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Mary Afi Usuah - JPop.com
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Mary Afi Usuah

Mary Afi Usuah

Mary Afi Usuah


Mary Afi Usuah is definitely the product of an arduous and determined trawl. A rare female voice on the circuit, Afi Usuah's career focused more on promoting the arts in post-civil war Nigeria than a personal output. Having been musically trained in London, Rome and Naples, her thirteen year tour of Europe saw her support acts as diverse as Led Zeppelin, Duke Ellington and Deep Purple while she experimented in styles ranging from jazz and rock to opera. Read more on Last.fm
Mary Afi Usuah is definitely the product of an arduous and determined trawl. A rare female voice on the circuit, Afi Usuah's career focused more on promoting the arts in post-civil war Nigeria than a personal output. Having been musically trained in London, Rome and Naples, her thirteen year tour of Europe saw her support acts as diverse as Led Zeppelin, Duke Ellington and Deep Purple while she experimented in styles ranging from jazz and rock to opera. She then recorded three solo albums - none of them well known beyond a generation of Nigerians - before taking a post at Lagos' Ministry of Information and Culture.

Afi Usuah died in February 2013, tragically short of this re-release of her 1975 debut album, Ekpenyong Abasi. A keen guitarist from a young age, Afi Usuah's advances as a female composer/songwriter made her career unusual at the time. A similar exception came with the criminally underrated Lijadu Sisters, a twin duet who created dreamy soundscapes by singing in perfect synchronisation; the same effect is made on Ekpenyong Abasi, with Afi Usuah's vocals reverbing into infinity against an echo of backing singers. She possesses the sultriness of the great African American jazz singers, complemented on most tracks by the kind of slow, dark funk that Sly & The Family Stone did best. Read more on Last.fm.

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