[10 July 2014]
PopMatters Assistant Editor
Orlando Julius is a legend of Nigerian music, having played now for decades, which has included playing with legends of American blues, jazz, and R&B, including a performance with the legendary Louis Armstrong. His fusion of Nigerian music with global influences makes him a voice unlike any other.
His latest work is a collaboration with London’s the Heliocentrics on an album called Jaiyede Afro. One of the songs from that LP, entitled “Buje Buje”, is available to stream below.
Upon the release of “Buje Buje”, Julius said of the song, “My parents used to tell us stories, folk tales and there were a lot of different stories involving tortoises—they often made tortoises sound like human beings. There was one about a tortoise who had a farm and I always thought, ‘how could a tortoise have a farm?!’ This tortoise is working on his farm and a pretty lady is passing by. So, he cuts his foot with his cutlass and pretends that he is injured so that he can get her attention. The lady comes over and tries to help him and he says, ‘I can’t work with this cut. Could I climb on your back to go to get help?’ She agrees, he climbs on her back and she starts to walk. He says, ‘I’m too far up, could you push me further down your back?’ Finally, the lady realises that he is up to no good, she is very unhappy and tells him to find his own way. Once she has left, the tortoise continues to play this trick on other women.
“I made the story into a song and brought human nature into it – good people and bad people. The song teaches us not to copy something that is bad, fake or deceptive.”
Jaiyede Afro is out through Strut Records on September 9th.