After a decade as a successful producer Osunlade turned his back on commercial music and found his true calling making deeply spiritual house records. “Create music for yourself first, the world will then hear what you express, never do this for monetary gain only” he once said. But who is the man with the huge needle through his nose?

Who is he? Musician, producer, DJ, and remixer from St. Louis, Missouri, now living in Santorini, Greece.
Genre: Deep house, Afro house.
Influences: Afro beat, jazz and Latin music are clear influences, however his first musical hero was Prince.
Discovered by: Aged 17, while he worked as a presenter on Sesame Street, choreographer and performer Tony Basil (yes, her of ‘Mickey’ fame) asked him to produce several pieces for her, including music for the show. Over the next decade he would go on to produce around 20 albums by artists including India Arie, Eric Benet and Patie LaBelle.
Then what happened? Living in LA, the money machine that is the music industry started to weigh heavily on him, and in the late 90s he became interested in Ifá, an ancestral culture that originates in Africa, amongst the Yoruba tribes. After intense study he became ordained as a priest and he ditched LA for New York, where he began composing his own music, resulting firstly in 2001’s Afro-tinged Paradigm, a huge underground success. It was followed by Aquarian Moon in 2006, where he showcased his talents composing lush, jazz-influenced scores and most recently Rebirth, 2010, featuring more conventional song structures aimed at the dancefloor.
Essential tracks: ‘Pride’, 2002; his spine-tingling remix of Radiohead’s ‘Everything in its Right Place’, 2006; ‘Momma’s Groove’, 2008; ‘Break it Down’, 2010.
Labels: Yoruba Records, which he founded in 1999.
A&R duties: Afefe Iku, with whom he released the single ‘Mirror Dance’.
Indispensable equipment: Rhodes piano, Mackie 24-8, Logic.
Other activities: He has a sleek website where you can buy photographs signed by the man himself. His podcast, Yoruba Soul Radio, is in his own words “a plethora of education in music”.
Catch him at: Bleep43 at Corsica Studios, 5 Elephant Road SE17 1LB.
Friday 15th of April, 11 pm – 7 am. Tickets are £15 on the door, £12 in advance from Resident Advisor.

Listen: Pride

Photo by Suzy Gorman.

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