Friday, September 20, 2013

FAME TO SHAME: THE MANY FACES OF MAJEK FASHEK

Majek Fashek, The Rain Maker

It is a thing of shame how hitherto top stars fall into shame when they could not manage their fame. From the likes of Michael Jackson, to Whitney Houston, Amy Winehouse, to our own music icon, Majekodunmi Fasheke, popularly known as Majek Fashek, a one-time top Nigerian reggae musician who was once touted to be the natural successor to Bob Marley.

The iconic singer and guitarist who took the Nigerian music scene by storm and churned out several hit bangers that made people tag him a musical prophet, was so big that Tuff Gong records, the same label that had Marley in its stable, signed him on knowing that he had what it took to be the best. His song ‘Send Down The Rain’ was as prophetic as it could be and he was held in high esteem.

But Majek blew it, got into drugs and many other vices. Fashek was born in Benin City, an Edo mother and a Yoruba father first gained national fame on a television show in the early 1980s as a member of Benin-based reggae group Jastix. His band-mates included Ras Kimono and Amos McRoy Gregg. They toured for many years with fellow reggae group The Mandators. In 1988, shortly after Jastix disbanded, he began a solo career and quickly became the best-known reggae artist in Nigeria.

His song ‘Send Down The Rain’ was a hit, and he won six US-based PMAN Music Awards. After leaving Tabansi Records, he was signed to CBS Nigeria in the early 1990s before moving to Island Records’ Mango imprint, a label more accustomed to marketing reggae internationally.

His first album for the company included a cover version of Bob Marley’s ‘Redemption Song’. In 1990, he was signed to Interscope Records and released the critically acclaimed album Spirit Of Love, produced by ‘Little Steven’ Van Zandt. Flame Tree released ‘The Best of Majek Fashek’ in 1994. He recorded several albums for various labels since, including Rainmaker for Tuff Gong (1997) and Little Patience for Coral (2004).

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But today, Majek is shadow of himself as he has been eaten by drugs and other devices. We are not condemning here but we all want to see Majek Fashek get rehabilitated. Pulse.ng takes a look at the many faces of Majek from when he was a handsome young reggae act to now that he has become somewhat of a scarecrow. Who will help this wasted talent?

Majek Fashek Now & Then
Majek Fashek Now & Then


Majek Fashek Then



Majek Fashek Now