The Shuffle: The importance of Ego Iheanacho Ogbara on Lagbaja’s “Never Far Away”

Before it became a worldwide phenomenon in the music industry to make twerk-ready music, Lagbaja had that game on lock in the 00’s with “Konko Below”. While all the different parts of the song came together nicely – from Lagbaja’s instructive lyrics to the immensely catchy beat – Ego Iheanacho Ogbara’s impressive bridge definitely stole the show and that was what led everyone to pay such close attention when they dropped “Never Far Away” five years later.

Ego Iheanacho Ogbara has been very quiet on the scene since she split from Lagbaja’s band, and we haven’t heard much from her other than music she created with the enigmatic musician, and a few other songs that never quite took off. Regardless, she made an impossible-to-erase mark on the music scene thanks to her stunning contribution to Lagbaja’s discography.

Where she only had a bridge on “Konko Below”, she carries the whole of “Never Far Away” with sparse vocal contributions from Lagbaja and the rest of the band. At the time this song was released (and even now) it was a rarity to hear Nigerian women baring their souls in song, and listening to the song as a young girl, “Never Far Away” evoked the same emotion Jojo’s “Get Out” or High School Musical’s “Gotta Go My Own Way” did.

As the world has evolved away from set norms, we have become more aware of the importance of women’s place in society, and looking back, I’m glad there were women like Ego holding it down against the odds. Given her clear talent, it’s a bit odd (not really, because, patriarchy) that she doesn’t have the reverence and recognition she ought to.

In 2013, she teamed up with Cobhams Asuquo for an emotive and politically charged song, “I Believe” which aimed to encourage younger generations in the face of society’s issues. In a time when older artists such as Obesere are seeing a renaissance of sorts through social media, it would be great for us to hear more from Ego.

Featured Image Credits: YouTube/Davido

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