Ayinla, Kollington & His Fuji '78 Organisation: Blessing LP
This is the first in Soul Jazz's new series of one-off pressings of vinyl-only releases of Afro-funk/Afro-beat exact-replica, super-rare albums that were previously only ever released in Nigeria. The series starts with Kollington Ayinla's celebrated 1978 album Blessing, a rare lost classic of Nigerian Fuji music, featuring Ayinla's sharp political lyrics together with his new band Fuji '78. Blessing blends the heavily percussive style of Fuji music with a stunning array of modern instruments, including synthesizers, Bata drums and guitars, to create one of the most forward-thinking and heavily danceable sounds ever to come out of Nigeria – a highly successful mixture of profound Fuji rhythms and Fela Kuti-style Afrobeat. Ayinla ranks alongside his friend and competitor Ayinde Barrister as the two most important artists to dominate Fuji music from its inception in the '70s through to the '90s by which time it had grown to become one of the most popular dance genres in Nigeria. At the start of the '80s Ayinla started his own record company, Kollington Records, to release his music and remains to this day an extremely prolific artist, having recorded over 50 albums, most of which have never been released outside of Nigeria.