One of the latest books digs even deeper than the others. Wake Up You! The Rise and Fall of Nigerian Rock, 1972-1977, is the work of Nigerian writer and musicologist Uchenna Ikonne. He’s release a companion book of vintage photos of some of the bands. He talks about the project and Nigeria’s place in rock and roll history on this week’s Global Notes with Morning Shift and Radio M host Tony Sarabia.