10 January 1968 (age 49)
Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria
Keziah Jones (born Olufemi Sanyaolu on January 10, 1968 in Lagos, Nigeria) is a Nigerian singer-songwriter and guitarist. He describes his musical style as “Blufunk”, which is a fusion between raw blues elements and hard, edgy funk rhythms. Also his Nigerian roots and soul music can be considered a major influence on his sound.
He is known for his distinctive style of guitarplaying, above all his percussive right-hand technique which is similar to bass player's slapping technique. He's also famous for playing most of his live shows with a bare torso.
Son of a chief Osodolamu Sanyaolu in a Yoruba tribe and successful industrialist, Keziah (Olufemi) spent his early childhood in a large family in the semi-Muslim part of Nigeria, close to the city of Lagos. From a young age he was being prepared to follow his father's footsteps and was expected to have an academic career. Therefore his father enrolled him in a Public School in London and Keziah left Nigeria at 8 years old to be educated in England.
"I had to find a way out of all that bullshit, and music was it!" By the age of 13 he discovered the old school piano and taught himself how to play and write songs. Three years later he switched to the guitar, neglecting his studies more and more. After scraping through exams he went against his father's wishes and family tradition even more by skipping school and trying out his songs in the streets, clubs and London Underground, constantly avoiding the police, the Immigration Department - and his own relatives.
Keziah played mostly improvised sets with tenor Saxophone player Kevin Wood at the Red Eye club in Lewisham, south London at least three times during 1988/9.
Keziah led a bohemian life for several years instead of the one envisaged for him. "Lose all time, love your mind, free your soul!" (from his song Free Your Soul). Moving from London to Paris, accompanied by his guitar, he acquired an excellent reputation as a musician and performer with a unique style. In 1991, while playing in the Paris Metro, Keziah is discovered by the French music label "Delabel" manager. In 1992, Delabel signed Keziah for his first album to record it in Paris, "Blufunk is a fact," including the worldwide success of Keziah's first single "Rhythm is Love." Obviously, Keziah' Parisian subway experience was instrumental to his skyrocketing career, as clearly stated in his official biography.
Keziah often cites Fela Kuti and Jimi Hendrix as important influences. Also Keziahs major influences were Michael Jackson Keziah is not in support of Drm ,he thinks music should be shared no matter the cost.and people in third world countries should listen to music to help them,he alos works with these people to and play music while doing it.
Keziah Jones also paints and writes poetry. He’s a talentedphotographer and he produces short films, one among them entitled "BLACKSPEEDTEXT." This film, his music and the other facets of his artistic life reflect his experiences on the streets.
Keziah was married to Anglo-Nigerian singer Akure Wall in 1994. they separated in 1996.
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