“Wherever he’s gone, it’s sure to be a place with a lot of heart and some killer grooves.”
David Byrne has paid tribute to the pioneering Nigerian synth-funk legend, William Onyeabor, who died on Monday (January 16) aged 70.
Byrne’s label Luaka Bop released the retrospective compilation Who Is William Onyeabor? in 2013 and the following year toured the songs of Onyeabor live as part of the Atomic Bomb! Band, of which Byrne himself was a member.
Writing on his website yesterday, Byrne praised the groundbreaking musician’s “conscious lyrics and messages and his entrepreneurial ambitions.” He continued to operate his vinyl mastering and pressing machines up until selling them last year.
He makes reference to one of Onyeabor’s best known tracks, ‘Better Change Your Mind’ – “a song whose message is as relevant today as it was then” – before signing off with “wherever he’s gone, it’s sure to be a place with a lot of heart and some killer grooves. Rest In Peace.”
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