Ayetoro

Funsho Ogundipe is a Nigerian pianist, Music director and composer. He is also a writer and filmmaker and has written music for theatre in Ghana. Primarily known for his work with the Afrobeat band Ayetoro, Ogundipe cites Miles Davis, Duke Ellington and Fela Kuti as his major compositional influences.

Background

Born in Lagos, Funsho Ogundipe studied law at both the University of Ife and the Nigerian law school and then become a stockbroker before eventually heading up the corporate finance department at Prudent Bank – a Nigerian Bank which his father S. Olagunju Ogundipe, a Nigerian economist and writer, founded. When Funsho Ogundipe gave all that up for the love of music, his father, then chairman of Prudent Bank, at first objected to this career move. However, when none other than Lágbájá sent him a complimentary ticket to watch his son play at the famous Motherland venue in Lagos, he changed his mind! Funsho Ogundipe subsequently served as a Non-Executive Director at the same bank for four years after his father’s death.

Ogundipe’s music is based on Afrobeat with a jazz core. As bandleader of Ayetoro he works within the Jazz and Afrobeat fields and is respected for both his original piano style and his compositions which range from straight ahead afrobeat to the avant garde.

Recordings

Ogundipe released his first album “6000 Miles And A Minute” and various tracks were also released on compilations in Nigeria. “On a compilation called ‘The Original Afrobeat’ I have a tune titled ‘Our Man Is Gone (A Tribute To Fela Kuti)’.” says Ogundipe. ” Also in Nigeria I scored a Top 50 radio hit with a song called ‘Something Dey’ which has an accompanying video that can be seen on my website.” The second Ayetoro album, ‘The Afrobeat Chronicles Vol. I: The Jazz Side Of Afrobeat’, was recorded in London and released in 2005. Tracks included ‘From Benin to Belize’, ‘Becklow Gardens (Afro Funky Cool)’, ‘Revenge of the Flying Monkeys’, ‘Blues 4 The Earth Mother’, ‘Yoruba Boyz Club’.

The third album, ‘Omo Obokun: The Afrobeat Chronicles Vol. 2 Directions in music by Funsho Ogundipe’, mostly recorded in London in 2006, was co-produced by Mike Collins who also played guitar on some tracks. “I met Funsho early in 2006 when a Nigerian acquaintance hired us both to work on a rap record. I produced the track and played guitar while Funsho took care of the keyboards,” Collins explains. “Liking the look of my home studio, Funsho spent the next 6 months or so recording here at my place!” Click here for more details about the album. Click here for the track list and credits, and to audition the tracks. Some tracks are also available on Soundcloud here.

In May 2014, a fourth album, ‘Asoju Oba’ was released on CD and vinyl. Click here for more info. This was followed by the release of the vinyl album  ‘Irunmole’ in 2016. Click here for more details.