Better Late Than NEPA
There was a time when the Nigerian currency was on par with Pound Sterling and worth more than the dollar. Nigeria must have seemed like the place to be for many blacks from the diaspora. So be not surprised when I tell you that my West Indian family went to live in Nigeria in 1979 and sent for me in 1980.
We lived in region called Abeokuta where myself and my siblings went to school and assimilated with the culture. Everything was different, it was ridiculously hot, the food was different, you had to share a cab, there was a stark contrast between rich and poor and I only saw two white people during my 1 year stay.
One memory that stuck in my mind were the frequent power cuts. The Nigerian electricity supplier was called National Electric Power Authority or NEPA. Everytime the lights went out everyone would say ‘NEPA’, at one point I was hearing NEPA more frequently than my own name!
Since my time there, Nigerians are much more represented in the uk, especially in London. They are enjoying their success in education, business and now music. Nigerian artists have rubbed shoulders with the most popular rappers at the moment from Rick Ross to Drake to Meek Mill, if the legendary Fela Kuti was alive he’d no doubt be produced by Dr Dre with Future and Jay Z on the remix.
In 2007 I went back to Nigeria for my brothers wedding. I mixed an episode of the Draft Pick Mix Show whilst there. I wanted to do a mix that reflected the music of Nigeria, but found that the type of music being produced did not mix well with the largely underground hip hop theme I had going on at that time.
Recently my brother asked me to mix some Nigerian songs for him, so he sent me a few and I was blown away at how high the quality was, I realised that I should have done this in the first place. This is why the mix is entitled Better Late Than NEPA.