Keziah Jones (born Olufemi Sanyaolu on January 10, 1968 in Lagos,
Nigeria) is a Nigerian singer-songwriter and guitarist. He describes
his musical style as "Blufunk", which is a fusion between
raw blues elements and hard, edgy funk rhythms. Also his Nigerian
roots in Yoruba music and soul music can be considered a major
influence on his sound.
He is known for his distinctive style of guitar playing, including
his percussive right-hand technique which is similar to a bass guitarist's
slapping technique. He's also famous for playing most of his live
shows with a bare torso.
Jones is the son of Osodolamu Sanyaolu; Chief of a Yoruba ethnic
group and successful industrialist. Jones spent his early childhood
in a large family in a part of Nigeria close to the city of Lagos.
From a young age he was being prepared to follow his father's footsteps
and was expected to have an academic career. Therefore his father
enrolled him in a Public School in London and he left Nigeria at
the age of eight to be educated in England.
"I had to find a way out of all that bullshit, and music was
it!" 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, increasingly neglecting his
studies. After scraping through exams he went against his father's
wishes and family tradition even more by skipping school and busking
in the streets, clubs and London Underground, constantly avoiding
the police, the Immigration Department - and his own relatives.
Jones led a bohemian lifestyle for several years instead of the
one envisaged for him. "Lose all time, love your mind, free
your soul!" were words from his song Free Your Soul. Moving
from London to Paris, accompanied by his guitar, he acquired a reputation
as a talented musician and performer with a unique style. In 1991,
while playing in the Paris Metro, Keziah was discovered by an A&R
man from the French music label "Delabel". In 1992, Delabel
signed Keziah for his debut album and recorded it in Paris, Blufunk
Is a Fact including the worldwide success of Keziah's first single "Rhythm
is Love." Jones attributes his Parisian subway experiences as
being instrumental to his blossoming career in his official biography.
By 2008, Jones recorded eight albums and one DVD.
Keziah often cites Fela Kuti and Jimi Hendrix as important influences,
along with Michael Jackson. Keziah is not in support
of Drm ,[clarification needed]he thinks music should be shared no
matter the cost, and that people in third world countries should
listen to music to help them. Jones works with these people, and
so plays music while doing it.
Keziah Jones also paints and writes poetry. He’s a talented[citation
needed]photographer and he produces short films, one among them entitled
BLACKSPEEDTEXT This film, his music and the other facets of his artistic
life reflect his experiences on the streets.
 Personal life
Keziah was married to Anglo-Nigerian singer Akure Wall in 1994.
they separated in 1996.
 Studio Albums
Blufunk Is A Fact - (March 23, 1992)
African Space Craft - (March 27, 1995)
Liquid Sunshine - (May 10, 1999)
Black Orpheus - (April 22, 2003)
Rhythm Is Love - Best Of - (November 2, 2004)
Nigerian Wood - (September 1, 2008)
Live At The Elysée Montmartre (June 14, 2004)
The album Nigerian Wood spent 43 weeks in the French S.N.E.P.-chart,
and reached number 4. Black Orpheus was in the French chart for 63
weeks, its highest position being 13. Rhythm is Love stayed in
the chart for seven weeks. Nigerian Wood spent four weeks on Billboard's
European Albums Chart.