About Lekan Babalola
Birmingham based Olalekan Babalola is a Nigerian jazz percussionist, musician and two times Grammy award winner, known for his innovative style, using his native Yoruba tongue infused with traditional music, Afrobeat and funky dance overtones. Our conversation will cover his varied career, from being Fela Kuti’s protégé to working with Spike Lee.
Born in Lagos State, Nigeria, by the age of six Lekan had started playing the conga at his father's Yoruba Christian Church and later formed a patchwork band with his peers. In 1980, he left Nigeria for the UK to study engineering, but switched to filmmaking before returning to music and working with notable acts including Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, Prince, Roy Ayers and David Byrne.
About The On Record Project
Presented in partnership with B:Music
Broadcaster Satnam Rana and Radio Journalist Adrian Goldberg present twenty-two conversations with a range of musicians, promoters, managers, venue owners and entrepreneurs who have contributed to local, national and international music culture and heritage. The conversations focus on their life in music, their connection to the city and how it was influenced or inspired their work and what they think of Birmingham and our music.
Tickets free but must be pre-booked at bmusic.co.uk
On Record Podcast
Each On Record In-Conversation event will be released as a podcast, available to stream on all major platforms and will be broadcast weekly on BBC Radio West Midlands.
On Record Album
In a first of its kind, On Record is a multi-artist, multi-genre concept album featuring eleven new songs about Birmingham, available on a limited vinyl release and across all streaming platforms.
A sonic love letter to the city of Birmingham, each artist was written and recorded an original song that is inspired by Birmingham and what it means to them. Captured on record are references to the people, places and spaces that make up our vibrant and diverse city. Tales of canals and wildlife, migrant communities, Sparkhill at midnight and Bedders Chip Shop on the Coventry Road are just a small taste of the themes covered On Record.
Presenting eleven uniquely personal insights from guests including Bambi Bains, Soweto Kinch, Xhosa Cole and Dapz on the Map, On Record will resonate with those who call Birmingham home whilst simultaneously offering an introduction to the city, its people and its music for those who are only just getting to know us.
On Record is released on 17 June in physical and digital formats.