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    BBE 15 - 15 years of Real Music for Real People - compiled and mixed by Chris Read >
Biography

Osunlade

Osunlade is a musician who lives his art. Both his music and his being create unified melodies awash with life, wisdom, and equilibrium. Hailing from St Louis, Missouri, a place which pioneered jazz and blues, and spawned such innovators as Miles Davis, Osunlade discovered the piano at age seven. Like a dove from the sky the vision of his life’s destiny was born. By the time he was twelve he found an interest in creating and producing his own songs. He formed a local band, taught himself how to play several other instruments, and further pursued the development of his unique sound. He had managed to learn the drums, bass and guitar, and had discovered his voice. His deeply personal musical testimonies had begun.

His professional career began in 1987 at the age of seventeen, during a visit to Hollywood. He quickly caught the ear of Toni ‘Mickey’ Basil, a choreagrapher/performer who offered him work developing music for several projects, including a role scoring the b-movie ‘Rockula’, and the children’s television series ‘Sesame Street’. With her encouragement he quickly moved to Los Angeles to begin a long career in music production. A few years later he would produce the very first album for the then independent label Interscope Records, by the aspiring actor/dancer Gerardo, a long time friend. The album spawned ‘Rico Suave’, one of the very first latin pop songs in America. With a multi platinum album and four gold singles to his name, it wasn’t long before Osunlade was given ample opportunities to master his craft.

Over the next ten years, with credits for over 20 albums, Osunlade began to feel the pressures and practices of the music business had overshadowed his passion for music. Deciding he would no longer work under the influence of corporate demands, he chose instead to seek spiritual solace and honour his soul. This spiritual pilgrimage led him to Ifa, a naturalist ancestral culture based on divination, deriving from the Yoruba tribes of Africa and subsequently practiced by African American slaves.

In 1999 Osunlade embarked on what has become his dream come true: the founding of Yoruba Records. Recognized as one of the most important dance music labels worldwide, Yoruba Records is a pure source of music created to elevate the spirit. In little under a year, and with only two singles, Osunlade would receive praise from his peers, finally finding the love he sought for years within the underground dance music community.

As the label became more successful, there was increasing demand for Osunlade to expand. In 2001 he released his debut album on the respected Soul Jazz label. ‘Paradigm’ quickly became one of the biggest house albums that year, and he was dubbed the messiah of ancestral house music. With the support of DJ’s worldwide, his music was now being introduced to a wider spectrum of listeners. Furthermore, the artist had finally achieved a balance within.

A year later Osunlade moved to Puerto Rico, and relocated his label operations to London. While he still produces and remixes for other labels and artists, his passion remains with Yoruba Records, and in maintaining their reputation for unparalleled quality in the music business. With its own family of talented producers and artists developing a sound that bridges several genres, the label’s evolution is endless and bright.

As he embarks on an intensely personal new project, Osunlade has evolved and is currently sharing his vision alongside a new band. With a new album in the works, fans will finally hear the true inner voice of the man and feel the honesty and conviction of his spirit.

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