4 International Musicians Who Are Igbos

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One of the users of Nigeria’s biggest online forum, Nairaland, with the moniker, Abagworo, profiles international music stars who have Igbo lineage.

  • Lemar: 

Lemar Obika was born in Tottenham ,North London, England to Nigerian parents of Enugu State, South Eastern Nigeria. He
grew up listening to R&B and soul music. He used to sing at home with his brothers and sister, pretending to be The Jacksons. He was 17 when he had his first concert at the Junior Jam at ‘The Temple’ in Tottenham supporting Usher. Later on he gave up an opportunity to study pharmacy at Cardiff University to pursue a musical career. Lemar had some success supporting various artists such as Destiny’s Child, Total, Uncle Sam and Usher Raymond on their UK club tours and after some years, managed to secure a recording contract with BMG. Following this, he released his debut single ” Got Me Saying Ooh “. His record deal with BMG fell through in less than a year due to restructuring at the record label.  He had to eventuallytake a job working as an accounts manager at NatWest in Enfield , North London.

  • Jidenna:

Jidenna was born in Wisconsin to an American mother, Tama Mobisson, an accountant, and a father of Igbo Nigerian heritage, Oliver Mobisson , a professor of computer science at Enugu State University until 1995, when the family moved from Nigeria to Massachusetts . Jidenna’s name in the Igbo language means to ’embrace the father’. Jidenna graduated from Milton Academy in Milton, Massachusetts in 2003. He founded a rap group while in high school when he began producing, arranging, and writing. Jidenna attended Stanford University in California from 2003 to 2008. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity ,he pursued his music career full-time, moving between Los Angeles, Oakland , Brooklyn and Atlanta . He presently has a breakthrough hit “Classic Man” topping the charts.

  •  Tyler The Creator:

Tyler Okonma was born in Los Angeles, California to a Nigerian father and a mother of African-American and white Canadian descent. He has said he has never met his father, and spent his early life living in the communities of Ladera Heights and Hawthorne in southwest Los Angeles County. At the age of seven, he would take the cover out of an album’s case and create covers for his own imaginary albums including a tracklist with song times before he could even make music. At the age of 14, Okonma taught himself how to play piano. In his twelve years of schooling, he attended twelve different schools, in Los Angeles and Sacramento areas.

  • Tinie Tempah:

Patrick Chukwuemeka Okogwu was born in London, England, on 7 November 1988, to parents from Ibusa , Delta State, Nigeria. Okogwu lived on the Aylesbury Estate in Southeast London until he was 12 with his parents and three younger siblings: Kelly, Kelvin and Marian. The family later moved to Plumstead, Woolwich, with Patrick attending St. Paul’s Catholic School (now St. Paul’s Academy ) in nearby Abbey Wood. After earning 10 GCSEs, he went on to study A Levels at St. Francis Xavier Sixth Form College, earning A-levels in media studies, psychology, and religious studies.

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