If you wanted to do a comprehensive survey of how the psychedelic funk was accepted in Nigeria, you couldn’t do much better than to get your hands on Oby Onyioha’s ‘I Want To Feel Your Love’ record. The project catapulted the singer into stardom off the success of the title track, “I Want To Feel Your Love” and “Enjoy Your Life”, a song that continues to resonate with music lovers even today, despite being released in 1981.
You’re right to wonder whether “Enjoy Your Life” influenced Lady Donli’s similarly-titled and nostalgia-fueled ‘Enjoy Your Life’ album. Donli shared the cover art for Oby Onyioha, Angelique Kidjo and Fatoumata’s projects as part of her mood-setting rollout on Instagram, in the buildup to her latest album’s release.
Oby Onyioha’s “Enjoy Your Life” deserves credit for being one of the songs that paved the way for Nigerians to explore alternative psychedelic genres, and it also helped establish punk firmly as an enduring philosophy, rather than a set of aesthetic boundaries exclusive to western artists.
The two-stepping, finger-snapping funk melodies of “Enjoy Your Life” and the philosophical motivation behind the song made it a groovy anthem, that could set a pleasant mood required in a time of unrest after the civil war. The heavy psychedelic guitars and funk instrumentals sound like a time machine that transports listeners to simpler times of the past as she sings, “It’s your right to enjoy your life”, as if to promise listeners that everything will be alright.
Listen to the Oby Onyioha classic to get you in the pleasant frame of mind for the coming holiday season.
Featured Image Credits: Instagram/ladydonli
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