Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Special Music Review: Tribute to Majek Fashek

Good day ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls and all music lovers across the globe welcome to another special edition of the Cha Cha Music Review Podcast. Today’s episode will be to honour the late legendary Nigerian singer Majek Fashek.

His real name is Majekodunmi Fasheke born in Benin City in the month of March 1963, his mother is from Edo while his father is a Yoruba man from Ijesha in Osun State. Just like many other artists, Majek Fashek started his music career in his Aladura church as he learnt how to play trumpet and guitar while composing songs for the choir

In the early eighties, Majek Fashek joined the group Jastix with the likes of McRoy Gregg and Black Rice and his name back then was Rajesh Kanal. The band gained popularity as the in-house band on the NTA Benin show Music Panorama.

In 1988 after the disbandment of Jastix, he changed his name to Majek Fashek and signed with Tabansi Records and began a solo career by releasing the album Prisoner of Conscience and the most popular song of the album is the evergreen song Send Down The Rain. 

According to urban legend, this song came at a time when there was no rainfall in the country and shortly after the release of this song, the heavens wept and rain fell and that was when he got the nickname the rainmaker. Ironically on the day he died, it rained also, you can he was indeed the rainmaker

The song "Send Down The Rain" became the most popular song 1988, and in 1989 he won six PMAN awards for "Song of the Year", "Album of the Year", and "Reggae Artist of the Year" among others.

In 1989 Majek Fashek released his second album titled I&I Experience and the most noticeable song off the album was Free Africa, Free Mandela song which was regarded as the anti-apartheid anthem 

By 1991 Majek Fashek had become an international artist, he was signed to Interscope Records where he released the critically acclaimed album Spirit Of Love, with the single So Long being one of the popular tracks on the album. In 1992, he appeared on Late Night with David Letterman and performed the song "So Long Too Long" for the television audience.

In 1997 Majek Fashek under Lightyear Entertainment label, he released the album titled Rainmaker which had songs like African Unity, Kpangolo which apparently was how he describe his genre of music. 

Another popular Majek Fashek song I like is Redemption Song which was off his first album Prisoner of Conscience and also Little Patience from the album titled Little Patience which was released in 2004 by Coral Music Group. 

One interesting fact many of you might not know about Majek Fashek was that he featured in the 2000 Nollywood movie Mark of the Beast.

In December 2016 Fashek was part of the "We Are Not Afraid" featuring over 200 celebrities including 53 members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to raise funds for the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Human Rights Watch

Majek Fashek was married to Rita Fashek who inspired the song "Without You"; the couple had four children together, but later divorced.

Majek Fashek died in his sleep on 1 June 2020 in New York City at the age of 57, and was battling oesophagal cancer. May his gentle soul rest in peace and may he continue to send down the rain.

 

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