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Lagbaja

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Lagbaja (born Bisade Ologunde in Lagos, Nigeria) is a Nigerian Afrobeat musician.

The first question that is often asked when Lagbaja is encountered is, “Why the mask?” Basically, Lagbaja’s mask is used as an icon of man’s facelessness. Lagbaja is a Yoruba word that means somebody, nobody, anybody or everybody. It perfectly depicts the anonymity of the so called “common man”. The mask and the name symbolize the faceless, the voiceless in the society, particularly in Africa. Once you see Lagbaja’s mask you are reminded of your own facelessness. This symbolism is so powerful that Lagbaja’s mask has popularized the use of the mask concept by other artistes both in Nigeria and beyond Though the concept was developed long before that, his first album (entitled Lagbaja) was released to National acclaim in 1993. Over the years and more albums later, the music continues to fascinate with its unique focus on a core of African drums. His music is a product of various influences ranging from traditional Yoruba music to Jazz. Often the music is purely instrumental- an interplay between traditional Yoruba percussions, drums, chants, and western instruments, especially the saxophone. When there are lyrics, they are primarily sung in Yoruba, English or a blend of the two as is colloquially spoken in Yoruba cities. Many of his songs dwell on serious social issues, while others simply entertain. Some are dance inducing while others pass serious messages in humorous ways.

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