Top international jazz star Ola Onabule performs a showcase concert in the Nigerian capital of Lagos before arriving in Rye for his only UK summer festival performance as part of Rye International Jazz festival
Ola spoke to the Observer this week about how forging his own way in the music industry gave him the freedom to let his creative talent breathe.
Ola has blazed his own trail at every step choosing to work outside the system of big record labels, he has gone on to build his own studios, set up his own label.
He said: “If an idea comes to me I don’t have to run it through a focus group. I can just walk down the garden path to my studio and record.”
Commenting on his forthcoming Rye concert, Ola said: “You are in a different head-space when you perform to big stadiums but I love smaller venues and feeling that close connection with the audience.”
Ola is known for writing songs that tell a story. “I am drawn to it,” he says. “I also draw on my African heritage and remember the songs my grandmother used to sing.”
Tickets available from www.ryejazz.com.