“This is a living and breathing band of soul survivors with plenty of fire left in their belly.”
– Decibel Report
Osibisa were true pioneers. They were the first band to successfully promote West African styles, not just in Britain but right across the world, and the first African fusion band to notch up a whole series of best-selling singles and albums in the pop charts – with more international hits than any other African band has enjoyed since. They were formed by Teddy Osei nearly two decades before the term ‘world music’ was invented, but they can rightly claim that they opened the way for the global fusion scene, and for the success of later African stars, from Youssou N’Dour to Salif Keita.
They were one of the most experimental bands of that decade of experimental music, the Seventies, because their highly original style made use of a whole range of different influences. The Osibisa mix of what they called “criss-cross rhythms that explode with happiness” naturally included Highlife influences from Osei’s homeland of Ghana, along with jazz, rock, calypso and other Western Indian Styles, along with a dash of disco and unashamed pop. They were a band who could hold their own alongside the rock stars of the era, supporting the Rolling Stones or Pink Floyd. They toured the world, enjoyed success from America to Australia and India (where they notched up another best-selling album), and even played alongside Bob Marley at the Zimbabwe independence celebrations.
Reformed, revamped and reinvigorated, today’s Osibsa takes flight from their pioneering Afro-rock ties of old, leaping into multi-genres of rock, reggae, jazz, calypso, pop and soul; whilst weaving their signature African vibes into every melodic fibre. Big-band instrumentation, fused with the utter joy that naturally gushes from the culminative work of multiple band members, Osibisa, exude elation from every beat of their music – you can‘t help but join in the pleasure party.
Latest album ‘New Dawn’ was released in 2021 on Marquee Records.