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Keziah Jones (born Olufemi Sanyaolu on January 10, 1968 in Lagos, Nigeria) is a singer-songwriter and guitarist. He describes his musical style as “Blafunk”, which is a fusion between raw blues elements and hard, edgy funk rhythms. Also his African roots and soul music can be considered a major influence on his sound.

He is known for his distinctive style of guitarplaying, above all his percussive right-hand technique which is similar to bass player’s slapping technique. He’s also famous for playing most of his live shows with a bare torso.

Son of a chief Oso Dolamu Sanyaolu in a Yoruba tribe, he was being prepared to follow his father’s footsteps and was expected to have an academic career. But by the age of 13 he discovered the old school piano and taught himself how to play and write songs. Three years later he switched to the guitar, neglecting his studies more and more. After scraping through exams he went against his father’s wishes and family tradition even more by skipping school and trying out his songs in the streets, clubs and London Underground, constantly avoiding the police, the Immigration Departement – and his own relatives.

Keziah led a bohemian life for several years instead of the one envisaged for him, busking from London to Paris, accompanied by his guitar.

Here’s “Beautiful Emilie”…


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